Saturday, 13 December 2014

Boggen's Advent Calender (11th, 12 and 13th Day) - When Fifteen goes into One: ITV Promotions and Trailers at Christmas - Part One

A couple of days ago, I looked at how promotions were used to promote different channels at Christmas time. But with the BBC it is easy to promote themselves because they are one Corporation as compared what ITV was, a series of individual companies all wanting to do their own thing. 

For so many years, the likes of Rediffusion London, Granada, ABC, TVS, Central etc, they would adapt their own look over the festive period. These efforts were a proportion to the companies they represented i.e. Granada's being homely, Rediffusion's being classy and TVS' being entertaining.

However with ITV wanting to serve a more united look over Christmas, how would the individual companies come together to give a unified look. In response to the BBC's lavish trailers of the 1970's, the independent channel had to come up with a way of doing this as well. The structure within ITV meant there were five major companies at its head after the 1967 franchise round, those being Thames Television, London Weekend, Granada, Yorkshire and ATV. With the more minor franchises supplying programmes for the Christmas schedule, but the big five companies were the ones tasked with coming up with the look for the festive period. 

Every year the responsibility fell one on of the companies to come up with that year's look for Christmas. Taking for example, 1982 with Christmas Eve and Day falling on Friday and Saturday respectively, that LWT took on that year's campaign running from the 20th of December to the 28th. So it was natural that London Weekend would use one of their own personalities to voice over the promotions, with Michael Aspel both a face from Give Us a Clue but also LWT's Six O'Clock show doing the duties. The actual launch trailer was broadcast on the 7th of December after the programme Russian Roulette. 

The trails themselves were played out on the fifth of December after the film 'Fort Ti' and before that evening's showing of The Professions, both of these being teaser trailers. However on the 9th of December, the first proper trailers were played out after an edition of 'Only When I Laugh' and also 'Falcon Crest', the first of these two concentrating on the entertainment to be seen on ITV over Christmas and the second showing the big shows and films the commercial channel had that year. 

In the line-up for that year's entertainment was Mike Yarwood, This is Your Life and The Morecambe and Wise Show from Phillip Jones' Light Entertainment depart at Thames. For game shows 3-2-1 from Yorkshire and Punchlines with Lennie Bennett from LWT, as well as two of LWT's main shows for Christmas night being Game for a Laugh in its second series and also Chas and Dave's Christmas Knees Up which is being re-shown by Channel Five again this year. Among the other highlights, the network premiere of Roger Moore as James Bond in Moonraker, Disney's The Black Hole, fun with Bruce Forsyth in Play Your Cards Right and Secombe at Christmas with Harry Secombe bringing a musical flavour to proceedings. 

An example of the 1982 ITV Christmas promotion

"There maybe trouble ahead..."

"Greetings to you too..."

However it has been an ambition of mine to learn who actually made the ITV Christmas Promotions/Trailers pre the united ITV era, so I will be looking into them more deeper soon.

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