U.K. Streamer ITVX Sends in the Clowns, Because 'Comedy Is Back'
Clowns can be creepy and amusing, a dichotomy British streamer ITVX works to perfection in ads touting its humor offerings.
"Comedy Is Back in the Building," we're told, with greasepaint, fright wigs, baggy pants and bulbous noses serving as exclamation points. Network stars also appear, but the clowns really carry the campaign, created in-house with Epoch Films and directors Phil Morrison and Joe Ventura (aka JILL).
Basically, we get workplace humor, with more bozos than usual in a corporate setting. it works because the spots use slow builds to sell their punchlines. It's not fall-down funny, but the undercurrent of unease—clowns are, after all, unsettling for some—and quiet humor help the jokes land.
There's some inspired absurdity throughout, including balloon-animal shenanigans in a conference room, mysterious banana peels strewn across the floor, and huge clown shoes poking out from beneath men's room stalls.
"Phil and I largely prefer the style of comedy where it takes place in an ordinary world, where jokes happen to crop up organically," says Ventura. "We wanted to avoid being hams when it came to this campaign in every sense - from casting to what lenses we used, in order to honor the unique rhythms in British humor. ITV has played such a vital role in the world of comedy in the U.K. and beyond, so we knew that we had to nail that element in particular."
"We are thrilled to be adding such a fantastic range of comedies to the thousands of hours already available to enjoy for free on ITVX," says network CMO Jane Stiller. "We wanted to bring this to life in a way that will catch in the minds of our viewers, while showcasing key talent from our fresh comedy commissions."
Along with the big-top wannabes, ITV stars on hand include Katherine Parkinson and Youssef Kerkour of Significant Other, Arian Nik from Count Abdulla, Jayde Adams of Ruby Speaking, and Alan Carr from Changing Ends.
Carr's clip, the one with an "IT Guy," is a highlight that should resonate. We've all known techno-clowns whose antics and advice—"have you tried clearing the cache?"—keep us endlessly entertained, reinforcing our belief that the office is the greatest, most la-la happy show on the Earth.
Creative Agency: ITV Creative
Director of Creative: Niki Garner
Executive Creative Director: Chris Vernon
Head of Campaign Management, Strategic Planning: Victoria Barnard
Head of Campaign Production: Katie Burrow
Creative: Jonathan Truin, Matt Legg, Joaquin & Bailey
Senior Designer: Mike Lomas, Ben Peers
Senior Producer: Luke Fraser
Lead Strategist: James Hillhouse
Campaign Lead: Rosie Gilligan
Senior Campaign Manager: Ella Clay, Mike Johnson
Head of Scripted Comedy: Nana Hughes
Chief Marketing Officer: Jane Stiller
Director of Marketing: Paul Ridsdale
Senior Head of Marketing: Ed Ross
Marketing Lead: Simon Ricks
Marketing Manager: Hannah Costello
Production Company - Epoch Films U.K.
Director - JILL (Phil Morrison, Joe Ventura)
Executive Producer - Jacki Calleiro
Producer - Ewen Brown
1st AD - Sam Dawking
Director of Photography - Mott Hupfel
Production Designer - Olly Williams
Wardrobe - Hannah Edwards
Makeup Artist: Rachel Hearle
Edit House: Work
Editorial Editor - Mark Edinoff
Edit Producer - Lola Cookman
Post Production - Coffee & TV
Post Producer - Johnny Fairburn
VFX Supervisor - Nick John
VFX Artist - Davide Pascolo, Rory Whittle
Colourist - Simona Cristea;
Audio Design - 750mph
Sound Producer - Aishah Amodu
Sound Engineer - Miichalis Anthis