David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Virgin Media
"Non-Stop Entertainment"
90s
23 March 2017
UK Broadband Providers

Sometimes more is more, and Virgin Media prove it with this full-throttle commercial. A stampede of cinematic archetypes race against one another in a high-tech tunnel; Supermen, cowgirls, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are all along for the ride. We don’t fancy the Prohibition gangsters’ chances, though - they’ve got a right Muppet at the wheel.

Meanwhile, Virgin’s spirit animal, Usain Bolt, swaps his running shoes for a souped-up roadster. Not for the first time, he’s the man to beat.

Film buffs will enjoy the visual references laced throughout, including the clown mask worn by Heath Ledger’s Joker and a Mad Max-style deathmobile. It’s a genre mash-up with extra juice.

Rogue’s Sam Brown ensures everything brims with energy and a playful sensibility. And when the racing action threatens to overwhelm, the ad shifts gear with a fun domestic denouement.

For those who such demand speed and variety from their broadband package, Virgin comes across as the dynamic option.

moneysupermarket.com
"Skeletor"

Anthony said:

Whatever next? Mumm-Ra struts to Hot Chocolate? Dungeon Master and Venger do the Macarena? What's Cyril Sneer up to these days? Yawn.


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Virgin Media
"Non-Stop Entertainment"
90s
23 Mar 2017
Sometimes more is more, and Virgin Media prove it with this full-throttle commercial. A stampede of cinematic archetypes race against one another in a high-tech tunnel; Supermen, cowgirls, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are all along for the ride. We don’t fancy the Prohibition gangsters’ chances, though - they’ve got a right Muppet at the wheel.

John Lewis
"And/Or"
60s
20 Mar 2017
John Lewis have created their own in-house denim and lifestyle brand, And/Or - and here's the ad that launches it. 'Denim Born of LA' seems to be aimed at 20-somethings who see themselves as sexy, sassy and independent but who may not have considered John Lewis their first port of call for fashion.

Direct Line
"Cocoa"
30s
13 Mar 2017
Winston Wolfe (Harvey Keitel) returns in another instalment of Direct Line's long-running campaign. This time he's sneaked into the bedroom of a private landlord to reassure him that Direct Line will cover the rent if his tenants don't cough up. Winston then has the nerve to offer the bloke cocoa in a vaguely threatening manner... without so much as a sorry for the intrusion! Bloody cheek. Lovely performance from 'Trevor'.

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.

O2
"Follow the Rabbit"
40s
2 Mar 2017
O2 introduce a brand new animal mascot in this intriguing ad for their 'un-rewindable' live experiences across the UK. We get a good long look at the stunningly animated little fella as we're asked if we're the kind of person who'll follow our curiosity - or will it be another night on the sofa for us?

GambleAware
"Machine"
45s
2 Mar 2017
The spirit of gambling targets another vulnerable individual in this latest GambleAware ad. Standing at the back of this darkened pub, he needles a lone drinker like a jilted lover channelling his inner Ben Kingsley. He toys with his prey, threatening to pass his winnings on to “her or him, him or her” before his true form is revealed. Unsettling and superbly acted.

thortful
"Prosecco Princess"
30s
2 Mar 2017
Thortful is the latest online greetings card emporium to hit the e-high street. Here, the website’s mind-reading, orange suit-wearing, cloud-headed spokesman congratulates this chap on his choice of card… and his, erm, “sparkly pants”. Be interesting to see how it fares in what is a pretty competitive market.

Honda Civic
"Up"
90s
28 Feb 2017
Aim high and don’t look down, says this stunningly-shot Honda Civic commercial, in which rock climber Imogen Horrocks decides to take the gnarly way up an imposing mountainside. After all, she didn’t become a Team GB member by climbing ladders. Evoking ‘Mission: Impossible II’’s opening scene, Horrocks tackles great heights in searing heat.

Time To Change
"Mates"
60s
24 Feb 2017
Mental health charity Time to Change launches a punchy film designed to encourage men to support a friend in need. Everyone’s got eyes for these three blokes as they swagger through the estate. Are they off for a post-work pint? Actually, they’re off to the local garage. Turns out their pal John's in need of a time-out.

Sonnet Insurance
"Balloon"
1 min 46s
16 Feb 2017
This charming ad for Sonnet Insurance encourages us to think positive as a balloon dodges all manner of sharp things with a smile on its face. Nexus’s Smith & Foulkes produce a sunny piece of animation, playfully rendering one near-miss after another. A well-crafted way of suggesting insurance needn’t be all doom and gloom.

Finish
"Combinations"
40s
14 Feb 2017
Finish’s ‘Who Cleans The Cleaner?’ campaign continues to stand tall in this sector. This latest instalment focuses on, erm, fusion cuisine. Caesar salad and orange jelly, scrambled eggs with cat food, baby milk and tuna bake… no, it’s not a Heston Blumenthal set menu, it’s just some of the unedifying things that nestle beside one another in the dishwasher.

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.

Tesco
"Jimmy's Steak for Two"
30s
5 Feb 2017
Tesco expand their Food Love Stories campaign with another touching commercial, this time featuring a father and son. Jimmy explains that he and his Dad share the cooking since his parents split up, and we see him preparing what we assume to be dinner for the two of them - until it's revealed he's actually doing his old man a favour. It's pleasing to see the campaign introduce some variety and explore different kinds of love.

Skoda
"Bradley Wiggins"
90s
5 Feb 2017
Skoda must be following Bradley Wiggins’s stint on The Jump closely. He’s already taken a knock, though at least their prized acquisition is fighting fit in this engrossing ad. We watch him tumble, carry on through pain and derision, before ultimately riding to success.

Blue Apron
"Better Food, From Scratch"
60s
31 Jan 2017
This impressively-animated US ad for Blue Apron neatly explains how their service works: delivering you fresh produce grown by farmers in collaboration with chefs. The food photography and sketchy animation work well together, making the service look attractive and appealing to both environmental and culinary concerns. Shame about that voiceover, though - why is that style of delivery so popular in the States?

Skittles
"Romance"
30s
30 Jan 2017
In contrast to their last strange Super Bowl ad featuring Steven Tyler at his most dead-eyed, this year Skittles keep things simple - and it works. We're shown a house late at night, with a guy trying to get the object of his affections to notice him. Instead of throwing pebbles at her window, however, he's decided confectionery might sweeten his chances.

MailChimp
"MailShrimp"
60s
30 Jan 2017
Who knew shrimp could hold a tune? They can if this entertaining MailChimp ad is anything to go by. A shrimp proves he’s more than just a sandwich filling by serenading a mailroom employee on his lunch break. “One day, I know I’ll become MailShrimp”, he croons. Thanks to one big chomp, the prawn achieves his bizarre goal.

Zoopla
"Wi-Fi"
10s
25 Jan 2017
We rejoin a house-hunter channelling Zoopla’s knowledge of the property market in this 10” ad. Now he demonstrates an unconventional method of testing broadband speed: pinging a rubber band at a nearby estate agent. Hardly foolproof, but the oddness of these scenarios work in the online property outfit’s favour.

MailChimp
"JailBlimp"
60s
24 Jan 2017
Another zany scenario from MailChimp sees a girl take aim at a blimp piñata. While her party guests watch in awe, she swings away. It’s a direct hit… allowing dozens of tiny prisoners to make their dash for freedom. All those hours spent tweaking the brand name in unexpected ways has paid off. Plus, you can beat jelly wobbling in mid-air.

MailChimp
"KaleLimp"
60s
24 Jan 2017
We can imagine vegans will be deeply conflicted by this bizarre ad for email marketing company MailChimp. Now we know where kale really comes from. These upmarket diners order something called “KaleLimp”. We’re then transported to a swimming pool with some rather unusual patrons: dogs made of kale. Well, we are always told to wash vegetables before consumption.

Short Films
"Charlie Cloudhead"
8 mins
20 Jan 2017
This short film by Rupert Cresswell gives us an insight into the life of Charlie - a man with a lot on his mind. We meet the long-suffering chap during an awkward dinner with his wife, a cloud literally hanging over his head as he frets about such issues as scheduling stress, being pressed over his yearly bonus, and accidentally saying things like "You're still a very attractive woman" to his wife - yikes.

BBC Sport
"National Pride"
60s
18 Jan 2017
BBC Creative asks a wide variety of rugby fans what makes them proudest about their teams and homelands ahead of the Six Nations. The answers range from Johnny Wilkinson to white van men to kilts and haggis, and the diversity of what makes people proud of their country is both amusing and heartening.

Nike
"Believe In More"
2 mins
13 Jan 2017
This short film for Nike was conceived, created, and directed by avant-garde creative powerhouse and musician FKA Twigs. The grungy-beautiful two minute spot advertises Nike's new Spring Zonal Strength Tights, which are shown off to great effect by athletic dance moves from the likes of Olympic fencer Miles Chamley-Watson and krump dancer Saskia Horton.

Tesco
"Curry"
30s
9 Jan 2017
Well, Tesco, I hope you're proud of yourselves. There's David - valiantly keeping his antipathy towards spicy food under wraps for the fifteen years he and Maria have been together - and you've come along and blown his cover. Even though he's specifically asked you not to. Hey ho. What's poor Maria going to do now she knows she's married to a gustatory lightweight?

Amazon Prime
"Busker"
30s
11 Jan 2017
In the same vein as 2016's 'Vicar and Imam' ad, this film features someone doing a good turn for a friend by ordering them a gift on Amazon Prime. This time a woman sees the busker opposite her food cart fail to make any money, so she orders him a pirate costume for his dog which instantly turns his luck around. The British public: consistently predictable in their passion for pooches.

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