Thursday, October 27, 2005

BBC Broadcast Rebrands, Kim Laughs and Points.

Sometimes, I despair of the industry I work in. I particularly despair of the marketing and branding aspects of it, which strike me as being a strange mass delusion; some kind of group hysteria of idiocy.

So, it is with a disbelieving shake of the head that I reproduce a marketing email I recieved this morning.

We are pleased to announce our new name - Red Bee Media
As of 31 October, we will no longer be called BBC Broadcast.

We wanted a name that reflected where we have come from. When we were Broadcasting and Presentation we were known as B&P. As BBC Broadcast we have been known as BBCB. So an evolutionary step was to play with the sound ?B?.

The spelling as ?Bee? came from an internal brainstorm when we were looking at nature?s expert navigators, because as a company facing the digital future we need to help the consumer become equally adept as navigators. We have always used Red as our colour property and this gave added strength to the name.

We look forward to working with you as Red Bee Media

Just to reinforce the general mindless idiocy of this marketingese, it's worth noting that their brand spanking new website is currently showing a holding page:

This domain has been registered on behalf of a client by

It's worth noting that there have been a couple of outbreaks of marketing idiocy in the last day or two - Apple's branding of the not-quite-cold Rosa Parks with their 'Think Different' logo was particularly sickmaking, too.

Sometimes, I wonder why I took a job based on marketing our deparment's output; I'm fated to be bad at it by the standards of the industry.


Anonymous said...

Red Bee! ? you couldn't make this up ? Do they have no sense of how others might see them, no self-awareness at all? It beggars belief. 'nature?s expert navigators' ? pass the bucket ?

Anonymous said...

Those who do not remember the howls of derision when the Royal Mail rebranded as Consignia are doomed to repeat it.

Anonymous said...

Actually Apple just put up an existing marketing image from the late nineties when Rosa Parks took part in their 'Think Different' campaign (thus the late nineties Apple slogan and typeface).

I'm a pretty cynical person but I can't see the offense of replacing the main product placement position on their homepage for a couple of days with an image that the person had approved for marketing usage and linking it through to a short biography with no product references whatsoever. I thought it was a pretty honourable guesture myself - maybe I'm just not cynical enough.

Anonymous said...

oh boy oh boy. I was wondering when they'd have to lose the BBC part of their name. This is too hilarious though.

Anonymous said...

were you are the science museum on tuesday, though? talk about branding overload... or should that be overlord?

kim said...

No. I would probably have been violently sick though.

Actually, I realised that the huge (we're talking 25ft square) R=dB=E logo they've put on the front of the BBc media Village makes it look like the worlds biggest branch of UniQlo.


Anonymous said...

"... internal brainstorm". Always bad words to hear.

Anonymous said...

aaarrgghh, have some sympathy for me, I now work for "Red Bee Media" (no wonder I'm posting anonymously). can't tell you how mortifying it is having to explain our new name to people. I was always proud of working for the BBC... now my introductions go: "I work for Red Bee media, no, bee the insect rather than b the letter, yes, I know that there aren't any red bees in nature, no I don't know how they convinced themselves that it was a great name". ok sure I know the corporate guff about "nature's expert navigators" and the meaning of the colour red, and the deep associations of the letter "b"... but I still don't why why they chose it as, frankly, it's a crap name. rant over, I feel a little better (but not much, and will feel infinitely worse again next time I tell someone which company I work for)

Dan said...

The Red Bee, if I recall correctly, was a post-war costumed crimefighter, whose superpower, if that's the word, was the possession of two bees. Trained bees. Who lived in his belt buckle.

Possibly the new identity is meant to communicate the sort of stunned incredulity this information must have engendered at Jutice Society of America potluck suppers.