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ITV and Uncommon launch powerful first work under ‘More Than TV’ brand positioning

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ITV and Uncommon launch powerful first work under ‘More Than TV’ brand positioning

‘Because all our stories are too short for bad characters…’

Uncommon Creative Studio has unveiled its first work for ITV since their appointment last year to work alongside ITV Marketing and ITV Creative on future-facing brand strategy, to ensure that ITV’s wealth of programmes reaches as many viewers as possible on TV and all other mobile devices, with a specific focus on driving reappraisal and attracting light ITV viewers. ‘Great Characters Make Great Drama’ is the first in a series of campaigns bringing the More than TV positioning to life. 

The new strategic thinking from Uncommon (More Than TV) aims to highlight ITV’s belief in the power of creativity to lift people and culture, and the emotional power of great TV content.

Revealed by Chief Executive Carolyn McCall at ITV’s Palooza last year, ITV creates ‘More Than TV’ – everyday ITV entertain millions, grow brands and shape culture. Creating programmes which truly moves people, grips the nation and starts conversations.

‘Great Characters Make Great Drama’ unveiled today is the first campaign which centres around ITV drama celebrating the impact it has on our lives beyond the screen. The campaign includes two spots which star acclaimed stage and screen actor Roger Allam in character as Detective Inspector Fred Thursday, from ITV crime drama Endeavour and BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning actress Brenda Blethyn in character as the unorthodox but brilliant DCI Vera Stanhope. Both films are directed by Oscar-winning director James Marsh, whose credits include The Theory of Everything, Man on Wire and the dramatic hit The Night Of.

Rufus Radcliffe ITV’s Chief Marketing Officer said

“We have had a terrific start to the year, including slot winning entertainment and really strong audiences for our dramas, bringing millions of people together. To continue to attract both our loyal audiences who helped us post record share figures in 2018, and also attract and encourage light ITV viewers to come to ITV more often, we want to make sure our marketing and branding reflects the creativity and energy at the heart of our business, and demonstrates the emotional power of our content. The work launching today are the first in a series, which will later extend to other genres, featuring two of our great ITV drama characters, and the distinguished actors who bring them to life on screen.”

The films highlight the complexity and depth of ITV characters and the compelling stories they tell. Each film portrays a different character archetype, ‘The Patriarch’ and ‘The Guvnor’. ‘The Patriarch’ is set to infamous composer Max Richter’s iconic score, ‘On the nature of Daylight’ which only adds to the scale and power of the piece. The characters do a rare thing, breaking the fourth wall, they directly speak to the viewer explaining how they work, what fuels them and ultimately, why we are moved by them and seek them out. 

Nils Leonard, Co-founder at Uncommon added,

“As a genre, drama uniquely compels us, through powerful characters we become hooked, craving our immediate next fix. Think about your favourite characters. Or the ones that stick with you. Often these characters play out a recognisable archetype, even if we don’t realise it, they sit behind many of the dramas we watch. Reminding us of the people we love, the people we hate and sometimes even ourselves. These characters live beyond the screen, emphasising the power great TV can have. This work is about provoking people to look again at ITV.”

The films will air across TV (including Sky and Channel 4), digital and cinema from 16th January. The campaign will be followed by radio executions performed by top ITV talent, due to launch within the next month. The ‘Great Characters’ campaign will continue throughout 2019.


Campaign Name: Great Characters Make Great Drama. More than TV. 

Client: ITV

Chief Marketing Officer: Rufus Radcliffe

Director of Viewer Marketing: Paul Ridsdale

Head of Marketing - Brand Project: Sian Jones

Director of Social Purpose: Clare Phillips

Creative Agency: Uncommon Creative Studio

Media Agency: Goodstuff

Production Company: Pulse Films

Director: James Marsh

Executive Producer: Lucy Kelly

Producer: George Saunders

DOP: Benoit Delhomme

Editor: Sam Sneade @ Speade

Post Production: The Mill

Colourist: Dave Ludlam

Music Supervision : Jay James & Lius Almau @ Soundtree

Sound design : Henning Knoepfel @ Soundtree

Music for ‘The Patriarch’: Max Richter’s ‘On the Nature of Daylight’ – Universal

Music for ‘The Guvnor’: Abel Korzeniowski’s ‘Sunset’ – Chester Music Ltd