Iconic actors break the fourth wall in this homage to the power of character

'Theory of Everything' director James Marsh helms first work by Uncommon for British broadcaster ITV

Published On
Jan 18, 2019

Editor's Pick

Iconic actors from some of British broadcaster ITV's well-known dramas break the fourth wall and speak about their characters, in a new campaign highlighting its drama credentials.

The work, the first by Uncommon for ITV since its appointment last year to work on brand strategy, forms part of a new platform for the broadcaster called "More Than TV" that aims to highlight the emotional power of great TV content.

Two new films, which are running on other broadcast channels such as Sky and Channel 4 and in cinemas as well as ITV itself, portray different archetypes. Beautifully-scripted, they're shot by director James Marsh, best known for "The Theory of Everything."

In "The Patriarch," seen here, actor Roger Allam appears as his character, Detective Inspector Fred Thursday, from ITV crime drama "Endeavour." As he moves through the shadowy woodland he speaks to the audience about the power of his character, a father figure who might "remind us of our own dad" and how characters can take the viewer on a journey with them into danger. "Although you know that good guys and the innocent often perish in great drama, you won’t be able to help yourself," he says.  The film is set to composer Max Richter’s "On the Nature of Daylight."

A second film, below, features Brenda Blethyn as her female detective character "Vera,"  who explains how regardless of her age, gender, looks or style, she's the cop who always gets the job done, and that's why we like her.

The campaign will continue throughout 2019, and will also include radio ads.

In a world of stiff competition from the likes of Netflix, it's an interesting move from a mainstream U.K. broadcaster to attract both new viewers and "light" ITV viewers to watch more. 

Nils Leonard, co-founder at Uncommon, says: “As a genre, drama uniquely compels, through powerful characters we become hooked, craving our immediate next fix. Think about your favorite characters. Or the ones that stick with you. Often these characters play out a recognizable archetype, even if we don’t realize it, they sit behind many of the dramas we watch. Reminding us of the people we love, the people we hate and sometimes even ourselves. These characters live beyond the screen, emphasizing the power great TV can have. This work is about provoking people to look again at ITV.”


Jan 18, 2019
Client :
Agency :
Chief Marketing Officer :
Rufus Radcliffe
Director of Viewer Marketing :
Paul Ridsdale
Head of Marketing - Brand Project :
Sian Jones
Director of Social Purpose :
Clare Phillips
Creative Agency :
Uncommon Creative Studio
Media Agency :
Production Company :
Pulse Films
Director :
James Marsh
Executive Producer :
Lucy Kelly
Producer :
George Saunders
Director of Photography :
Benoit Delhomme
Editor :
Sam Sneade
Edit :
Post Production :
The Mill
Colorist :
Dave Ludlam
Music Supervision :
Jay James
Music Supervision :
Lius Almau
Music Supervision :
Sound Design :
Henning Knoepfel
Sound Design :
Music for ‘The Patriarch’ :
Max Richter’s ‘On the Nature of Daylight’ – Universal
Music for ‘The Guvnor’ :
Abel Korzeniowski’s ‘Sunset’ – Chester Music Ltd

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