Curate Films is a long form production company specialising in features, TV formats and traditional commercial content. Leaders Madeleine Sanderson and Dan Dickenson are dedicated to championing great stories in a collaborative environment, and here discuss the top UK 'funny ads'
The funny thing about modern day advertising is the rise of emotion and demise of the funny. We have been emotionally tugged into sweetness and heart strings. We get it, you need to create an emotion for the viewer/consumer and its easier to make something cute and heartfelt than funny. Funny is hard!
You look at the best TV shows of recent and yesteryear in the UK and they have all been funny. Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers, Black Adder, Monty Python, and more recently Fleabag, Catastrophe, The Office and The Inbetweeners were all huge in audience and relatability, everyone wants to recall scenes from funny films, but do they ever from emotional heartfelt films?
All the above shows have one thing in common, brilliant writing. Not only are they brilliant writers, but they’re brilliantly observational, the best comedy to sell to you is about you; about situations that you have been in. It's the club together type comedy that gets you wincing, and looking at your partner, or child and saying “Yep that's me that is". This is all fine but how can you package the brightest TV writers into an ad agency? Well you don’t, they have day jobs, but it doesn’t mean they can’t work alongside agencies and brands alike to work with them.
That's why we wanted to create The Writers Room at Curate, we wanted to bring brilliant comedians and funny writers to the content and branded world. I think after Covid-19 has left our shores, or at least subsided considerably, we all need a good laugh! Our roster is full of varying comedic talent that can lend itself to any brief, from performers like Steve Stamp, Johnny Vegas to Simon Evans, to Sue Perkins.Then we have the writers Andy Milligan, Madeleine Brettingham and Mark Watson who all write for themselves and others. They get paid to be funny, they live and die on funny.
TV has got incredibly good lately and now its time to match it with the advertising. What is apparent is that back when advertising was stronger, there was more time - and time lets creatives be more creative. If clients can just give agencies more time to work on ideas, writing and execution, we swear that good things will come from that. Now is the time to be collaborative. The other thing thats clear here is that most of the so called 'great' ads don’t sell you the product, they build the brand gradually with films that are funny, it's a simple process thats lost now.
What is very interesting about these spots, is all of them are told from observed positions, so called 'normal' people acting out a sketch, not trying too hard, and all of them are incredibly well written.