David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Cancer Research
"Live Colonoscopy"
19 January 2017
UK Charities

Some Channel 4 viewers will have been caught off-guard while watching ĎA New Life in the Suní on Wednesday afternoon. After all, itís not every day you see a live colonoscopy take place.

Eager to remind audiences how the charity is tackling the disease in real-time, weíre shown how a potentially cancerous bowel polyp is removed. Itís graphic footage, and we canít help but feel extra-aware of our body's internal workings while watching it.

There is an element of shock value, of course. But this campaign has always been about showing the everyday realities of cancer. This measured tone remains intact here; the surgeonís contribution is both reassuring and insightful, and the procedure is described as being pain-free.

Cancer Research hopes this will not only ease anxiety about such treatments, but crucially allow more advanced techniques to be developed. Perhaps reality television can do some good.

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

"Transforming Treatment"
16 Jan 2017
MQ are the first major UK charity focused on funding research into mental health - and this is their first major ad, launched in a special presentation on Channel 4. We're shown a series of historical clips depicting things which were said to be impossible - the reunification of Germany, humans in space, amputees able to run - before the naysayers' screens are shattered.

Cancer Research
14 Jan 2017
Cancer Researchís 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
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.

"Sylvie Guillem"
12 Jan 2017
Former ballerina Sylvie Guillem became a vegan a few years ago, and then got involved with PETA. She is still a staunch member, and in this spot tells people her reasons for making this her dietary style of choice. While she knows she won't change the world, she hopes that she can help create a groundswell of like-minded people inspired by her example.

"Idris: Valentine's Date"
1 min 59s
12 Jan 2017
Notoriously suave actor Idris Elba - apparently having escaped the strange white dystopia Sky Q trapped him in - uses his powers for good and sends Facebook into a frenzy with this viral charity ad. The star is auctioning off a Valentine's Day date for W.E. Can Lead - an African charity which focuses on the empowerment and education of girls.

"Kitty Kommercial"
2 mins 58s
11 Jan 2017
This ad for the FurKids no-kill animal shelter has gone viral after being posted anonymously on Reddit. While it calls to mind other spoof shelter ads (such as the memorable Calgary Humane Society film that went viral in 2015 for selling cats like used cars... is this becoming a sub-genre?), this feels more authentic because of the low (no) budget and the fact it can't decide what kind of commercial it wants to spoof... so it does them all.

Irish Cancer Society
"I Want to Get Cancer"
9 Jan 2017
"I want to get cancer because my mum had it," says one of the people in this spot for the Irish Cancer Society. She's not alone - everyone else in the ad wants to get it too. But not in the way it initially sounds... because as we quickly suspect, it's revealed they want to get it back for the pain it's caused in their lives. Controversial, yes, but the concept certainly gets your attention... and that's the name of the game.

Refugio Zoobrevivientes
9 Jan 2017
This innovative piece of work from Argentina is designed to make people think twice about the effects of fireworks on our canine friends. What appears like a frothy piece of PR fun as folk in the street are invited to 'feel like a dog' by putting on a costume head turns out to give them an unpleasantly startling experience.

Cancer Research
"Different Types"
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
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.

Active Lives Active Minds
"Silent Night"
15 Dec 2016
This sombre piece for Active Lives Active Minds reinforces how reaching out can change lives. As ĎSilent Nightí plays in the background, we see Christmas revellers enjoying themselves with others. Itís a stark contrast to an elderly woman with only a crossword for company. The organization believes more can be done to give isolated individuals a voice and a purpose.

Cancer Research
15 Dec 2016
Cancer Research present another poignant look at life on the cancer ward. A doctor enjoys a burst of ĎHead, Shoulders, Knees, and Toesí 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 charityís message hit home even harder.

"Christmas Crisis"
14 Dec 2016
Rather than something guilt-inducing and dramatic, Crisis has gone for an upbeat, brightly coloured ad which we'd never expect to be about homelessness. It's a shrewd move. We're shown a series of typical festive annoyances before being brought back to earth and reminded that these irritations aren't crises - homelessness is.

Age UK
7 Dec 2016
In one of two touching spots for Age UK, James Bolam takes on the persona of Roy - a real-life widower whose words Bolam gives voice to. Initially our cynicism radar kicks in: does Age UK think we won't notice this is a well-known actor rather than an anonymous pensioner? But we soon realise that he's revealing what Rob cannot say to the cameras himself.

"David Beckham"
5 Dec 2016
David Beckham's tattoos tell a disturbing story in this well-animated UNICEF film. His body becomes a collage of child abuse, neglect, and suffering, as he notes that such experiences can leave victims with both physical and mental scars. Beckham's family man image makes him an effective choice for this campaign, but his voice lacks the necessary gravitas.

"Could You Stomach It?"
1 min 33s
4 Dec 2016
For all their good intentions, PETA's TV ads and publicity stunts often overshadow the message they're trying to communicate. A focus group is asked to sample a new brand of milk. As they offer their thoughts on it - "sweet", "like a milkshake", "whiter than white" - the researcher drops a bombshell and tells them it's dog's milk. Enjoy the reactions.

Highways England
2 Dec 2016
Highways England is urging drivers to slow down in rainy conditions after recent statistics revealed that almost 3,000 people were killed or seriously injured in wet weather accidents last year. This beautifully-shot ad makes its point gracefully as rain begins to pour inside a house, soaking the remains of a busy morning that's been mysteriously abandoned.

"Little Voices"
29 Nov 2016
Thanks to a clever device, this film promoting a NABS initiative which aims to persuade us to make time for our children never descends into schmaltz. Instead of seeing the youngsters whose plaintive voices chide their parents for not being around more, their drawings do the talking for them. A busy bee on an office wall, a forlorn horse on a fridge door... all are poignant signifiers of absence and love.

"It Begins With A Blanket"
1 min 35s
28 Nov 2016
This UNICEF film arrives just as many in the West will be counting their spoils from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amidst a whirlwind of discount tellies and clothes, itís easy to forget how drastically wants and needs differ across the globe. A girl wanders around a makeshift refugee camp picking up odds and ends - after all, her life depends on it.

21 Nov 2016
Who will take the coveted Christmas number one spot this year? On the animated critter chart, that is. So far, weíve had boxers, foxes, robins, (teddy) bears, and even carrots. Now the WWF up the ante with a tiger. Unfortunately, this big cat isnít in the best of healthÖ or in its rightful home. Instead, itís lying wounded in a semi-detached house. Rather than dial animal control, this family decides to nurse the creature back to health.

Alzheimer's Research UK
"Santa Forgot"
2 mins
17 Nov 2016
If Santa forgot Christmas, would we forget him? That's the question asked in this poignant ad from Aardman for Alzheimer's Research UK. Stephen Fry provides a warm voiceover to accompany the angular animation which tells the story of a little girl called Freya who has grown up in a world where Santa no longer visits. Suffering from dementia, he began to muddle names and presents, became more emotional and sad, and eventually forgot about Christmas altogether.

Feminist Collective Against Rape
1 min 54s
11 Nov 2016
This quietly compelling film from Franceís Feminist Collective Against Rape depicts a woman whose distress is equalled only by her confusion. We see her sitting alone at home, tentatively typing, and slowly her story unfolds as she recounts events on an online forum. But is this the best way for her to reach out? How can she be sure she'll get the help she needs?

7 Nov 2016
This ad for Childline by Agile Films demonstrates just how effective and attention-grabbing celebrity endorsement can be. The simple film has no visual distractions, keeping the focus squarely on their spokesperson as Cheryl Cole - new face of the charity - has her words replaced with the voices of some of the children Childline helps.

5 mins 17s
2 Nov 2016
Earlier this year we brought you the trailer for Prakash Nathan's 'Jordan' - a sombre insight into youth homelessness on behalf of charity Depaul. Now the full film tells Jordan Brooks's story against a black-and-white landscape. Brooks describes the circumstances that led to his time on the streets. Friends and young love aren't enough to heal a broken home life, and it drives him into some of North-West London's darkest corners.

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