David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Visa
"The Heart"
90s
21 March 2016
UK Credit Cards

Subtle and intelligent, this spot by Juan Cabral promotes Visa's sponsorship of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Cabral's ads have the intensity of a great movie condensed into a minute and a half or less - and the depiction of decathlete Ashley Bryant as he prepares himself for the performance of a lifetime is superlative.

Glimpses of Bryant's day-to-day life reveal his unwavering focus on his goal. Among shots of him on the train, submerged in an ice bath, making smoothies with his young daughter, are close-ups of what appears to be a heart beating; the engine propelling him on. His expression is inward-looking; resolute.

And as the ad progresses, the energy changes. The scenes begin to switch in time to the music - a sliding soundbed that itself starts to incorporate the heart's regular thump to a greater and greater extent - so that we are carried along on Bryant's journey leading up to an event. Indeed, the music is vital to the spot's power, and it would be fascinating to know whether the excellent editing was designed to fit with it or the other way round.

Regardless, though, it's a terrific way to suggest Visa is also always beating away in the background, offering a performance so reliable we take it for granted.

The New Day
"A or B"

Peter said:

That is so much better. I'm actually going to get a copy.


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On This Day

Sure
"Go Wild"
60s
29 Mar 2006
Real animal magic here in the follow-up to last year's marvellous stunt city has football fans transmogrifying into animals as they get ready to watch a big match. Most of the beasts were generated by CGI but they are so successfully integrated you'll never see the joins.

HSBC
"Bad Boy"
2 mins
29 Mar 2007
Spectacular commercial for HSBC directed by Joe Carnahan has a young Oriental boy jumping into a car and mirroring the video game being played by his father to illustrate differing World attitudes to electronic gaming.

Close Up (Argentina)
"Thumbs"
60s
29 Mar 2007
An absolutely charming commercial shows what can happen if we can get past our head down habit of getting through life and start living instead. A man who is so devoted to his hand-held gadget that he appears to put it down for a moment has his humanity restored by a beautiful smile.

Cadbury Dairy Milk
"Trucks"
90s
29 Mar 2008
Here it is then... Juan Cabral's follow up to last year's Gorilla film for Cadbury has a collection of airport vehicles having a race on the runway. As with the previous commercial, there is no connect with the product. Inevitably, perhaps, this is not as startling as its predecessor but it's still likely to garner much attention.

Magners
"Straight"
50s
29 Mar 2010
There's a certain style of advertising that the Americans do very well which is seldom tried over here. This excellent commercial for Magners Cider matches the best examples of the dry comedy typically found in the best US ads.

NSPCC
"Sh*t Kids Say"
90s
29 Mar 2012
This affecting piece for the NSPCC starts as a celebration of the charmingly daft things that children say before sliding into darker territory by depicting the kinds of things children say when all is not well in their lives. An outstanding reminder that we all have a responsibility to act if we suspect something is amiss.

Marks & Spencer
"Summer Fashion"
40s
29 Mar 2015
This vibrant ad for M&S really, er, rings our bell. Agency RKCR/Y&R received plaudits from DAVID for their enchanting Christmas work and this new spot promoting the retailer's summer range maintains that form. Channeling some of the visual magic of The Grand Budapest Hotel, a humble bell boy is rushed off his feet by the stylish clientele.

Finish
"Ageing"
30s
29 Mar 2016
If Batman duking it out with Superman has left you with a splitting headache, then Finish have a more playful skirmish in store for you in this new addition to their excellent campaign. The fight against ageing is an advertising staple, and the dishwasher detergent pedlars claim to have the ideal antidote - the Powerball.

MS Society
"Curtain"
45s
29 Mar 2006
A clever stunt organised by Saatchis reminded a cinema audience how unsettling it can be when things break down. The agency organised for a cinema curtain to apparently break down just as the ads are about to be shown. The parallel with the unpredictability of MS was well made.

Joost
"Face"
55s
29 Mar 2007
Charming commercial for a new TV channel which enables users to interactive with TV and Internet content has a demonstration from an elderly man who uses brightly lit (animated) bits and bobs to represent all the fun stuff that's available. It's simple yet clever and it works.

Stella 4%
"8Km"
3 mins 50s
29 Mar 2009
The latest viral for the Belgian beer is a short film set in a 1960s jazz club and revolves around a taunting competition between two young men. Once again, the emphasis is on authenticity and it's a clever parody but it's not the kind of thing that excites the Internet.

Homebase
"Roundabout"
30s
29 Mar 2009
A crew of people put a garden together on a traffic roundabout in the latest ad by the DIY specialists. Watch out for the small print though... apparently, Homebase don't sell trees as mature as those depicted in the ad

Cbeebies
"Twinkle Twinkle"
40s
29 Mar 2010
Two young children show off their singing skills to their grandmother. She's grinning and bearing it with womanly fortitude but can't hide her surprise when she discovers the duo have rudely adapted the last line. Utterly charming performances well caught.

Burger King
"Cheat On Beef"
30s
29 Mar 2010
This amusing ad for the fast food chain has a man sitting in a cheap hotel room enjoying a chicken burger. But his secret is uncovered when a cow bursts through the door and he desperately tries to explain himself.

DFS
"Other Halves"
60s
29 Mar 2012
Another helping of domestic bliss in many different forms. Like the recent B & Q ad, this commercial manages to capture the essence of the enduring love enjoyed by the best among us. In this execution, this is depicted through the tolerance of the little foibles that can destabilise relationships founded on something other than love.

Foot Locker
"Make Your Own Moves"
75s
29 Mar 2012
There are so many different places to find advertising these days that it would be easy to overlook some really good work. This engaging piece, for example, was commissioned by Foot Locker to run on the screen in their shops to catch punters' attention and assure them that they're in the right place.

BT Broadband
"Chris"
40s
29 Mar 2014
An annoying 'friend' of the student housemates keeps turning up to use their superfast BT Broadband. Unfortunately he has the hide of a rhino, so doesn't take the subtle (and not so subtle) hints they signal to him in the hope he'll get the same broadband back at his own place. Quite frankly DAVID wouldn't have their patience, and if it were he who was suffering in silence the chap would be going home with the router lodged firmly in his gullet by the end of the ad.

Cravendale
"Barry the Biscuit Boy"
30s
29 Mar 2014
This animated film has young Barry the Biscuit swimming in a river of Cravendale and very nearly coming undone. Luckily for him, biscuit-based lifeforms can cope with the loss of their heads with remarkable alacrity and his parents are able to merely replace the part of him that dissolved into the milky stream so that before long he's ready to fight another day.

Robinsons Squash'd
"Set Free"
30s
29 Mar 2014
Appropriately enough, a lot is squeezed into thirty seconds in this commercial for a new product from Robinsons that appears to allow punters to enliven water with a squirt of cordial while they're out and about. The action jumps from one scenario to the next as we follow the progress of the robust little container that holds the product.

The North Face
"Never Stop Exploring"
30s
29 Mar 2014
This is - we think - the first time that North Face have advertised on telly in the UK and it's a pretty good début. By aligning themselves with the 'just do it' ethos long used by a well-known sport brand (look, it's Nike - not sure why we're being coy about that), they're suggesting we get out there and explore mountains and so forth and it instinctively feels right for the brand.

Walkers
"Stairlift"
30s
29 Mar 2015
Gary Lineker's stairlift repairman arrives to fix a kindly old lady's malfunctioning chair. She then spots a bag of Walkers crisps in his toolbox. He slyly fends her thieving mitts off when tries to nab them, but a sly bit of vengeful tinkering from the hungry gran sees the apparatus launch poor Gary out of a first floor window. You'd think he would've learned to give the trade a miss after his misadventures at the building site.

Booking.com
"Football Match"
30s
29 Mar 2015
Disconsolate footie fans trudge back to their accommodation after a crushing defeat. Luckily there is life after loss at a luxury hotel suite courtesy of Booking.com. The holiday company continue their fine run of form with another set of engagingly quirky protagonists and a script that ramps up the twist to the word 'booking'.

Dulux
"New Travels In Colour"
30s
29 Mar 2015
Following on from their campaign's sci-fi reboot, Dulux takes us back to the future. With colour now a part of this futuristic brave new world, our hero faces a new challenge: how to pick the right one from so much choice. The new range of neutral tones provides the solution. The scope is far more modest than the epic original, but the message is still conveyed well.

Mikado
"Unleash"
20s
29 Mar 2016
This bonkers spot for Mikado - a brand of chocolate-covered biscuit sticks - doesn't really explain what the snack is but equally doesn't hold back on suggesting it's irresistible. An office full of arrestingly weird people stops on the dot of 2.15 to indulge its passion for the sticks... and it's a good job everyone feels the same way or the men in white coats would be summoned immediately.

Nissan
"Presidents Day"
30s
29 Mar 2016
However meaningless 'President's Day' is to us in the UK, and despite the over-ebullience of the presenter, you can't help but admire the technical skill of this US ad for Nissan. What looks like a frozen shot he's wandering through suddenly becomes something else, as he moves an actual person out of his way rather than sidestepping a CG image.

On This Day

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