David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Time To Change
"Mates"
60s
24 February 2017
UK Charities

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.

There they find their pal John lost in his thoughts. Turns out the mechanic’s in need of a time-out. Through the good times and the bad, he’s got the right people in his corner.

It’s an upbeat portrayal of male camaraderie. The script’s breezy tone reminds us that supporting friends through mental health issues needn’t be awkward or intimidating: simply asking “Alright?” is a good start.

The charity hopes this campaign will open new ways for men to address mental health and diminish the stigma that is still attached being unwell. Who knows - it may even persuade advertisers to pursue more nuanced and varied portrayals of male friendship in future.

Sure
"Eden Hazard"

Matt said:

Clunky end, but if you're going to whore your brand round 3 football clubs these are the compromises you're going to have to make.


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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.

Vancouver Sleep Clinic
"Someone To Stay"
4 mins 11s
22 Feb 2017
There’s a hint of Bon Iver to Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s ‘Someone to Stay’. Mister Clinic a.k.a. Tim Bettinson delivers a wistful ballad which should chime with anyone who’s endured a rough patch. Director Georgia Hudson brings an other-worldly feel to suburbia as Bettinson chases a will-o'-the-wisp through the streets. Suitably dreamlike.

Nowness
"Mother Nature: Mela Murder x Kaner Flex"
2 mins 11s
26 Jan 2017
The words ‘interpretive dance’ can make some people run a mile. Luckily, this film for Nowness by Georgia Hudson really draws you in. It’s the latest in the culture site’s ‘Mother Nature’ series, which explores the vagaries of modern parenthood. Those expecting are dancers Mela Murder and Kaner Flex.

Aquilo
"Silhouette"
4 mins 32s
24 Jan 2017
Second in a narrative trilogy for Aquilo - you can read our review of the first promo here - this film focuses on the father of the rebellious young figure skater whose story was told in 'You Won't Know Where You Stand.' This instalment shines a spotlight - literally - on the poignant circumstances of his life.

Aquilo
"You Won't Know Where You Stand"
4 mins 21s
24 Jan 2017
Electronic duo Aquilo embark on an ambitious trio of promos to launch their debut album, ‘Silhouettes’. Part one introduces us to a promising figure skater who learns the path to greatness never runs smoothly. She attracts the attention of a lad working at her ice rink. As their relationship blossoms, life both on and off the ice becomes a testing routine.

Mini
"Who's In?"
45s
11 Jan 2017
Are you in or out? That's the pressing issue in this ad for Mini, showcasing five different models aimed at young, outdoorsy people who embrace adventure like the rest of us would embrace a hot water bottle on a cold night. If you like rock climbing, surfing, ping pong (yes), and being uber-fashionable while you do it all, this is the car for you.

Loyle Carner
"The Isle of Arran"
3 mins 37s
2 Dec 2016
In Georgia Hudson's promo for 'Isle of Arran', Loyle Carner walks through the corridors of an unearthly hospital on his way to visit his newborn child. The track is all about the importance of fathers being there for their children, and Hudson does a great job of showing his conviction as he cradles the baby in the fading light of the maternity ward windows.

Childline
"Voices"
80s
7 Nov 2016
This ad for Childline by Agile Films demonstrates just how effective and attention-grabbing celebrity endorsement can be. The simple film has no visual distractions, keeping the focus squarely on their spokesperson as Cheryl Cole - new face of the charity - has her words replaced with the voices of some of the children Childline helps.

Nimmo
"Dancing Makes Us Brave"
4 mins 14s
21 Oct 2016
Nimmo's an interesting band, but this track doesn't quite have the edge some of their others have. It's still a solid dance-floor pleaser though, and the beautifully-lit promo does a great job of drawing us in. Essentially, it's about the numbness which follows a break-up and the cathartic oblivion that dance allows us to feel: Georgia Hudson wisely brings the charismatic Sarah Nimmo to the fore.

Velvet Toilet Tissue
"Rabbit Muscle"
30s
11 Oct 2016
This commercial from Velvet light-heartedly pokes fun at the lofty 'scientific claims' often made in ads for products as mundane as toilet paper. Victoria is doing some very serious research on softness and strength, the voiceover informs us, which naturally involves lounging in a field of bunnies and being flung into the air by buff blokes. The scientists may look sceptical, but DAVID trusts her commitment to hard data.

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.

Bank Of Scotland
"Referees"
10s
12 Jul 2016
Say what you want about the punditry standards at this year's European Championships, but let's be thankful Bank of Scotland's spirit guide wasn't allowed near the match analysis. James Cosmo's feathered wanderer offers a sport-tinged nugget for us to swallow, one which should in practice guide us towards the advertised bank's services. Alas, it makes us want to brandish a red card.

Royal London
"Mutiny"
30s
6 Jun 2016
It's good to hear Gethin Alderman's Welsh lilt uttering Royal London's name again as the insurer returns to its laudable live-action campaign with an adventure on the high seas. Time-travelling spokesperson Roy puts his sea legs to good use on a ship with a questionable division of labour. Insurrection soon breaks out with amusing zip as the mild-mannered Roy explains how Royal London's 'ProfitShare' scheme.

Speedo
"Get Speedo Fit"
80s
1 Jun 2016
A new global campaign for Speedo has the swimwear brand arguing that the path to true fitness lies in the swimming pool. While these exercise enthusiasts get their sweat on in a variety of land-based pursuits, the gravelly VO announces swimming as the key to superior overall fitness. Once the film kicks into gear, the kinetic imagery conveys the brand's message in diverting fashion.

Visit Britain
"Loud Places"
40s
25 May 2016
Why not stay in Britain for your holidays? Actually, don't answer that... not until you've watched this charming paean to the virtues of staying at home. Beautifully filmed and happily taking into account the variable weather we, er, enjoy in this country, this incorporates snippets of the kind we use to self-document our holidays and adds up to a lovely depiction of a UK-based break.

Bloc Party
"Virtue"
3 mins 36s
4 May 2016
Bloc Party's track 'Virtue' from their most recent album Hymns gets an 80s-influenced promo by James Copeman. Reverberating with those bright pastel hues which evoke the hideous interior design of the time (what were we thinking of), it features turquoise-coloured people attempting to lure others into temptation.

Kellogg's Ancient Legends
"Cleopatra"
30s
15 Mar 2016
This ad for the new 'Ancient Legends' cereal range by Kellogg's gives us an insight into the life and breakfast times of Cleopatra. While it won't be endorsed by any pre-eminent historians, it's fun to see the pharaoh's, ahem, hectic workday begin with a bowl of granola. Nice prop work with Cleo's snazzy sundial watch and the world's earliest number plate.

Bank Of Scotland
"More Spirit Guidance"
40s
14 Mar 2016
James Cosmo dons his feathery threads for more perplexing stabs at enlightenment in the name of Bank of Scotland. These 10" ads once again feature the erstwhile 'Game of Thrones' actor in the snowy wilderness with only a strange script for company... oh, and some ducks. We can only hope Bank of Scotland staff can provide more tangible advice than is provided here.

Expedia
"Barcelona Getaway"
20s
4 Feb 2016
Barcelona is given the wham-bam thank you ma'am treatment in this ad for Expedia. Last time the website focused on the Catalonian capital, we were informed of Barcelona's lengthy beachfront. La Sagrada Familia makes the briefest of cameos, but the frenetic delivery makes the overall communication a bit of a blur. Not quite enough to dethrone that boxset.

Expedia
"New York"
20s
17 Jan 2016
This ad for Expedia is more concerned about what this woman can get up to in her jaunt to New York than how they are the right company to get you there. Quick cuts and fleeting glimpses of the website's interface lead to a faster pace than we're used to with Expedia's advertising, but without Tom Hollander's distinguishing VO, are they now banking on their name alone?

CCUK
"Get It Right"
40s
26 Oct 2015
This colourful animation for Creative Content UK (CCUK) warns us that if we acquire our digital entertainment from dodgy sites, we're not giving any financial support to those who create it. This could result in a world bereft of creativity - all because of our own greed and lack of foresight. Its pace and style should appeal to the second generation of digital consumers, whose online behaviour will hugely shape the way music, film and more will be delivered in future.

The Scotsman
"Can You Hear It?"
60s
7 Oct 2015
David Tennant lends his enviable Scottish burr to this patriotic work of poetry on behalf of The Scotsman newspaper. He delivers the necessary warmth to a film that champions the nation's ability to indulge the senses through its culture, cuisine, and landscape. The photography combines beautifully with a well-written and superbly-delivered script.

RNIB
"See The Need"
40s
22 Sep 2015
The power of a single moment is conveyed with commendable gravitas in this film for the RNIB. Faced with the news that her vision is failing, the consequences begin to overwhelm this woman in painstaking fashion before she finally closes her eyes... and her view of the world is permanently darkened. The RNIB hope this reminder of how lives can change in an instant will secure the support needed to ease the fear of those undergoing such a change.

Amnesty International
"ExCel Arms Fair"
40s
22 Sep 2015
Around 32,000 arms dealers are expected to attend the London's ExCel centre where the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) is being held this year. So this spot for Amnesty International satirises the event by advertising it as the perfect place for countries with appalling human rights records to buy instruments of suppression and torture.

Durex
"Destination Paradise"
30s
17 Aug 2015
This admirably restrained spot for Durex Play is more suggestive than explicit; showing a loved-up couple kissing in a variety of exotic locations as they're transported to paradise. The premise is obvious: leave the humdrum sex behind with the help of the advertised products. The ease with which they can do this tells us that an array of intimidating accoutrements aren't required... which is always a comfort.

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