David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

The Atlantic
"Typecast"
2 mins 50s
16 February 2017
USA Magazines

The Atlantic's first brand campaign in a decade sees esteemed actor Michael K. Williams - veteran of 'The Wire' and 'Boardwalk Empire' - reprising some of his best-loved characters as he explores the question of his own identity.

The film shows four different versions of the actor examining whether or not he's typecast in his career and how that has affected him. The script isn't shy about addressing racial and political issues (Williams muses he'll always be playing some type of gangster), including a funny yet poignant extended metaphor which asks whether a cat can ever pass as a poodle.

It's a truly brilliant performance from Williams, who embodies the separate characters masterfully. An opportunity for the actor to 'un-typecast' himself, he's by turns sensitive and snappy with a hefty dose of self-awareness thrown into the mix. Thought-provoking stuff which leaves the central issue open-ended: is all casting typecasting?

Finish
"Combinations"

Matt said:

Hard to believe they were here a few years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItCcR6BD0uo


CLICK HERE TO SEE CLIP

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The Atlantic
"Typecast"
2 mins 50s
16 Feb 2017
The Atlantic's first brand campaign in a decade sees esteemed actor Michael K. Williams reprising some of his best-loved characters as he explores the question of his own identity. The film shows four different versions of the actor examining whether or not he's typecast in his career and how that has affected him.

Nike
"Equality"
90s
14 Feb 2017
Having recently scooped a Grammy for Beyoncé’s politically-charged ‘Formation’ promo, director Melina Matsoukas tackles equality in this stirring Nike film. To mark Black History Month, Michael B. Jordan asks: “Is this the land history promised?” Despite the wintry aesthetic, the ad has fire in the belly.

Finish
"Combinations"
40s
14 Feb 2017
Finish’s ‘Who Cleans The Cleaner?’ campaign continues to stand tall in this sector. This latest instalment focuses on, erm, fusion cuisine. Caesar salad and orange jelly, scrambled eggs with cat food, baby milk and tuna bake… no, it’s not a Heston Blumenthal set menu, it’s just some of the unedifying things that nestle beside one another in the dishwasher.

Sainsbury's
"Love Dancing"
30s
8 Feb 2017
A commercially-contrived event February 14th may be, but at least Orange Supermarket suggests we embrace the mood of the day rather than imply we're losers in love if we don't buy perfunctory gifts for our significant others. Better still, there's no discount price points cancelling out the thoughtfulness behind the limp flowers / battered chocolate box / bottle of Lambrini flogged by everyone else.

Finish
"Plates"
20s
2 Feb 2017
Finish manages to add a little sparkle to even the dullest message about cleaning power. This simple execution features a montage of "nearly clean" items that have been through the dishwasher, and appropriate sound design as people rub, scrub and scratch the remaining stains off is pretty effective.

Arla Skyr
"The Judge"
40s
24 Jan 2017
In a country which experiences fewer than two murders a year - to the point a recent, rare case has gripped the nation - we like to imagine this is what the Icelandic judiciary spend their time getting up to. This funny film sees a judge ruling - Solomon style - on cases as serious and varied as a tug of war, a mountain climbing race, and her husband's tie selection.

Sainsbury's
"Food Dancing (Extended)"
2 mins 55s
20 Jan 2017
This extended version of the new Sainsbury's 'Food Dancing' campaign features some interesting additions, including dance instructions and a colourful 80's rap video-style segment. Despite the campaign causing health and safety concerns in some quarters (dancing with sharp knives or flinging around tea-towels near open flames... maybe they have a point), this extended version is an effective promo for MysDiggi's specially-created song.

Sainsbury's
"Food Dancing"
60s
18 Jan 2017
Something interesting always happens when an agency like W+K gets into bed with a client like Sainsbury's and so it proves with the agency's début TV work for its big new client. Orange Supermarket has been placed at the forefront of a new movement called #fooddancing by an ad with an earwormy soundtrack from MysDiggi combined with a montage that's been made to look as though it's been clandestinely filmed in our actual kitchens.

T K Maxx
"Sing-Song"
50s
7 Nov 2016
Film fans were recently hit with the news that Quentin Tarantino’s next two films will likely be his last. To soften the blow, T K Maxx’s Christmas ad pays tribute to Pulp Fiction with an unorthodox a cappella rendition of the movie’s signature tune, ‘Misirlou’. Before everyone has a chance to recite Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield’s ‘Royale with cheese’ scene, the ad’s oddball choir steals the show.

Babbel
"Tiny Whale"
30s
31 Oct 2016
Just as the English-learning version of this ad satirised period dramas such as Downton Abbey for colouring the world's view of Britain, Babbel send up Amélie here for their French course. This 30s ad has it all: cryptic dialogue, existential musings about the metaphors in mundane things, and some lovely visual call-backs to the film involving heavy fringes and coquettish glances. And even a British bloke who manages to avoid making a fart joke about the sound of a ketchup bottle... c'est bien.

Babbel
"Messy Dress"
30s
31 Oct 2016
Babbel send up period dramas and the rest of the world's perception of Britain in this funny ad for their language-learning app. Two elegant ladies in Edwardian costumes daintily sip tea and gossip about a high-spirited young relative who wants to play freely and not conform to the staid social norms - a well-constructed play on tropes - when a modern-day man appears and shares his own comments about the young lady's unbecoming commitment to free will.

Arla Protein
"Outdoor Planking"
30s
17 Oct 2016
This entertaining ad for Arla Protein features a right planker. Eager to strengthen his core, this chap enrols in an outdoor boot camp. As if working his abs wasn't hard enough, a dog gets extra friendly with the side of his face. Only the strongest can endure such conditions, according to the steely VO - and Arla's protein range can help such fitness nuts stay in the zone.

Powell
"Jonny"
5 mins 29s
12 Oct 2016
Powell's take-no-prisoners brand of electronica takes a hypnotic turn in 'Jonny' - named after the track's vocalist, a former planner / strategist at Weiden + Kennedy. The accompanying promo is the brainchild of the same agency's creative incubator collectively known as The Kennedys, and features a host of submitted clips of folk smashing melons with their heads.

Lurpak
"Game On, Cooks"
60s
22 Sep 2016
Has cooking become too much of a spectator sport? Lurpak thinks so, and the brand makes a bold move by telling viewers to switch their attention from telly to belly. Lurpak being Lurpak, they've done a first-rate job. Somesuch's Daniel Wolfe meets this campaign's exacting standards head on with a brilliant execution. Once the game begins, it's something to behold.

T K Maxx
"Space Station"
30s
10 Sep 2016
A woman in T K Maxx's health and beauty department striking eye for a bargain leads her to join the space programme. Forget about exploring new planets or establishing contact with aliens - this crew's mission is all about looking and feeling fabulous. The zero-gravity visuals are impressively realised, while Katherine Parkinson's VO maintains the retailer's carefree spirit.

T K Maxx
"Biker Jacket"
30s
3 Sep 2016
T K Maxx has captured the frisson associated with a new and unexpected purchase throughout this campaign with a variety of eye-catching scenarios, and this ad maintains the sophisticated silliness with a woman taking motorcycle stunts to new levels of chic. As if the addition of a designer dress and a biker jacket to her wardrobe wasn't enough, the latter inspires her to add some two-wheeled thrills to her Tuesday afternoons.

Maynards Bassetts
"Jelly Baby Trampolines"
20s
24 Aug 2016
The lovely Maynards Bassett intermissions continue... and today we have a couple of intrepid guys using giant jelly babies as trampolines. But this is no mere leisure activity - when one of the pair doesn't descend after a particularly successful bounce, lab technicians emerge; having been monitoring them from the sidelines.

Maynards Bassetts
"Robot"
20s
9 Aug 2016
Maynards Bassetts continue to add a splash of colour to the ad break with another Blinkink creation (this time courtesy of illustrator Rob Flowers). A tin man finds the confectioner's Juicy Chews to be a psychedelic shock to the system, and each sweetie that passes through the android's head prompts a colourful reaction. Now we know to deal with any evil robots that cross our path.

Nurofen
"The Obvious Choice"
30s
28 Jul 2016
Nurofen have switched the focus of their advertising and it's a wise move. After the slap on the wrist they received for claiming the ibuprofen in their products moves through the body like determined Navy Seals in search of specific areas of pain, they have sensibly opted for a more digestible claim in this bright piece of work.

Stride Gum
"The Strength Within"
15s
26 Jul 2016
It's impossible to glean from the action onscreen just what crazy flavour Stride Gum boasts, but we suspect that's less a priority than its sheer intensity. A disembodied blue mouth challenges us to look inside its gum, which reveals an animated muscleman arm wrestling a monster truck. The appeal lies in being 'out there' enough to choose it rather than to buy it for its taste alone.

Stride Gum
"Momma's Home"
15s
26 Jul 2016
If Stride Gum is anything like as explosive on the tongue as its advertising is on the eyes, it'll be like Bikini Island in your mouth. These brief but frenzied US spots for the gum are hugely inventive from a visual perspective, suggesting a mind-churningly trippy taste sensation. No doubt uninitiated youngsters will be desperate to try it.

Maynards Bassetts
"Chewing Cup 2016"
20s
15 Jun 2016
Our nation's summer of sport continues in unlikely fashion with the grand final of the Chewing Cup, brought to us courtesy of Maynards Bassett. This woolly competitor shows no signs of nerves as it lazily chews on a selection of Bertie Bassett's jelly treats, and Blinkink's Chris Bristow produces a fun addition to the brand's weird and wonderful reel of intermissions.

Honda CR-V
"Black Edition"
10s
6 Jun 2016
A short post script for the technique that wowed us last year (before it upset the killjoys at the ASA who upheld a complaint that it was inviting drivers to break the speed limit). The legacy of the original commercial is a terrific piece of shorthand which instantly invokes the original conceit and its association with the advertised cars.

Three
"Before Dawn"
60s
13 May 2016
Jackson and Will.i.am. turn up as tech-tastic cowboys riding at the gates of dawn in this new spot for Three. The singer and Voice judge has a fashion and technology brand called i.am+, which has developed a voice-activated watch available exclusively through the mobile network, and here the pair ride through the purple-hued night spreading the news to kids out way past their bedtime.

Halls
"Bear Breath"
20s
8 May 2016
This 2014 commercial for Halls has just made its way on to British TV for the first time in this abbreviated 20" edit. After consuming a lozenge, a biker's breath emerges as a cloud of polar bears... each with their own fetching moustaches. A mad, but eye-catching piece of polar 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.