David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Swedish Railways
"Paul's Journey"
14 March 2017
Sweden Train Services

Some journeys are more difficult than others. The central character in this enlightened commercial for Swedish Railways has embarked on a personal journey to seek acceptance for his transvestitism - and he's no generic cipher representing the LGBT community, either. He's Pelle Pia Hedberg, who became a cause célèbre in his native Sweden when his decision to begin dressing as a woman in the workplace provoked a row with his boss.

It's a beautifully-made piece of work. Hedberg's transformation is simultaneously allegorical and literal as he inserts a pair of earrings before applying nail polish. This piques the curiosity of other passengers but their faces reflect a society at ease with 'difference' and none of them display a hint of prejudice even when he returns from the toilet having swapped his blokeish apparel for a dress.

All the while, the train hurtles effortlessly through the Swedish countryside to remind us of the other - more straightforward - journeys made possible by the railway concerned.

This feels as though it's advertising a way of life as much as it's advertising anything else, and with Sweden being cited by both its friends and its enemies as a bastion of liberalism, it's an exceedingly well-timed piece of communication.

Channel 4
"Formula One"

Kevin said:

Sounds like the same v/o artiste as the Sky Sports F1 promo.... Definitely not "horses for courses"???



Latest Additions

1 min 58s
24 Mar 2017
Bobsleigh purists may take umbrage, but a Subaru Impreza proves to be more than a match for the St Mortiz-Celerina track. Dark Energy's Adam Kaleta captures some impressive footage as the advertised vehicle slams its way downhill - even defying gravity at stages. And we thought driving after an overnight frost was dicey...

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.

"Mum's Day Out"
24 Mar 2017
Scott’s a good lad, isn’t he? With Mum relieved of her Tesco checkout duties, he treats her to a surprise day out. It’s a rather eclectic itinerary: massages, pottery, and even a trip to the local driving range. The supermarket reminds us that spending time with our mums is the most important thing… though a bottle of Prosecco and chocolates can't hurt, either.

23 Mar 2017
Barclays once again retreat to go forward with another well-shot ad. This woman moves backwards while describing her fears about her housing prospects. Fortunately, the advertised bank offers her a Family Springboard Mortgage, using her (willing) parents’ savings as the deposit. The device cleverly ensures we pay attention to the proposition.

"Bryson DeChambeau"
23 Mar 2017
PGA Tour pro Bryson DeChambeau explains how the Microsoft Cloud allows him to dissect every shot and keep his swing in check. As technology plays a greater role in the game, should caddies be worried their expertise will soon replaced by data nuggets and augmented reality? At any rate, we doubt this will capture anyone's imagination.

Marks & Spencer
"Mother's Day"
22 Mar 2017
10" is all Marks and Spencer need to demonstrate the quality of their Mother's Day flowers. While the cheap and cheerful approach may work for their rivals, M&S showcase their bouquets with unerring sophistication. So if you want to treat your mum with a touch of style on March 26th, you know where to go.

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.

High Contrast
"Questions (ft. Boy Matthews)"
3 mins 15s
23 Mar 2017
They say you should always put your smartphone to one side at bedtime. Give the brain a chance to switch off. Well, someone forgot to tell this young man. This hyperactive promo for High Contrast’s ‘Questions’ shows what happens when desire refuses to rest. Starting with his dream woman, the film dives deeper and deeper into the protagonist’s subconscious.

Joe Goddard
4 mins 56s
23 Mar 2017
Hot Chip's Joe Goddard pays tribute to those hazy cab rides home with his latest solo effort. This clubber's all tuckered out after pulling an all-nighter... but the party's only just begun. His imagination (possibly chemically-enhanced) takes flight as early morning London morphs into a Technicolour discotheque with an animated Goddard on the decks.

The FA
"Casey Stoney"
23 Mar 2017
Footballer Casey Stoney movingly discusses the sexism she's faced throughout her career in this inspiring spot for the FA. It's heartening to hear that women's football is gaining recognition and respect and that the FA have made a commitment to double the number of female players by 2020. But with an insane disparity in wages - a top female player earns less in a year than a top male player earns in a day - there's still along way to go.

The FA
"James Blackwell"
23 Mar 2017
As Gareth Southgate becomes the latest man tasked with bringing glory to English football, the FA signal a belief that bringing more players into the game is just as important as anything achieved by the national team. This 30" profile of England midfielder James Blackwell shines a light on the body’s support of cerebral palsy football. It's a support which has allowed Blackwell to be defined by his talent, rather than his disability.

Lipton Tea
"Keala Kennelly"
23 Mar 2017
With all the dramatic and hard-hitting sports-based ads around, it's nice to know that sometimes even the athletically gifted enjoy a cup of tea and a sit down. The connection between surfer Keala Kennelly throwing herself into treacherous waves and caffeinated beverages may be tenuous, but this beautifully-shot film feels inspiring nonetheless.

"The Process"
23 Mar 2017
If you're a little rusty on the ol' Big Bang theory (no, not the sitcom), then let frozen smoothie brand Dole bring you up to speed. A sage VO charts how just a few billion days brought us from molten rock to fruit and ice ("Ooh, convenient!"); now Dole have perfected the process with their range of frozen confections. A wry, eye-catching introduction to the brand.

Police Dog Hogan
"Tyburn Jig"
3 mins 41s
22 Mar 2017
The bluegrass band formed by Blink's James Studholme gets a promo packed with Victorian ne'er-do-wells for their latest single 'Tyburn Jig'. Director Fred Rowson turns the band into arrestingly sinister crims bound for Tyburn over misdemeanours such as organ harvesting, hysteria, and cat strangling. Even their names are inspired: with a moniker like Mildred Battyfang, you're doomed from the word go.

"I Adore You"
3 mins 37s
22 Mar 2017
The talented Stephen Graham steps up for Goldie's single 'I Adore You', playing a prisoner whose sole purpose in life is maintaining a bond with his young daughter. All-too-brief visits on day release leave him seeking other ways to connect with her, and so he records tapes she can listen to as he replays precious moments with her in his mind.

Doctor Who
"A Time for Heroes"
21 Mar 2017
Time is running out for Peter Capaldi's Doctor, ironically enough. This promo teases the actor's final series piloting the TARDIS while introducing his latest companions, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas). The trailer promises more sci-fi thrills from the long-running franchise... though it'll take more than a sonic screwdriver to fix the show's falling ratings.

21 Mar 2017
McDonald's annual Monopoly ad returns - this time with a scientific twist. While the pair of researchers here aren't exactly Indiana Jones, they react with appropriate excitement when they stumble upon a pristine artefact they've been searching for. As they rush to preserve the precious parchment, however, disaster strikes...

21 Mar 2017
Iggy Pop's 'The Passenger' became synonymous with car ads thanks to a 1998 Toyota Avensis commercial; now it's VW's turn to hit play. The German marque places great importance on gestures in this Golf ad... though motorists seeking compensation over the emissions scandal will be expecting something more on the lines of a generous gesture of goodwill.

21 Mar 2017
Specsavers's long-running campaign has rarely focused on children's glasses, so this latest entry is a welcome diversion. While a music aficionado (the wonderful Cavan Clerkin) tends to his collection, his son is busy washing the dishes. Alas, no matter how hard you scrub, some plates just won't come clean. In this case, there's a sound explanation....

"Electronic Devices"
22 Mar 2017
Emirates have released a topical extract from their recent ad starring Jennifer Aniston. The airlline is making the best of a recent ban on electronics being carried on flights from nine countries, cheekily pointing out they've got so much in-flight entertainment available that nothing extra is required to keep boredom at bay. No word as to whether their TVs have Candy Crush though...

John Lewis
20 Mar 2017
John Lewis have created their own in-house denim and lifestyle brand, And/Or - and here's the ad that launches it. 'Denim Born of LA' seems to be aimed at 20-somethings who see themselves as sexy, sassy and independent but who may not have considered John Lewis their first port of call for fashion.

Rail Delivery Group
20 Mar 2017
We're not particularly keen on the phrase "post-truth era" at DAVID, suggesting - as it does - that lying in public is a new idea but it's tempting to use it to describe this extraordinary piece of propaganda on behalf of Britain's train network. The ad itself is well made but you cannot overlook its complete failure to acknowledge the problems generated by a creaking infrastructure and the dysfunctional relationship between train companies and trade unions.

"Brace Yourself"
22 Mar 2017
This atmospheric trailer from BBC Creative gives us glimpses of explosive scenes to come in Albert Square. A secret affair between a teacher and student is revealed by a slow-motion kiss in the rain, but the shocked reactions from other characters suggest there won't be anything romantic about the fall-out. Martin even stops eating his fish and chips at the sight - brace yourself indeed.

"The Journey"
22 Mar 2017
Willie Nelson's 'On the Road Again' scores this charming ad promoting the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. A rugby ball crosses all manner of terrain in order to reach the players' tunnel before kick-off. It's a neat way of reflecting the tournament's international reach, and Outsider's Jim Gilchrist ensures a bouncy treatment. Lovely ball work, too.

"Cowboys or Indians"
4 mins 04s
20 Mar 2017
Unkle may be a constantly changing act, but they know when consistency pays off. 'Cowboys or Indians' is their latest collaboration with directors Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton-Jones, and the pair deliver a typically trippy promo. Murky shades and hues ooze across the screen as bodies shift in and out of focus.

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