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Ad of the Day: Murderous ITV brand campaign mixes genres in dramatic fashion

ITV has united two of its biggest stars from opposite ends of the programming spectrum for a new brand campaign dripping with murderous intent.

‘Drama vs Reality’ brings together BAFTA-winning actor Jason Watkins with Love Island winner and reality TV star Kem Cetinay, who is lured to the former’s plush trailer for a deadly glass of wine.

Stage, film and television actor Watkins, the lead star in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries, hams it up in a fourth-wall-breaking performance as he seeks to bump off his rival with a surreptitious dose of poison to command the exclusive attention of ITV audiences.

Unbeknownst to Watkins, however, Cetinay is in on the plot, choosing his moment to switch glasses and turn the tables on his would-be murderer.

What follows is a riveting duel in which what isn’t said comes to the fore as the intellectual Watkins pitches his sharp mind against the street smarts of Cetinay, ultimately coming off second best when a nut-based ruse distracts the former.

Jane Stiller ITV’s chief marketing officer said: “With this ambitious campaign, we are investing in getting the message out to viewers, especially those that do the majority of their viewing on-demand, that ITV Hub is a destination for brilliant content and is the home of the best drama and reality programming.”

Launched to coincide with the Brit Awards, the campaign will support further growth of the ITV Hub, which has drawn record viewing figures this year on the back of hit dramas such as The Pembrokeshire Murders, The Bay series 2 and Finding Alice; along with low-brow reality shows like Ibiza Weekender, The Cabins and Real Housewives of Cheshire and Jersey.

The brainchild of Uncommon, the playful piece is supported by a fully-integrated marketing campaign harnessing outdoor and social media activity to communicate the killer concept to as broad an audience as possible.

Nils Leonard, co-founder at Uncommon, added: “ITV are unique – they are the only place to bring together epic British drama and ferocious reality in one place on the ITV Hub. We celebrate this collision with a series of gloves-off films that blur the lines between advertising and entertainment, all showing the lengths ITV stars will go to in the fight for your attention.”

Disappointed drama fans can look forward to a follow-up sketch next week in which two more stars of drama and reality face off in another duel of wits and guile.

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