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Trading T&Cs

Dear partner,

“He’s making a list

And checking it twice.”

From ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’

Do you ever get the feeling that Santa was ahead of his time when it came to GDPR compliance?

There’s only 35 sleeps until ‘you-know-who’ starts making his socially distant visits to children and chimneys around the world. The question is… have YOU been well behaved? Well, worry not, because according to Tesco’s new Christmas ad, there’s no naughty list this year. (Phew!)

The Christmas ad campaigns have very much arrived, as last weekend saw British screens illuminated by festive ads from John Lewis and Waitrose, Disney, GHD, Facebook’s Portal, Cadbury, Boots, McDonalds, Sainsburys, JD Sports, Lidl, eBay, and many more (including Aldi’s wonderful Kevin the Carrot!) There’s nostalgia and magic galore, with sumptuous feasts, tantalizing glimpses of reunited families, and messages of thanks for British key workers. It’s also encouraging to see a celebration of diversity in much of this year’s creative work.

Retail and product brands are investing, with advertisers and customers alike showing resilience in challenging times and a desire to spend. For example, we’ve seen brands like Sports Direct invest in Christmas campaigns for the first time ever, and House of Fraser advertising whilst stores are temporarily closed. This article in Retail Gazette explores how Wales’ recent exit from its firebreak lockdown led to an encouraging return of the High Street, which bodes well as other British nations and regions eventually open up in time for Christmas.

And as seasonal advertising and festive programming ramps up, audience emotions will be similarly on the rise. As ITV’s commercial research chief Glenn Gowen shares in this piece, when emotions run high it’s a fantastic time to forge new connections with customers. If you’ve been watching the first week of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here then you’ll be experiencing huge emotional swings yourself… from to outbursts of laughter one minute, to cries of disgust the next (usually whilst watching Radio 1’s Jordan North face his seemingly endless list of personal fears).

From the moment Ant & Dec stepped foot on our new set in the atmospheric Welsh castle, audiences have been hooked: the show’s first 4 episodes this week have averaged 10.0m viewers, with a 47% share - which is up on the equivalent 2019 episodes by 1.0m viewers and +4% share points.

I’m A Celebrity is a great example of how broadcasters have had to reimagine productions this year, and how challenges and restrictions can actually lead to creativity and opportunity. And if you’re curious about how we’ve delivered Covid-secure conditions for a production of this magnitude, then have a look at this recent press release which has more details than you can shake a snake at.

Last week saw us deliver our most popular Backing Business webinar to date, as Queen of Shops Mary Portas spoke to ITN’s Nina Hossein, to share her perspective on the Future of Shopping. You can catch up here to learn who’s winning on the High Street, the importance of purpose and authentic behaviour from retail brands, and how success is driven as much by your internal culture and people, as by what you say to customers. It’s insightful stuff.

Almost 300 people have already signed up to watch Sustainability: from intention to action. To reach the government targets of being net zero by 2050, Brits need to reduce their carbon footprint substantially. But how can we kick start the crucial shift of turning people's good intentions into actions? We have a fantastic panel to explore how brands can positively encourage this mission:

  • Tim Whirledge, Head of Strategy, McCann Manchester

  • Sarah Booth, Director of Retail Brand and Marketing, OVO Energy

  • Lucy Crotty, Cultural Insight & Strategy Lead, ITV

  • Kate Waters, Director of Client Strategy & Planning, ITV

  • Clare Phillips, Director of Social Purpose, ITV

And finally, with Christmas on the horizon, how about two early ‘gifts’ from us to you?

Our first is a gift recommendation, guaranteed to help you ‘win’ at Christmas this year: be sure to buy ‘The Sock Game’ for someone in your family. It’s really silly, and it’s utter genius.

The second... is to give you back the gift of time. A good email is a short email, so have a great weekend!


Kelly Williams

MD, Commercial, ITV

Screen Shot 2020 03 27 at 13.52.48
video time: video title: ITV Creative Production Reel

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