David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Metcalfe's
"Electricity"
30s
9 March 2017
UK Popcorn

This fun Metcalfe’s ad depicts some shocking developments at the popcorn maker’s factory. A woman in a pink fur ensemble does her bit for snacking science by conducting static electricity. Once sufficiently charged, her new-found electric touch is enough to create a new batch. Who said laboratory conditions had be dull?

Directors Fatal Farm do a good job realising the lab’s retro aesthetic. Meanwhile, the sound of balloons bobbling against one another is equally satisfying as popping corn. The brand wants us to know they’re always looking for new breakthroughs in popcorn production - and we can imagine a few requesting a factory tour as a result.

Volvo
"Human Made"

Will said:

top draw bit of advertising.


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Metcalfe's
"Electricity"
30s
9 Mar 2017
This fun Metcalfe’s ad depicts some shocking developments at the popcorn maker’s factory. A woman in a pink fur ensemble does her bit for snacking science by conducting static electricity. Once sufficiently charged, her new-found electric touch is enough to create a new batch. Who said laboratory conditions had be dull?

TSB
"Plusness"
30s
8 Mar 2017
More perks seem to accompany TSB's "famous Plus Account" with each instalment. Now the advertised bank wants to reward frequent spenders by contributing £5 cashback every month, an extra fiver for direct debits, and even 3% interest on certain balances. It's a lot for Kelly Macdonald's VO to communicate, but this campaign's illustrative visuals help boil it down.

Metcalfe's
"Skinny Popcorn"
30s
4 Mar 2017
This ad for Metcalfe's range of 'skinny' popcorn flavours explores some alternative methods of making the stuff pop. Featuring a gent with an impressive set of pipes, it shows him straining for a glass-crackingly high note as dogs flee the scene with the force of his warble. It kicks off an eye-catching campaign for the snack brand, sure to grab attention with its quirky humour.

Old Spice
"Dry Times"
30s
11 Jan 2017
These commercials for Old Spice spoof Old West tropes with the brand's characteristic sense of humour. Their deodorant is so effective it's left the, uh, pit farmers' land too dry to grow their 'pertaters' - a line delivered in a perfectly rubbish accent. In the second clip, an old man shakes his fists skyward at the Old Spice gods as his son is smushed to death beneath a giant deodorant stick.

Amazon Prime
"Busker"
30s
11 Jan 2017
In the same vein as 2016's 'Vicar and Imam' ad, this film features someone doing a good turn for a friend by ordering them a gift on Amazon Prime. This time a woman sees the busker opposite her food cart fail to make any money, so she orders him a pirate costume for his dog which instantly turns his luck around. The British public: consistently predictable in their passion for pooches.

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.

TSB
"Sweets"
30s
25 Sep 2016
TSB looks to sweeten the deal when it comes to home insurance with this animated ad. A boy asks for his favourite sweetie, but the grumpy shopkeeper lumps it in with a bag full of unwanted treats. Luckily, there's another sweet shop that provides exactly what the lad wants without any yucky surprises - and the advertised bank claims they treat home insurance the same way.

Amazon Fashion
"Delivering Fashion"
60s
6 Sep 2016
A succession of uber-chic delivery workers knock on doors and ring buzzers to hand over fashionable goods while Vitalic's 'Poison Lips' provides some persuasive beats in the background. Since they're wearing some of the clothes available from Amazon's new fashion arm, they have to be the most suavely-dressed couriers in the history of couriering.

Amazon Prime
"Swing"
60s
9 Jun 2016
Amazon presents another imaginative solution courtesy of their Prime delivery service in this diverting commercial. A doting granddad finds this epic swing session in the back garden hard going after a while, but what is one to do when your grandchild's having the time of her life? Luckily, the green-fingered gran shows she's a dab hand with the advertised website's app as she orders some creative respite for the poor man's back.

TSB
"Cashback"
30s
7 Jun 2016
TSB's storybook campaign has yet more "plusness" to entice customers with - this time conveyed by one man and his dog playing an ambitious game of fetch. Kelly Macdonald's VO informs us that the bank are keen believers in the give-and-receive approach to spending, meaning cashback is readily available across their contactless and credit cards. As ever, the pretty animation helps project a cordial tone.

TSB
"Partnership"
40s
17 Mar 2016
TSB underline the importance they place on forging helpful relationships by heading to the playground. The bank believe working together with both their staff and customers is the surest route to success, so they call their employees 'partners'. To illustrate this ethos, the animation depicts a group of children enjoying a roundabout thanks to some friendly assistance. Gently persuasive work.

Amazon Prime
"Mini Horse"
60s
15 Nov 2015
Sonny & Cher's 'Little Man' provides the musical backdrop to this tale of a small horse struggling to integrate with his equine pals. Newly introduced, the little fella tries to make friends with his stablemates but to no avail. Looking out of her kitchen window, his owner offers an empathic sigh... but what can she do?

TSB
"Balloons"
30s
14 Sep 2015
TSB accounts now come with "added plusness" - the first 'plus' of which is 5% interest on current account balances of up to £2,000. That's quite impressive. There are three of these 'pluses' in total, and to illustrate this, the attractive animation style shows a small boy being given more and more balloons by a kind vendor. It's a gentle illustration that the bank offers features you might not expect.

Amazon Prime
"Injured Dog"
60s
11 Aug 2015
A man comes up with a novel solution when his injured pooch struggles to keep up during their daily walk. The poor little thing can only watch in abject misery as other dogs gamely charge around the park and his owner is clearly sympathetic to his plight. Lee Marvin's 'I Was Born Under A Wandering Star' adds to the overall sense of torpor and it all seems a bit hopeless.

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.

Amazon Prime
"Nursery"
60s
27 Jul 2015
This spot for Amazon Prime drives home the advantages of next day delivery on orders without resorting to a bombardment of customer endorsements. Instead, we're offered a scenario many parents will recognise... a child's first day at nursery. How to balance your feelings of guilt and your child's potential sense of abandonment? There is an answer.

TSB
"Local Banking On Demand"
30s
16 Apr 2015
Older punters will remember the days when the local bank manager had considerable clout and any suggestion of a return to that model ought to stir a bit of excitement. After all, algorithm-based centralised decision-making is arbitrary... so TSB are astute to tap into the idea of a return to old-fashioned values. Sadly, it isn't particularly true.

TSB
"Crystal Ball"
30s
28 Jan 2015
A woman consults a fortune-teller to see what her future holds. She's in a wedding dress, the fortune teller says... there's a tall, handsome groom beside her. Ooh. And a castle, a proper Sleeping Beauty-style one. But, what's this? Life doesn't turn out as she hopes... well, ain't that the truth. At least TSB has a mortgage which combines stability and flexibility.

Amazon Kindle
"Downton Abbey Sponsorship"
70s
1 Oct 2014
This series of bumpers has actors in period dramas incongruously reading their Kindles while they wait to be called in front of the cameras. These don't move beyond the humour of the anachronistic juxtaposition but they don't need to as someone has correctly calculated that it's simply funny to see something that doesn't quite add up.

TSB
"Tailor"
30s
16 Sep 2014
A tasteful little number which likens being offered a mortgage to being measured for a suit. Get the wrong one and it's not going to fit your financial requirements regardless of the reassurances of those persuading you to take it. The only snag for us is that this implies home buyers have the luxury of picking and choosing, when in fact - for many - the possibility of being offered any mortgage is as remote as the moon.

TSB
"Cake"
30s
7 Apr 2014
This animated ad packs a lot of information into thirty seconds as it reassures us that the TSB wouldn't engage in the kind of flimsy unscrupulous practices we've come to expect in the financial sector. A waiter who dangles cake in front of an expectant woman provides the visual metaphor as a Scottish-accented VO tells us all he terrible things that TSB won't do.

TSB
"Community"
60s
10 Feb 2014
It's tricky to play the 'nationalist' card successfully without facing accusations of bigotry, and this commercial for TSB very successfully negotiates what is a hazardous minefield. As part of an ongoing effort to decouple TSB's image from an association with the disastrous antics of Lloyds TSB, this animated film stresses the idea that here is a bank with the instincts of a mutual society.

Google Nexus
"Slight Hitch"
60s
11 Dec 2013
Google continues to make the Nexus an appealing alternative to Apple's dominant iPad in this clever and emotive spot. A young man who we automatically presume must be from a poor African country is trying to get a ride somewhere, without success. It isn't until he speaks that our assumptions are turned on their head, much to our embarrassment.

Google Nexus
"Oven Woe"
30s
2 Dec 2013
This is one stylish piece of advertising - on so many levels. With the tablet market still dominated by Apple, other brands tend to seem like also-rans - the choice you make when you can't get the best. But Google has shown that this needn't be the case, and that its Nexus device can offer just as much credibility and emotional heft as any iPad.

Google Nexus
"Container Ship"
60s
16 Nov 2013
Who'd have thought that a commercial for a tablet computer would be right up there among the most emotionally impactful commercials this Christmas? Beautifully using one of Slade's lesser known tracks, this is a tale demonstrating how the advertised device can bring people together at Christmas... even when they're forced to be apart.

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