CBS vapes up a new Burning Man-inspired EDM theme song to lure in the kids

William Hughes
·2 min read

CBS has a reputation—earned honestly, through decades’ worth of broadcasting shows about people who work for acronyms catching serial killers—for being the network of fogeys, whose only desire in life is to have a weekly check-in with that pleasant Young Sheldon. But this perception of the network as a mausoleum for the TV-viewing mind ignores the vibrancy of the CBS brand/marketing executives, which are hip and with-it in a way that…well, we wouldn’t call it “In your face,” but it’s definitely nasally adjacent, you know?

Take CBS chief marketing officer Mike Benson, who would like to make sure that you know—per a recent Variety piece centered on the network’s new promotional efforts and Grammys branding—that he’s been to Burning Man multiple times; no sparklepony, he. Hence why Benson is making a push to get the network a series of new theme songs inspired by EDM, pop/rock, and, of course, lofi beats to study to, all the better to lure kids in to /feast on their rich and youthful blood/ expand the network’s perceived demographics. To that effect, Benson recently tapped producer CID to make three different “cool” tracks out of the station’s new 5-tone jingle, mixed with some old instances of its “This is CBS” slogan, to really nail down all those good “The System…is down” vibes. It goes without saying, hopefully, that they also whipped up their own version of the lofi beats to study to video, and gave all the songs pretentious Latin titles referencing the brand’s eye-based imagery.

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(It also makes for a handy game of Spot The Reference.)

But while we can’t help buy mock this playa-invoking effort to market a billion-dollar TV network, we do have to note that the company is prepping at least one genuinely cool nostalgic push for its Grammys marketing: A revival of the classic “CBS” spinning Special Presentation” logo (even if it lacks the graininess that made the original such a visual treat back in the day). Check out the old, and the new, versions below: