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TCM’s new music is not good


Davehat
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I dislike the new music and new TCM “style,” which I think are inconsistent with TCM’s main content — movies primarily from before 1970. I’ve tried to remain open-minded, but I feel like the new stuff clashes with the movies, instead of helping to create a “world” of classic film.

I’d really like to see TCM revisit the whole thing and look for a style and music that fit the movies they show, rather than a style and music that seem aimed entirely at supporting some consultant’s slogan.  (If I remember correctly, it’s “Where then meets now.”  Maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but I feel nauseated every time I see that shallow slogan.)

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I am wholeheartedly sympathetic with the comments so far.  My big question is to TCM:  Has all this worked?  Has it all been successful?

We're a good year into this revamping of the TCM brand -- so to speak -- with the carnivalesque tilt-a-whirl sets and the new "When Then Meets Now" motto.  Has the younger audience embraced this new packaging of old black and white movies?  Have they been hooked with the cool, psychedelic new graphics and ambient noises?  We've got some pretty hip members on this forum that may be able to provide some answers.

Beyond the fashion series this summer, has there been a real effort to make that "Then meets now" tagline salient to the vast amount of content TCM has to offer?  I can't think of very much, to be honest.

Have the 18-34 year-olds walking the streets of middle America been sporting any new TCM branded merch?  Seriously, isn't that what this was all about?  Making the channel relevant to people who are not my age (65, by the way)?    I should think that the fluid trademark TCM logo is enough to satisfy all constituents of an audience.  With that ever-changing "C,"  they've turned  this all into a complete set of Rorshach Tests.

TCM:  "What does this new logo suggest to you?"

Me:  "Callous and indifferent people swilling Blues Brothers Pinot Grigio."

TCM. "It's supposed to make you join the TCM Wine Club."

Me:  "It doesn't."

Oh, well.  If anyone out there knows whether or not all this "change" has yielded a huge number of new, young viewers, please let us know.  If it's working, fine.  If not, is there an adult at TCM able to figure out why?  

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There is a very common thread that runs through all new "branding efforts."  The company spends an insane amount of money with some hip young firm.  They redesign everything based on their concept of what is age-appropriate to them. (the current look reeks of Mid-Century Modern, which is so au courant with them)  The company, since they've spent a horrid amount of money, claims the new design is "innovative, forward-looking and just marvelous." (what else would they say after investing hundreds of thousands of their company's cash in this?)  The design firm, meanwhile, backs up the new design with a 200-page book with "mood boards" and charts and color samples that attempts to "explain" why the new design is breakthrough, mind bending and miraculous.  Of course, they use hipper terms then that, but you get the idea.  The concept is then launched to great fanfare and mostly --  falls flat on its face.

It's a game that large corporations play over and over again.  And in this case, WB did as well.

What happens next is that NO ONE SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING.  That's where we are now with TCM.  It won't matter if this brings in new viewers or pushes away older ones, because the bottom line is, despite arguments to the contrary, it was never REALLY intended to do that.  It was done, well, just because....

I have seen TCM pull back on the nausea inducing slider moves in the intros, which is welcome.  But much of the rebrand remains as you say.  It will be with us, unfortunately, until, low and behold, someone starts the ball rolling again in a couple of years...

 

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There is also the possibility that TCM has hired "mail-room rejects" to work in important roles in the channel's decision-making and these people are dumb as rocks in actuality on the subject of 'Classic Movies' and the actual audience (as opposed to whatever current notion TCM has of a 'target audience') . . . but they work cheap and, like, "dig the whole movie-vibe thing" even if they don't know who half the stars are during SUTS month.

"Hi.  I'm Dexter.  I LIKE TO WATCH!  Will you hire me TCM?  I heard you have air conditioning that works in your building •sometimes• and, man, I'm all for that!  Just point me in the right direction and I'll do some real good stuff if the money's ok!  Ya dig?   I'm not all hung up on material possessions so, like, I'm not real greedy like ya know?  My favorite movie is "Christmas At The Toxic Waste Depository" . . . ammi hired?"  :D

And very little of the annoying things change, ergo.  

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On 8/12/2022 at 8:00 PM, overeasy said:

There is a very common thread that runs through all new "branding efforts."  The company spends an insane amount of money with some hip young firm.  They redesign everything based on their concept of what is age-appropriate to them.  ... The design firm, meanwhile, backs up the new design with a 200-page book with "mood boards" and charts and color samples that attempts to "explain" why the new design is breakthrough, mind bending and miraculous.  Of course, they use hipper terms then that, but you get the idea.  The concept is then launched to great fanfare and mostly --  falls flat on its face.

It's a game that large corporations play over and over again.  And in this case, WB did as well.

What happens next is that NO ONE SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING.  That's where we are now with TCM.  ...

 

You’ve described almost exactly the experience with “style” consultants that I observed at the government agency I worked at for many years.   At the beginning of a new administration — I won’t say which one, because I’m absolutely certain that it could have happened in any of them — some otherwise smart people came in as political appointees in the part of the agency I worked in.  They decided that they could show that they knew better than their predecessors how to run our unit by spending a bunch of money on consultants who would tell us how to do things better.  

After months of observing and interviewing the staff, they came up with exactly the kind of notebook you describe.  The consultants’ big recommendation?  Use different background colors for different kinds of documents being posted on the agency’s web site.

Now, this result didn’t affect my work in any direct way, so it wasn’t making my life more difficult.  But it did seem like a waste of money.  My gosh, an agency staff member could have come up with the same recommendation at no extra cost— assuming that the recommendation was even worth pursuing.

I can see how even smart managers at TCM might somehow be persuaded that these stylistic changes might bring in younger viewers.  But unless that’s actually happening, and there’s a proven causal link, I’d prefer that they get rid of the new style and find something that isn’t so much at odds with the style of the movies TCM shows.

If a viewer — whether young or old — likes the style of the movies on TCM, which don’t include abstract computer graphics or synthesized music, why would you think that the same viewers would want to see that stuff elsewhere on TCM?

(I’ll readily admit that I’m probably not in the age group that TCM is going after here, but I’m also not otherwise opposed to synthesized music or computer graphics.  I own synthesizers myself and have worked with computer graphics for fun.  But I would never have recommended either for TCM.)

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On 8/12/2022 at 9:36 AM, Davehat said:

It sounds like someone passed-out & their head hit a bunch of random notes on the piano, instead of actual music.

I miss the old intros with big band & jazz music.

Yep, I have to say I kind of agree with ya here, Dave.

(..."capiche" THIS time?)  ;)

LOL

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On 8/12/2022 at 8:23 PM, txfilmfan said:

Charles Tabesh is still the head of TCM programming and he's been there forever.  I'm pretty sure he would have been in on the decision for the change in branding.

then he is a f--khead just like manckiewicz.

:)

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I really wonder if anyone would be drawn to TCM because of what TCM does between movies.     Frankly,  other than Eddie Mueller and Noir Alley,   if TCM was just to show movies,  period,   that would be welcomed.     It isn't because I dislike the hosts but that they rarely tell me anything I don't already know in the few seconds they discuss the films they are about to show (or have shown).

The same goes for the music and other items related to the dead-time between movies.    

But hey,  I use the remote control A LOT (just ask my wife because it bugs her to no end!):     thus I rarely watch any dead-time for anything I watch on T.V.   Of course most of that is  commercials,   but for TCM as soon as the film I'm watching is over,   I flip to other stations (e.g. check ESPN for sport scores),  and get back to TCM right before the next film.

 

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36 minutes ago, NipkowDisc said:

then he [Tabesh] is a f--khead just like manckiewicz.

:)

 

24 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

Actually a nice guy.  Been there almost from the beginning, since about 1997.

Sorry Tex, but I'm a bit confused here now.

So, which "f--khead" are ya talkin' about here?  Tabesh or Mank???

LOL

(...don't ya just love how Nip always gets down to brass tacks and doesn't mince any words when expressing an opinion he feels strongly about?...why, it'd be almost admirable if it wasn't so damn sad, wouldn't ya say?!)  ;)

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4 minutes ago, Dargo said:

 

Sorry Tex, but I'm a bit confused here now.

So, which "f--khead" are ya talkin' about here?  Tabesh or Mank???

LOL

(...don't ya just love how Nip always gets down to brass tacks and doesn't mince any words when expressing an opinion he feels strongly about?...why, it'd be almost admirable if it wasn't so damn sad, wouldn't ya say?!)  ;)

It has to be Tabesh,  since Mank started at TCM in 2003.

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29 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

It has to be Tabesh,  since Mank started at TCM in 2003.

HEY you "f--khead"! Who asked YOU, James???!!! 

Can't ya see I was talkin' to TEX here?!!!

LOL

(...thanks for the info here, actually) ;)

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I'm in my mid 30's, started regularly watching TCM about 3 years ago, and I'm perhaps the demographic that TCM is trying to reach with these new slogans and designs.  

When I go to Youtube to check out the TCM intro/outros to films, I yearn for the old presentation style.  It was much more fitting for the era of films the network celebrates.  

I don't necessarily blame TCM or any business attempting to reach a new demographic and attract new customers.  However, classic cinema is a niche market in today's society.  I don't see a rebranding of the TCM logo and marketing strategy being a successful tactic to attract millennials and Gen-Z, who have the attention span of a goldfish, hence why so many are obsessed with Tiktok where you can watch 30 second videos and then you're onto the next one.

As a somewhat older Millennial, I absolutely have no faith whatsoever in my generation or subsequent generations, to suddenly embrace the classics.  And ultimately because of that, I fear for the future of TCM and what that means for classic cinema's future.

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44 minutes ago, CineClassics said:

I'm in my mid 30's, started regularly watching TCM about 3 years ago, and I'm perhaps the demographic that TCM is trying to reach with these new slogans and designs.  

When I go to Youtube to check out the TCM intro/outros to films, I yearn for the old presentation style.  It was much more fitting for the era of films the network celebrates.  

I don't necessarily blame TCM or any business attempting to reach a new demographic and attract new customers.  However, classic cinema is a niche market in today's society.  I don't see a rebranding of the TCM logo and marketing strategy being a successful tactic to attract millennials and Gen-Z, who have the attention span of a goldfish, hence why so many are obsessed with Tiktok where you can watch 30 second videos and then you're onto the next one.

As a somewhat older Millennial, I absolutely have no faith whatsoever in my generation or subsequent generations, to suddenly embrace the classics.  And ultimately because of that, I fear for the future of TCM and what that means for classic cinema's future.

All very well stated here...

(...youngin)    ;)

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On 8/12/2022 at 3:14 PM, BingFan said:

..." new TCM “style,” which I think are inconsistent with TCM’s main content "...

Some of us made similar comments when the switch was made.  Watching some of the pre-switch DVR recordings really bring it home. Particularly with the old Noir Alley and  Open All Night intros.

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The spinning graphics slow down the website and add nothing to the channel. TCM had one of the best logos going - in all of its variations, and didn’t need this change. It now has a rather generic look that could be used to sell anything. The old logo said old Hollywood in an unmistakable way. There are a lot of elements that could have been “refreshed” without sacrificing a unique and instantly identifiable logo. 

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Maybe I should apply for a job as an 'Expert Consultant' at TCM -OR- somewhere in the Federal Government. 

I could make a pile of $$$ and recommend some really dumb [s--t] and laugh all the way to the bank.  👍😜💰

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16 hours ago, Dargo said:

Yep, I have to say I kind of agree with ya here, Dave.

(..."capiche" THIS time?)  ;)

LOL

Did they do away with that music that was composed specifically for TCM?  It recently dawned on me that I hadn't heard it lately, nor the clip they used to show how it came to be.  I miss so much of what made the channel special.

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3 minutes ago, TheGayDivorcee1 said:

Did they do away with that music that was composed specifically for TCM?  It recently dawned on me that I hadn't heard it lately, nor the clip they used to show how it came to be.  I miss so much of what made the channel special.

Sorry, meant to answer Dave's post about the music.  Re-learning the ropes around here, not that I ever learned them originally!   But it's always good to see you, Dargo.

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12 hours ago, CineClassics said:

I don't necessarily blame TCM or any business attempting to reach a new demographic and attract new customers.  However, classic cinema is a niche market in today's society. 

Exactly. I do not understand why these "professionals" don't recognize that simple idea.

10 hours ago, Kikiki said:

TCM had one of the best logos going - in all of its variations, and didn’t need this change.  The old logo said old Hollywood in an unmistakable way.

Indeed.

I just finished selling at a classic film festival & had several pieces with old TCM imagery.  (I know "copy infringement" but hey-these are long gone/rejected images) They sold out-obviously people have an affinity for the channel & the original designs represented it well.

TCMBracelet.jpg.0a5b42d321206c04adce2776503f0f45.jpg

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