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December 2017

In the magazine
Only available in print
  • The Televisual Commercials 30
    Jon Creamer introduces Televisual's exclusive annual report, the Commercials 30, and finds that while budgets are down and production companies are under threat from agency in-house units, commercials producers are finding new horizons beyond ads too.
  • Commercials 30: Best in Show
    Commercials producers also get to vote for their favourite directors, stand out ads and top rated agencies along with their favourite post houses, editors and vfx ops. We reveal the results
  • Commercials 30: The Top 30
    Televisual reveals the Commercials 30 itself, the 30 top rated commercials production companies in the UK
  • Music in Motion
    So what’s next for the music behind the commercials? Will it be another year in the ascendant for London Grime perhaps? Portugese house? Afro beats or the Angolan kuduro sound?
  • Televisual Factual Festival report
    Last month saw Televisual's annual Factual Festival return to Bafta. How to stand out in a world of ever increasing viewer choice was the big theme this time. Tim Dams reports
  • Alison Kirkham in interview
    At the Televisual Factual Festival, the BBC's controller of factual Alison Kirkham outlined the shows the corporation is looking for in the year ahead
From the magazine
Available to read online
  • 2017: the year in review
    Two very different stories – the rise of SVOD players and the Harvey Weinstein abuse allegations – defined TV’s year. Tim Dams reports
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Commercials 30 2009 Back to Reports & survey Listing

Producers’ challenges and concerns

A snapshot of the feedback from producers asked in the Commercials 30 survey about their ongoing challenges and concerns for the year ahead

As every production company is painfully aware, budgets have dropped drastically. Not surprisingly this then is producers’ principal concern because “marketing budgets continue to fall, but people continue to expect the same production values for a third of the cost.” And producers know they have to, as one puts it  “maintain really high end production values with ever decreasing resources. It’s all about “battling the smaller budgets without sacrificing quality.” Because sacrificing quality hurts production companies down the line. As one puts it it’s about “making the right choices in the short term to ensure the longevity of our directors’ careers. Lowering the bar creatively just to keep people working will have a negative knock on effect in the future.”

The vast majority of production companies’ work continues to be the traditional TV spot commissioned through an agency, but with that model under pressure, and new models emerging, companies are looking at “how to make money doing stuff other than ads” as one puts it. They’re also looking to find work beyond that dished out by agencies and “embracing the move into direct to client advertising.” Part of diversification  is also working more and more in digital even though clients tend to think it can be done on the cheap so a concern is “persuading clients that online film is an original medium worthy of more investment.”

Talent development
Bringing on talent is a concern with the “development of truly original and talented directors in an ever decreasing market” a big challenge. As one company puts it “breaking new directors with increasingly conservative clients and shrinking budgets. These are both challenges AND concerns.”

Phantom projects
Another symptom of recession has been increasingly involved and competitive pitching processes for jobs that don’t eventually happen. “It is harder to get a sense of whether a project will actually come to fruition. We are often called in at very early stages and there is a lot of wastage in projects that are not lost in pitch, but instead never happen at all.”

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