David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Leo Vegas
"Double Vegas"
90s
21 February 2017
UK Betting

It turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors. We're already familiar with the suave yet faintly menacing lion... and now another familiar visage joins him. It's the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas - and boy, what a bonus he proves to be. Having "bigged it up" in the audition, he finds himself slightly out of his depth - and we can't look away.

The 90-second ad uses a variety of behind-the-scenes tropes to convey the comic's anxiety about the things he's expected to do. We see him roar feebly in the recording booth, protest at featuring in a Japanese ad, and jump out of a plane... onto a greenscreen mat.

His timing and physicality are superb, and what's so clever about bringing him on board is the extra dimension he introduces.

While the besuited big cat suggests the brand has a sophisticated player demographic, Jonny opens things up and invites a broader audience.

The hapless manner in which he bumbles through renders the idea of gambling harmless - it's just a bit of a laugh. Existing customers can align themselves with the superiority of Leo the lion; new ones will associate the brand with fun and frippery.

But to say his clout stops there would be wrong. Johnny Vegas is also known for being controversial and anarchic; his size and his ability to look and sound dim-witted belying a sharp intelligence. So both target audiences will appreciate his presence and take what they choose from it.

Whatever we feel about the ubiquity of online gambling and the barrage of ads promoting it, we have to judge each campaign by the quality of its ideas, execution, and presumed effectiveness. This particular ad hits the jackpot on all three counts and we look forward to seeing what's next for the newly-formed double act.

McDonald's McCafé
"Madness"

Hanna said:

lovely work! nice one everyone x


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Leo Vegas
"Double Vegas"
90s
21 Feb 2017
It turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors. We're already familiar with the suave yet faintly menacing lion... and now another familiar visage joins him. It's the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas - and boy, what a bonus he proves to be. Having "bigged it up" in the audition, he finds himself slightly out of his depth - and we can't look away.

Vodafone
"Amy's Birthday"
40s
17 Feb 2017
This ad for Vodafone features a father who promises his daughter concert tickets for her birthday... before he has them. The situation sparks an amusing montage of him waiting on hold all day as he goes about his business. At least he can be confident Vodafone's coverage won't drop out and put him back to number 900-plus in the life-sapping box office queue.

ClearScore
"Bathtime"
30s
15 Feb 2017
ClearScore’s offbeat campaign continues to intrigue as Charlie’s advised to check his credit score whilst in the bath. While he has a nosey at the advertised website, Moose the dog asks what his owner’s doing in that giant bowl of water. Alas, not everyone’s as keen to join Charlie as the telepathic mutt. Strangely compelling.

ClearScore
"Cat Video"
30s
15 Feb 2017
Every cat owner knows that no matter how much you think you're in charge, the kitties run the house. Even when you're checking your credit score online for free, as this quirky ad for ClearScore demonstrates. A man tries to take responsibility for his finances while lounging in bed, but Flearoy is deeply unimpressed and has other ideas.

Durex
"Earth-Shattering"
30s
31 Jan 2017
Do schoolchildren still refer to condoms as 'rubber johnnies'? While they undoubtedly have their moments, the current generation appear to have a more mature outlook than we did when it comes to discussions about sexual responsibility. They understand the importance of 'safe sex' and probably have a degree of respect for the products designed to promote it.

Adidas
"Y-3"
2 mins 40s
23 Jan 2017
This ad for Adidas' Y-3 collection feels like a trailer for a movie which doesn't exist about a dystopian future. Designed by influential Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto (hence the Y), the collection enhances the cryptic, quasi-facist imagery of the film, centred around a mysterious figure fleeing from the establishment. Strange, intriguing stuff.

Mini
"Who's In?"
45s
11 Jan 2017
Are you in or out? That's the pressing issue in this ad for Mini, showcasing five different models aimed at young, outdoorsy people who embrace adventure like the rest of us would embrace a hot water bottle on a cold night. If you like rock climbing, surfing, ping pong (yes), and being uber-fashionable while you do it all, this is the car for you.

Fiverr
"Get Sh*t Done"
60s
11 Jan 2017
This ad for Fiverr is basically capitalism on steroids. The relentless focus on business development includes upsetting small children and terrifying employees with a chainsaw: according to Fiverr, nothing should get in your way. We're told to 'promote the crap' out of our business and not trust anyone but ourselves to 'get shit done'... we're motivated and slightly terrified at the same time.

Carphone Warehouse
"Christmas Elf"
30s
1 Dec 2016
It seems Carphone Warehouse sank the last of their budget into their Dubai-based ad, because Keith Lemon is in markedly more restrained surroundings for his Christmas outing. It's not exactly Lapland, but the malfunctioning lights and shabby backdrop are an inspired move and create a fitting end as the globe-trotting campaign returns home.

Emeli Sandé
"Garden (ft Jay Electronica & Aine Zion)"
4 mins 03s
22 Nov 2016
Rapper Jay Electronica and poet Áine Zion join Emeli Sandé for her latest release, 'Garden'. The attendant promo from Charlie Robins is, fittingly, set in a stately garden complete with tropical glasshouse, and the action moves between the two. The steamy, dreamy lushness of the latter complements the song's vibe... making it a perfect combination.

Short Films
"King Lear Act 2 Scene IV"
4 mins 46s
15 Nov 2016
Colonel Blimp’s journey through Shakespeare’s tragedies continues with Billy Lumby’s take on King Lear. The setting is updated to a nursing home, but the language stays the same. Forget castle walls and royal quarters; Act II Scene 4 now unfolds in dull corridors and unwelcoming social areas.

Childline
"Voices"
80s
7 Nov 2016
This ad for Childline by Agile Films demonstrates just how effective and attention-grabbing celebrity endorsement can be. The simple film has no visual distractions, keeping the focus squarely on their spokesperson as Cheryl Cole - new face of the charity - has her words replaced with the voices of some of the children Childline helps.

Sky Cinema
"Advent Calendar"
40s
8 Nov 2016
Sky suggests there's plenty in store for movie lovers this Christmas with this skillfully composed ad. Windows from an advent calendar open to a host of blockbuster titles - and each door is in keeping with the film's aesthetic. The calendar motif is a smart one, making the proposition instantly obvious and easy to remember.

Intu
"Birds"
45s
7 Nov 2016
Shopping centre proprietors Intu enlist some feathery customers for their Christmas ad. Like a storybook tale for the materialist age, the narrator introduces us to various shopping archetypes. From a "me, me, me" flamingo to a duck with a full flock in tow, these well-designed birds bring plenty of personality to their minimalist surroundings.

Irwin Mitchell
"Human Touch"
30s
15 Oct 2016
"Widely regarded as the number one personal injury law firm" is a line of copy that must be ruffling feathers at 'Lawyers4U' - the company that sounds like one of those songs Prince never got around to releasing - but this sensitive treatment makes the claim plausible. Instead of making a mishap sound like an opportunity, Irwin Mitchell make it sound as though they've got your back.

Littlewoods
"Christmas Walk"
40s
3 Nov 2016
The Littlewoods Christmas ad encourages us to get some fresh air with attitude on Christmas Day. There's a lovely 'tooling up' sequence as everyone steps out the door in style. With their thick jackets, Beats headphones, and lightsabers, nothing can halt this festive swagger... until another family emerges from around the corner. Some textbook British awkwardness rounds off this entertaining effort.

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.

Whiskas
"Hairbrush"
20s
23 Oct 2016
Whiskas continue to celebrate curiosity in this amusing ad which features a cat who hasn't quite figured out that hairbrushes are nigh on unkillable. Julian Barratt's voiceover brings the kitty's inner monologue to life, as he stalks and pounces on his unsuspecting, spiny prey - only to be distracted by the sound of much more edible food being opened.

Whiskas
"Water Drop"
20s
13 Oct 2016
Cat owners will be familiar with the inner monologue of the kitty in Whiskas' new ad. While he thinks of himself as a calculating, ruthless hunter stalking his prey with satisfaction, the opening of a Whiskas packet reveals him as a domestic cat watching a dripping tap. This is a fun exploration of the curiosity of cats... in a non-lethal sense.

Haig Whisky
"Make Your Own Rules"
60s
12 Oct 2016
Haig want to throw away the rulebook on whisky in this ad for their new Clubman blend. A youthful but sultry female voiceover lists the received rules of whisky drinking to us - drink it neat, alone, in front of an open fire, whilst being a very manly man, to name but a few - accompanied by shots of bright young things doing the exact opposite of what they 'should'.

Velvet Toilet Tissue
"Rabbit Muscle"
30s
11 Oct 2016
This commercial from Velvet light-heartedly pokes fun at the lofty 'scientific claims' often made in ads for products as mundane as toilet paper. Victoria is doing some very serious research on softness and strength, the voiceover informs us, which naturally involves lounging in a field of bunnies and being flung into the air by buff blokes. The scientists may look sceptical, but DAVID trusts her commitment to hard data.

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