David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Cancer Research
"Unity"
30s
29 January 2017
UK Charities

Cancer Research aim to re-ignite the wristband craze of the early 2000s with this fundraiser ad. We're shown some extraordinary acts of unity for sick kids - a young fan being cheered by a whole football stadium, a fleet of motorcycles riding past a teen's house - and then told we can purchase a 'unity band' to do our own bit to help out. They're a lot more stylish than the old rubber ones too.

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"Chris Eubank, Jr."

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Cancer Research
"Unity"
30s
29 Jan 2017
Cancer Research aim to re-ignite the wristband craze of the early 2000s with this fundraiser ad. We're shown some extraordinary acts of unity for sick kids - a young fan being cheered by a whole football stadium, a fleet of motorcycles riding past a teen's house - and then told we can purchase a 'unity band' to do our own bit to help out. They're a lot more stylish than the old rubber ones too.

Cancer Research
"Live Colonoscopy"
90s
19 Jan 2017
Some Channel 4 viewers will have been caught off-guard while watching ‘A New Life in the Sun’ on Wednesday afternoon. After all, it’s not every day you see a live colonoscopy take place. Eager to remind audiences how the charity is tackling the disease in real-time, we’re shown how a potentially cancerous bowel polyp is removed.

Cancer Research
"Hair"
30s
14 Jan 2017
Cancer Research’s nationwide campaign visits Leicester Royal Infirmary as these two women greet the side effects of chemotherapy with good humour. The campaign moves into uncharted territory on Wednesday 18th January with an ad featuring a live colonoscopy. Let's hope the viewing public's exposure to shows like 'Embarrassing Bodies' means they'll simply be intrigued rather than squeamish.

Cancer Research
"Sue"
30s
14 Jan 2017
This ad for Cancer Research reminds us that we can do good posthumously by adding the charity into our will. Sue poignantly relates the appreciation for life and hope for the future that surviving cancer has given her, while onscreen statistics inform us that gifts in wills fund over a third of the essential research into treating and curing the disease.

Cancer Research
"Different Types"
30s
5 Jan 2017
Cancer Research interview a scientist at the front-line in this sombre but determined ad. Research has revealed there are over 200 different types of cancer, and they all behave differently - a terrifying piece of information which is tempered by the 'we're working on it' vibe of the ad. The emphasis on science and practical approaches to treatment is reassuring in the face of such a huge problem.

Cancer Research
"Newcastle"
30s
30 Dec 2016
This excellent instalment in this moving campaign drops in on a consultation in Newcastle at which a doctor confidently tells his patient that they've caught her cancer early enough for a very optimistic prognosis. This series successfully captures the mood of Channel 4's '24 Hours in A&E' by providing beautifully-observed nuggets of authenticity.

Cancer Research
"Adyan"
30s
15 Dec 2016
Cancer Research present another poignant look at life on the cancer ward. A doctor enjoys a burst of ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes’ with young Adyan. Doc playfully tweaks one of the lyrics, but nothing gets past Adyan. These intimate films focus on the personalities of those involved and it helps the charity’s message hit home even harder.

Cancer Research
"Priceless"
30s
13 Sep 2016
The lo-fi approach pays dividends in this latest Cancer Research film encouraging supporters to leave a contribution in their will. Jayshree relates how her son's survival means more than any sum of money imaginable, and the simple set-up allows the raw emotion to come across in a way which will resonate with anyone who's encountered cancer in their lives.

Cancer Research
"Write An End"
60s
6 Sep 2016
The no-frills nature of this spot for Cancer Research is what gives it its resonance. The mothers of a teenage daughter and a girl about to start secondary school respectively recount the dark days when it looked like their child would succumb to the disease. "You don't think... that you should ever have to start planning your own child's funeral," one says haltingly, blinking back tears.

Cancer Research
"Magic Medicine"
30s
3 Jul 2016
A mother shows her young children how the 'magic medicine' gets inside her in this touching glimpse into a family's world that has been changed by cancer. The stoical silence of the children's father speaks volumes as he tries to maintain a bright expression, and the little girl's sudden clinginess proves that however the situation is downplayed, an undercurrent of anxiety is always present.

Cancer Research
"Megan's Mask"
30s
28 Jun 2016
These brief glimpses into the experience of cancer sufferers undergoing treatment are immensely powerful. Here, a young woman is fitted with a customised mask before therapy. We may not know exactly what is going on, but that's immaterial: the key thing we take from the spot is the down-to-earth manner of the lovely nurses who keep their patients feeling safe when they stand on the edge and stare into the abyss.

Cancer Research
"Nicola's First Chemotherapy"
30s
13 May 2016
In this latest fly-on-the-wall spot for Cancer Research, we see a nurse talking to a woman who is receiving chemo for the first time. The nurse is a reassuring blend of empathy and practicality, which helps keep the atmosphere as normal as could be hoped for given the situation. We feel a sense of vicarious gratitude on Nicola's behalf as this compassion allows her to respond calmly and evenly, and is - in turn - able to stay strong for her husband.

Cancer Research
"Sam & Jo"
30s
9 May 2016
Another ad in the very moving campaign for Cancer Research which simply observes the daily lives of those affected by cancer. In this spot, a mother weeps silently as she sits beside the hospital bed her young son lies in, asleep or unconscious. The very lack of drama is what makes these spots so powerfully affecting.

Cancer Research
"Olson & Cherrece"
30s
6 May 2016
The understated tone of these Cancer Research ads allows moments of levity to shine through without diluting the gravity of the situation. Olson explains to Cherrece how chemotherapy has altered his appetite, yet when the conversation turns to chocolate and Dolly Mixtures, he reveals he still has a sweet tooth to satisfy. Another poignant reminder of how those fighting cancer also fight to keep their little joys a part of themselves.

Cancer Research
"Stand By Me"
60s
24 Apr 2016
The long dark night is illuminated by those participating in Cancer Research UK's annual 'Shine Night Walk', while the charity's message of unity and resolve is conveyed with a stoic rendition of 'Stand By Me'. Director Charlie Thorne underlines his sensitive grasp of the subject by pinpointing moments of joy, courage, and personal reflection amidst the ad's luminous aesthetic.

Cancer Research
"Pretty Muddy"
30s
16 Mar 2016
The battle to beat cancer just got down and dirty. That's right: this spot for Cancer Research is urging us to raise funds by wrestling with mud in its latest contribution to the Race for Life campaign. In fact, signing up to Pretty Muddy looks like pretty good fun if this is anything to go by - after all, just because there's a deadly serious purpose to it doesn't mean it shouldn't be a riot to take part in.

Cancer Research
"Team Meeting"
30s
28 Feb 2016
An R&D team for Cancer Research are discussing the future of studying tumours in 3D - "It's like saying we're going to put a man on Mars", explains team leader Professor Hannon. Interspersed with this is a clip of someone about to have an MRI scan, and the power of this spot is in being shown both sides of the equation simultaneously: the doctors' pursuit of ever-better treatment; the sufferer's experience of the treatment currently on offer.

Cancer Research
"Angie's Grapefruit"
30s
16 Feb 2016
It never ceases to surprise us how the way information is presented can make a profound difference to those on the receiving end. Here, the depressing fact that cancer treatment can blast your sense of taste gets the sting taken out of it thanks to the way Angie considers her own experience. Currently, only grapefruit "does it" for her - but somehow, her relaxed and casual ponderings feel reassuringly mundane so that others in her position can draw comfort from this.

Cancer Research
"Making A Decision"
1 min 37s
15 Feb 2016
This thoughtful piece for Cancer Research has hidden cameras capturing the reactions of families as they're told about the NHS's successful programme for quitting smoking. Of the three family members present each time, two smoke - but the doctor explains that the NHS can only afford to treat one of them. In a Sophie's Choice-style decision, the non-smoker is asked to choose which relative to save.

Cancer Research
"World Cancer Day"
30s
3 Feb 2016
The word cancer is gradually filled with the soundwaves of those describing their own experiences with the disease. It soon turns into a cacophony of voices each asserting that they can't do anything to help the fight against cancer. By buying a wristband to mark World Cancer Day, individuals can contribute help make the difference they previously thought beyond them.

Cancer Research
"Catherine's Good News"
30s
27 Jan 2016
This fly-on-the-wall approach taken by Cancer Research's current campaign is - as we've said before - quietly powerful. Happily, the woman getting her results learns that treatment has completely cleared her cancer, and voices her thankfulness at having gone along for a smear at the right moment. It's the mundane nature of these conversations - taking place all the time as the rest of us go about our business - that brings home the fact that cancer sneaks into our lives without fanfare and we need to watch out for it.

Cancer Research
"Lecture"
30s
25 Jan 2016
Sarah Thorpe, a softly-spoken lecturer, explains that the trillions of cells that make up our bodies comprise two hundred different cell types. For each type, there is a unique type of cancer that can occur. That's news to us. And while we're digesting this alongside the people in the lecture hall, we're given glimpses of people undergoing treatment for their own cancer diagnoses. Quietly powerful.

Cancer Research
"Alfie"
30s
28 Dec 2015
Another in the campaign showing the mundanity of cancer treatment to flag up the fact that research funding is constantly required. Here, a tot is being bathed by his mum in the stark environs of a hospital while he receives treatment via a nasal drip. Her repetitive singing of 'Row The Boat' adds an extra layer of poignancy, like a mantra against the awfulness of what her family is coping with.

Cancer Research
"Right Now"
60s
24 Dec 2015
This ad for Cancer Research concentrates on the typical interactions sufferers might have with medical staff when going for treatment. Ranging from a small boy to an old man, we gain snippets of insight into their worlds as they hear about results, exchange comments on photos and head off for chemo. It's the lack of drama which creates the impact here; poignantly reminding us that the fight is often mundane because it never ceases.

Cancer Research
"Dryathlon 2016"
30s
14 Dec 2015
This sweet ad heralds the return of Cancer Research's Dryathlon® fundraising campaign. Simple, colourful animation depicts the things you can do to entertain yourself while remaining stone cold sober throughout January, while a pleasant ditty puts it all in lyrics. Dryathlon® must be a successful campaign for it to be repeated like this, and no doubt heavily-pounded livers up and down the land will welcome a bit of respite for four weeks too.

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