David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

GIVING BRANDS A BUMP.
9 January 2018

ITV's finances may not live or die by its viewing figures at the weekends but they're certainly a barometer of the network's fortunes. It wouldn't be surprising then if there was a degree of tension at their headquarters this weekend as they unveiled their New Year's schedule.

New series of 'The Voice', 'Take Me Out' and 'Dancing On Ice' all kicked off and it wasn't just the broadcaster who will have been waiting to see the numbers with bated breath... the sponsors will also have had their fingers crossed.

There can be little doubt that the programme generating the biggest expectations is 'The Voice'. Poached from the BBC two years ago, the star-studded talent show is a feel-good version of the ailing X Factor behemoth.

Whereas Simon Cowell's jury sneers at contestants hand-picked for humiliation, it's clear that everyone selected for The Voice's stage has a chance of making progress. There are still moments of disappointment for hope-filled singers but they're not contrived by producers eager to accenuate distress.

There's a very warm connection between the judges - Tom Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Will.I.Am and Olly Murs - and the studio audience. Between the auditions, the quartet clown around and perform songs, giving it a genuinely impromptu feel.


For giffgaff's Tom Rainsford and Abi Pearl, the relaxed atmosphere and - even more importantly - the genuinely nurturing relationship between the judges and the contestants creates the perfect fit for the telecom brand. They describe the positive nature of the programme as a huge factor in their decision to become its new sponsors.

The Voice has a high level of social media engagement and this contributes to the natural synergy for a company which has worked hard to build a significant online presence.

The encouraging news for both ITV and giffgaff is that the audience numbers were impressive. The audience peaked at a respectable 6.1m, sightly down on last year's opener but considerably better than the 4.4m who were watching the last few weeks of The X Factor in December.


match.com are an interesting choice as sponsors of 'Take Me Out'. Obviously, it's a dating game show so ostensibly it looks like a good fit but the programme itself is like the entertainment you'd expect to find aboard a cruise liner commandeered by Club18-30.

While this sends an encouraging dog whistle to those who employ dating services to find extremely short-term occupants for the vacancy in their lives, it doesn't entirely fit with match.com's stated ambition to facilitate long-term relationships.


With Phillip Schofield at the centre of their latest advertising campaign, it probably isn't surprising that WeBuyAnyCar decided to sponsor Dancing On Ice as it returned to television after a four year break as the silver-haired presenter is on of its fixtures and fittings.

Comedian Tim Key - who provides the sardonic voiceovers in the marquee work - does the same here and this provides another connection. Unfortunately, the sponsorship bumpers themselves have the look of something thrown together a couple of days before the start of the series.

There has been a shift in the format since its hiatus with a less prominent role for Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean... something that appears to have contributed to a disappointing response from both critics and the public.

Dancing On Ice's judges are more 'X Factor' than 'The Voice' and their negative comments led many of those commenting on social media to feel a little, er, cold.

Perhaps with everything that's going on in the world at the moment, TV audiences are hoping for a little compassion on a Saturday night, and they're just a bit weary of conflict and argument... if that's the case then perhaps ITV can expect The Voice's audience to grow over the next couple of months. We'll have to see.


Stories

NOVA DANDO LANDS AT RSA FILMS.

Commercial and promo director Nova Dando has joined RSA Films for representation.


HOMESPUN YARNS SCREENING PARTY.

Homespun Yarns have picked Central London nightspot Fabric to host their fifth anniversary shindig on Thursday 18th October.


KICKING UP A STINK ABOUT NEW TALENT.

Stink Films believe they have set a new standard for championing fresh talent as they unveil their latest venture, Stink Rising - a handpicked roster of promising young directors.


ANDREW MYERS JOINS HORNET.

Director and Vimeo Staff Pick magnet Andrew Myers has joined animation studio Hornet for global representation.


DARK ENERGY ENLIST SIMON LEVENE.

Worldly director Simon Levene believes his time spent abroad will serve him well as he joins Dark Energy for representation.


BRUT FORCE AT 1STAVEMACHINE.

Multifaceted animation collective Brut have joined the roster at 1stAveMachine.


CHARLES WILLIAMS JOINS PARTIZAN.

Filmmaker Charles Williams aims to build on his 2018 Cannes Film Festival success by joining the ranks at Partizan.


NEW FACES IN THE PICTURE AT BLINKINK.

Blinkink have enjoyed a productive trip across the Channel as they add director Olivier Lescot and animation duo Emmanuelle & Julien to their roster.


JOANNA NORDAHL FEELS THE PULSE

Pulse Films have signed Swedish director Joanna Nordahl to their roster for UK representation.


DIVERSITY TAKES FLIGHT FOR ENGINE AND THE RAF.

Engine's pitch for the Royal Air Force has nabbed Channel 4's Diversity in Advertising Award for 2018.


PAPAYA IS THE MUSICAL FRUIT.

Seasoned music supremo Keith Milton will spearhead Papaya Films's dedicated promo wing as the company eye chart success.


KODE GO NATIVE IN NYC AND LA

Those enterprising fellows at Kode in London have demonstrated their ambition by joining forces with Native Content who look after directors on both US coasts.


THREE SIGNINGS AT PRETTYBIRD

PrettyBird have expanded their roster by signing three new directors for UK representation.


CAPTAIN'S BLOG: IT'S THE WORK, STUPID.

Introducing our new motto... and the thinking behind it.


TWO JOIN THE FLOCK AT LIEF.

Lief have completed the double signing of directors Elisha Smith-Leverock and Lily Baldwin for immediate representation.


PODCAST - BOB PARTINGTON

Our latest podcast features 1st Ave director Bob Partington.


ARCHER'S MARK ENLIST SANDRA WINTHER.

Copenhagen-born filmmaker Sandra Winther is primed to make her UK debut having recently signed for Archer's Mark.


PEDRO PINTO JOINS ANNEX.

Annex Films have brought a Portuguese flavour to their roster by signing director Pedro Pinto for representation.


AGILE SWOOP FOR JAN GLEIE.

Danish filmmaker Jan Gleie has joined the ranks at Agile Films for commercial representation.


PAPAYA JOIN THE LEMONADE STABLE.

The lovely people at Papaya have joined the stable of talented companies represented by Lemonade.


RIFF RAFF ADD TO THEIR ROSTER, BUT PHILOSOPHY REMAINS INTACT.

Ben Liam Jones is one of a number of new directors who joined Riff Raff in the summer, how will their arrival enhance the company's distinctive offer.


ANDRÉ MAAT ARRIVES AT DARLING.

German director and all-round SFX whizz André Maat has joined Darling Films for commercial representation.


DED CERTS.

There have been a number of interesting production company launches over the years but few have promised to be as explosive as DED's.


TWO NEW ARRIVALS AT MERMAN.

Directors Michelle Coomber and Jaci Judelson are the latest to join Merman for commercial representation.


OB MANAGEMENT HAVE A SPOT OF ACNE.

OB Management have unveiled production company ACNE as the latest addition to their UK ensemble.


Stories

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.