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November 2018

In the magazine
Only available in print
  • The Facilities 50
    Jon Creamer launches Televisual's 31st exclusive annual Facilities 50 survey featuring the top post production houses in the UK and 48 pages of analysis of the sector
  • The Commercials 30
    Jon Creamer introduces Televisual’s exclusive Commercial 30 survey, reporting on a year of highs and lows for commercials producers.
  • The Drama Genre Report
    With competition from streamers intensifying, UK broadcasters are exploring new drama strategies. Tim Dams reports
  • Primary Colours
    Five leading movie colourists tell Michael Burns the secrets of their craft, and explain the techniques they use to grade movies like The Danish Girl, Peterloo and Baby Driver
  • Up, up and away!
    Thanks to advances in camera technology, the possibilities of aerial filming are greater than ever before. Pippa Considine reports on some of the year’s standout aerial projects
  • OB: Which Way Now
    The OB industry is embracing major change as it adapts to the worlds of UHD, HDR and IP. Michael Burns reports
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Commercials 30 2009 Back to Reports & survey Listing

=1 Gorgeous
most gorgeous Paul Rothwell
head of sales Chia Tucker
directors number 36th commissions 30th peer 1st awards 1st top ads/directors 2nd
credits Lyrics by Chris Palmer for DDB/ Budweiser; Binge Girl by Vince Squibb for VCCP/COI Anti Binge Drinking; Waterslide by Peter Thwaites for BBH/Barclays

Another year at the top for Gorgeous, though this year sharing its place with the equally small and equally perfectly-formed Rattling Stick.
Gorgeous makes it to the top on the back of its ranking as the most respected outfit among its peers, for attaining the biggest haul of awards and for having so many of its directors and ads voted into our top tens.
And Gorgeous got just a little bigger this year as directors Stacy Wall and Simon McQuoid of US-based Imperial Woodpecker  were added to the Gorgeous roster for UK and European representation. Wall (formerly of Epoch) is already well known in the UK for his work with Mother on Orange (Val Kilmer, Mena Suvari), Pot Noodle (Miners), with Fallon on Velvet Soft Tissue (Factory) and BBH Levis (Ice Cream Man). Mcquoid’s Halo 3 launch films won him a  Grand Clio, a D&AD Gold Pencil, the 2008 Film Grand Prix at Cannes with The Gunn Report ranking him at No.3 in the world.

=1 Rattling Stick
president Johnnie Frankel
head of marketing Camilla Kelly
directors number 39th
commissions 29th peer 1st
awards 2nd top ads/directors 1st
credits Go on Lad by Ringan Ledwidge for MCBD/Hovis, Rising by Daniel Kleinman for CLM/BBDO Paris/Pepsi

Rattling Stick jumps from second to first equal in this year’s Commercials 30. Confirming its quality reputation, Rattling Stick was voted BTAA Production Company of the year - for the second year in row.
The home of two of the country’s top commercials directors, Ringan Ledwidge and Daniel Kleinman (both feature in our Peer Poll top ten), Rattling Stick has expanded its roster from five to seven directors this year with the addition of Austen Humphries and Sara Dunlop.
Highlights of the year include Ledwidge’s new Cadbury spot, shot in Ghana, and Steve Cope’s Benadryl ad. Kleinman has been busy in the US, with work for and Pepsi, while Andy McLeod’s credits include the highly regarded Robinson’s Birdhouse and Ivan Bird has shot campaigns for Hovis, Toyota and Kia.
President Johnnie Frankel says Rattling Stick is on the cusp of signing a deal with TV indie Raw Television to do branded content.

3 Partizan
exec producers Madeleine Sanderson, Georges Bermann
top ads/directors 6th
commissions 17th peer 3rd
awards 3rd top ads/directors 3rd
credits Dance by Michael Gracey for Saatchis/T-mobile; Love at First Flight by Traktor for Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Virgin

“If we can repeat next year what we have done this year we will all be very happy,” is Partizan’s comment on the past twelve months. Creatively its been a very successful year for the company with three of its ads in our top ten voted by the sector including House Party for Adidas (Nima Nourizadeh), Dance for T Mobile (Michael Gracey) and Love at First Flight for Virgin (Traktor). Picking out highlights for the year Partizan cites “The Simpsons spoof of Nima’s Adidas commercial  and the public’s reaction to Michael Gracey’s rollerblading babies Evian commercial” as well as Alastair Siddon’s Turn it Loose feature doc and Saam Farahmand’s Part of the Weekend Never Dies [a film that followed Soulwax on their world tour].

4 Stink
md Daniel Bergmann
coo Robert Herman
head of prod Stephen Brierley
directors number 2nd
commissions 7th peer 13th
awards 8th top ads/directors 3rd
credits Carousel by Adam Berg for Tribal DDB Amsterdam/Philips; Economy Drive by Ne-o for BBH/Audi

Stink, which has risen six places in the 2009 Commercials 30 survey, was responsible for the year’s most acclaimed ad, Carousel for Philips, directed by Adam Berg. Not surprisingly, Stink cites the moment it won the Grand Prix at Cannes as the highlight of its year. A big outfit with 38 directors on its roster, Stink says it has spent the year trying to “battle the smaller budgets without sacrificing quality.” Lower budgets have also meant experimenting with new shooting formats, such as the Canon 5D Mark 11.

=5 Blink
md James Studholme
exec prod blinkink Bart Yates
exec prod blink James Bland
directors number 3rd
commissions 8th peer 5th
awards 15th top ads/directors 5th
credits La La La Yeah Yeah Yeah by Dougal Wilson for Mother/Coke; Bait by Lynn Fox for Leagas Delaney/Timberland

In terms of highlights of the year, Blink points to the “Moray McLaren We Got Time video by David Wilson.  Actually videos generally.” There have been plenty of stand out ads too including Benito Montorio’s Imagine for Robinsons and Lynn Fox’s Bait for Timberland. Dougal Wilson again makes our top ten favourite directors poll in second place and has had another good run of ads including the La La La Yeah Yeah Yeah Coke spot and Breathe for the COI.

=5 Sonny London
partner Fredrik Bond
partner/md Helen Kenny
ep/head of sales Gabi Kay
directors number 31st
commissions 24th peer 4th
awards 4th top ads/directors 6th
credits Triple Distilled by Fredrik Bond for Mother/Stella; Break the Cycle by Jeff Labbe for BBH/Barnardos

Despite the recession, Sonny London md Helen Kenny says that “in fact it hasn’t been too bad. All the guys have worked and Labbe has done especially well. We worked so hard the previous year on launching him in the UK, the Barnardos stuff has done so much for him and BBH are so proud of that work. Emil Moller started the year brilliantly with his Bee TV spots which were very high profile for him creatively and Fredrik’s just clocking the next two Carling ads.” She says that although “budgets are going to stay low, you don’t need loads of money to do brilliant award winning work. We’ve had scripts in that have done extremely well for us on tiny budgets but the ideas need to be appropriate to the budget. If a client thinks he’s going to get Ben Hur for £140k you’re in trouble.”

7 Knucklehead
mds Matthew Brown, Tim Katz
new business Stephanie Whitehead
directors number 33rd
commissions 22nd peer 6th
awards 7th top ads/directors 8th
credits How Big Does Football Get? by Johnny Green for Wieden and Kennedy Amsterdam/Fifa; BA Campaign by Siri Bunford for BBH/BA

Director Johnny Green’s star studded Fifa spot was one of the high profile ads to go through Knucklehead this year. The production outfit has added three new directors to its roster which, says head of new business Stephanie Whitehead, “has brought a fresh angle and new facet to Knucklehead.” They are photographer turned director Charlie Crane, acclaimed promo director Suri Bunford and design/digital expert Chris Hewitt.

8 Outsider
md Robert Campbell
directors number 19th
commissions 9th peer 9th
awards 5th top ads/directors 11th
credits House of Cards by Dom and Nic for Leo Burnett/Shelter; Bowtime by James Rouse for St Lukes/Strongbow

“Financially and creatively we’ve had a fantastic year,” says Outsider md Robert Campbell. “We’ve signed some interesting people, done some good work and we’re still in business.” And, he says, referring to Outsider’s interests in Unit 9 and The Viral Factory “we’re a production company that makes ads and has an association and shareholding in companies where the future is going.”
He reckons Outsider has had a good year partly because of the strength of its brand. “People are coming to the brand knowing you’re going to be in business. There’s been a lot of suspicion about people who wouldn’t be able to handle what’s happened this year. We’re very sound and that’s what agencies need to know. I could not do a another job and still pay everybody for a year and a half.”
9 Passion
ceo Andrew Ruhemann head of prod Hugo Sands head of sales Michael Adamo
directors number 5th commissions 12th peer 9th awards 14th top ads/directors 11th
credits The Beatles: Rock Band (Intro
and Outro Sequences) by Pete Candeland for Harmonix/MTV; Compare the Market
by Darren Walsh for VCCP/

Passion is about to go transatlantic, having announced the opening of a New York office which will house director Pete Candeland and producer Belinda Blacklock. Other highlights of the year were the launch of The Beatles: Rock Band game, that Passion produced two animated cinematics for and “the huge success of Aleksander the Russian Meerkat” an animated character that has found a life of its own beyond the TV commercial.

10 RSA
management Kai-Lu Hsiung, Debbie Garvey, Caspar Delaney
directors number 1st
commissions 15th peer 13th
awards 18th top ads/directors 11th
credits Zoetrope by Vernie Yueng for Fallon/Sony; Flora by Chris Cunningham
for REM/Gucci

Mega shop RSA, with a roster of 68, says it’s feeling the effects of the recession as keenly as the smaller players. “Budgets are smaller than last year and research is playing such a large part in the business that we find ourselves working for six months on a pitch.” Despite that, there have been plenty of creative highs for the company including Chris Cunningham’s beautiful Gucci Flora commercial and Vernie Yeung’s technically brilliant Sony Bravia zoetrope spot.

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