Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LBC - NTSC (Never Twice Same Channel)

Remember when LBC was LBC? When the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation would do one of those promotional videos which cost a fortune and was shot in about a dozen countries? Remember when Simon Asmar (currently jailed) - the famed director-cum-impresario - would keep the Lebanese glued to the LBC screen every Saturday night with (in retrospect silly) variety shows (Ifta7 ya semsom, laylet hazz) or pre-rigged singing contests (Studio el Fan)? Remember when Hunter was on Tuesday and on Thursday the more thoughtful and nuanced police series "Night heat"? Remember when the late Riad Charara would go from one village to another on Sunday to do games such as "the fastest tabboule" or "longerst ooooof"? Monday night was for all those incredible movies way before the channel had to pay money in licensing to broadcast them (presented by then fresh face Hiyam Abou Chedid)... I am not even going to touch their sister channel "C33" which was so avant-garde in terms of culture and programs.
OK, if you remember that, then you know why LBC is or was LBC.
Which brings us to our second rebranding in 3 years. New logo, new selling line, new positioning, same old mess. In 2010 LBC deployed a new logo, a new selling line ("el ossa kella" - which doubles as "the whole story" but also "the main thing") - the logo was infamously stolen from ABC. Fast forward to 2013 and here we go again, a new logo, a new selling line:
Which means "the world is full of colors" (literally) but figuratively means that the world is full of different opinions, takes and attitudes, which is basically saying "it takes every kind of people". The could be a hidden meaning as to the fact that Lebanese political parties have hijacked the colors (Blue is Mustaqbal, Yellow is Hizbullah, Orange is Free Patriotic Movement, etc...) which doesn't save the day either even if meant that way.
Now let's dissect the campaign above "are you in the opinion of hearing several opinions?", "small screen, fits everyone", "everyone's audio, same visual" (note I am trying to transcribe them in creative English copywriting as opposed to just translating them). So it seems LBC wants to dub itself as some centrist TV station somewhere between Al Manar being backed by Hizbullah and MTV being the stanch mouthpiece of the March 14th - good luck for them with that.
Once upon a time, LBC lanched the slogan "chara2et chams el LBC (w tghayyar kil el mawdou3)" (the LBC sun has risen and everything changed). Somehow, it now feels like if its "the lion in winter".
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