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.


News

ROSE HENDRY JOINS HLA.

Scottish filmmaker Rose Hendry has joined HLA for commercial representation.


TISHK BARZANJI SIGNS TO JELLY LONDON

Jelly London have signed Kurdish illustrator Tishk Barzanji as part of their developmental 'Futures' roster.


PODCAST - WES POLLITT

Wes Pollitt's directing career has taken him down some very interesting avenues. And you can listen to his story in our latest podcast.


UNIT9 BLEND SWEAT AND PIXELS.

Chinese runners meet their video game counterparts thanks to Nike and UNIT9.


SORRELL DILEMMA.

Martin Sorrell has stepped down as head of WPP because of unspecified improprieties and ad industry commentators aren't quite sure what to make of it.


DARLING @ RSA EMERGES FROM BARE SPLIT.

Bare Films is no more. But fear not... Darling @ RSA is one of two new entities emerging in its place.


BUSY TIMES AT NEXUS STUDIOS.

Nexus Studios have been busy lately, so here's a quick round-up of what the team's been up to.


TUNA BORA JOINS NEXUS STUDIOS

Nexus Studios have signed illustrator and animator Tuna Bora to their roster of talent.


MARY-SUE MASSON JOINS DARK ENERGY.

Mary-Sue Masson has made shooting TVCs look like child's play so far. One of the creative sparks behind Haribo's long-running ĎKids' Voices' campaign, the director now brings her skills to Dark Energy.


PODCAST - CHRIS PALMER

Chris Palmer speaks about his early life, how he stumbled into advertising, his partnership with Mark Denton at the hottest agency of the 1990s, and several decades of directing.


SIMON WILLOWS MOVES TO AGILE FILMS

Agile Films have signed director Simon Willows to their roster for UK representation.


MERMAN WELCOME JULIET MAY.

Merman are pleased to announce the signing of director Juliet May for representation.


TWO ARRIVALS AT CHERRY CHERRY.

Cherry Cherry have added two post-production talents to their roster: Senior Producer Max Supersad and Production Assistant Taylor Bowden.


TWO JOIN THE FLOCK

Flock Edit have added two French editors to their roster - Elodie Fouqueau and Zoť Desgraupes.


THE WAYBACK EVOKES THE SPIRIT OF '66.

VR therapy app The Wayback's latest Kickstarter aims to comfort those affected by Alzheimer's and dementia by recreating England's 1966 World Cup victory.


FIFTH SPIN FOR HOMESPUN YARNS' ANNUAL COMPETITION.

Homespun Yarns have announced the theme for this year's short film competition.


ARTHUR JAFA WELCOMED BY STINK.

Multi-talented creative Arthur Jafa has joined Stink's global roster.


SARAH CUTLER ARRIVES AT THOMAS THOMAS.

Sarah Cutler has joined Thomas Thomas as their new Head of Marketing and Sales.


ALEX MAVOR LAUNCHES CIVILISED KICKSTARTER

Alex Mavor - one half of Riff Raff directing duo The Sacred Egg - has launched a Kickstarter to fund his first narrative short.


DAVID EDWARDS JOINS ANOTHER FILM COMPANY.

Another Film Company have signed director David Edwards for commercial representation.


FABLE FX WANT TO TAKE YOU TO THE ZOO.

Swedish company Fable FX have decided to get ahead of demand by populating a virtual zoo, and DAVID was so intrigued by this idea that he had to learn more.


THREE SIGNINGS FOR DOUBLE AGENT.

Double Agent have announced three new signings to their roster for commercial representation.


THE QUARRY WELCOME BACK GARY FORRESTER.

Garry Forrester has rejoined The Quarry's talented band of editors.


CHARLOTTE REGAN JOINS KNUCKLEHEAD

Knucklehead have signed up-and-coming talent Charlotte Regan to their roster for UK representation.


JOE WILBY JOINS MARSHALL STREET EDITORS.

Marshall Street Editors have added experienced cutter Joe Wilby to the roster.


News

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