David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Compare The Market
"Let it Go"
25 December 2016
UK Price Comparison Web Sites

Formulaic? Of course... but when a campaign is as successful as this, you can't blame its creators for sticking with what works. And nothing works quite like Compare the Market's meerkats.

For the latest instalment, we're offered an update on Oleg - the baby meerkat adopted by Aleksandr and Sergei three Christmases ago and taken back to Africa the following year. These updates are perhaps set to become a regular part of a Christmas push by the price comparison site as we rejoin the youngster in a winter wonderland. He's playing with his girlfriend in the snow as 'Let It Go' warbles in the background but... what's this? It's all a dream? Yes, Oleg is still in Africa where snow is hard to find. Who knows what he'll be up to next year.

This campaign is a runaway train that somehow manages to arrive at all the stops on time. The adventures of Aleksandr, Sergei and Oleg long ago superseded the advertising message but their popularity continues to make this one of the best-loved brands in the UK. The social media response to the new ad was overwhelmingly positive. Much of the love was aimed at the meerkats but messages like the one below reveal that this is advertising that gets the job done.


Mark said:

Using the Errol Morris mirror technique and then not using it seems odd here



Five Star Work

"The Danish Way"
21 Apr 2017
Danish dynamite Mads Mikkelsen ruminates on why his compatriots are the happiest people on Earth in this amusing ad for Carlsberg. The actor keeps an admirably straight face throughout his whimsical bike ride, as he waxes lyrical about the Danish commitment to appreciating nature, maintaining a work-life balance, and - of couse - beer.

Lucozade Sport
"Anthony Joshua"
19 Apr 2017
With boxing fans eagerly anticipating Anthony Joshua’s bout against Wladimir Klitschko, Lucozade Sport present this gritty ad charting the former’s rise to prominence. An urgent sequence charts Joshua’s early years. We see a young man always running… sometimes with the wrong crowd. These transgressions don’t keep him off-track for long, however.

"The Big Swim"
19 Apr 2017
The latest instalment of giffgaff's ongoing campaign reasserts the disruptive brand's position as a provider of freedom. Their customer-led approach has forced its competitors to have a rethink and some of them are starting to echo giffgaff's central proposition. But don't expect the sector's upstart to be put out... it's probably what they've been hoping their rivals will do!

Boots No 7
"Amanda Foster"
13 Apr 2017
Stuntwork is risky business. Performers endure falls, crashes, infernos, and all manner of dicey deeds ... all to ensure the leads make it to the première intact. Boots No 7 give one stunt pro top billing. Her name is Amanda Foster - and she’s got a date with a glass window.

"An Evil Thirst"
1 min 38s
13 Apr 2017
Ciel bottled water pays homage to Mad Max in this high-octane ad. Tributes to George Miller's post-apocalyptic series come thick and fast, from the central Furiosa-style character to visual nods like a flamethrower spewing fire over the wasteland. With all that action, it's no wonder the starring actress gets dehydrated before she notices, just in time to forget her lines at the critical moment.

Domino's Pizza
"It's No Secret"
14 Apr 2017
Domino's assure us that all their pizzas are handmade in this amusing ad. Various vignettes suggest what a pizza factory might look like, featuring industrial dough-squishers, tomato sauce paint rollers, and a toppings cannon which we'd quite like to have a go on. All this before revealing that the secret to their handmade pizzas is - drumroll - hands.

12 Apr 2017
Not even HBO can escape John Oliver’s satirical ire… and they employ the bloke. The ‘Last Week Tonight’ host bookends this entertaining ad celebrating the broadcaster’s trademark crackling ident. Of course, Oliver has a bone to pick with the idea. Meanwhile, a roll call of HBO stars deliver a selection of ‘aaahhs’ and hisses.

Virgin Atlantic
12 Apr 2017
There's never been a better time to buy a jewel-encrusted codpiece, according to Virgin Atlantic. The airline want to let their American customers know that Britain is the perfect holiday destination, since their dollars will stretch much further than before. An American walks into a bar and... no, sorry, Brexit's the only joke in that sentence.

11 Apr 2017
Sheraton hotels want to let us know that their employees go the extra mile to ensure guests have the best experience possible under their care. Director Mark Molloy has created a tongue in cheek film which is by turns dramatic and humorous, featuring some striking underwater work and astute comic timing. The ad opens on a man diving fully-clothed into a body of water - and we soon find out why.

The Sunday Times
"Start the Week"
10 Apr 2017
Ahh the Sunday night blues. Everyone’s felt that twinge of disappointment as the weekend fades and Monday looms. However, The Sunday Times encourages us to embrace the week ahead - starting with the morning paper. We’re told that Sunday is the day when “dreams are dreamt” and “plans are hatched” - and that the advertised newspaper is the ideal launchpad for the week ahead.

Lloyds Bank
"New Dawn"
9 Apr 2017
Lloyds Bank unleash the black horse again for this excellent ad, directed by Frédéric Planchon for adam&eveDDB. The iconic beast gallops in slow-motion through the British landscape, past rural scenes and cities to a final 'Chariots of Fire' beach run. To a slow, gospel-style cover of Fatboy Slim's 'Praise You', we're shown the progression of 250 years of history through the landscape.

"The Cloud Catcher"
6 Apr 2017
Two men save their village from drought in this intriguing ad for Nissan. The narrative is captivating from the start, as the pair fashion a cloud-catching device and drive to a nearby mountain. Facing treacherous conditions and the threat of failure, they head into the cloud to deploy their machine and hope they can outrun the lightning that follows...

1 min 40s
5 Apr 2017
This stylish ad for Urbanears boasts strong production design and an infectious beat. To showcase the brand's range of wireless speakers, BRF's Magnus Härdner crafts a multi-storey shindig. Once the beat kicks in, we're treated to some especially precise gyrating from the colourful cast as the brand's meticulous approach to audio pays off.

"Boys Don't Cry"
2 mins 24s
4 Apr 2017
It was only a matter of time before Lynx's 'Men in Progress' series tackled crying. As you'd expect, the interviewees provide both affecting and humorous insights into their more emotional moments. Bobby Petta's powerful contribution, however, takes us by surprise. It's a raw sequence, yet it encapsulates the film's candid tone.

1 min 50s
30 Mar 2017
Virtual Reality hasn't quite taken off in the fashion many hoped it would but - in this splendid commercial for Samsung - we're offered a super illustration of the impact it has on a creature dreaming of a different kind of take-off altogether, The animal in question is an ostrich who accidentally slips its face into a VR headset and discovers a brave new world in which he's unencumbered by flightlessness.

The National Autistic Society
"Crowded Brain"
3 Apr 2017
Getting from A to B is something many of us take for granted. For some, it can be an alarming ordeal. In this latest film from the National Autistic Society, we join Holly on her journey to a friend’s birthday party. We feel dad’s trepidation as he waves Holly goodbye. We quickly understand why when the bus driver talks. We may hear a friendly greeting, but for Holly, it’s paralysing.

3 Apr 2017
Dylan - a keen yet timid young football player - sees his thus-far pedestrian career in amateur kickabouts take a dramatic turn for the better in this excellent ad for Lotto New Zealand. One trepidatious tap to the ball creates a tectonic shift in his fortunes, despite his right leg's best efforts to sabotage his every move.

du Telecom
"The Man Sitting Next to You"
28 Mar 2017
A trip to the cinema offers ideal escapism for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, it only takes one crunch, slurp, or waft from a fellow patron to break the illusion. For anyone who’s suffered such picturehouse blues, du Telecom feels your pain. Rarely has the worst of cinema etiquette looked so good as arm hairs mingle, popcorn combusts, and nachos literally swim in melted cheese.

ITV Racing
"Grand National"
26 Mar 2017
John Cooper Clarke and The Maccabees's 'Pelican' combine to give this ITV Racing promo terrific energy. The broadcaster taps into how the annual Aintree meeting captures the nation's imagination - and turns us all into racing savants. Form goes out the window when it comes to picking a contender; instead, it's all about "their colours and their funny names".

"Mother's Day"
2 mins
26 Mar 2017
The latest instalment in VCCP's campaign for Nationwide featuring young poets is a really moving piece of work. Filmed just twenty-four hours before it was broadcast, it has Laurie Ogden articulating the feelings of Gavin - a young man from Belfast - in a specially composed poem for Mother's Day.

"The Cult"
26 Mar 2017
There's a very strong idea behind this irreverent commercial for car rental company Sixt and it grabs your attention with both hands before nutting you in the face with it. A funny script from Grey London gave the directorial team an awful lot to work with and they largely deliver: Keith and his new wife are on the money but mum and dad are a tad stilted.

Virgin Media
"Non-Stop Entertainment"
23 Mar 2017
Sometimes more is more, and Virgin Media prove it with this full-throttle commercial. A stampede of cinematic archetypes race against one another in a high-tech tunnel; Supermen, cowgirls, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are all along for the ride. We don’t fancy the Prohibition gangsters’ chances, though - they’ve got a right Muppet at the wheel.

23 Mar 2017
Skeletor saved with moneysupermarket.com, and now he feels epic. So epic, in fact, that he's ready to renounce a life of universe-conquering and dance through the streets to Irene Cara's 'Fame'. The villain quickly wins the town over with his hip-thrusting moves... which we can't quite imagine Frank Langella busting out.

"Panjabi MC"
20 Mar 2017
Berocca aim to energise the nation with this entertaining ad for their fizzy yellow vitamin tablets. Far from being just a hangover cure, the brand want you to know that the drink can give you bags of energy and all the get-up and go you need. Roccy the chameleon embodies this vitamin-fuelled nugget of joie de vivre as he struts his stuff deep in the jungle.

17 Mar 2017
Bulmers Ireland show us a scene with a twist in this energetic ad. A pulsing soundtrack accompanies what looks like a house party only the cool kids are invited to, but appearances can be deceiving... Soon the scene is annotated with percentages which make witty observations about what's really going on with the partygoers.

Five Star Work

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