David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

HSBC
"The Journey"
60s
22 March 2017
UK Banks

Willie Nelson's 'On the Road Again' scores this charming ad promoting the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. A rugby ball crosses all manner of terrain in order to reach the players' tunnel before kick-off. It's a neat way of reflecting the tournament's international reach, and Outsider's Jim Gilchrist ensures a bouncy treatment. Lovely ball work, too.

Co-op Supermarkets
"Mother's Day"

Gary said:

Beautifully done - looks and feels totally believable without being too sentimental.


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HSBC
"The Journey"
60s
22 Mar 2017
Willie Nelson's 'On the Road Again' scores this charming ad promoting the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. A rugby ball crosses all manner of terrain in order to reach the players' tunnel before kick-off. It's a neat way of reflecting the tournament's international reach, and Outsider's Jim Gilchrist ensures a bouncy treatment. Lovely ball work, too.

TSB
"Plusness"
30s
8 Mar 2017
More perks seem to accompany TSB's "famous Plus Account" with each instalment. Now the advertised bank wants to reward frequent spenders by contributing £5 cashback every month, an extra fiver for direct debits, and even 3% interest on certain balances. It's a lot for Kelly Macdonald's VO to communicate, but this campaign's illustrative visuals help boil it down.

Halifax
"Top Cat Bloopers"
40s
3 Mar 2017
Here’s a selection of ‘outtakes’ from Halifax’s Top Cat ad which gives us a glimpse into how animated the feline gang get when things go off-script. Of course, Top Cat remains the consummate professional while his fellow cast members fluff their lines. These bloopers accompany the main ad in cinemas, which should give audiences a chuckle before the main feature.

ASN Bank
"Creature of Habit"
35s
21 Feb 2017
This animated ad for Dutch bank ASN features a cute pooch playing the 'creature of habit' who's been doing business with the same bank (or in this case, money badger) for years without noticing the shady practices threatening the environment. Luckily, ASN Bank are environmentally sustainable and easy enough to switch to that even a puppy can do it.

HSBC
"Date"
72s
16 Feb 2017
This ad for HSBC's Fast Balance service is sweet without being too sugary as we watch an elderly gent prove you're never too old for first date jitters. While the big band soundtrack and the sepia-tinged palette underline his age he's evidently not stuck in the past; at ease with texting and using HSBC's mobile banking app. Classy stuff.

Barclays
"Interview Skills"
30s
22 Jan 2017
Plenty of us have wished we could wind back the clock on a job interview. Well, Barclays do just that in this well-shot ad. The bank continues to support young jobseekers with practical advice, such as how to nail the final interview. This lad’s reverse walk is neatly done and it helps give the message some dynamism.

NatWest
"Nuts and Bolts"
20s
15 Jan 2017
NatWest reveal: “We’ve been thinking about nuts and bolts.” Don’t worry, they’re going somewhere with this. The bank compares itself to all those nails and screws that keep things secure, and we’re told their business support team can help others build for the future. Part of the institution's ongoing campaign about its raison d'être.

Santander
"Transactions"
60s
13 Jan 2017
This ad for Santander shows a montage of funny clips pulled from the internet, while a VO explains ways in which the bank is here to help its customers prosper. These kind of content-mined ads can feel like a cop-out, but the inclusion of clips that feature the brand's spokespeople is a subtle way to link this to the rest of their campaign.

HSBC
"Jade"
60s
11 Jan 2017
HSBC Premier launch their Jade membership scheme with this attractive-looking commercial. After delivering a mysterious box (the best kind of box), a young boy finds all doors open to him as he explores the high life. We're left unsure about what being a Jade member entails, but, then again, this is likely aimed at a very select portion of the bank's clientele.

Halifax
"Scooby Doo"
60s
9 Jan 2017
Halifax continue raiding the Hanna-Barbera vault by bringing Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Incorporated gang to life. While evading a pesky mummy, Scoob and Shaggy learn about the rewards available to current account customers. We can only assume the unmasked 'mummy' at the end is a dastardly employee of a rival high street bank.

HSBC
"Voice Password"
60s
4 Jan 2017
Everyone wants their voice to count; now HSBC are giving customers the chance to use their dulcet tones as a password. Even woodland dens like this one have changed with the times. It's a familiar conceit: take a product or concept and make it look like child's play - an especially popular approach in the banking sector.

Santander
"Santa&deer"
30s
6 Dec 2016
Santander becomes 'Santa&deer' for this amusing Christmas ad. A panto-grade reindeer gambols soulfully across sweeping landscapes before its , er, drivers - Jenson Button and Jessica Ennis-Hill - suffer a wardrobe malfunction. While they get back on their hooves, the bank encourages customers to donate unwanted toys in exchange for chocolate coins.

DNB
"Walls"
60s
28 Nov 2016
This magnificent ad from director Bart Timmer introduces us to John - a 52 year old office worker suddenly gripped by a sense of carpe diem. Urged by an inner monologue, he feels literally unstoppable and not even walls can contain his bid for freedom. Or so it seems. It's an utterly brilliant way of bringing to life an apparently dull detail about work-based pensions.

Barclays
"Rewards"
40s
25 Nov 2016
Barclays spell out what customers can gain from their rewards scheme. From free coffee to the chance to be snapped with the ATP World Tour Finals trophy, the bank aim to give something back to loyal clients. The electric blue aesthetic provides an eye-catching way of delivering an otherwise straightforward message.

Barclays
"ATP"
45s
25 Nov 2016
A tennis-playing pair are surprised by some professional help in this ad for Barclays and the ATP World Tour. Ball kids and line judges show up to take part, and the umpire being wheeled on in his chair is a neat touch. It's all to let us know that this year one lucky fan can win the chance to present the winner's trophy at the ATP final. So... anyone for tennis?

NatWest
"Jodie's Story"
1 min 48s
7 Nov 2016
Jodie and her husband foster three children, which, while they're all very happy together, nonetheless makes it a tight squeeze in their little house. This spot gives us Jodie's story in her own words as to why NatWest were so helpful when the family wanted to get a mortgage offer... despite the bank turning them down.

NatWest
"Pennies"
30s
28 Oct 2016
NatWest have pennies on the brain in their latest commercial. While we scrambled for any piece of silver and bronze we could get our mitts on, future youngsters may live in a cashless society. No luck for wishing wells, then. Regardless, the advertised bank believe they can pass on valuable financial information from an early age with their MoneySense initiative.

Santander
"Santander Cycles"
82s
26 Oct 2016
Santander Cycles - formerly known as Boris Bikes - are getting safer as the clocks roll back according to this Halloween themed ad from Sidhu & Simon. The new safety laser attached to the bikes projects an image to let drivers know they're approaching, as demonstrated by Jessica Ennis as she joins some kids trick or treating... and a surprise guest answers the door.

Royal Bank Of Scotland
"Notes"
60s
6 Oct 2016
"I think you'll find, pal, that's legal tender!" Michael McIntyre's comic summary of paying with Scottish banknotes still resonates. The Royal Bank of Scotland thinks there's a better way, of course. This 60" film presents an idyllic spin on cash changing hands by following a ten-pound note on its journey from a Scottish pier to a London taxi.

NatWest
"We Are..."
60s
29 Sep 2016
The stark monochrome imagery combine with an insistent voiceover to command the attention and this certainly creates a sense of gravitas for the bank. With many of the conditions which caused the 2008 crash still unresolved, the possibility of another crisis is never far away. So it's probably not a bad time to make reassuring noises about your ability to offer financial shelter, if the worst should happen. Even if it isn't quite true.

Bank Of Scotland
"Tablecloth"
10s
29 Sep 2016
Another confusing one from the Bank of Scotland as James Cosmo remains stuck in the snowy wilderness with his increasingly mad script and dramatic delivery. While his tablecloth skills are impressive, we hope someone sends mountain rescue after him soon. He's starting to look a little frostbitten out there.

TSB
"Sweets"
30s
25 Sep 2016
TSB looks to sweeten the deal when it comes to home insurance with this animated ad. A boy asks for his favourite sweetie, but the grumpy shopkeeper lumps it in with a bag full of unwanted treats. Luckily, there's another sweet shop that provides exactly what the lad wants without any yucky surprises - and the advertised bank claims they treat home insurance the same way.

Santander
"Android Pay"
30s
22 Sep 2016
Santander lets us know that they now support Android Pay with this ad starring a little girl full of youthful brio. While mum and dad do their best to keep up with their pocket-sized dynamo, at least they can make payments on the move with the advertised app. As mobile banking continues to grow, this ad shows the bank is looking to get Android customers on-side as soon as possible.

Ulster Bank
"Movers"
30s
12 Sep 2016
A comparison is made between finding the perfect person to marry and finding the perfect mortgage in this ad for Ulster Bank. It's not really a very romantic idea when you stop and think about it but it allows some cute wedding scenes to complement the message about offering the same rates to new and existing customers.

Bank Of Ireland
"Ham Sandwich"
40s
6 Sep 2016
According to this fun ad for the Bank of Ireland, saving for a deposit on a house needn't require a spartan approach like Tom here. Settling for homemade ham sandwiches with a cheeky dollop of mayonnaise leaves the poor chap in the doldrums at lunchtime, but when one of his sarnies delivers Journey's familiar message of encouragement, he finds respite through the advertised bank's savings account.

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