So, how many watched the Comey session on Thursday? Yep, that’s just about everybody. Gonna pose a question about news, since many of you are tasked with making news a ratings winner. Did you like what you saw on the bottom third of the screen? Because the coverage I watched (and it was many different feeds) had more than their fair share of cluttered, hard to read, busy, distracting, glaring, unhelpful, non-artistic lower thirds that made me want to turn away. Think about that…turning away a viewer.
So I pose the question to those who might be charged with making ‘the look’, might be involved in carrying out ‘the look’, might want ‘the look’ to reflect your brand/market position/reputation…how did it get to this? When did it become ‘the thing’ to leave up an identifier for about 4 seconds then dump out to return to the glaringly obvious headline? When did a locator for where the news happened get dropped for, again, the headline? With the Comey coverage, the TV bottom third graphics hid the signs that were in front of each participant. Sometimes those Senators look alike and it would have been nice to know who was talking. Remember, the new normal of watching TV is with more than one screen at a time, so how does this ‘look’ support that?
After 9/11, there were passionate discussions at stations where the case for the continued news ticker was made. It was dropped but now different advancers crawl across the bottom in hopes of enticing a viewer to stay. We know that the news ticker is meant to catch the recent tune-in viewer to cable news and catch them up on what’s happening. Got it. But the addition of logo, stock averages, headlines and the nearly ever present Breaking News (in bright red – at least it doesn’t flash) defies a solid marketing raison d’etre. Enlightened responses encouraged.
On Monday, we’ll hear from guys who punch the casts…one is Well Dunne! (and he’s amazing).
Think About This: “Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.” ~ Francis Bacon (no known relation)