David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

ITV Racing
"Grand National"
60s
26 March 2017
UK TV Programmes

John Cooper Clarke and The Maccabees's 'Pelican' combine to give this ITV Racing promo terrific energy. The broadcaster taps into how the annual Aintree meeting captures the nation's imagination - and turns us all into racing savants.

Form goes out the window when it comes to picking a contender; instead, it's all about "their colours and their funny names". Whether we meet Triumph or Disaster, everyone starts the race with one thought: this could be the year.

The film weaves together racing footage, eccentric personalities and visual stories beautifully. It boils down the race's multi-faceted relationship with the nation's seasoned and novice punters alike.

Cooper Clarke's words and voice convey the Grand National's enduring appeal, a blend of tradition and superstitions. The lyrical script also incorporates the channel's "nothing comes close" mantra, further strengthening ITV's revived association with horse racing.


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ITV Racing
"Grand National"
60s
26 Mar 2017
John Cooper Clarke and The Maccabees's 'Pelican' combine to give this ITV Racing promo terrific energy. The broadcaster taps into how the annual Aintree meeting captures the nation's imagination - and turns us all into racing savants. Form goes out the window when it comes to picking a contender; instead, it's all about "their colours and their funny names".

Ford EcoSport
"Perfectly Sized For City Life"
30s
26 Mar 2017
To illustrate how the advertised car is the perfect size for the city, this neat commercial focuses on some of the things that aren't. An outsized chandelier and an enormous garden statue demonstrate the perils of making the wrong choice before more prosaic comparisons are drawn. Historically, cars with these properties have been aimed at women but we assume Ford were keen to show this vehicle is big enough for a male driver.

Ford
"The Chase"
3 mins 24s
4 Mar 2017
A focus group takes an unexpected turn in this energetic ad for Ford. Filmed in and around their factory in Cologne, the car giant lets World Rally Championship driver Toni Kelly and fearless BMX stunt rider Sebastian Keep put the new vehicle through its paces. Featuring some extremely impressive stunt work, this isn't for the faint-hearted.

Top Gear
"Risk Assessment"
90s
22 Feb 2017
This amusing trail for the latest series of Top Gear sees presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid face a grilling in the BBC insurance department. The humourless pen-pusher (he’s stingy with biscuits, as well) has some concerns about the programme’s impending return. It’s safe to say these three aren’t the ones to ease them.

Belvita
"Train Driver"
2 mins
7 Feb 2017
This amusing hidden-camera ad for Belvita introduces us to quite possibly the most cheerful train guard in the South. On Blue Monday - January 16th: officially the most depressing day of the year - he attempts to cheer up the early morning service to Waterloo with bad jokes, beatboxing, and his winning personality - all fuelled by the energy from his breakfast biscuits.

E4
"Celebs Go Dating II"
60s
31 Jan 2017
This entertaining trail for Celebs Go Dating reminds us that true love can be hard to find... even for the rich and semi-famous. The likes of Hollyoaks star Jorgie Porter, dancer Perri Kiely, and Joey Essex (returning for a second series) encounter various obstacles in their quest for that special someone. Lovely end gag involving premature cork poppage.

The Jump
"Contestants"
20s
25 Jan 2017
Channel 4 borrow the Ski Sunday theme tune in this trail for The Jump. A vintage-style commentator introduces four celebs eager to keep their limbs intact: Sir Bradley Wiggins, Caprice, Gareth Thomas, and Robbie Fowler. Good delivery of a tongue-in-cheek script, while there’s a cheeky nod to Robbie Fowler’s famous goal celebration referencing a different kind of white powder.

MQA
"Take Me There"
1 min 38s
19 Jan 2017
Audiophiles will appreciate these well-shot films for MQA. A woman hitting the treadmill and a man enjoying some light reading are joined by hip hop artist Michael Ellison and and cellist Edgar Moreau respectively. Skilful transitions and lighting convey how music fans can enjoy immersive sound with the advertised audio format.

The Jump
"Flying Without Wings"
50s
18 Jan 2017
This promo for Channel 4's beleaguered reality show 'The Jump' features the plangent vocals of Westlife. 'Flying Without Wings' accompanies shots of this year's batch of celebrities flying over a snowy landscape, with appropriately transcendent expressions as they perform improbable acrobatic feats.

Channel 4
"We're Going on a Bear Hunt"
30s
15 Dec 2016
The makers of Christmas classic 'The Snowman and The Snowdog' have adapted children's classic 'We're Going On A Bear Hunt' for Channel 4 this festive season. This beautifully animated bumper for the half-hour special features the intrepid family climbing over pieces of the 4 logo... while a bigger creature hides from view. He's behind you!

Channel 4
"Connections to 4"
65s
29 Nov 2016
Channel 4's cultural importance has been reinvigorated by its coverage of the Paralympics and it has built on a legacy of inclusiveness at a time when we need the values it espouses more than ever. This film reminds us of the meaning of '4' as it attaches itself to those whose voices wouldn't necessarily be heard with the broadcaster's commitment to diversity.

BBC+
"Rambling"
55s
18 Nov 2016
The new BBC+ app lets you tailor your home screen to focus on the stuff you really like, as demonstrated in this amusing in-house ad. A couple going for a ramble are revealed to be nudists, and their, er, breezy conversation combined with some amusing visual details make the spot very entertaining. Love the cherry air freshener - subtle.

Channel 4
"Voices of 4"
2 mins
17 Nov 2016
This film introduces another diverse cast of continuity announcers. From a drag queen introducing Gogglebox, to the UK’s only Manx Gaelic class presenting The Simpsons, they’re all connected by the number - you guessed it - four. Like Channel 4’s recent visit to Leicester's Narborough Street, these vignettes let both personalities and inclusivity shine.

VW
"Barry's Golden Beetle"
2 mins 11s
4 Nov 2016
The VW Beetle's legacy has been beautifully tapped into by this online film from adam&eveDDB - Doyle Dane Bernbach's contemporary equivalent - which has been directed with great sensitivity and skill by documentarian Amanda Blue. The agency are never fearful of using sentimentality and this really seems to help them employ it effectively.

All 4
"Grayson Perry Meets Geoff"
4 mins 04s
3 Nov 2016
4Creative has produced a new four-part short-form series starting Grayson Perry, which have the artist discussing his own gender identity and meeting people from the trans community who've had to take risks to be themselves. It's the latest in Channel 4's Born Risky series, which has repeatedly pushed boundaries for the LGBT community (memorably with Gay Mountain, a trail created to support gay athletes competing at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games).

All 4
"Grayson Perry"
3 mins
3 Nov 2016
This film from the collection made by Grayson Perry for Channel 4's 'Born Risky' series has the artist discussing his own gender identity. Perry talks about his early ventures into cross-dressing and how he grew into the person he is now, exploring ideas of sexuality and identity in a candid talk accompanied by archive footage of his past.

Francobollo
"Wonderful"
3 mins 45s
2 Nov 2016
Swedish outfit Francobollo gets the award for Most Unlikely Promo of the Year thanks to production collective Mad Ruffian. A lovable clump of pubic hair (indeed) appears miffed that it is missing out on some hot Tinder action because its owner has had a preparatory shave. This is your chance to find out what happens to all that bodily detritus you presume has swirled down the plughole... we can all learn something here.

Channel 4
"Fright Bites"
20s
26 Oct 2016
Channel 4 promise to deliver some short sharp shocks in this ad for their 'Fright Bites' series of short horror films. The sinister six range from four to six minutes, playing on common fears such as handsy spirits and crazy old ladies. The clown episode might be a wee bit dicey given the current epidemic of weirdos in masks scaring the pants off people, but the rest leave a lovely chill behind. Might be keeping the lights on tonight.

Unibet
"Lopez"
30s
13 Oct 2016
This fun Unibet ad relates one footballer's journey from sinner to saint. A punter thinks Señor Lopez is destined for the referee's notebook, but his mates tell a different story. Thanks to some spiritual enlightenment and a new manager, Lopez is a changed man. Having an ultra-cautious ref helps. An entertaining reminder that doing your homework can't hurt your chances.

Hollyoaks
"Halloween"
60s
12 Oct 2016
Hollyoaks do the monster mash with this creepy promo for their Halloween extravaganza. We leave a subdued costume party and stumble into a spooky alternate reality. Our characters are trapped in an invisible maze, the unsettling soundtrack - a call-back to classic horror 'The Exorcist' - picking up as they try to break free of their supernatural prison.

Emmerdale
"The Last Dance"
60s
10 Oct 2016
Emmerdale create suspense for their teased October death in this atmospheric trail. Opening with an ominous ticking clock, the tension builds from the start as Dinah Washington's 'What A Difference A Day Makes' echoes though an undefined space that must have taken a fair whack of the budget to fill with dry ice. A shadowy spectre billows threateningly around our couples - dancing, appropriately - as we wonder who will take their last dance and be killed this Autumn.

Freeview
"The Other Way"
90s
2 Oct 2016
Freeview presents a collection of bite-sized ads designed to catch the eye and start a dialogue with the viewing masses. While the platform admits it doesn't possess the financial muscle of its subscription rivals, it's focused on a more altruistic path. Thanks to some intriguing production choices, Anomaly London and DBLG's gambit pays off.

Humans
"Product Recall"
60s
26 Sep 2016
Last year, Channel 4 rattled viewers with a mysterious communication from Persona Synthetics - later revealed to be the architects behind the world of sci-fi series Humans. Now, the corporation wishes to placate anxious customers with a product recall announcement.

SAS: Who Dares Wins
"Teaser"
20s
15 Sep 2016
Channel 4 suggests military-grade thrills with this trail for SAS: Who Dares Wins. The camera remains locked on these contestants' eyes as their initial shock and terror slowly turns to resolve. The visuals capture the sensory barrage awaiting those looking to prove their mettle in the programme, while '2020' by Suuns is an apt track choice with its spiralling notes and throbbing beat.

HM Government
"Chris's Apprenticeship"
30s
7 Sep 2016
Chris is "the guy from the council estate, aspiring to do better," in this latest ad for HM Government's 'Get In, Go Far' campaign. He's an engaging young man who obtained an apprenticeship at IBM and is doing the same work as his graduate peers - but because he was learning on the job rather than at uni, he's also been enjoying a salary along the way.

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