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

TEEMU NIUKKANEN IS BOOTLEG MATERIAL.

Bootleg Films have tapped Finnish director and comedy writer Teemu Niukkanen to join their TVC roster.


ALL NEW CRAFTWORKS - FEBRUARY 11TH.

Our live show CraftWorks is being relaunched at a new venue and with new sponsors.


STITCH CHAMPION BEN CORFIELD.

Stitch have promoted Homespun editor Ben Corfield to their main roster.


PAPAYA LAUNCH YOUNG DIRECTORS COMPETITION

Papaya Films have launched the sixth edition of their Young Directors Competition.


AYSE ALTINOK HEADS TO IDENTITY

IDENTITY have signed filmmaker Ayse Altinok to their roster for US representation.


ALAN FRIEL JOINS DARK ENERGY.

Dark Energy's ongoing talent search has now led them to seasoned filmmaker Alan Friel.


ELECTRIC THEATRE COLLECTIVE'S PRODUCTIVE NEW TRIO.

Electric Theatre Collective are pleased to announce the hires of Polly Durrance, Elle Lockhart, and Antonia Vlasto.


NINA MEREDITH ARRIVES AT OUTSIDER.

Outsider have signed director Nina Meredith to both their main roster and their sports content wing, Insider.


SONNY LONDON WELCOME IMANOL

Sonny London have added an Iberian twist to their roster by recruiting Spanish director IMANOL.


JUAN PABLO ZARAMELLA JOINS NERD

NERD Productions have signed distinguished animator Juan Pablo Zaramella to their roster.


GREGGS ROLL WITH IT.

Any product launch that riles Piers Morgan is off to a good start, and that's precisely the reaction that has greeted Greggs and their new vegan sausage roll.


EDA 2019

An annual contest in Ireland which aims to identify and nurture new directorial talent has sent a strong signal of intent by renaming itself.


ITV RING IN THE CHANGES.

ITV's idents are to receive a weekly makeover courtesy of a new initiative called ITV Creates.


THE RISE AND RISE OF SEB EDWARDS.

Seb Edward's already high profile received a boost when he directed the most recent John Lewis Christmas ad.


TOMAS JONSGÅRDEN IS INDEPENDENT

Independent Films have signed Swedish director Tomas Jonsgården to their roster.


ACADEMY REWARDS.

2018 was a very good year for Academy Films.


THE VISIONARIES SCORE A BRACE.

Indie director ensemble The Visionaries are pleased to announce the signings of Paul Casey and Toby Meakins.


THE QUIET AMBITION OF COURTNEY PHILLIPS

Courtney Phillips has the perfect blend of youth and experience as he looks to take his career to the next level.


EWAN JONES MORRIS JOINS FRIENDS ELECTRIC

Friends Electric have signed award-winning director Ewan Jones Morris to their roster for representation.


BISCUIT SIGN RACHEL MCDONALD AND THE GLUE SOCIETY.

Biscuit Filmworks have gone on a pre-Christmas signing spree by adding a brace of new directors to their roster.


ARMOURY BRING IN THE BIG GUNS.

Production company Armoury added some serious ammunition to their offer when Matt Hichens and Nicci Clark join the team earlier this year, and they're already feeling the benefits.


TWO THROUGH THE DOOR AT KODE.

Kode have bolstered their roster by signing directors Huse Monfaradi and Locky for representation.


LIEF WELCOME SAVANAH LEAF.

Those who believe in nominative determinism will be pleased to know that director-stroke-photographer Savanah Leaf has joined the roster at Lief.


NERD PRODUCTIONS SIGN BRETT DE VOS

NERD Productions have completed the signing of filmmaker Brett De Vos for representation.


HARVEY PEARSON JOINS MY ACCOMPLICE

Director Harvey Pearson has joined the roster at My Accomplice.


Stories

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