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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
Read >>


Commercials 30 2009 Back to Reports & survey Listing

=11 Hungryman

managing partner Matt Buels
directors number 9th
commissions 13th peer 24th
awards 12th top ads/directors 11th
credits Orange Snoop by Bryan Buckley for Mother/Orange, Pain by Steve Hudson for JWT/FSID

“More work, smaller budgets” is Hungryman’s succinct description of the last year. But there have been some major highlights for the company.
On top of more ads for the long running Orange campaign, Hungryman even managed to get itself into the Guinness Book of Records with its startling Time Sculpture spot for Toshiba.
The ad, for Toshiba’s TV range, used 200 of Toshiba's own Gigashot HD camcorders, to create a 3d ‘bullet time’ shot and picked up the record for “The most moving image cameras used in a composite film shot.”

=11 Nexus
founders/mds Chris O’Reilly,
Charlotte Bavasso
executive producers Julia Parfitt,
Cedric Gairard
directors number 14th
commissions 10th peer 9th awards 30th
top ads/directors 11th
credits Avatar by Smith & Foulkes for Wieden & Kennedy Portland/Coca Cola; Placebo Interactive music video by Champagne Valentine for Dream Brother

Animation specialist Nexus reckons the recession has “hastened and catalyzed changes that were long in the wind” with the company saying it’s seeing more integrated projects “across a range of media, not just TV. We’ve worked across projects delivering creative work in film, print, installation and online arenas. We’ve taken on some great interactive minds” including 180 Amsterdam’s ex-head of integrated production, Cedric Gairard, as executive producer.
Highlights include an Oscar nomination for Smith and Foulkes short This Way Up and a Superbowl Coca-Cola spot from them too and “the year is closing with our first iPhone app for Tate Modern.”

13 HSI
md Nicola Doring
eps Jeremy Goold, Simon Monhemius
directors number 3rd
commissions 6th peer 24th
awards 27th top ads/directors 11th
credits Rubber Duckzilla by Joseph Kahn for Mother/Oasis; Damian & Jason by Declan Lowney for AMV BBDO/Aviva Campaign

For HSI, the way through the tough current market is all about “staying positive” and “maintaining the momentum we built pre-recession. In common with everyone else, we have had to tighten our belts and focus even harder on maintaining our business efficiency.”
Despite those tough times, there have been stand out spots for HSI, including Joseph Kahn’s Rubber Duckzilla Oasis commercial ordered through Mother “which was always going to be a very brave antidote to the conservative creative climate.” HSI also points to continued commissions for AMV’s Aviva campaign with Paul Whitehouse and Madonna’s ‘Sticky & Sweet’ tour as further highlights.

14 Rokkit
md Luke Jacobs ep Nick Hussey, directors rep Oli Hammerton
directors number 12th
commissions 13th peer 13th
awards 30th top ads/directors 11th
credits 00:00 by Karni & Saul for Wieden & Kennedy Shanghai/Coke Zero
Puppet Eleanor by LEGS for Mother London/Diet Coke

Rokkit says the recession has “been good and bad for us. Good in that we do a lot of animation, and there are fewer costs to farm out. And we run a tight ship – no huge opulent offices with five runners here! So we’re better able to make small budgets work. And we have a can-do attitude and are already known as a company that will try, rather than just turn stuff down due to budget. And we have a generation of directors who don’t need to fly first class and are used to squeezing a budget.”

15 Another Film Co
partner/producer Tim Marshall
sales and marketing Nicky Flemming, Athene Parker directors number 27th
commissions 3rd peer 13th
awards 35th top ads/directors 11th
credits 125 by Steve Reeves for RKCR/M&S; Aerobics by Nick Jones for McCann Erickson London/Subway

Another Film Company has climbed up the Commercials 30 rankings, up seven places from 22nd last year. Partner Tim Marshall says “It’s been a difficult year to get good creative work for a company of our size” But he thinks Another Film is bucking the trend. “It’s been our busiest August ever in our eight year history.” Another Film specialises in British comedy performance and dialogue, rather that what Marshall calls “visual vacuous stuff.” He cites an upcoming Boots Christmas ad, shot by director Steve Reeves, which keeps the glitz of past years but adds a little more heart and soul. “It’s a bit more real. Against the background of the recession, I think we are going to see more and more of this and hopefully that will play into the company’s hand,” says Marshall. Another Film Company has 13 directors on its roster.

=16 Aardman Animation
head of commercials/branded content/ep Heather Wright
executive producerJohn Woolley
senior producer Jason Bartholomew
directors number 17th
commissions 5th peer 24th
awards 35th top ads/directors 11th
credits Change for Life by Steve Harding-Hill for M&C Saatchi/COI/Department of Health; Leaving by Alan Short for Publicis/McVities

For Aardman, the last year has seen “slow decision making on the part of clients” and “agencies asking for more help on pitches.” Despite this, its commercials arm had much success with Wallace and Gromit who starred in both Harvey Nichols and N-Power campaigns. This year also saw Aardman’s signature claymation technique to the fore with its series of Change for Life spots.

=16 HLA
management Helen Langridge,
Mike Wells, Dan Carter
directors number 42nd
commissions 40th peer 24th
awards 11th top ads/directors 10th
credits The Man Who Walked Around The World by Jamie Rafn for BBH/Diageo; Saturday is Breakfast Day by Simon Ratigan for Weiden & Kennedy/Lurpak

A major highlight for HLA this year was Jamie Rafn’s six and a half minute short featuring Robert Carlyle telling the story of Johnnie Walker whisky while striding through a glen – all completed in one continuous shot. In general, the company says producers “need to be increasingly flexible and able to search out the long term positives in any production, whether that is building new teams and partnerships or seeking out other commissioning sources for visual content executions.”

18 Rogue
management David van der Gaag,
Charlie Crompton
directors number 29th
commissions 11th peer 24th
awards 22nd top ads/directors 11th
credits Fantastic Journey by Sam Brown for RKCR/Y&R/Virgin Media; Streakers by Sam Brown for AMV/BBDO/National Lottery

Highlights for Rogue over the past year include the rise of director Sam Brown, who has directed spots for Radio One, Virgin Media, Lotto and Bacardi, and the return to London from the US of director Sam Cadman as well as the signing of Will Clark. Against a background of growing digital opportunities for filmmakers, Rogue says it is increasingly seeing production budgets that don’t match creative ambition. “Compromises end up on screen so making an early call as to whether you can deliver the job creatively with the money available has regrettably become a big part of the job.” 

19 Space City
creative director Victor van Amerongen financial director Amanda Alexander
directors number 15th
commissions 1st peer 24th
awards 41st top ads/directors 11th
credits New and Improved by Peter Clapperton for; MoonpigTalking Cards by Tom Challis for MNC/Moonpig Greetings Cards

Space City specialises in DRTV ads and other productions at the lower end of advertising budgets. Perhaps for this reason, it says the recession has had a beneficial effect in that several major clients – Prudential, Optical Express, Moneysupermarket – have come directly to them, cutting costs by not using a traditional ad agency. Furthermore, says Space City, “we have seen a lot of activity from first-time advertisers who have been attracted to TV by historically low airtime costs.” These, ironically, include web-based companies turning to TV to drive traffic to their sites.

=20 Epoch
md/producer Rob Godbold
producer Dave Knox
head of new business Annabel Kennedy
directors number 36th
commissions 17th peer 9th
awards 41st top ads/directors 11th
credits Baby Daughter by Phil Morrison for AMV/BBDO/Aviva; Kitchen by Mike Long for BBH/Heineken

The London office of US commercials producer Epoch has been open for five years now, repping US directors in the UK. It’s had particular success exposing three directors to London agencies – Mike Long, Phil Morrison and Matt Aselton, says head of new business Annabel Kennedy. Long, for example, shot an ident campaign for Heineken, while Aselton made a Pepsi Max ad through AMV. “At the beginning of the year, I didn’t think we’d be able to say that we have been busier than last year but we have,” says Kennedy. Nevertheless, Epoch says it has reduced overheads to a minimum during the recession so it can offer value for money while retaining production values for the agency.

=20 Studio AKA
management Pam Dennis,
Sue Goffe, Philip Hunt
directors number 19th
commissions 22nd peer 13th
awards 30th top ads/directors 11th
credits Bloodhound by Marc Craste for RKCR/Y&R/Lloyds Bank; Reactions by Steve Small for Fallon/Orange

Animation house Studio AKA says it has “been holding steady through the recession,” with its now very long running Lloyds Bank series still going strong.
The company says highlights this year include “winning 16 international awards for our two animated short films – one directed by Marc Craste and the other by Philip Hunt. This has fed back into the commercials work we do and raised our profile internationally as an animation studio producing world class animation.” It says challenges for the next year are “retaining the quality of our output in an environment dedicated to reducing schedules and budgets and continually introducing new design talent so that our clients never assume that they have seen all we are capable of doing.”

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