Lucid Lynx Moviecomtv

Commercial Production Review

By The Drum | Administrator

August 23, 2007 | 6 min read

Back after the break

However, being at the forefront of the commercials world, production houses are perfectly placed to see where TV advertising is heading and how technology and innovation is playing a part. “The beauty of the viral,” says Daniel Healey head of commercial production house Lucid, “is that you can shoot it first before deciding how you’re going to use it. We’re doing something for a charity at the minute, which we’re presenting to them on a DVD. Their plan is to show it at a conference and at events, but they may end up using it on their website or as a viral. You’re really in a position to see how far the message can go.

Virals have been at the forefront of the internet’s impact on TV advertising for some time, with their style evolving from slapstick, violent and comedic short pieces towards more filmic productions. Broadband means file sizes pose no problem, while the web 2.0 revolution has seen sites such as YouTube, Kontraband and MySpace take virals out of the email-to-email spam world to a more developed platform with a greater user experience. As such, virals have become longer and higher production values are more attainable.

However, virals aren’t the only advertising opportunity the web has created. Claire Lennon of online broadcast specialists InnerEar says: “People want to consume media when it suits them. Ownership of media is a big thing for consumers these days – we have used the phrase ‘on demand, in demand’ for some time and it’s definitely the way media consumption is going. Pod-casting is just one of a number of opportunities available for clients that are embracing online advertising. Firstly, consumers have to subscribe - so they’re a captured and active audience. That’s why sponsorship on pod-casting is becoming increasingly popular. And because it’s online, we also have clear statistics on how many people have downloaded it.”

Another trend that production houses have noticed and are being asked to work on is branded content, with the online video market increasing by 50 per cent year-on-year.

“Lynx’s Let The Game Continue video ( is a brilliant example of where things are - or at least should be. It’s beautifully shot and excellently written and it’s also interactive,” suggests Healey. Meanwhile, MoviecomTV has launched with the Online TV Channel for Business – a service that sees the firm work with clients to build unique, branded online TV channels.

“More and more businesses are embracing online video within their marketing and communication strategies,” says Gillian O’Neil, managing director of MoviecomTV.

The firm’s technology also allows targeted email campaigns to be generated from the online TV channel. O’Neil says: “Statistical analysis of the effectiveness of the channel and each campaign can be generated…this could include regular data of the viewer activities and specifically who is watching the channel.”

George Barr of Greenroom Films says: “Budgets for nonbroadcast films are similar to that of a mid-range broadcast film, so there is money being invested and they do seem to be becoming more popular. Honda, for example, has taken a lot of its above-the-line work off and put it all on the net. Production values are stacking up too, with quality equalling that of a mid-range commercial in many instances.”

However, before you shift your entire budget off TV screens and onto the web, Healey believes that broadcast still has a huge part to play.

“It depends on the type of client, but those brands that have traditionally used TV will still need to use TV. But they do need to go digital. It’s about striking a balance using TV commercials in the first instance and consolidating them with branded films on the web. Digital is definitely where we’re at and clients are becoming far more appreciative of its powers, but for me, TV is still the best way of getting your brand into people’s homes.”

The Gate Films has been working increasingly on virals and online video content, but TV still accounts for a significant portion of their output. The Gate’s Steve Byrne says: “I think TV remains an incredibly powerful medium, speaking to whole family groups within their own home.

“Yes, we’re shooting lots of films for online, but there comes a certain point in the day or week when people simply don’t want to interact with anything. When you come home from work and you’re knackered, you’re still going to want to lie on the sofa and just passively watch TV.”

He also believes that TV itself is changing and providing a greater number of opportunities. “Video recorders were supposed to spell doom for TV advertising,” he says, “but after the launch of Sky +, people are actually watching more TV and only using the ad fast-forward facility for around 18 per cent of their total viewing.

“That said, the ad break as we know it must change. The industry will have to provide content that is more relevant to the programming, as is happening in the US with content wraps. Brands are taking over entire ad breaks with live feeds commenting on the shows. And the changing EU laws concerning product placement open up even further opportunities in ad-funded programming.”

So what does the future hold for TV advertising? Will we see more advertising dictating TV programming? Rhea Hussey of AVC Media, says: “There are a multitude of platforms from which an advertiser can choose to advertise these days, they have to continuously adapt and consider the developing trends in communication and technology otherwise they’ll stagnate. It is because of this that clients can now afford to be choosier about where and when they want to advertise and so to an extent can start to dictate the TV Programming. For production companies to get in on the act they have to be aware of these trends and adapt.”

And how will production houses adapt to the changing times? Barr says: “I’ve seen huge changes in how clients are buying their services. We work with agencies, but we also work with clients direct. While we don’t actively seek out jobs traditionally handled by agencies and never pitch for creative work, more and more clients are coming direct to us.”

He continues: “To survive, the production industry must diversify - much in the way advertising agencies have. Around 20 per cent of our work is now corporate, non-broadcast work. While TV is still and will continue to be at the forefront, the need for diversification is a must for all production firms.”

Lucid Lynx Moviecomtv

More from Lucid

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +