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Promotional ideas and technique. Always radio, always positive.

Breakfast is still about personality, even in news

Red Nose Day gives us all the opportunity to do something funny for money. And that includes BBC Radio 4’s Today programme which has turned to agency Rubber Republic for this promotional video:

Radio 4 calls it a “viral”, although it’s likely that more regular Radio 4 listeners heard it promoted on air than found it arrive in their inbox or social network timeline by stealthy means.

Of course there are plenty of videos out there featuring radio presenters larking about but the Today film is in a different league. It’s proper comedy and it’s proper classy.

The writing, the casting of Katherine Jakeways (Armstrong and Miller, Extras, Bremner, Bird and Fortune), the direction and editing all reflect Today’s professionalism and attention to detail. And despite the comedy the film never trivialises the serious journalism on which Today has built its reputation.

How come? Personality.

If you work in radio you may well know the clever and accomplished programmer and consultant Keith Pringle. Keith’s a man so busy with his roster of international clients that he hasn’t found time to update his blog since 2006 🙂 but he does a great talk on how to cast your breakfast show characters in distinct roles.

In the presentation I’ve seen, Keith uses an AC music format station example but his principles are good for any format, even serious speech.

In John Humphrys (fastidious), Jim Naughtie (free and easy), and Evan Davis (awkward little customer) Today has a wonderful cast of distinctive presenting characters. This film is written to amplify their individual personas and it has the potential to encourage lapsed listeners to reappraise the programme now that Evan is firmly playing his role.

From the comments on Evan’s blog and YouTube fans of the programme appear to love it, even if some of the press coverage has been less effusive.

Anyway, that’s far too much analysis, even for a news and current affairs programme. It’s very funny. Watch it again and again. And enjoy Red Nose Day.

One Comment

  1. I agree. Not being in the UK or a Radio4 listener I have no idea about the presenters personalities. When I saw the video a few days ago it just looked dumb and not funny. However after reading Steve’s post and watching again it now makes sense and is quite clever. As a music radio guy I’ve always been most disappointed with the over emphasis on the music and not enough on the presenter because after all it is the presenters personality that makes the magic of radio.