David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

GIVING BRANDS A BUMP.

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

RUPERT RUSSELL IS THE MISSING LINK.

Scholar and documentary filmmaker Rupert Russell has joined Missing Link for representation.


JAMES MARSH JOINS PULSE FILMS

Pulse Films have signed Academy Award winning director James Marsh to their roster.


THE SWEET SHOP SIGN GUDMUNDUR GUDMUNDSSON.

The Sweet Shop have signed Icelandic director Gundmundur Arnar Gudmundsson for worldwide representation.


STITCH'S JACK SINGER IS A CUT ABOVE.

Stitch boost their roster by signing accomplished editor Jack Singer.


LUIS CERVERO AND PLEIX TURN ROGUE.

Spanish filmmaker Luis Cervero and French collective Pleix have joined Rogue for representation.


YOUNG FRENCH DIRECTOR FANNY HOETZENEDER JOINS KNUCKLEHEAD.

Knucklehead have high hopes for their latest signing... young French director Fanny Hoetzeneder.


REMY CAYUELA IS AN AGILE MAN.

Agile Films kick off 2018 by adding French director Remy Cayuela to their roster.


GIVING BRANDS A BUMP.

The New Year means the return of some old favourites to ITV's weekend schedule... and new sponsorship opportunities for brands.


DARK ENERGY'S LENNY DORFMAN'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH ENGLAND.

New Yorker Lenny Dorfman has always had a special affinity with the UK and he's keen to rekindle his own special relationship.


HUNKY DORY STRENGTHEN MARKETING TEAM BY ADDING NEIL LINPOW

Hunky Dory have strengthened their marketing team by adding Neil Linpow to the mix.


ACNE SWOOP FOR LAURA BORGIO.

Acne have bolstered their ambitious roster by signing filmmaker Laura Borgio.


ALEX COURTÈS JOINS NEXUS STUDIOS.

Nexus Studios have signed revered director Alex Courtès for UK and US representation.


MAY THE FORCE BE WITH... YOUR BRAND

We take a look at the good, bad, and ugly of brand tie-ins to the latest Star Wars movie.


NEIL STUBBINGS HEADS TO JELLY LONDON

Jelly London have signed director Neil Stubbings to their roster for UK representation.


HYMNS AND HYRRS

Grey London have re-imagined Christmas carols with a feminist twist to raise money for women in need.


YOU ARE HERE ARE TWO UP.

You Are Here welcome Swedish filmmaker Per-Hampus Stålhandske and US directing duo TwinTaoers to their roster.


MARTIN KREJCI EYES SUCCESS WITH BLINK.

Blink round off 2017 with another high-profile signing: Czech director Martin Krejci.


PODCAST - PARK VILLAGE

Following his appearance at October's CraftWorks, legendary director Roger Woodburn was joined in the String & Tins studio by the equally legendary Peter Webb.


MATTESSONS SERVE FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

Mattessons Fridge Raiders and 'Call of Duty: WWII' release codebreaking app Code Strike.


AHMET ILTAS LANDS AT NERD PRODUCTIONS.

Designer and illustrator Ahmet Iltas has joined NERD Productions for commercial representation.


MATHIEU CAPLANNE MAKES THE GRADE AT ETC.

Electric Theatre Collective have bolstered their ranks by signing French colourist Mathieu Caplanne.


A NEW FRONTIER FOR NEXUS

The opening of Nexus's Los Angeles office represents a bold new step for the London company.


FIVE FAVOURITE... SPOOFS

Times are tough at the moment... so let's laugh at ourselves and take a look at five of our favourite spoof ads.


DAVID REVIEWS AT FOCUS

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, The Location Guide's annual Focus event rolls into Islington and DAVID will be there.


WILL SAMUEL JOINS 1STAVEMACHINE

1stAveMachine have added award winning animation director Will Samuel to their roster.


Stories

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