The ads explore classic TV tropes using characters from ITV shows. Detective Inspector Thursday from Endeavour explores The Patriarch – “the grey hair, the one who’s seen things, done things” – while DCI Vera Stanhope takes on The Guvnor, challenging some female stereotypes along the way.
James Marsh, who’s also known for The Theory of Everything, directed the ads, working alongside DOP Benoit Delhomme to lend them a big screen feel. A soundtrack by Max Richter – whose On The Nature of Daylight track features in The Patriarch – helps up the ante even further.
The ads are part of ITV’s new More Than TV brand positioning, and are the first major piece of work by Uncommon for the channel.
“It was really about doing a number on drama,” says founder Nils Leonard. “It’s probably the biggest swayer of opinion, we all love it. We needed to shift the energy around ITV, to this slightly more intelligent, deeper, scarier, definitely more emotional space. ITV has a load of brilliant characters, so we wrote from that.”
“I think people had made their minds up about ITV, particularly the generation watching Netflix. They think it’s just I’m a Celeb, when actually when you look at that company they’re an incredibly creative organisation.”
The adverts are the first in an ongoing campaign that will roll out across 2019. The films will be shown in ad breaks on other channels, as well as digitally and in cinemas. Further archetypes are set to make their debut in radio ads, and Leonard promises there’s a major tech partnership in the works.
Creative agency: Uncommon Creative Studio
Production: Pulse Films
Director: James Marsh
Post: The Mill