SBS Six Billion Stories and Counting – Love Story & South Park

As TV channels try to assert themselves as Brands in a fragmenting TV universe……a few are making great strides in the previously overlooked area of idents.

SBS is the rather grand “Special Broadcasting Service” in Australia. As a public broadcaster it has a charter:

“The principal function of SBS is to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia’s multicultural society.”

And here you might expect a very dry service lacking in creativity and innovation. Not the case (in most part). SBS has taken the acronym and turned it into something meaningful in terms of copy and creative on screen: SIX BILLION STORIES

“Six Billion Stories” is perfect for the profile of their channel, charter and audience.

But most of all I like their idents which truly reflect the diversity of their content. The above in Legacy week (honoring ex-servicemen) was particularly poignant.

There are many more – each featuring a programme or theme eg: the equally brilliant, but very different, homage to South Park:

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The Ashes Advertising

Having already posted on the merits of SBS and FOX Sports coverage (The Battle for the Ashes – but who won?), it is worth a quick mention of pre and post advertising for the series.

SBS came out with some strong stuff early on in Australia (as did the Australian cricket team in the UK….):

The Follow On in the English press however, took a clever route of looking at the original press ad that announced the death of the ashes. Nice job by Yahoo cricket:

(thanks to Adland for the above)

The original was written by Reginald Brooks under the pseudonym “Bloobs” and appeared in The Sporting Times. It read:


In Affectionate Remembrance
of
ENGLISH CRICKET,
which died at the Oval
on
29th AUGUST, 1882,
Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing
friends and acquaintances
—-
R.I.P.
—-
N.B.—The body will be cremated and the
ashes taken to Australia.

The Battle for the Ashes – but who won?

The Battle for the Ashes is now over.

But the debate remains – who won?

Was the SBS Stuart MacGill presentation, idents, sponsors and all, better than FOX Sports with their interactive features, newspaper links, ad campaign and star staffers including Brendon Julian, Mark Waugh and Allan Border?

Of particular note was the SBS Promo for the series. Produced by Tactic, the SBS promo oozes nostalgia and emotion with the greats past and present:

Compared to FOX Sports using the latest series footage highlights, production technology and a very hip soundtrack to appeal to the new fans.

And I think that this is the difference. Cricket is going through a quiet revolution, discarding the dusty past in favour of the digital, youthful future. And not just targeting the new younger viewer, but the traditional cricket fan as more and more older users embrace the advantages of on-line and on-screen TV interactivity.

Both websites recognized the importance of the web, but FOX Sports were able to present the digital interactive features on screen during the game and through the use of digital recorders allowed playback of vital moments. This is where the future of the game and TV lies.

A great example is in a post below: Fox Sports viewers make the call on Katich – The Ashes 2009 – Fox Sports – Viewers of FOX Sports 3 bombarded the SKY UK commentary team with their “point of view” via email in Freddie Flintoff’s bowling of Katich – noting the no ball courtesy of the I.Q. Playback.

SKY Sports UK produced a fantastic series which both SBS and FOX Sports used, but the pre-show specials and interviews from Nick McArdle and Damien Flemming with Botham and Atherton live from the UK, combined with their digital interactive features, made it a winner for FOX Sports.

Also special mention to the excellent print and radio work by Three Drunk Monkeys for FOX Sports – the campaign dramatises the Ashes and what they mean to the Aussies:

A classic battle in every sense of the word and just as a new satellite launch promises more Australian Pay TV channel choices…