David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Gillette
"Honest Player"
60s
1 February 2017
UK Shaving Equipment (Male)

Jim Telferís speech during the 1997 Lions tour in South Africa propels this stirring Gillette ad. Itís the kind of voice you darenít talk back to, only absorb whatís being said. He outlines what it means to be a rugby player in no uncertain terms - standards for George Northís generation to live up to.

Thereís familiar imagery throughout: North pushing himself in the gym; a moment to reflect in the changing room; and going full pelt on the training pitch. Still, directors Michel & Nico - former rugby players themselves - add steel to each shot. Meanwhile, footage from past Lions tours will please fans as it acknowledges the teamís ever-changing faces and fortunes.

North is a noteworthy lead for the brandís message. The Wales internationalís recent history with concussion has raised questions about how rugby manages head injuries. These players may be as tough as they come, but theyíre still human and such frailties make them compelling figures.

The brand clearly wishes to align itself with the sportís noble qualities. A Gillette razor is content to be a supporting player as rugby union takes centre stage - an ideal appetiser for this yearís Six Nations and Lions action.

Mini
"Countryman"

Ed said:

Nicely shot. Bad creative.


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Gillette
"Honest Player"
60s
1 Feb 2017
Jim Telferís speech during the 1997 Lions tour in South Africa propels this stirring Gillette ad. Itís the kind of voice you darenít talk back to, only absorb whatís being said. He outlines what it means to be a rugby player in no uncertain terms - standards for George Northís generation to live up to. An ideal appetiser for this yearís Six Nations and Lions action.

Harry's Shave Club
"Jeff and Andy"
2 mins 40s
9 Jan 2017
This entertaining film for Harryís Shave Club tells the story of one companyís battle with the big boys. When founders Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield decided a good shave neednít cost the world, these ďAmerican Internet CowboysĒ began building an e-shaving giant. Of course, entrepreneurs like Jeff and Andy are always going to encounter some obstacles.

Gillette
"Beating"
20s
6 Jul 2016
Baby-faced Neymar offers a perfect demonstration of the value of the advertised razor's gentleness even if you have to suspend your disbelief to imagine that he really has anything beyond peach fuzz to remove. David Morrissey makes up for the Brazilian's tempered masculinity with a typically gruff voiceover performance.

Gillette
"Barber Shop"
60s
11 Apr 2016
An engaging commercial for Gillette. That's five words we never thought we'd type. The multi-national brand with an apparent addiction for meaningless puffery has actually commissioned a diverting film which uses story-telling and humour to let us know about a new service.

Wilkinson Sword
"Basin Battle"
30s
21 Mar 2016
The CGI is quite good, but the ad itself is cringeworthy. Do grown men really need to see their razors as Aliens or Predators versus, er, Lube Strips? A massively OTT VO tells us that the "design like no other... protects from irritation" - and that's really all it has to say. Bluster aside, couldn't it at least get the prepositions right? Protects against, Hydro, protects against!

Harry's Shave Club
"Stout"
60s
17 Mar 2016
So, this is fun. Shaving equipment suppliers Harry's are suggesting St Patrick's Day is the right time to tackle the issue of stout wastage caused by the generously moustachioed menfolk of the 21st century. They - it emerges - are responsible for trapping copious amounts of the Irish beer in their facial hair and it's time to act. Why stop there though? Why not celebrate St Patrick's Day by forcibly shaving hipsters in the street? Come on, you know you want to.

Wilkinson Sword
"The Big Day"
30s
9 Feb 2016
So the groom turns up at his own wedding via a last-minute cab in which he's had a cheeky shave - oddly unhungover considering he doesn't remember letting his mates shave a smiley face into his hair. Oh well - better to walk down the aisle bald than stupid, eh? Of course, it's such a great razor there are no nicks in his scalp. What a razor! What a dude! Jeez.

Gillette
"Fusion Proshield"
20s
1 Feb 2016
No matter the word, you know Gillette will find a way of plonking "pro" in front of it. Their latest advance in whisker removal technology is the ProShield, and David Morrissey's reliable VO explains how the lubricated strips supposedly leave your face smooth enough to caress for as long as you desire... until the rest of the family start knocking impatiently on the bathroom door.

Gillette
"Bond Moments"
1 min 40s
7 Oct 2015
While James Bond readies himself for another bout of well-dressed espionage, Gillette encourage men to channel their inner 007 with this big-budget romp. The release of a Bond film typically gives agencies and production companies the chance to indulge their blockbuster fantasies. With that in mind, Smuggler's Adam Berg shows he has a firm feel for Bond with an enjoyable blend of action and suaveness.

Bic Razors
"The Hipstervention"
2 mins 50s
10 Sep 2015
Like yoga and veganism, hipsters are an easy target, yet as this mock intervention from Bic shows, the hate comes from a place of love. Seemingly, there are just too many lovely faces tragically obscured by beards. One such tale of woe comes from this mother who tries to keep it together as she describes how her son went from a sporty, hands-on lad to one lost in vintage clothes, typewriters, and DIY selfie sticks.

Life M6 Blades
"Mookie"
3 mins
27 Jul 2015
It's a testament to the strength of this Israeli ad that it doesn't feel anywhere near three minutes long... and as it's selling razors, that's nothing short of miraculous. Instead of the usual macho music, science-y animations of blades against stubble fuzz and virile men nodding at themselves in satisfaction, this shows real-life 'Mook' rediscovering a face even his own wife doesn't know.

Gillette
"Avengers"
30s
10 Apr 2015
The Gillette tie-in with the new Avengers film was, we suspect, supposed to suggest that the kind of technology featured in the film is equalled by the technology in the brand's razors. So it's subversively funny that the finished ad concludes it would in fact be the "the wrong amount" of technology to use because it would totally wreck our bathrooms.

Wilkinson Sword
"Swordplay Meets Foreplay"
1 min 48s
1 Apr 2015
Kudos to JWT (New York) for taking the Wilkinson Sword brand to cinematic levels. It certainly makes for an entertaining change from the usual guff about super hydrating, multi-blade, Wi-Fi enabled razors that generally blight ads for shaving equipment. Instead, we get something much sharper with a gentleman taking on a formidable female opponent.

Wilkinson Sword
"Hairless"
30s
5 Mar 2015
A young go-getter turns up for a job interview to find he's just one of a bunch of guys you can't really tell apart. How should he stand out from the rest of them? Staring at some paintings of the bald boss on the wall, he gets an idea... and grabs a packet of razors that are puzzlingly displayed on reception. Ha! he thinks. What hairless MD wants a hirsute subordinate to remind him of his follicular loss, when he can have a bald bumlicker instead?

Gillette
"When Guys Shave"
20s
20 Feb 2015
First we're subjected to a series of men's faces gurning for the camera while a gravelly VO tells us these are the faces guys pull when they shave. But it needn't be so! New Fusion Proglide "rebuilt with Flexball technology" means the razor can match the contours of your skin, and shows the thing in action on some dubious-looking rollers.

Wilkinson Sword
"More Splashes"
20s
10 Oct 2014
This cobbled-together set of sequences is almost disturbingly insane as an ad. Imagine the pitch: 'So you're playing pool with a girl down the pub and then she hits you in the face with a ball that turns into water so you can shave with the Hydro 5 Groomer, the only four in one razor that shaves, edges and trims'. Hopefully, you're pitching to people who are familiar with alchemy and can't count. Sheesh.

Gillette
"By A Hair"
60s
13 Jul 2014
Gillette are definitely improving their advertising output but there's still a way to go. This ad riffs on the idea that we can miss out on things by a hair and seems to suggest that we could interpret that as having some meaning when it comes to ridding our faces of those unsightly little hairs - something that can be true for men as well but not outside Shoreditch where the hipster fundamentalists have made beards mandatory.

Gillette
"100 Years of Hair"
50s
6 Jul 2014
Fashions through the decades of the 20th century flit across a single visage in this online offering for Gillette. A stop-frame style helps to represent the passage of time but since facial hair is the focus, it's a shame that it looks so obviously fake in places. The sound design is the best aspect with a rapid tour of the century's music culminating in a guitar solo version of the brand's familiar jingle.

Wilkinson Sword
"Hydro Silk"
30s
19 May 2014
The vague implication in this ad is that the Hydro Silk laydeez razor hydrates your skin for up to two hours, so you can go out on the lash without fear of leg dandruff - or at least until you're too pissed to care. It's such a spurious idea that it's insulting to think any woman would be taken in by it: are those of us prone to dry skin too dim to consider a dollop of moisturiser might be more effective?

Wilkinson Sword
"Ready Down There"
30s
13 May 2014
Euphemisms galore as a woman contemplates the embarrassment of having her bikini line exposed before she's had the chance to take care of business "down there". It's good to see that Wilkinson Sword have recognised that it's not a great idea to run American-made ads for products like this and English punters will always respond well to hearing a local voice.

Wilkinson Sword
"Louise Redknapp"
30s
13 May 2014
The product pops up in this ad like an uninvited guest at a wedding. There's Louise Redknapp extolling the guilty pleasures of a cup of tea when everyone's out of the house (which brand? we're thinking expectantly) - when suddenly, Wilkinson Sword elbows its way to the front and makes the spurious declaration that it's because of their razors she has more time to enjoy her cuppa. We suspect the lovely Louise doesn't have a clue what's going on and is thinking how great it is to be paid a fortune to sit around drinking hot beverages.

Gillette
"Steel Inside, Passion Outside"
20s
19 Mar 2014
We've given this an extra star because at least it's attempted to come up with an idea, but the premise is so daft it's hard to keep a straight face. That's because Gillette is cashing in on Lionel Messi by promoting a "limited edition football razor" so you can "show the world what you're made of", ie steel and passion. If you feel the need to rely on a razor to do this for you we suggest you might want to go away and have a quiet think about your life.

Gillette
"New Design Mach 3"
20s
28 Jan 2014
The "iconic" Mach 3 razor has been redesigned and will now leave you "up to 100% redness free" - as would a rusty saw if it only took off 99% of your skin. It also promises to reduce blade pressure and claims to have "the trust of millions of men"? Does this make it the fascist dictator of razors?

Gillette
"Federer's Serve"
20s
26 Jun 2013
Gillette waffles on about this being their best razor yet, while Roger Federer hits some balls and strokes his smooth chin enigmatically. That claim is "according to a leading European Testing Institute" which, given the German name in the super below, means they daren't try to pronounce it for fear of making the words seem even more meaningless than they already are.

Gillette
"Dads and Sons"
30s
8 Jun 2013
Any idea in this is buried under a landslide of client-speak. Nonsensically, the VO says: "I couldn't wait to start shaving as a boy" because he wants to be like "nice and smooth" like dad. No need to shave then, surely? Later he spouts something about some things never changing, "like Gillette and P&G value." Slightly creepy tosh.

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