Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The importance of a theme tune

The F1 Grand Prix starts again this Sunday and it's moved back to the BBC.

Like a lot of people it seems, I used to watch the F1 pretty regularly, up to sometime when Schumacher was dominating and then began to lose interest.

This isn't about F1 as a spectacle though, it's about the BBC's theme music - a bass line that for a generation of fans is the Grand Prix. In their trailers, the beeb leave it till late to give a little hint of the tune.

From the minute the change back from ITV was announced, there were three themes of conversation among fans. Thank God James Allen's gone, no adverts and will they bring back The Chain? Apart from a well publicised mishap in San Marino (and James Allen) I thought ITV's Grand Prix coverage was actually pretty good. There's plenty of space in an hour's racing to slot in an ad break or two. The Jamiroquai theme music was totally forgettable though.

The link to the BBC theme is so strong, I'd have been tempted to lead with music as a creative idea for the trailer, rather than 'The World's Greatest Car Chase', but then I'm 31 and supose it has to appeal to viewers who didn't grow up watching Nigel Mansell and listening to Murray Walker.

Still, when people are imagining their own opening credits on youtube, you've got to be onto something. For me, this isn't the BBC's brand that fans are excited about. It's the brand that the BBC created for F1 over many years and all the associations with past champions that come with it.

If you are one of that older generation, you'll probably enjoy this.

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