David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • A box-fresh take on pre-loved goods Here's to this terrific ad for NZ auction site Trade Me, which dispenses with the derisory perspective to make used wares feel desirable again.
    • On switching to LTHThis commercial for South American brand LTH is perhaps overstating the battery's actual power, but it's lovely nonetheless.
    • More visibility needed for disabled people.A vibrant session at the Edinburgh TV Festival offered some candid insights into portrayals of disability.
    • What young people want.The ‘Winning in Broadcast Means Success in Digital’ event discussed how to keep young audiences engaged in broadcast and digital media.
    • Jay Hunt wants a clear Four-cast.Channel 4's chief creative officer Jay Hunt marked five years in the hot seat by claiming it was "absolutely breathtaking" that rumblings over privatisation continue to persist.
    • Random acts of pitchingThis year's Edinburgh International TV Festival kicked off with an intriguing session of live pitches.
    • Put your cards on the tableAnother tour de force from Havas Sydney offers a persuasive argument for joining the Australian Navy.
    • Demonstrating the ADCAN-do spirit.The third edition of the annual ADCAN Awards looks to have unearthed more creative talent as the competition reveals its latest winning entries in a ceremony hosted by The Mill.
    • Alcohol by volume.Kopparberg continue to espouse the fånga dagen spirit (or 'seize the day', if your Swedish isn't up to scratch) with this Facebook ad designed to reward those who turn up the volume on online ads.
    • Sean Thompson's new partnerships.Sean Thompson has been busy. As well as co-founding new agency WHO WOT WHY with fellow A-Listers Matt Gooden and Ben Walker, Thompson has joined Matt Brown's roster of directors at Dark Energy.
    • The naked truth about fatherhood.It's healthy for blokes to lay bare their thoughts on occasion, and, with Australia's Father's Day on the horizon, underwear brand Bonds give this group of dads an opportunity to get their talk on while stripped down to their briefs.
    • The hard flutter.Ladbrokes swallow a mound of Aussie grit for this ad taking the bookmaker into punchy territory.
    • Chewing the scenery.This year's crop of summer blockbusters may have failed to set the world alight, but this well-performed McDonald's ad hints at a seat-filler with extra bite.
    • Fresh meat for the gambling sectorWhile the core proposition for Leo Vegas is nothing groundbreaking the approach is unusual to say the least.
    • No pussyfooting around hereSuperb 60-second ads are a pleasure... but when a spot manages to be absolutely note-perfect in just 30", we get an extra frisson of delight.
    • More missing letters.A second helping of the campaign which uses missing letters to draw attention to the shortage of blood donors.

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Trade Me
"Life Lives Here"
60s
24 August 2016

While 'pre-loved' is the mot du jour for 'second hand' these days, it still doesn't convincingly kick other synonyms into touch. Jumble, cast-offs, hand-me-downs - there are plenty of words out there that pinpoint how we tend to view goods which aren't box-fresh.

So here's to this terrific ad for NZ auction site Trade Me, which dispenses with the derisory perspective to make used wares feel desirable again.

While we may not particularly care about the history of a chair we've spotted or the complicated reason someone's selling adult swimming nappies, this ad assumes an item's backstory is not merely respectable but heartwarming... exciting, even.

And that in turn reassures us as potential customers. A good move, because there are also jobs, services, all sorts of things available at Trade Me and we suspect we wouldn't feel half as receptive to them if we weren't happy to buy our next golf clubs there.

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LTH
"Energy"
90s
23 August 2016

This commercial for South American brand LTH may be overstating the battery's actual power, but it's beautiful nonetheless. Thanks to some excellent camerawork and a strong script, it makes us think about energy itself: how everything is energy, begetting more energy; from the smallest synaptic spark to the earth's eternal fall around the sun.

The ad creates a positive connection between the brand and the notion of consumption. It makes us feel this must be the brand of choice; a battery from a sensitive and intelligent company who are pleasingly aware of the potential locked up in each little tube and how it may impact on the environment around it.

Of course, none of this is explicit. But the thoughtfulness with which LTH is presented implies that philosophically it's miles away from the batteries which power gaming consoles and novelty gadgets and pointless fripperies in general. Clever stuff.

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More visibility needed for disabled people.

A vibrant session chaired by Ade Adepitan at the Edinburgh TV Festival offered some candid insights into portrayals of disability in the media.

A diverse panel had very different perspectives but came to the same broad conclusion when examining current depictions of disability: there have been vast improvements but there's still a long way to go.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

What young people want.

"Like, I don’t watch TV in a traditional sense," YouTuber Marcus Butler told the audience of the snappily named 'Winning in Broadcast Means Success in Digital' event at the Edinburgh TV festival. Moments later he demonstrated just how non-traditional his viewing must be when he added, "I don’t have a TV".

Butler was joined by William Van Rest, the director of commerce and ventures at ITV, and Ben Cooper, controller of BBC Radio 1xtra, on a panel - chaired by Emma Hardy - which discussed how to keep audiences engaged in broadcast and digital media.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Jay Hunt wants a clear Four-cast.

Channel 4's chief creative officer Jay Hunt marked five years in the hot seat by claiming it was "absolutely breathtaking" that rumblings over privatisation continue in the background as the broadcaster announced an increased market share.

To a packed Edinburgh TV Festival audience, Hunt bemoaned the fact that the conversation started by the fomer Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport John Whittingdale remains far from resolved.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

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Five Star Work

Trade Me
"Life Lives Here"
60s
24 Aug 2016
While 'pre-loved' is the mot du jour for 'second hand' these days, it still doesn't convincingly kick other synonyms into touch. Jumble, cast-offs, hand-me-downs - there are plenty of words out there that pinpoint how we tend to view goods which aren't box-fresh. So here's to this terrific ad for NZ auction site Trade Me, which dispenses with the derisory perspective to make used wares feel desirable again.

LTH
"Energy"
90s
23 Aug 2016
This commercial for South American brand LTH may be overstating the battery's actual power, but it's beautiful nonetheless. Thanks to some excellent camerawork and a strong script, it makes us think about energy itself: how everything is energy, from the smallest synaptic spark to the earth eternally falling around the sun.

Australian Defence Force
"What Will You Bring?"
60s
24 Aug 2016
Another tour de force from Havas Sydney offers a persuasive argument for joining the Australian Navy. In a spot that gradually increases in intensity, it tells us that we can all achieve greatness - we just have to build towards it. Director Joel Kefali, in tandem with DP Ryley Brown, creates potent images of people who have turned what may be a vague interest or aptitude into a focused skill... and it's extremely compelling.

Bonds
"Think of Fathers"
85s
19 Aug 2016
It's healthy for blokes to lay bare their thoughts on occasion, and, with Australia's Father's Day on the horizon, underwear brand Bonds give this group of dads an opportunity to get their talk on while stripped down to their briefs. With tongue-in-cheek candour, this circle of trust discusses the effects of childbirth on the body - namely, the male body.

Ladbrokes
"Up For The Challenge"
60s
18 Aug 2016
Ladbrokes swallow a mound of Aussie grit for this ad taking the bookmaker into punchy territory. Enlisting the kind of VO whom you could imagine turning a bedtime story into a hard man's chronicle, the ad is all about laying down the gauntlet as many times as 60" will allow. Lady Luck hasn't received an invite to this particular game; instead, the narrator rams home the idea that a bet is all about using your brain and having the backbone to trust your decision.

McDonald's
"Acting Masterclass"
1 min 40s
18 Aug 2016
This year's crop of summer blockbusters may have failed to set the world alight, but this well-performed McDonald's ad hints at a seat-filler with extra bite. One can't help but wonder how the lead in this watery epic manages to summon such raw emotion in each and every take... but the reason has more to do with matters of the stomach than the heart.

Sheba
"Resistance is Futile"
30s
17 Aug 2016
Superb 60-second ads are a pleasure... but when a spot manages to be absolutely note-perfect in just 30", we get an extra frisson of delight. So what better way to start the week than with this simple but brilliantly executed ad for Sheba? A man in the throes of a passionate encounter is rendered helpless by the telepathic commands of his cat - and whether you love these feline dictators or not, it's impossible not to laugh at this scenario.

Keno
"The Wife Contract"
2 mins 59s
15 Aug 2016
This Danish commercial playfully mines the traditional verdicts on the differences between men and women when it comes to managing the family's finances. Faced with the possibility that their husbands will treat a million krona win with the frivolousness associated with their gender, a collection of women gamely try to maintain a pretence that they won't stand in the way of long-held dreams.

Marks & Spencer
"Back to School"
30s
15 Aug 2016
The 'back to school' market must be considered very precious by each of the retailers who supply it as they seem to raise their game year after year. Marks & Spencer's effort is particularly exuberant and as we mentioned last week, offered Rainey Kelly and director Chris Sweeney the opportunity to connect it to their sumptuous food advertising.

Australian Defense Force
"What Is Up?"
90s
17 Aug 2016
This compelling film for the Royal Australian Air Force takes us back to the age when the only way was up and everything called for tilting your head back. A youngster watches anime fighter jets and strives to complete his first full pull-up. Once he's done that, he conquers more hills and challenges before he's ready to look his aviation dream in the eye.

Subaru
"The Boy Who Breaks Everything"
60s
17 Aug 2016
Subaru choose a lovely way to communicate their Legacy model's enduring properties by introducing us to a child whose mere touch turns lifetime guarantees to dust. Everything the poor boy touches at home, at school, and on the street somehow malfunctions in quietly spectacular fashion. Great if you're a kid after some free candy, but not so great if you can't open a door, turn on a light, or play on a bouncy castle without causing a fuss.

Honda
"The Power Of Ridgeline"
60s
16 Aug 2016
PES is quite rightly revered in the world of advertising and beyond for his extraordinary ability to create beautiful pieces of film using in-camera special effects. His distinctive style has been copied by others but no one ever quite manages to hit his level. And the wannabes will need to learn some new tricks after watching this amazing film which uses an innovative technique to create an outcome that's similar but different to his previous work.

Sun Bets
"In It"
60s
16 Aug 2016
We've noticed some interesting shifts in the betting sector as of late with the likes of Betfair and BetVictor moving away from the boisterous machismo commonly associated with this market in favour of a more refined approach. It's therefore noteworthy that The Sun's foray into online gambling - Sun Bets - pays no heed to this and goes all in with the lad factor. Thanks to this energetic ad, the decision looks to have paid off.

Nike's Jordan Brand
"Breakfast Club"
60s
16 Aug 2016
This classy ad for Nike's Air Jordan line is inspired by Michael Jordan's 'Breakfast Club'. No, don't worry, it's not an ill-advised remake of the John Hughes classic - rather, it's the name of an early morning training regime which helped the basketball legend push on to greatness in the Nineties. Starring NFL wide-receiver Dez Bryant, the ad does a good job of projecting a refined mystique around the brand.

Canal+
"Goooooaaaaaaalllllllllllll!!!!!"
30s
16 Aug 2016
The comical exuberance of foreign football commentators is played to the hilt and beyond in this lovely commercial for French cable television provider Canal. More often than not, a goal from Lionel Messi is enough to leave viewers speechless, but not this pundit. His exclamation at the goal continues long after his stint on the commentary gantry is finished, subjecting his family, his fellow shoppers, and even his dentist to an audio epic.

Old El Paso
"The Grand Tour"
2 mins 52s
15 Aug 2016
Danny Trejo meets Dinky Trejo in this well-shot film for Old El Paso which provides the former with some formidable competition in the taco-making stakes. When the cocky veteran sees his van roll off a cliff into oblivion, he's forced to hitch a ride with his young challenger as they set off on a culinary road trip.

O2
"Goslings"
60s
15 Aug 2016
What's so very lovely about this campaign is the way it ticks all the boxes on the brief... and then turns them into living, breathing creatures with irresistible cuddle appeal. This ability to transform abstracts into tangibles is pretty damn rare, and VCCP are the go-to alchemists in this realm. Not only does the message come across loud and clear that O2's coverage is strong, it also suggests it's adorably focused on you.

Nike
"Tennis v Baseball"
30s
15 Aug 2016
This Nike campaign continues to go from strength to strength with this demonstration of raw power courtesy of Serena Williams and Major League Baseball star Giancarlo Stanton. The pair's cross-court and cross-sport rally gets the viewer's pulse racing and Oscar Isaac's enjoyably frantic VO in a tizz, but he's soon in an apologetic mood for questioning this training session.

Aviva
"Petition"
90s
15 Aug 2016
Satire isn't always the best way of making a point but it's absolutely perfect for this message about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving. A young man is given the thankless task of lobbying for legalisation of this practice and encounters - as you might expect - a fair degree of hostility. This is because we are all opposed - in principle - to this extremely dangerous idea.

Nike
"Sister Madonna Buder"
63s
14 Aug 2016
Nike once again flummox Oscar Isaac in the voiceover booth - this time by introducing Sister Madonna Buder a.k.a. the 'Iron Nun'. No, don't worry, she isn't the latest addition to cinema's ever-increasing roster of superheroes - eighty-six-year-old Buder is a triathlete with a spry attitude to the whole mind, body, and soul business. Another engaging distillation of the sporting brand's universal message of boundless endeavour.

Back Me Up
"Drone"
40s
14 Aug 2016
Whether you regard them as remote control playthings or the humble kite's nefarious upgrade, drones have caught the public's imagination. Plundering the drone's potential for mishaps is this lovely ad for insurance app Back Me Up. One of four ads for the e-insurer directed by Chris Palmer, this execution does a swell job of communicating the outfit's sympathy for when life's foibles get the better of us.

No Man's Sky
"Bill Bailey"
1 min 50s
11 Aug 2016
Many a spurious request for a sick day this week can be explained by the launch of 'No Man's Sky' - the PlayStation 4's feverishly anticipated universe explorer. Amidst all the hullabaloo about the game's numerous delays and sky-high ambitions, the nuts and bolts of the title have remained something of a mystery. Who better then to usher gamers into space than cosmically-inclined funnyman Bil Bailey?

Nike
"Chris Mosier"
30s
9 Aug 2016
Nike follow their terrific Olympic campaign opener with a 30" ad following Team USA's Chris Mosier - the first transgender athlete to qualify for the men's national team, and the first transgender athlete to star in an ad for the sportswear giant. Not that Mosier has much time to spare to reflect on the matter.

Folgers
"Coach"
90s
10 Aug 2016
Pete Riski demonstrated his ability to squeeze every drop of emotion from a script with a Wrigley's ad which picked up a number of awards as well as finding favour with the public. Now, he's only gone and done it again with a splendid Olympics-themed commercial for Folgers coffee.

Temptations
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
2 mins 43s
9 Aug 2016
There will come a day when cat videos fade away, but today is not that day - not if Temptations have anything to do with it. The brand has become synonymous with work inspired by internet virals in recent times, and after their Elton John-scored Christmas ad, they now turn to Simple Minds for this beautifully realised tale of a cat yearning for attention from his material girl owner.

Five Star Work

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.