David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

BBC Sport
"National Pride"
60s
18 January 2017
UK TV Stations

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.

Short Films
"2D Run"

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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.

Land Rover
"Sat Nav"
30s
7 Dec 2016
Ever fancied being a voiceover artist? Land Rover just may change your mind. This chapís tasked with reciting every conceivable sat nav direction for the new DIscovery Sport. Thatís a pretty chunky script, but the seasoned pro and his sound engineer both seem keen. Well, we hope they donít have dinner plans...

Amazon Prime
"Vicar and Imam"
80s
16 Nov 2016
An imam and a vicar walk into a bar... well, into a living room, actually, and it's not the start of a joke: it's the premise of Amazon Prime's heartwarming Christmas ad. Two old friends meet up for a chat and commiserate about their mutual creaky knee problems. They each decide to do their mate a favour and Prime him some kneepads so he can keep praying painlessly... unaware that the exact same gift is winging its way closer to home.

Gorgon City
"Smile"
3 mins 25s
14 Nov 2016
Will Robson-Scott's promo for Gorgon City's 'Smile' examines how one family duo gets by in the City of Angels. Mum may not always be around for a bedtime story, but she's there to brush teeth, play around at breakfast, and share some quality time on the sofa. Come sundown, however, life becomes a stage show.

Quaker Oats
"Moon"
2 mins
30 Oct 2016
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day - especially when youíre planning to blast off into space later. Who better to argue this point than Buzz Aldrin? This evocative film from Quaker Oats takes us back to the golden age of space travel, with eighty-six-year-old Aldrin musing on the past, the present, and the future.

Heinz Tomato Soup
"Calories"
10s
19 Oct 2016
These short excerpts from Heinz's longer ad for their tomato soup each focus on a different character from the film and play up a different aspect of the product. Which is great, but it seems... iffy that they've chosen to emphasise the calorie count of their soup over the shot of a female office worker rather than a builder or a young boy. A bit of relying on tired stereotypes there, Heinz.

Heinz Tomato Soup
"Love Soup"
10s
19 Oct 2016
This excerpt from Heinz's longer 'Love Soup' ad features a young boy who can't wait to get his chops around some delicious tomato soup, to the sweet strains of Dusty Springfield. Heinz Tomato Soup provides one of your five a day, according to the voiceover, which is quite possibly the best news DAVID has had in a while as the temperature starts to drop.

Heinz
"The Love of Soup"
30s
3 Oct 2016
Lips are puckered as people lean in towards the object of their desire in this charming commercial for Heinz. The camera is a cypher for the viewer as faces loom into the intimate space we reserve for our nearest and dearest building a visceral expectation of a kiss. It's quite a surprise when it turns out we've completely misread the situation.

Quaker Oats
"Super Goodness"
20s
22 Sep 2016
Porridge puritans may take umbrage, but Quaker Oats are adding some exotic ingredients to the mix. This ad focuses on their new blueberry, cranberry, and guava variant, complete with slow-motion shots of each ingredient to emphasise their wholesome properties. Looks like a decent bet for those looking to get stuck into their five-a-day as early as possible.

Virgin Holidays
"Seize the Holiday"
65s
10 Sep 2016
Those behind this Virgin Holidays ad which was broadcast live on ITV made an astute decision when they offered everyone who supported it on social media the opportunity to win a holiday in an exotic location. This is because it guaranteed a stream of positivity on Twitter for the relevant hashtag rather than the usual mixture of sarcasm and cynicism.

Short Films
"48 Hours in Shetland"
63s
3 Aug 2016
This evocative short film captures the atmosphere of Shetland; the strange juxtaposition of remoteness and stillness with the rugged intimacy that life on such islands offers. Snapshots provide an impressionistic vision of the place: the temporary shelter housing what appears to be artwork; a young woman's long hair blowing in the wind and echoed by rivulets of water running down the rocks at the foot of a cliff.

HMRC
"Tea Time"
20s
4 Jul 2016
HMRC return to their series of gently observed scenes depicting life outside the 9-5 lane. Despite this shift worker's exhaustion, she still finds time to enjoy a tea party with her daughter on the bedroom floor before dawn. With the deadline for renewing tax credits arriving on July 31st, the taxman aims to divert as much of the relevant audience as possible to the HMRC website and away from their fragile helplines.

Save The Children
"Every Last Child"
60s
26 Apr 2016
This astonishing film for Save The Children (STC) is quite unlike any other charity ad we've seen. The frantic pace of the editing and its first person POV is truly visceral: not only does the spot completely immerse us in the action from the start but we feel giddy and breathless at its urgency. Right down to the super at the end assuring us that nearly every penny of our donation goes to the STC, not a single frame or image is wasted. Stunning work.

Fears
"The Squeeze"
3 mins 45s
3 Apr 2016
Up and coming hard rock band Fears gets a suitably gritty promo for their debut single 'The Squeeze'. Directed by HLA's Ben Craig, it features the lead singer tied to a chair and being set upon by thugs in a scenario that pays homage to Reservoir Dogs and Casino Royale. Ben Moulden has done a great job with the lighting, too - inkily noir-ish yet possessed of terrific clarity.

Barclays
"Quicker Mortgages"
30s
1 Mar 2016
Like this previous ad in this series, this commercial cleverly ensures we focus on the words being spoken. After showing the spokesperson crossing the room once to explain the proposition in full, the footage is repeated several times - only in shorter and shorter edits until only the salient words are left in. This (a) grabs our attention and (b) offers an effective illustration of the point she's making.

Barclays
"Rewards"
30s
22 Feb 2016
Barclays want their Blue Rewards scheme to come across as a little more epic... and nothing says 'epic' quite like a slow-motion slurp from a cup of tea (or coffee). Shot from below to give this employee the look of a finance titan, the ad ends in a much more personable fashion as the bank reminds customers that there rewards just waiting to be claimed.

Virgin Holidays
"Dream Bigger"
30s
26 Dec 2015
Virgin Holidays have set out to prove that their holidays are just that bit more special than those offered by the competition... and this impressive film gets the job done. 'Full board', 'air conditioning' et al take on entirely different meanings as they represent components of truly memorable holidays. (You'll certainly remember them when the credit card bill arrives!)

Waitrose
"Cheddar For Afters"
20s
9 Dec 2015
The latest instalment in Waitrose's Christmas campaign is cheesy in the best possible way. Roger McGough provides a familiar lyrical bent to a script celebrating the food that provides a little light relief after the main feast. Wookey Hole cheddar is suggested as an after-dinner treat in appealing fashion, and the camera gets in close enough for you to get a good whiff of it.

Waitrose
"Gingerbread Stuffing"
10s
11 Nov 2015
Having presented the viewing public with their impressive 60" main course, Waitrose turn their focus to plugging the individual ingredients that can help elevate your Christmas nosh. If punters are on the fence about the merits of gingerbread stuffing and the like, the warm tone of these short ads will help nudge shoppers towards taking a punt.

Waitrose
"Make It... Christmas"
60s
4 Nov 2015
The Christmas comfort dial has been turned to maximum in this sumptuous commercial for posh supermarket's seasonal offerings. Roger McGough has been kept on after the switch from BBH to adam&eveDDB and so - it has to be said - has the winning tone established years ago by Stuart Douglas.

Waitrose
"The Warmest Season"
60s
1 Oct 2015
When the most obvious choice is also the smartest choice it always sounds a bit denigrating to describe it as a 'no-brainer' but when the John Lewis Partnership decided to extend its relationship with adam&eveDDB by asking the agency to create Waitrose's advertising, it really couldn't be described any other way.

Premier Inn
"Wake up Wonderful"
60s
30 Aug 2015
Premier Inn's pledge to deliver a decent night's sleep is beautifully reinforced by this superb film by HLA's Simon Ratigan. At DAVID we're keenly aware that all of our audience are fans of the softcore reinterpretation of old songs but even the snarkiest among you will probably be willing to acknowledge that Katie Melua's reworking of Black's 1987 track 'Wonderful Life' is a perfect accompaniment to the lovely images shot by Ratigan and his two DPs, Martin Hill and Ian Murray.

Thatchers
"Slow Motion"
60s
9 Aug 2015
The scenarios chosen to represent the moment when time slows down near the Somerset farm where Thatchers is made aren't necessarily related to the rural idyll we've come to expect in advertising for cider. Sure, there's some beautiful West Country scenery and a bee caught in slow motion as it swoops towards a gorgeous-looking meadow but there's also a woman running for a bus and a man hosing his garden.

HMRC
"End of the Day"
20s
21 Jul 2015
Another relatable slice of domesticity from HMRC has weary parents sitting down for some well-deserved pie and mash. But despite remembering to keep their voices hushed, dad makes a racket sitting down - and their anxious glances suggest he may have made a terrible mistake. The inevitable cry from an unhappy infant confirms their worst fears and we're reminded that 9-5 doesn't always suit those who need help from HMRC. Mind you, as we've pointed out before, 9-5 doesn't particularly suit HMRC either.

HMRC
"Breakfast at Dinner Time"
30s
11 Jul 2015
Another helping from the campaign seeking to remind us that the HMRC's website is available all the time and doesn't - as someone presumably imagines - only appear every hundred years like Brigadoon. Once again, the domesticity is caught well but with HMRC's helplines stretched to breaking point, it's a bit rich to make it sound as though we're gaining from the online emphasis.

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