Subtitles & Closed Captions – Promotion

So how many of my readers use closed captions or subtitles all the time whilst watching TV? I am guessing the majority of you. But what about those who may not even be aware of the service or might not think to use it because they can ‘hear perfectly’. It might sound like an absurd concept to those of us that use it all the time but I think it does pay from time to time to promote the service and remind viewers it is available. So, how often is that done in your country on the channels you watch?

I have seen it here in the UK but not for a long while I must admit. One of my favourite promotions came from Channel 4 who made a fantastic dramatic almost silent promo with some sound effects. Not until halfway through are subtitles displayed. It made no reference to this service being for any specific group of people (such as the deaf and hard of hearing) and was a perfect illustration of how anyone can benefit from them in an environment where sound is not clear.

Here it is:

From a bit of research on You Tube other channels have gone the informative route choosing to concentrate on telling the viewer how to access them. Here is one:

And another one:

^ One thing about this – where is the captioning for promo itself?! There is an awful lot of audio only instruction.

This is a slightly better effort where at least the key instructions are provided in the text even though the promo itself is not captioned:

This promo from a subtitling and captioning company has the right idea promoting how subtitles and captioning results in a shared experience for a family:

I have never seen this kind of promotion in the UK, where a TV network has promoted that a specific show being broadcast has closed captions (other than within a station ident just before the programme airs)

And similarly a sponsor promoting its support of closed captioning for a news channel in the USA. Subtitles in the UK are not sponsored so you would never get this kind of advertising for the service.

Please share any examples you have or can remember of subtitles or closed captioning being promoted. How would you promote them?

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