David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

House Of Fraser
"Ready Or Not"
80s
4 November 2016
UK Department Stores

House of Fraser has presented us with some slick and stylish ads over the past few years, and this festive season's offering is set to continue the streak.

Taking the Fugees track 'Ready Or Not' as its inspiration, the spot announces that Christmas is coming for us - a sassy, spiky, silvery Christmas that pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.

This is as far away from ads featuring log fires and twinkly-eyed folk as it's possible to get, and suggests that if we let the day creep up on us without being properly prepared then we're just yesterday's wrapping paper and should hang our heads in shame.

The near-monochrome palette offset by vivid flashes of colour doesn't particularly conjure Christmas as we traditionally think of it, and it does help the ad stand out. Plus when you chuck in the chic production, confident direction and bold sound design too, you end up with something very classy indeed.

Toys R Us
"Christmas"

Matt said:

I don't ever recall disliking an ad so quickly. Shot 2 did it for me.


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House Of Fraser
"Ready Or Not"
80s
4 Nov 2016
House of Fraser has presented us with some slick and stylish ads over the past few years, and this festive season's offering is set to continue the streak. Taking the Fugees track 'Ready Or Not' as its inspiration, the spot announces that Christmas is coming for us - a sassy, spiky, silvery Christmas that pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.

National Trust
"Behind the Scenes"
30s
4 Sep 2016
This intimate glance at some of the people who work behind the scenes to maintain our heritage under the aegis of the National Trust is designed to raise awareness and encourage the rest of us to support the organisation one way or another. The VO choice is a little strange but the attention to detail demonstrated by the volunteers is nicely captured.

Nando's
"Napkin"
50s
28 Jun 2016
Another execution from the new campaign for Nando's which cleverly aims to bring a slightly more ambitious diner into their outlets. This time a young couple use napkins to make themselves look more posh which is a great way of using comedy to draw attention to the chain's slightly more upmarket offerings.

Nando's
"Fino Platter"
40s
28 Jun 2016
Earlier this year there was much hilarity on social media as Americans tried and failed to understand the concept of "a cheeky Nando's". The owners of the chicken restaurants must have enjoyed it... not least because you can't buy that kind of publicity. Neither can you buy a place in popular culture and Nando's enjoys this as well. It's the "turn to" reference of comedians like Jack Whitehall when they want to invoke a certain kind of dining experience.

Kopparberg
"Dancer"
60s
21 Jun 2016
The Swedes have a rhythmic concept of clocking off, particularly those who work at the Kopparberg factory. As the temperature rises and many of us find ourselves wanting to slink off to the nearest beer garden after a hard day's grind, this arresting commercial for the cider encourages us to partake in the rhythm of life whenever and wherever possible.

ClearScore
"Pineapple"
30s
10 May 2016
"Why pineapple!?" indeed. While Dad is drawn to ClearScore's offer of a free credit report, his curious offspring is busy wrapping his impressively-spiky head around the enigma that is pineapples. Jack may have a credit score of 420 out of 700, but his use of the family guinea pig as an example scores a big fat zero with his son. Another odd outing which nonetheless stirs one's interest.

ClearScore
"Sofa"
30s
10 May 2016
This quirky ad for ClearScore certainly draws you in with its idiosyncratic exchanges. When an ad for the credit rating website appears on this couple's telly (very meta), Charlie types away to gauge his current situation. Soon enough, Moose the dog wants to know what his beloved master's up to on the silver thing. Bizarre and somewhat hypnotic, it's not what you'd expect from an ad in this sector.

House Of Fraser
"Turn It On"
30s
6 Mar 2016
Building on the excellent change of direction in their Christmas advertising, House of Fraser are once again using a very stylish piece of filming to establish the idea that they're a source of cutting edge fashions. Director Dave Meyers has created a very playful piece which superbly exploits a variety of camera and VFX techniques.

National Citizen Service
"Experience"
60s
20 Jan 2016
Anyone who's ever witnessed a group of youngsters being shown video footage of themselves after participating in an event will know that it looks exactly like this, and there is something endearing about it... but this particular example needs more. What is National Citizen Service? This form of communication doesn't have to offer a full answer to the question but a start would be nice.

Nando's
"Repetition"
25s
12 Nov 2015
More observational fun from Nando's that's sure to resonate with those who've struggled with that long trip from table to counter. This fellow may have a sharp turtleneck, but all it takes is a moment's distraction for him to wind up in a piri piri jumble. Lovely composition coupled with the poor customer's look of horror makes this another neat piece of self-awareness from the restaurant chain.

Nando's
"Table Number"
20s
12 Nov 2015
Spot-on casting means it's easy to picture this bespectacled geezer striding through the door for a cheeky Nando's just a few moments prior. Once again, the restaurant's lack of table service is humorously brought into focus. It's enough to stump this chap at the worst possible moment, but a little encouragement helps him figure out that all-important table number. Well in, bruv.

House Of Fraser
"Your Christmas, Your Rules"
1 min 40s
17 Nov 2015
'Tis the season, and House of Fraser are all up in your face about it with this slick and urgent take on the Christmas ad. With promo-standard choreography and an astute choice of soundtrack, the department store's festive offering applies an attitude adjustment to the festive period in plenty of style. 'Tis the season for the flamboyant, the brave, and the bold.

Nando's
"Date"
25s
12 Nov 2015
One of three lovely new films which confidently delve into the beloved Nando's experience by making fun of one of its flaws. In this one, a young man finds himself unable to remember what his date wants as he stands at the counter ready to place his order. It's a bold move to make an asset of the absence of waiting staff but it works.

House Of Fraser
"My Face"
10s
27 Oct 2015
House of Fraser aim to make their 40%-off promotion go viral with another 10" ad based on the popularity of GIFs. This shopper has an attack of the "OMG!"s when she hears about the department store's sale and her expression is accordingly looped to emphasise the point. These ads are certainly quick and understated, but they stem from a shrewd drive to attract those engrossed in Internet culture.

National Trust
"Thank You"
30s
7 Oct 2015
The National Trust has followed up its genuinely moving spot celebrating the British coastline with another poem by John Cooper Clark - this time, inspired by writings sent in by people about why they love the coast. Their words are incorporated into more verses read not only by Clark, but members of the public themselves.

Allianz
"Get To The Game"
10s
16 Sep 2015
Off the back of their fine campaign opener, Allianz present another easy-going ad designed to convey their appreciation of their customers' everyday needs. The driver in this rugby-flavoured execution has fallen victim to a broken down car, but he's still able to drive himself and his mates to the match thanks to Allianz's courtesy car promise.

Allianz
"Repairs At Work"
10s
14 Sep 2015
It may only be ten seconds long, but this spot for Allianz gets right to the point - if your car needs bodywork repairs, you can plan to have them done while you're at work. Obviously that's just the topline message, but it's simple and direct enough to make you want to know more so it serves its purpose very well.

Allianz
"Together We Will Stand"
30s
14 Sep 2015
A rather lovely ad for Allianz features an array of car journeys and conversational snippets that all ring true. Its low-key, vérité vibe hits the spot perfectly - the sheepish admission that a cheesy CD stuffed in the glove compartment is ours; the sniping of siblings in the back; the dog riding shotgun in the passenger seat.

National Trust
"John Cooper Clarke"
1 min 45s
14 Jul 2015
"Why a poem? I can't think of a better way to convey the metaphysical nature of the sea." So says John Cooper Clarke in this 'making of' clip about the National Trust ad for which he is the author and the voice. And neither can we, if he's the poet creating it. It's fitting that the Trust should turn to a man who has become a national treasure in his own right; though not in the cosy Alan Bennett sense... thankfully.

National Trust
"Love The Coast"
60s
14 Jul 2015
John Cooper Clarke writes poetry without pomp; the prosody of his lines both effortless and earthy. And this ad for the National Trust, with a piece both written and read by him demonstrates how powerful poetry can be when used wisely. It strikes quite a contrast with the terrible rhyming scripts we're forced to endure as we sift through the latest commercials at DAVID HQ.

House Of Fraser
"Seriously?"
10s
28 May 2015
More GIF-inspired work from House of Fraser as this dapper gentleman can't quite believe that the department store are offering up to 40% off brand products in store and online. To be honest, he doesn't looked too shocked by the proposition, but maybe that's just him trying to play it cool.

House Of Fraser
"Checkout"
10s
27 May 2015
House of Fraser continue their campaign which draws inspiration from internet memes and GIFs. This chap seems pretty chuffed with his online purchase so he produces some jazzy work on the air keyboard followed by a flourish. For those who want to experience his looped joy for themselves, the department store are holding a 40% off event both online and in store.

Nando's
"Rapid Order"
80s
20 May 2015
Hip hop artist (we're told) Mac Lethal is best known for his ability to speak really, really fast. And in this spot for Nando's, he orders pretty much everything on the menu super-quick just because he can. We're not sure what the proposition is, unless it's to show how many items you can choose from in a short space of time, but it's fun - and no, we're not going to repeat his order back to him.

House Of Fraser
"Brand Event"
10s
28 Apr 2015
The first of a new campaign for House of Fraser based on the popularity of Internet memes and GIFs. This ad captures a shopper's disappointment when she realises she's too early for the advertised discount event. It's the first time we've seen the widely-used online technique used in an ad and given how popular Buzzfeed have made it, it's an astute choice.

Cuprinol
"Cheer Up"
20s
25 Mar 2015
Evidently designed to appeal to a younger audience, this new spot for Cuprinol features a young couple who find painting the garden shed so simple that they can afford to mess about. The implication is that the brand makes DIY fun rather than a source of tension so that even if - unlike the frolicking duo here - you're not building up to a shag in the rhododendrons afterwards then at least you're not plotting to poison your other half with slug pellets.

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