David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

The Moonlandingz
"The Strangle Of Anna"
3 mins 40s
20 March 2017
UK Promos

Ah... Lias Saoudi. Where to start? The louche frontman of Fat White Family has an alter ego - Johnny Rocket - who sings with The Moonlandingz; a band that is, in itself, an alter ego for the Eccentronic Research Council. Here, Saoudi's wasted hero sings an elegy to a woman called Anna while Slow Club's Rebecca Taylor comes on like a Yorkshire Julee Cruise.

This ramshackle psych-rock masterpiece is neatly captured in Dawn Shadforth's video. Set in a nondescript club, Saoudi and Taylor gradually work up a head of steam as they sing to each other and dance in that lewdly disinhibited way people do just before they collapse in an incoherent mess and are poured into taxis by their exasperated friends.

Saoudi sports a clingfilm boob tube that holds actual fried eggs over his nipples and Taylor delivers her lines through lipstick-smeared mouthfuls of cake. It's more Twin Peaks than Twin Peaks could ever hope to be... we just pray their version of the Log Lady doesn't show up any time soon.

Co-op Supermarkets
"Mother's Day"

Gary said:

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


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The Moonlandingz
"The Strangle Of Anna"
3 mins 40s
20 Mar 2017
Ah... Lias Saoudi. Where to start? The louche frontman of Fat White Family has an alter ego - Johnny Rocket - who sings with The Moonlandingz; a band that is, in itself, an alter ego for the Eccentronic Research Council. Here, his wasted hero sings an elegy to a woman called Anna while Slow Club's Rebecca Taylor comes on like a Yorkshire Julee Cruise.

BUPA
"Get Back"
33s
15 Mar 2017
These compelling ads for BUPA promise to help you get back to the things you love with pay-as-you-go physiotherapy. Two top-notch performances - first from the Dad-o-saurus Rex, second a woman who really likes a cold bath - illustrate a couple of life-affirming ways in which we take our physicality for granted.

Short Films
"Mercy"
9 mins 16s
8 Mar 2017
It’s safe to say Bristol artist Javeon and director Ben Strebel believe in the long game. The pair have collaborated on a series of interconnected promos since 2014, and this nine-minute epic brings their ambitious project to a conclusion. Javeon’s sharp beats puncture the tension, while Strebel demonstrates a knack for bleak, menacing imagery with an artful edge.

Uniqlo
"Wireless Bra"
66s
27 Feb 2017
Sassy, stylish and snappy, this beguiling Uniqlo commercial suggests - in no uncertain manner - that sitting still is going out of fashion. A group of women in chic but conservative officewear start getting busy with dance moves which emphasise half of them are in a state of semi-undress, and the use of Starcrawler's 'Ants' as a soundtrack with its buzz-saw riff is an inspired choice.

Uniqlo
"AIRism"
60s
28 Feb 2017
This steamy Uniqlo ad shows what happens when we get a sweat on. As these folk hustle and bustle, we watch their sweat evaporate as mist escaping into the ether. The Japanese brand's breathable fabric ensures we stay cool when the temperature rises. Black-and-white photography and a controlled, sensual pace combine brilliantly here.

Uniqlo
"Distressed Denim"
45s
28 Feb 2017
More sensuous than Uniqlo's tightly-choreographed 'Wireless Bra' film, this ad for their line of distressed denim also features dancing. A man and woman notice each other through a petrol station window, him seemingly captivated by her uninhibited moves as the clerk sleeps on the counter. The pair never touch, but the moment they pass is charged with potential.

Paddy Power
"Surveillance Guy"
30s
28 Feb 2017
Paddy Power round off their covers album with a casino-themed take on Dean Martin's 'Papa Loves Mambo'. This CCTV operator can only watch from a “sneaky camera angle” as these high rollers gamble the night away. Still, at least he can enjoy a cheeky punt on the advertised gaming app. Some tunes have worked better than others in the campaign, but this hits the right notes.

Sport England
"This Girl Can Returns"
90s
24 Feb 2017
The bedrock of the long-awaited second instalment of Sport England's 'This Girl Can' campaign is provided by Maya Angelou's mischievous reading of her own poem 'Phenomenal Woman'. It's a perfect fit for the everywoman approach which drew so many plaudits for the original film... also directed by Somesuch's Kim Gehrig.

Eurostar
"Travel State of Mind"
60s
20 Feb 2017
There’s plenty of joie de vivre in this 60” ad for Eurostar. These travellers discover what can happen when you just say qui. A lot, as it happens - you’ve just got to have the right mindset. Long lunches, lost and found love, and discovering one’s dancing shoes… sod the itinerary and just roll with it.

Walkers
"Champions League"
30s
17 Feb 2017
Given his beloved Leicester City’s current domestic woes, Gary Lineker must be fearing for their Champions League prospects. Still, he’s his usual cheeky self as Walkers promote their sponsorship of the competition. Animated flourishes lend an extra football flavour to those enjoying the brand’s new Sharing Packs.

Woolmark
"Unravelled"
2 mins 34s
20 Jan 2017
This ad for the International Woolmark Prize features director Issac Lock trying to create a 'three-hour live art immersive experience' celebrating merino wool, the overlooked 'foundation of our civilisation'. The event is beset with problems - budget cuts being less of an issue than nobody understanding the creative vision of the project. It's all a mockumentary, of course, and hugely entertaining to watch the 'creative process' in action.

UNICEF
"It Begins With A Blanket"
1 min 35s
28 Nov 2016
This UNICEF film arrives just as many in the West will be counting their spoils from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amidst a whirlwind of discount tellies and clothes, it’s easy to forget how drastically wants and needs differ across the globe. A girl wanders around a makeshift refugee camp picking up odds and ends - after all, her life depends on it.

Bulldog
"Awkward Elves"
60s
27 Nov 2016
Goodwill to one's fellow elf doesn't go entirely to plan in this well-performed ad for Bulldog. Two of Santa's hard-working employees discuss their love of Christmas. One of them wonders why elves don't give presents to each other. Safe to say his mate has never given it much thought. Sure enough though, the generous one has a surprise in store.

eBay
"Disco"
40s
11 Nov 2016
DDB Europe capture the awkwardness of school discos in this entertaining ad for eBay. Various teenagers navigate a delicate social situation with the help of products acquired through the bidding site, including cute socks for a goth with an identity crisis and aftershave for the gamer whose strategy is evidently to gas his prey into submission. Lovely script.

VW
"Alien"
60s
10 Nov 2016
VW's latest ad supporting independent cinema should provide respite for those already weary of cute Christmas critters. A couple find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial with an attitude problem. And you thought multi-storey car park charges were bad. An entertaining blend of sci-fi thrills and, erm, handsfree technology.

Hostel World
"Famous Faces"
1 min 45s
8 Nov 2016
Following their last outing featuring 50 Cent, Hostel World are back with another celebrity-centric film. Only this time it's not just one star but a multitude of the biggest names in music - including acts that are no more, like One Direction (quite a feat in itself). Here, Drake, Adele, Ed Sheeran and the Bieber live it up before an awards ceremony. Genius.

Rustlers
"80 Years of Torment"
60s
3 Nov 2016
The past may have been brutal, and 2016 may already look pretty grim, but at least you can have a steaming hot burger fresh from the microwave in ninety seconds. That's the message of hope in this punchy, attention-grabbing ad from Rustlers, purveyors of food to the after-pub crowd nationwide. Superb work from director Steve Rogers.

Babbel
"Tiny Whale"
30s
31 Oct 2016
Just as the English-learning version of this ad satirised period dramas such as Downton Abbey for colouring the world's view of Britain, Babbel send up Amélie here for their French course. This 30s ad has it all: cryptic dialogue, existential musings about the metaphors in mundane things, and some lovely visual call-backs to the film involving heavy fringes and coquettish glances. And even a British bloke who manages to avoid making a fart joke about the sound of a ketchup bottle... c'est bien.

Babbel
"Messy Dress"
30s
31 Oct 2016
Babbel send up period dramas and the rest of the world's perception of Britain in this funny ad for their language-learning app. Two elegant ladies in Edwardian costumes daintily sip tea and gossip about a high-spirited young relative who wants to play freely and not conform to the staid social norms - a well-constructed play on tropes - when a modern-day man appears and shares his own comments about the young lady's unbecoming commitment to free will.

Costa Coffee
"Roast"
10s
18 Oct 2016
Javone Prince is back as the world's most enthusiastic motivational speaker in this follow-up to Costa Coffee's longer ad. Our guy is extremely perturbed when - upon giving the instruction to roast these bad boys - a tiny flame emerges from a huge flamethrower. 'We only slow roast,' explains a smug-looking Costa employee, and we can't help joining Javone in his expressive disappointment. It's a funny clip, short and sweet. Or, uh, smooth and rich.

VW
"Mafia"
60s
10 Oct 2016
You'd think mafiosos would've learned by now never to accept a lift. Still, Mickey's happy to go for a ride in this latest Volkswagen ad promoting independent cinemas. At first, Mickey has no need to feel nervous. After all, it's just another car ride with Paulie - the latest in a long, distinguished line of Paulies - and Carmillo's suspiciously quiet son, right? Wrong!

Costa Coffee
"Motivational Speaker"
60s
7 Oct 2016
Starring Javone Prince from Phone Shop, this ad for Costa Coffee depicts a business seminar with a difference as we're treated to the kind of work event we wish we'd be invited to. It's a genuinely funny send up of motivational speaker tropes and corporate team-building exercises, featuring a speaker so energetic he literally punches coffee beans out of the walls.

Lurpak
"Game On, Cooks"
60s
22 Sep 2016
Has cooking become too much of a spectator sport? Lurpak thinks so, and the brand makes a bold move by telling viewers to switch their attention from telly to belly. Lurpak being Lurpak, they've done a first-rate job. Somesuch's Daniel Wolfe meets this campaign's exacting standards head on with a brilliant execution. Once the game begins, it's something to behold.

Adidas
"Diego Costa"
15s
23 Aug 2016
This 15" Adidas commercial should give Chelsea supporters on Instagram a reason to cheer... and fans of every other English Premier League team a reason to jeer. The Spaniard's divisive reputation is in focus as the striker disappears behind layers of brick, iron, and concrete only to burst forth with a smirk on his face. Cartoon flourishes tie in well with the brand's recent output announcing the new season.

Adidas
"Blah Blah Blah"
1 min 45s
2 Aug 2016
This graphical riot of an Adidas commercial preaches to those who prefer a little less conversation and a little more action when it comes to the beautiful game. At the heart of it all is Paul Pogba, the France and Juventus midfielder currently caught up in this summer's obligatory transfer saga - and it's clear the Manchester United target is tired of the chit-chat.

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