David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Xerox
"Brother Dominic"
2 mins
8 January 2017
USA Computer Hardware

This short for Xerox is sumptuously cinematic in its sweep, with each detail and element lovingly considered. From the moment it opens on a remote monastery overlooking a rural idyll, it's obvious this is going to be something special... and it doesn't disappoint.

The action focuses around Brother Dominic, who is creating pages of an illuminated manuscript with laborious care. The plaintive score, the cool palette, the exquisite contrast between his ascetic cell and the rich decoration of the manuscript - all these make us wish it were writ large on the silver screen: you can almost smell the mustiness of the ancient, priceless tapestries on the walls and feel the dampness of the echoing chambers.

The punchline is oddly positioned - in the middle rather than the end - and, appropriately, has the feel of something ordained by a higher force! Nevertheless, it's a beautiful piece of direction and suggests it's time for James Rouse to think about another feature.

Army Recruitment
"Jungle"

Mark said:

The horrors of war


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Xerox
"Brother Dominic"
2 mins
8 Jan 2017
This short for Xerox is sumptuously cinematic in its sweep, with each detail and element lovingly considered. From the moment it opens on a remote monastery overlooking a rural idyll, it's obvious this is going to be something special... and it doesn't disappoint. The action focuses around Brother Dominic, who is creating pages of an illuminated manuscript with laborious care.

Apple
"Touch Bar"
30s
13 Dec 2016
Another evolutionary ad from Apple, this time following the keyboard from typewriter to touch bar. How much impact the new tech actually has is hotly debated, and we can't help but feel the inclusion of a cat on the keyboard is a shot in the foot highlighting a potential issue with the innovation. The vintage keyboards shot from above are a lovely visual, though.

Apple Mac Book
"Ideas"
60s
5 Dec 2016
Juan Cabral's spot for Apple's new MacBook Pro packs an incredible amount into sixty seconds. Galloping along to the William Tell Overture, it illustrates the notion that "ideas push the world forward" with a relentless series of images showing how technological inventions have propelled us on.

Apple
"Frankie's Holiday"
2 mins
22 Nov 2016
Apple's holiday ad is a weird but tender plea for acceptance at a divided time in history. 'Frankie' (Brad Garrett) makes the journey down from his isolated cabin to share in some holiday cheer. In the face of suspicion and fear, he screws colourful lights onto his neck bolts and manages to get the townspeople on side with a Christmas song.

HP
"Brothers"
2 mins 50s
22 Nov 2016
AMV BBDO have managed to capture the warmth and togetherness of the holiday season without succumbing to schmaltz in this touching ad for the HP Spectre x360. The bond between siblings is strained as one - who is deaf - cannot share in the other's passion for music. Seeing his brother struggle, the musician decides something must be done.

Epson Printers
"Lewis Gets Inked"
70s
19 Oct 2016
Epson must be chuffed with themselves, eh? After all, catching Lewis Hamilton in a good mood is an increasingly rare phenomenon. This fun ad sees the printer manufacturer take full advantage of their star man... by drowning him in printer ink. It's a well-realised spoof of both corporate communications and Hamilton's own advertising persona.

Asus
"The Alien and the Dinosaur"
2 mins 25s
6 Oct 2016
What would happen if you let the general public plan your commercial... and then made it? That's the question Asus ask with this engaging ad for their Zenphone 3 Series. They canvas opinion on what would make 'the best ad ever.' The result is a fun, weird trip through a mishmash of advertising tropes that ends up being pretty compelling. 'Buy it, don't be a douche' might be an effective tagline after all.

Asus
"Transformer"
60s
4 Oct 2016
Asus provides the showdown we've all been waiting for in this home office epic. No, it's not good versus evil or Batman versus Superman - it's space marines versus a string quartet. When this gentleman innocuously plugs in his Transformer book, he summons pulse rifle-toting soldiers and a far more graceful band of violinists. It's an odd match-up, but an eye-grabbing one.

Apple iPad
"Imagine"
30s
21 Aug 2016
A typically clean ad from Apple encourages us to get our thinking caps on about what a computer can do in the tablet age. Much is made of the device's manoeuvrability and its ability to accommodate various accessories such as a keyboard and a stylus (each sold separately, of course). Something to raise awareness rather than pulses.

Apple
"Human Family"
60s
8 Aug 2016
A recording of the late Maya Angelou reading her poem 'The Human Family' plays out over this global montage of snapshots taken on people's iPhones. They're beautiful images showing us how, in our diversity, we're actually more alike than we imagine... but the suggestion that the phone's camera can achieve this standard of quality is somewhat undermined by the super at the end saying "additional software and equipment used".

Dell
"Versatile"
30s
15 Jul 2016
Dell clearly attempts to aim this ad at students, who are no doubt honoured to be told that the versatility of their newest laptop is inspired by them. A lot of the language tries to connect with teenagers like the "super student" on the screen, however the use of phrases like "banging out the baddest beats in town" come across more 'embarrassing dad' than 'down with the kids'.

Dell
"In-Flight Entertainment"
30s
4 Jul 2016
This busy commercial for Dell raids the CGI toybox to promote the technology outfit's new XPS 13 laptop, bringing dinosaurs, Roman soldiers, and lofty guinea pigs into play. There's plenty on screen to give your eyeballs a workout, but - like something from the summer blockbuster production line - it's a bit too busy to let the brand's air travel-friendly message fully sink in.

Apple
"Nail Bar"
60s
7 Jun 2016
Ray Liotta and music impresario DJ Khaled comprise one of Apple's more surreal celebrity double acts in this ad for the fruit-based brand's music platform. As if the sight of Liotta being pampered whilst wearing a velour tracksuit wasn't perplexing enough, DJ Khaled's viral "you've played yourself" catchphrase (meaning to expose one's weaknesses) elicits a Joe Pesci-style reaction from his salon buddy. A bizarre melting pot of references...plus the Doobie Brothers.

Intel
"Cash Van"
30s
26 Apr 2016
We hope the telly's at a sensible volume when this Intel ad kicks off. Jim Parsons and a couple of security van staff give their screaming muscles a workout before settling down to address the issue at hand: despite supervising vast sums of money, this driver is unable to safeguard his own finances. Parsons recommends Intel's face recognition technology, but his penniless pal already knew that.

Intel
"The Chase"
30s
19 Apr 2016
The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons once again appears out of nowhere to extol the benefits of Intel's technology to unsuspecting members of the public. This time, he joins a woman in a not-so-fun run as a taxi pulls away with her antiquated laptop inside. Parsons doesn't even need to go into his usual spiel before the futility of the rescue mission dawns on both of them.

IBM
"Designed for Data"
60s
14 Apr 2016
Though we're never really sure who IBM's ads are aimed at, when they're as beautifully composed as this we don't mind listening in on their conversation with chief executive officers. A stunning visual technique by Park Pictures' Terri Timely elevates a dreary series of messages about the tech company's capability to an entirely different level.

IBM
"Obsolete Robots"
90s
29 Feb 2016
Having tolerated C-3PO for all this time, Carrie Fisher is the ideal candidate to help this selection of anxiety-ridden robots through the source of their pain: working with humans. Ranging from hulking droids of the "crush, kill, destroy" variety to Steve Buscemi-voiced contraptions, these therapy participants pour their hard drives out to Fisher about why helping the mortals of this world just doesn't compute.

IBM
"Ridley Scott"
30s
29 Feb 2016
With the sequel to Blade Runner slated for 2018, is IBM's Watson making a shameless bid for a starring role by flattering Ridley Scott? Sadly not - such levity is absent from this commercial involving an awkward conversation between the two on the power of images. What we wouldn't give to now see Harrison Ford try and summon the energy to converse with a tablet.

HP
"Star Wars Remix"
30s
21 Jan 2016
Having previously featured a DIY R2-D2 in their advertising, HP continues to promote creative interaction with the 'Star Wars' saga with this musical offering. Various interpretations of John Williams's revered score are made possible by the brand's musician-friendly technology, though we'll take the original over DJ Snake's work of noise pollution.

Apple
"Stevie Wonder"
60s
8 Dec 2015
Apple are never short of musical collaborations when it comes to their advertising and their Christmas ad is no exception. Stevie Wonder hosts a festive shindig full of song, cheer, and mirth... and a healthy smattering of Apple products dotted around the place. Unashamedly wholesome, but Wonder's duet with Andra Day makes it a more engaging ad than usual from the brand.

Intel
"Forest Run"
30s
7 Dec 2015
Intel had been developing a nice personality in their recent advertising starring Jim Parsons, so this ad is a disappointment. It's a lot of huffing and puffing just to inform us that the technology giant can help fitness enthusiasts like this woodland runner to monitor their heart rate - there isn't even an angry bear in pursuit to spice things up.

Apple iPad
"The Sky at Night"
30s
25 Nov 2015
As this latest commercial for the Apple iPad shows, the brand obviously don't feel the need to tweak their formula too much. Thus, another well-regarded music act (Alabama Shakes assume the mantle here) plays in the background as a 'purdy' trip through the galaxy unfolds on screen. The advertised product allows users to explore the universe while staying on terra firma... though the pencil comes separately.

HP
"DIY R2-D2"
60s
24 Nov 2015
A high school whizz-kid uses an HP computer to create his own remote controlled R2-D2. Once finished, he sends it on its merry way down the road on a mission, scaring mutts and headbutting the door at its destination a little enthusiastically. What is its purpose? Who has it been sent to see? The very sweet outcome cashes in on the current Star Wars movie hype and will no doubt produce a swathe of discarded bin lids up and down the country.

Intel
"DMV"
30s
17 Nov 2015
As well as Intel's campaign giving Jim Parsons plenty of scenarios to get to grips with, it's also proved successful at demonstrating the scope of their technology: this time, 3D scanning takes centre stage. Their leading man does have a worrying habit of riling authority figures though - lovely performance from the DMV clerk contending with Parsons's geeky enthusiasm.

Intel
"Time Travel"
60s
17 Nov 2015
Jim Parsons seems to have inherited the scientific nous of his TV alter-go as he travels through the ages of modern computing on behalf of Intel. Big hair, balloon pants, and dial-up each receive nice cameos as Parsons explains how Intel have innovated throughout the decades and will continue to do so. Word, indeed.

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