Broadcasters ‘Our Stories’: Where’s the bigger picture?

TVWhether you are sporting a Bush 19-inch HD Ready LED (£99) or a Samsung QE98Q800T 98-inch 2020 8K QLED colossus (a snip at £70,000), we’ve all been firmly glued to the TV for weeks, with one recent study claiming viewing soared by a third during lockdown.

So, it is perhaps not surprising that the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are keen to keep viewers turned on now that we’re all allowed out of the house. Cue a unique collaboration which sees them come together for the first time to mark and celebrate the role UK broadcasters play across our culture.

A two-minute film, devised by Uncommon Creative Studio, first aired this week in a one-off roadblock across all 21 free-to-air channels and takes us on a trip across the UK, through farmers’ fields, Cornish coastlines, factory floors, and London housing estates to the Angel of the North and the Royal Academy gallery.

In every shot, flat screens and tablets aim to demonstrate the power of the broadcasters’ TV and digital services, showing moments from popular TV series such as EastEnders, Fleabag, Gogglebox, Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off and even Cruising with Jane McDonald and Cold Call (yeh, right?).

The work, which also promotes TV’s role in the UK creative economy and its power in bringing people together, was directed by Sam Walker through Pulse Films.

“Who can tell the story of us? What tells us more about who we are?” the voiceover states. “This is our story, our tears, our smiles, our truths. This is the story of everything we’ve done and everything we could be. This is us. This is who we are. And our stories are your stories.”

Uncommon Creative Studio co-founder Nils Leonard said: “British TV reflects and shapes our culture and who we are. Our debates, our conversations, our communities and our characters are all reflected in the stories we watch every day. These are our stories. British TV matters – now more than ever. This cultural moment is the kind of brief we built the studio to make. We’re very proud to bring this moment to bear for our collective broadcasters.”

BBC director general Tony Hall added: “British free to air television – commissioned from the UK and produced in the UK – is here for everyone. We bring people together for the big moments – from a royal wedding to the World Cup. We are there at times of crisis and to provide comfort, laughter, education and entertainment. We do something special for the UK and provide authentic British programmes that our rivals simply don’t offer.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, our 42-inch Samsung has certainly taken a battering over the past few months although this film still looks sharp as a button and hats off to Uncommon for stitching it all together.

But while we are big fans, others may argue this film is all rather self-congratulatory and simply preaches to the converted, failing to address the bigger picture. After all, winning over the majority of people aged under 30, many of whom rarely watch mainstream TV, let alone own a TV licence, is the real challenge. Maybe that should be the next collaboration…

Decision Marketing Adometer: A culturally sound 7½ out of 10

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