David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Carlsberg
"Pessimism for Optimism"
2 mins
23 May 2016
UK Lagers

We've previously observed how the actor in this patriotic Carlsberg ad has become a familiar face during ad breaks, and now he gets the chance to do Shakespeare... sort of. "People of England, lend me your ears", pleads this pub-goer as the national team run fans through a traditional gauntlet of emotions on the TV. This isn't the time for work, DIY, or negativity to divide us - it's time for all of us to stand together with hope in one hand and a pint in the other.

It's an impassioned performance as this embodiment of national pride in a polo shirt navigates a crowded pub full of fans, supporters, and Brians, with extra credit due to Mustard's Matt Rhodes for composing the busy extended shot. Nice touch setting the action in the local boozer - the aptly-named Three Lions.

The lager's Euro 2016 build-up continues to foster a positive attitude, and this makes for a filmic and engaging call to England fans. Whether this optimism holds is another matter, but Carlsberg seem determined to keep the glass half full for as long as possible.

J D Williams
"Summer Style"

Chris said:

We did this with Twiggy and the girls a decade ago for M&S! (Only way better).


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Carlsberg
"Pessimism for Optimism"
2 mins
23 May 2016
We've previously observed how the actor in this patriotic Carlsberg ad has become a familiar face during ad breaks, and now he gets the chance to do Shakespeare... sort of. "People of England, lend me your ears", pleads this pub-goer as the national team run fans through a traditional gauntlet of emotions on the TV. This isn't the time for work, DIY, or negativity to divide us - it's time for all of us to stand together with hope in one hand and a pint in the other.

Cancer Research
"Stand By Me"
60s
24 Apr 2016
The long dark night is illuminated by those participating in Cancer Research UK's annual 'Shine Night Walk', while the charity's message of unity and resolve is conveyed with a stoic rendition of 'Stand By Me'. Director Charlie Thorne underlines his sensitive grasp of the subject by pinpointing moments of joy, courage, and personal reflection amidst the ad's luminous aesthetic.

Avanti
"Black Tie"
30s
11 Jan 2016
Having built an empire on scantily clad women, as it were, Peter Stringfellow gets in on the act himself with this fun ad for travel insurers Avanti. According to the venerable nightclub owner, Avanti is a lifestyle choice - a refusal to let age stop one from enjoying the good life on holiday. Even if the sight of Stringfellow sans clothing is enough to make you want to emigrate, the proposition is clear and benefits from the light-hearted approach.

Center Parcs
"Bears"
60s
24 Dec 2015
A softly sung version of Cyndi Lauper's 'True Colors' accompanies a sequence depicting a family of bears who are more than ready for a holiday. Daddy bear - in particular - looks like he might go postal if he isn't given a break and the commuter who glares angrily at him doesn't appear to realise how far he's pushing his luck.

The Children's Society
"Growing Pains"
2 mins 10s
11 Nov 2015
This film highlighting the sexual exploitation of children addresses the issue via the familiar phrase 'growing pains'. It's a term that usually describes the physical and emotional upheavals most youngsters experience, and in those two words is a tacit understanding that these pains are temporary; a necessary phase on the way to becoming a mature adult.

Scouts Association
"Dementia"
2 mins 20s
17 Aug 2015
This tender film about dementia focuses on an elderly couple who - on first impression - seem absolutely fine. They reminisce about how they met; they smile a lot. She jokes about his big feet. But this well-dressed woman can't manage alone - her illness means she can't form any short term memories and day-to-day life is impossible without help.

Match Of The Day
"Season Ticket"
30s
5 Aug 2015
Over fifty years on and the BBC's flagship football programme remains a household favourite up and down the country. This reputation is made into bricks and mortar in this show trail as fans from all clubs congregate at a suburban 'stadium'. Everything from garden turnstiles to a burger van on the lawn greet these supporters as they sit down to watch the highlights.

Carlsberg
"Kickabout"
80s
30 Jul 2015
Days before the professionals get back on the pitch, there's no better time than to appreciate a good old game of footie down the park. Only Carlsberg - being Carlsberg - are sure they can do something with jumpers for goalposts that'll leave Ron Manager speechless. As soon as the keeper's makeshift goalposts align themselves to the proper distance, you know something's different about this pitch.

Valspar
"The Magnolia Test"
2 mins 20s
22 Jul 2015
Letting a bunch of kids loose with a bottomless supply of paint sounds like a recipe for disaster, but the love of colour wins the day in this entertaining Valspar film from Mustard's Matteo Bonifazio. Supers ask us, "When did we fall out of love of colour?" Who better to tackle the question than children already far from impressed by how grown-ups look at the myriad shades available.

Glenfiddich
"The Magnificent Ten"
90s
26 Apr 2015
In the second of two excellent films for Glenfiddich, we learn how William Grant decided to go into business for himself after a disagreement with his boss. Walking out of the distillery, he rounds up his nine children so they can help him with his new venture and established a business that remains family-run to this day.

Glenfiddich
"Case of Dreams"
60s
26 Apr 2015
One of two excellent new films centring on the heritage of Glenfiddich, this commercial reveals how the founder's great-grandson boldly took the single malt to New York where he won the Americans over with its quality. The period detail is really super with director Sam Miller drawing on his TV experience to create an amazingly authentic piece of advertising.

Dunelm
"Pillows"
30s
9 Apr 2015
A woman whose uncomfortable pillow is preventing her from sleeping is visited by one of Dunelm's 'Sleep Sheep' who advises her how to solve the problem. Judging by her tranquil demeanour, she must think she's simply dreaming that a woolly ungulate is telling her what to do... or her night would feel disturbed on a whole other level.

Dunelm
"Rory Foam"
30s
18 Mar 2015
A striking new campaign for Dunelm sees people who are having problems getting to sleep being offered solutions from unexpected quarters. A roving quartet of sheep visit the wakeful in the small hours - and in this spot a chap is informed of Dunelm's memory foam mattresses by a reet northern ewe with a gruff male voice. We're not sure if that means it's actually a ram - but we imagine that's the last thing this chap's going to be worried about.

Dunelm
"Barney Blackout"
30s
18 Mar 2015
A new campaign for Dunelm sees people who are having problems getting to sleep being offered solutions from unexpected quarters. In this spot, a little boy has a visitor in the form of a bandanna-ed sheep. To his surprise, the sheep informs him that Dunelm has a range of 700 blackout blinds that it'll tell his mum about, making a good night's kip far easier.

i
"Coalition"
30s
16 Mar 2015
Another spot for The Independent's concise sibling i has a woman desperately trying to articulate her feelings about the coalition but failing to hit the mark. What we like about this campaign is its naturalism - the back-tracking and qualifying and cul-de-sacs that arise in her speech are beautifully recognisable without sounding contrived.

i
"Get to the Point"
30s
16 Mar 2015
This ad for the newspaper i from The Independent neatly conveys how it's the paper that keeps the content intelligent but cuts out the waffle. A chap being interviewed about the NHS at a train station sounds like he's actually quite smart, but simply doesn't know how to get to the point. The advertised newspaper can be counted on to sum up succinctly.

Milka
"Easter Hunt"
40s
11 Mar 2015
Two boys are gathering chocolate eggs in a pretty Alpine meadow. They're searching for something, and suddenly the bigger of the two starts racing across the field with certainty and purpose. The other can't keep up - and so loses out to the victor who has found the Milka bunny. But no matter; all's well when the big boy takes pity on him and offers to share.

St Mungo's
"Homeless Health Matters"
60s
3 Mar 2015
St Mungo's brings the healthcare needs of the homeless to the fore in this spot. The film shows a homeless man passing by various healthcare outlets while clutching a hospital drip. It's a thought-provoking effort designed to make you open your eyes when you're out and about; a potent reminder that what is readily available to us may not be so for others.

KFC
"Families"
60s
10 Feb 2015
It's fifty years since Colonel Sanders began peddling chicken in the UK and BBH have put together a lovely commercial celebrating half a century of bringing families together with a tender tale of a boy adjusting to his adoptive parents. Director Ben Liam Jones has injected this with a really light touch - witness the body language of the anxious dad welcoming his son into his new home - and complete sensitivity.

KFC
"Loose Change"
30s
5 Jan 2015
The 'Streetwise Menu'? Aha - smart stuff. This approach astutely sends out the message loud and clear that you don't need to wave your plastic around if the urge for KFC grabs you: there's plenty of options available to choose from for the price of the loose change you find down the back of the sofa. It's tricky to pull off without looking like only the virtually penniless go to KFC - but it's been done with élan here.

The Glenlivet
"It All Comes Back To The Original"
40s
5 Dec 2014
An impassioned ad for the single malt whisky which argues that there's no point emulating a masterpiece when you can create an original. Shots of smoking barrels, glowing metal brands and the stills in which The Glenlivet is housed combine to forge an ambiance of single-minded purpose; where tradition and perfectionism leave no room for second best.

Guinness
"Mind Over Matter"
65s
18 Nov 2014
A very touching spot in the 'Made of More' campaign which features former rugby player Shane Williams. Once told he was "too small" to play the game, he showed what he was made of by becoming one of the best rugby union test try scorers in the world. This is a lovely series, and Williams' evident emotion on the pitch shows just how important the game is to him.

Cancer Research
"Thank You"
60s
24 Oct 2014
Very lovely piece of work showing the ways in which people fundraise for Cancer Research; evidently because someone they know or are close to has been diagnosed with it. The quiet determination to make something positive come out of their experience shines through: fear, exhaustion, discomfort, goodbyes - all are borne with fortitude for a greater cause.

Nicotinell
"Action Figure"
30s
12 Oct 2014
Another ridiculous sequence of events are triggered by someone's decision to quit smoking in this engaging series for Nicotinell. In this instance, a man who normally misses out on all the dancing at parties becomes a kung fu legend when he busts his moves and eventually gets given his own action figure.

Nicotinell
"Robin"
30s
12 Oct 2014
Another fun ad in this series for Nicotinell highlighting the things you'll have time for when you manage to kick the smoking habit. In this case we discover how a man used his extra minutes to book a flight to Japan and help to save a rare bird from extinction - it's a beautifully executed piece of silliness.

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