BBC Radio 2 are soon to begin a trial for an audible ‘channel logo’, otherwise known on TV channels as a DOG (Digitally-Originated Graphic). All TV channels have tried them at some point. BBC1 and BBC2, who trialled them in the early days of digital TV, stopped theirs after viewers complained. Channel 4 only use theirs on their HD channel (odd, since that’s where you expect the best image, yet it’s the one that’s blighted). ITV did the same at first, but then brought one in on their SD channel, in January 2013, despite having been broadcasting since 1955, so it’s not as if viewers hadn’t heard of the channel. Channel 5 started off with one, dropped it a few years later when new management took over, but, sadly, further new management also take over and then it’s back with the DOG.
Incidentally, shortly after Channel 5 first started, Teletext reported on 14 April 1997 that 70% of viewers who took part in a poll were in favour of removing the DOG. Channel 5 refused, but toned the DOG down slightly in its intensity.
So, they’re not required and no-one needs them, but then when have broadcasters ever listened to their audience?
To my knowledge, no radio station has ever featured an ‘audible DOG’ before, but the one on Radio 2 will be a repetitive “Radio 2… Radio 2… Radio 2…”, similar in style to that featured on The Beatles track, Revolution Number 9, where the late Sir George Martin repeatedly says “Number 9, Number 9, Number 9, Number 9…”
The words will be audible to anyone listening in general, although if it’s a breakfast show where either Chris Evans, Sara Cox or Zoe Ball are speaking, then most likely, their harsh drones will waffle all over them.
BBC boss Tony “Lord” Hall said of the plans:
- “We always assume that TV viewers haven’t got the first idea in what channel they’re watching, and so we put huge logos onscreen in the same way that Nike put huge logos all over their trainers, regardless of the fact that pressing ‘i’ on your remote tells you which channel is on your TV at any given moment, presuming you’ve somehow forgotten since last changing channel.
In fact, it’s a shame that BBC Three is no longer on TV because the huge pink logo onscreen was particularly intrusive. Still, now it’s online, we may decide to squeeze the programme into one corner of the screen with the rest taken up by the DOG, the name of the programme currently on, and also the name of some other programmes you might enjoy.
Hence, we believe there will be a benefit to doing the same on the radio. In fact, it’ll be more necessary because unless you’re looking at your radio and it’s a digital one or it’s a car radio with RDS, there’s no way of knowing what station you’re listening to, presuming you’ve had a brain seizure since you last switched it on. We also believe these tools help navigate the audience to their station of choice.
We also enjoy using words like ‘navigate’ as a way to insult the audience, even though we think they don’t realise they’re being insulted when they will clearly know this.”
BBC Radio 2 will begin the trial of their new audible DOG each weekday at 6.30am, during the Chris Evans Breakfast Show which is currently being stood in by Sara Cox. If successful, it will begin full time on September 9th. If feedback is overwhelmingly negative, it still will begin full time on September 9th.
You can hear a sample of the new audible DOG by clicking on the above BBC Radio 2 logo.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.