Can Nils Leonard’s Uncommon find some magic dust for ITV?

Newbie London agencies usually follow a well-charted path: a few high profile but (usually) momentary tasks for ambitious new advertisers and higher profile B2B accounts, usually in the media area.

Virgin used to be expert at getting the new kids on the block to work in exchange for profile.

Nils Leonard and his fellow refugees from Grey at Uncommon have produced a noteworthy debut for Ovo Energy, rattling the cages of its bigger rivals, and now they’ve been hired by ITV’s new CEO Carolyn McCall to try to revitalise the mainstream broadcast brand in a digitally-dominated era.

ITV says: “ITV is the nation’s most watched entertainment brand. We are also building direct to consumer relationships focused around the ITV Hub and our Studios business is a global player.

“The ITV brand must remain strong as the business moves forward. Working alongside our award-winning internal agency, ITV Creative, Uncommon will help to ensure that our marketing continues to cut through, get talked about, and drive viewers to all our channels and services, both now and in the future.”

Indeed they might. Back in the day GGT helped to cement its reputation by producing a striking, updated weekly campaign for London Weekend Television (rare in those days) highlighting LWT’s shows in a Dave Trott way.

It’s a bit trickier now with competition all over the place, notably Amazon and Netflix and more local competitors like UK TV’s Dave channels.

But Uncommon seems to be top of mind among such advertisers trying to make a big impact in a short space of time. The next challenge is some of those boring old big advertisers, currently trying to cull their agencies – but still open to offers.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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