David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Santander
"Clips"
60s
13 January 2017
UK Banks

This ad for Santander shows a montage of funny clips pulled from the internet, while a VO explains ways in which the bank is here to help its customers prosper. These kind of content-mined ads can feel like a cop-out, but the inclusion of clips that feature the brand's spokespeople is a subtle way to link this to the rest of their campaign.

Mini
"Countryman"

Ed said:

Nicely shot. Bad creative.


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Santander
"Clips"
60s
13 Jan 2017
This ad for Santander shows a montage of funny clips pulled from the internet, while a VO explains ways in which the bank is here to help its customers prosper. These kind of content-mined ads can feel like a cop-out, but the inclusion of clips that feature the brand's spokespeople is a subtle way to link this to the rest of their campaign.

HomeAway
"The Whole House (Extended)"
1 min 55s
11 Jan 2017
This is the extended version of the HomeAway commercial we brought you recently. Parks & Recreation’s Nick Offerman recites an ode to the great family getaway. While he champions spending quality time with just the family, we’re also shown some creative means of destroying office equipment.

HSBC
"Jade"
60s
11 Jan 2017
HSBC Premier launch their Jade membership scheme with this attractive-looking commercial. After delivering a mysterious box (the best kind of box), a young boy finds all doors open to him as he explores the high life. We're left unsure about what being a Jade member entails, but, then again, this is likely aimed at a very select portion of the bank's clientele.

Vitality
"Race"
30s
5 Jan 2017
Did you know you're officially an everyday athlete if you can run to your front door? We think it should only apply if the front door is inconveniently situated at the far end of the east wing or you're halfway up a mountain. All the same, Jessica Ennis duly times the woman rushing to receive her Ocado order, which comes with a discount on healthy foods.

Cadbury Crème Eggs
"Hunting Season"
30s
4 Jan 2017
Cadbury declare open season on Creme Eggs in this fun ad. A gang of sweet-toothed hunters take to the countryside in various modes of transport including tractors, rollerblades, and even mobile cabins (love the 'poaching' joke). It's like Stanley Kramer's 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' all over again - only with chocolate eggs replacing the $350,000 bounty.

HomeAway
"The Whole House"
30s
27 Dec 2016
HomeAway continue their mission to persuade us that there's a better alternative to AirBnB through the medium of humour and - in this case - song. Nick Offerman provides both via a winning VO performance which fans of US comedy Parks & Recreation will appreciate... even if no one else has any idea who it is.

Iceland
"Mr and Mrs Claus"
60s
4 Dec 2016
Iceland's Christmas ad threatens to be overshadowed by the supermarket's tiff with the Icelandic government. It's not the first Mrs Claus Mrs Claus we've seen this year either. Still, a reet Northern Santa and his loving wife Sarah project a warm bond in this festive spin on this campaign's fly-on-the-wall approach.

Apple Music
"Drake"
60s
23 Nov 2016
Taylor Swift made a viral splash falling off a treadmill for Apple Music back in April, and this time around Drake is busy pumping iron to a soundtrack of Frank Ocean... at least until his trainer leaves. Then it's straight into his playlists and in no time he's getting his groove on to Swift's 'Bad Blood'.

Spring King
"City"
4 mins 11s
15 Nov 2016
Put Blind Date in a blender with The Fast Show's Channel 9 and add a little League of Gentlemen. The resulting cocktail would be Jack Whiteley's promo for 'City' by Manchester rockers Spring King. It's part two of a pair - 'Detroit' introduced us to dating show Euro Lover; now Bartek and Penelopete are off to 'enjoy' the sights and sounds of the aforementioned city circa 1990.

Mini
"Country"
68s
4 Nov 2016
One of three expressive films directed by Lisa Gunning for the Mini Countryman. As this man walks through an ultra-modern office building, we realise his mind is elsewhere. In his own time, he enjoys taking in the sights and sounds of the countryside. Soft visuals and well-calibrated sound design create a convincing shift from work to play.

Mini
"Substance"
81s
4 Nov 2016
One of three expressive films directed by Lisa Gunning for the Mini Countryman. This instalment depicts a boy re-enacting a halcyon trip into the woods with his family. His hand-carved toys transport him from a bustling classroom to a day playing fetch with the dog, flying through the air on a tyre swing, and enjoying a lift from dad. A neat way of conveying our desire to travel.

Mini
"Space"
1 min 45s
4 Nov 2016
Good Egg’s Lisa Gunning has directed a trio of films for Mini imagining the great escape. Gunning’s ability to capture the minutiae of life is apparent for all to see as town and country blend into one. This swimmer finds herself sharing her pool time with the freestyle masses. Far from offering respite, it’s an ocean of noise. Before taking to the water, she imagines another place - a beach all to herself, water without lanes, and waves to be surfed.

The Avalanches
"Because I'm Me"
4 mins 44s
2 Nov 2016
The Avalanches drop their sample-tastic approach to go for the 1970s Big Apple sound on this latest track. 'Because I'm Me' is evocative of classics like Odyssey's 'Native New Yorker' and 'More Than A Woman' by the Tavares - in fact, you could almost pop it into the Saturday Night Fever OST without anyone even noticing.

Glenfiddich
"The Experimental Series"
60s
26 Oct 2016
Space take a scientific approach for Glenfiddich here, with a sultry Scottish voiceover telling us facts about the mind accompanied by dynamic shots suggesting curiosity and creativity. 'The mind lets us play with maybe, why, and what if' - which for Glenfiddich means creating a craft beer purely to season the casks that finish off their first experimental whisky.

Vigorsol
"Secret Yogi"
40s
21 Oct 2016
Vigorsol play with tropes and stereotypes in this ad for their stevia-sweetened gum. It's fun and packs a lot into just 40" thanks to some economic storytelling from director Martin Werner. It's a familiar tale of a teenage girl disappointing her parents possessing an unconventional twist.

nPower
"Trumpet"
30s
20 Oct 2016
Regular filmgoers will know superpowers are the 'in thing' these days, so you can't blame nPower for wanting a piece of the action. Instead of CGI-heavy booms and bangs, however, the energy supplier celebrates more modest abilities. This ad introduces us to Russell from Norfolk: father, husband, and expert, erm, 'trumpeter'.

Argos
"Bounding"
30s
29 Sep 2016
This ad from Argos is as innovative as it is colourful, showing deliveries made with a bit more oomph than you might expect. Not your typical high-street ad, the choreography is fun without being slapstick, and the comic, colour-coordinated customers are a lovely visual touch. DAVID might have to order something if the same-day delivery comes complete with acrobatics like that.

FIFA 17
"The Chant"
80s
26 Sep 2016
This technical sophistication of the current generation of games consoles means the beautiful game has rarely looked more convincing. EA Sports' FIFA series consistently wins plaudits for its near-broadcast standard presentation, and the roar from the crowd is captured in all its glory in this immersive ad for FIFA 17. The camera follows a Manchester United starlet from the dressing room to the pitch.

Kinder
"Playtime"
30s
10 Sep 2016
Kinder Surprise embarks on a pleasing new direction with this ad directed by Nice Shirt's Liz Murphy. Instead of the cloyingly artificial depictions of fun typically used by the brand, this piece features family members taking authentic pleasure from each other's company with the chocolate egg's miniature toys at the heart of it all.

Short Films
"Johanna Under the Ice"
3 mins 47s
4 Sep 2016
Having recovered from a biking accident thanks to cold water therapy, Johanna Nordblad embraced what lies below the icy surface by becoming a world record-holding freediver. This entrancing profile from director Ian Derry captures both the alien beauty of an Arctic lake and the human desire to stay in control. As Nordblad relates her story, Derry immerses the viewer above and below the surface.

EE
"Apple Music"
50s
28 Aug 2016
For those with very particular tastes, the sight of Kevin Bacon in a red catsuit should provide ample entertainment. The EE spokesman reminds us he's game for anything as he struts his stuff promoting the network's partnership with Apple Music. Meanwhile, Britney Spears makes a cameo appearance as her comeback PR machine rolls on - though Bacon's ongoing fascination with her wardrobe is a distracting issue.

Old El Paso
"The Grand Tour"
2 mins 52s
15 Aug 2016
Danny Trejo meets Dinky Trejo in this well-shot film for Old El Paso which provides the former with some formidable competition in the taco-making stakes. When the cocky veteran sees his van roll off a cliff into oblivion, he's forced to hitch a ride with his young challenger as they set off on a culinary road trip.

Huawei
"The Wall"
60s
10 Aug 2016
This visually striking ad for Huawei has Lionel Messi facing down a defensive wall with a serious "You shall not pass!" policy. Opponents, the media (a recurring target for football-based advertising this summer), and even a rampaging scoreboard combine to form an impenetrable barrier. However, all it takes is a selfie with a fan to inspire the Argentine wizard to score. It's not the most graceful brand integration we've seen, but Knucklehead's Gary Shore steers the VFX spectacle with a sure hand.

Visa
"The Swim"
30s
8 Aug 2016
As the UNHCR‎'s recent film highlighting the Refugee Olympic Team showed us, Rio 2016 is aiming to unite countries during disunited times. And this commercial celebrating Syrian Yusra Mardini's journey to the Olympics is unquestionably inspiring. Knucklehead's Siri Bunford does a super job of reminding viewers that this is the young woman who used her swimming prowess to rescue a dinghy full of refugees and connecting her heroism to her Rio exploits.

Flash
"Dog"
30s
1 Aug 2016
It's no mean feat stopping us from automatically tuning out from a Flash commercial, and this respectably daft tribute to Queen's work on 'Masters of the Universe' grabs both the eyes and the ears. An erstwhile muddy dog and his owner give it their best Freddie Mercury to communicate the brand's comprehensive cleaning properties. Good, clean fun.

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