David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Plan International
"Brave"
60s
15 February 2017
UK Charities

Children's charity Plan International insist everyone should be able to change their own script. There doesn’t seem to be a way out of domestic drudgery for this teenage girl. However, she ‘improvises’ by leaving for school. The director may not be happy, but the charity hopes more young women can rewrite their life stories.

Finish
"Combinations"

Matt said:

Hard to believe they were here a few years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItCcR6BD0uo


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Plan International
"Brave"
60s
15 Feb 2017
Children's charity Plan International insist everyone should be able to change their own script. There doesn’t seem to be a way out of domestic drudgery for this teenage girl. However, she ‘improvises’ by leaving for school. The director may not be happy, but the charity hopes more young women can rewrite their life stories.

GambleAware
"Online"
60s
9 Feb 2017
Online gambling can have hidden dangers beyond losing a few quid on the outcome of a football match, and this unsettling ad for GambleAware brings that home hard. The key to this film is a masterful vocal performance, as a man sitting on a young woman's desk speaks her inner thoughts aloud while she tries not to give in to the urge to gamble.

UNICEF
"Harry and Ahmed"
2 mins 05s
8 Feb 2017
This thoughtful UNICEF film reminds us that time doesn’t necessarily heal everything. Harry and Ahmed are separated by decades, yet united by hardship. Side by side, the two describe their respective ordeals. Faces, countries, and technologies may change, but the language of suffering remains the same. When Harry and Ahmed’s stories overlap, the humbling effect is compounded.

Omaze
"Dating Advice"
4 mins
3 Feb 2017
Anyone looking to avoid a Valentine’s Day slap in the face would be wise to take notes here. Having previously auctioned a date for charity W.E. Can Lead, Idris Elba asks some prodigious dating experts for advice. Elba typically delivers, and he’s ably assisted by his young co-stars here. Still, we'd recommend he stay off the dancefloor on date night.

British Heart Foundation
"Wedding"
30s
1 Feb 2017
This spot for the British Heart Foundation is designed to have as much emotional heft as possible, with a young woman dying suddenly on her sister's wedding day. She is both the victim of the ad and its presenter; gazing on as events unfold around her own demise. It's an interesting way to communicate the disorientation we feel when something unspeakable happens out of the blue.

Great Ormond Street Hospital
"Welcome to Ordinary World"
60s
30 Jan 2017
This ad for Great Ormond Street hospital is crafted with skill, serving both as a deft parody and a poignant reminder of the struggle children with serious illnesses face in their day-to-day lives. We see a parody of a theme park ad for 'Ordinary World', complete with a hyperbolic script which turns a trip to the supermarket into a magical thrill ride... but for kids stuck in hospital, it really is the adventure they want.

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.

Age UK
"Leave a Legacy"
60s
25 Jan 2017
Age UK encourage us to enrich the lives of those we leave behind… even if we’ve never met them before. We follow two older people wandering the streets as the rest of the world passes them by. Viewers will recognise individuals like these two, yet acting on our concerns is another matter. The charity believes a posthumous donation will help ensure a more optimistic outlook.

Read To Me
"The Princess and the Pea"
2 mins
24 Jan 2017
Pamela Anderson joins the ranks of celebrities reading fairy tales for Russian charity Read To Me with a sweet retelling of 'The Princess and The Pea.' The charity is dedicated to improving the lives of orphans, and bedtime stories read by some of the most famous people in the world are an effective way to drum up attention and support for their work.

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.

MQ
"Transforming Treatment"
30s
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
"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.

PETA
"Sylvie Guillem"
90s
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.

Omaze
"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.

FurKids
"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"
40s
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
"Fireworks"
60s
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"
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.

Active Lives Active Minds
"Silent Night"
60s
15 Dec 2016
This sombre piece for Active Lives Active Minds reinforces how reaching out can change lives. As ‘Silent Night’ plays in the background, we see Christmas revellers enjoying themselves with others. It’s 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
"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.

Crisis
"Christmas Crisis"
70s
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
"Roy"
60s
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.

UNICEF
"David Beckham"
60s
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.

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