Uncommon highlights ITV’s powerful role in shaping British culture through statement film ‘TELEVISION’

ITV and Uncommon show the nation what the best TV can do

Uncommon Creative Studio
4 min readMay 16, 2019

The powerful new work ‘TELEVISION’, launched from Uncommon, embodies ITV’s recent future-facing positioning ‘More than TV’ — with the aim to drive reappraisal and provoke viewers to look again at ITV through the prevailing stories it tells which continue to play a role in shaping British culture today.

Television mirrors the world — it isn’t the echo chamber we find online now, instead it is the evolving voice of our nation. This is a great truth of all TV. This film emphasises how ITV has always been at the heart of culture, through creating programmes which truly move people, grip the nation and start conversation.

Coronation Street Actress, Julie Hesmondhalgh, who played Hayley Cropper in the soap, said when interviewed by Uncommon: “Having somebody in your home three, four, five times a week, who you get to know, love, care about and root for changes everything. That’s how you get rid of prejudice.”

ITV continues to raise important societal issues, helping to make visible and normalise even sensitive subjects which, at the time, have challenged social conventions. This statement work features pivotal moments from ITV which signify ITV as a transformative force influencing culture. We are narrated through the decades by an emotive and relevant soliloquy from legendary ITV newsreader and journalist, Sir Trevor McDonald OBE. The creative process involved an interview with Sir Trevor, to document and incorporate his expertise in the film and script. Sir Trevor has been knighted for his role in journalism and has been at the centre of television for over 50 years, playing a key role in its evolution. There is no one better to take the UK on the journey of ITV over the years.

Nils Leonard, Co-Founder at Uncommon, added: “This work moves people to look again, at the stories they think they know, and at the network they have made their mind up about. ITV reaches tens of millions of people every week, and the stories it creates take on some of the UK’s biggest issues.

While the television ITV makes entertains millions, it also asks questions of us all, brings modern tensions to bear and pushes culture forwards. ITV marries entertainment, scale and purpose week in, week out: this is creativity in its most powerful form.”

Rufus Radcliffe, ITV Chief Marketing Officer, concluded: “This latest film in our new ‘More than TV’ brand advertising campaign shines a light on some of the powerful stories ITV has told over the course of its history that have shaped culture in Britain. It is an impactful and emotional snapshot of the moments that have raised awareness and understanding of important and difficult subject matters to millions of viewers.”

The film uses a combination of beautifully observed audiences and ITV and ITN footage to show meaningful moments which have spoken to viewers, over time. Showing key stories from the 1960s to 2019, these include; Corrie’s Hayley Cropper as the first transgender character in a British soap in 1998, World in Action documentary footage from gay pride demonstrations in the 1970s, Lost Voice Guy becoming the first comedian to win Britain’s Got Talent in 2018 and ITV weatherman Alex Beresford’s praised interruption during a live debate on knife crime during Good Morning Britain in January 2019.

Each scene is centred around these strong stories we see on screen, we feel the emotional power of these ITV moments through the audience’s reaction watching at home. Sir Trevor speaks to us directly, starting and finishing the film, he ends with a powerful message, addressed directly to camera — ‘Because in the end, we are changed by what we see. Just as we are changed, when we are seen’ — highlighting TV’s ability to not only show us lives different to our own, but also its affirming power to see ourselves on screen, our lives in a spotlight, no matter who we are.

The work was directed by Billy Boyd Cape through Academy Films, who recently won Best New Director at The British Arrows 2019. His eloquent visual style and talent for crafting meaningful stories is shown in works such as ‘Reach’, an award winning short for Channel 4 Random Acts, and ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ for Pride in London.

The music was composed specifically for this film by Soundtree who carefully constructed the sound design. Bringing together a soundscape which incorporates all the elements, from the different pieces of footage, Sir Trevor’s dialogue to the tailored track itself.

The films will air across TV (including Sky and Channel 4), digital and cinema from 20th April with first playout airing before this Saturday’s episode of Britain’s Got Talent.



Uncommon Creative Studio

Uncommon is a global creative studio based in New York, London & Stockholm building brands that people in the real world actually wish existed.