David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Durex
"Earth-Shattering"
30s
31 January 2017
UK Condoms and Other Contraceptives

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.

As a brand name, Durex spent a lot of its history caught up rather unfairly in the inherently comic approach to sex taken by the British.

But as attitudes have grown up, Durex has evolved and is now able to position itself as a supporter of sexual expression rather than functional provider of prophylactics. Its latest commercial builds on this rather cleverly by depicting the excitement gained by a young woman taking advantage of gels designed to heighten orgasm.

Truman & Cooper's depiction of la petite mort retains something of the old comic attitude to sex, but this is a more sophisticated vein of humour. It possesses an understanding that women and men have an equal stake in good sex... something which would have come as a complete surprise to many of Durex's customers in previous decades.

Interflora
"Tickets for Two"

Thomas said:

'tryst' - not trust. Though I suppose that works too.


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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.

British Heart Foundation
"Wedding"
30s
1 Feb 2017
This spot for the British Heart Foundation is designed to have as much emotional heft as possible, with a young woman dying suddenly on her sister's wedding day. She is both the victim of the ad and its presenter; gazing on as events unfold around her own demise. It's an interesting way to communicate the disorientation we feel when something unspeakable happens out of the blue.

Barclays
"Interview Skills"
30s
22 Jan 2017
Plenty of us have wished we could wind back the clock on a job interview. Well, Barclays do just that in this well-shot ad. The bank continues to support young jobseekers with practical advice, such as how to nail the final interview. This lad’s reverse walk is neatly done and it helps give the message some dynamism.

Huawei
"Porsche Design"
1 min 33s
12 Jan 2017
Huawei and Porsche collaborate on a new smartphone apparently based on their shared design sensibilities. Voices from both parties try to convince us of the fact, but it’s the visuals that command our attention. One question remains: does owning this count as owning a Porsche?

Palace x Adidas
"EQT"
57s
13 Dec 2016
Palace Skateboards unveil their latest Adidas collaboration with another send-up of portentous sportswear ads. Skater, artist, and velour lover Blondey McCoy enjoys a picturesque jog while wearing his new EQT running shoes. While he seemingly runs through an episode of Planet Earth II, the VO asks some of life’s crucial questions, including “Will there be WiFi?” and “Why didn’t I get the bus?”

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.

Cbeebies
"Playtime Island"
30s
15 Nov 2016
'Somewhere Beyond The Sea' is used to great effect in this cheerful ad for CBeebies' Playtime Island app, directed by Eliot Dear ('The Bear and The Hare'). As favourite characters wave in greeting, parents settle down to enjoy some uninterrupted peace.

Palace x Adidas
"Squash Man"
75s
9 Nov 2016
Squash meets German passion in this tongue-in-cheek Palace commercial. Spoofing über-serious sportswear commercials, destiny calls for this Adidas-clad competitor. As he prepares to hit the court, he describes what Palace’s collaboration with Adidas means to him. “It’s all in the name”, he says… and we learn you can’t spell Palace without “libido enhancement” and “extravagant price points”.

Bring Me The Horizon
"Oh No"
5 mins 03s
9 Nov 2016
Isaac Eastgate's promo for 'Oh No' by Bring Me The Horizon is a wild and wacky affair incorporating everything from a hostage scenario to a trumpet-playing clay baby. What's the plot? No idea. But we don't care - the unpredictable twists and turns hold our attention to the end, and you have to admire the way so many elements have been entertainingly squeezed in.

House Of Fraser
"Ready Or Not"
80s
4 Nov 2016
House of Fraser has presented us with some slick and stylish ads over the past few years, and this festive season's offering is set to continue the streak. Taking the Fugees track 'Ready Or Not' as its inspiration, the spot announces that Christmas is coming for us - a sassy, spiky, silvery Christmas that pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.

Calvin Harris
"My Way"
4 mins 04s
3 Nov 2016
Expect a Swift response (ahem) to this from Calvin's ex, who won't be best pleased with her depiction as an inhuman girlfriend standing in the way of his desire to be Grizzly Adams (sans bears). Because that's what this clip is about, right? Emil Nava's glitch-laden direction nudges the bland track into controversial territory, which is quite an achievement given that Harris has all the charisma of a net curtain.

NHS Blood and Transplant
"Represent"
1 min 40s
27 Oct 2016
Created by MullenLowe and directed by Rohan Blair-Mangat, this promo features grime artist Lady Leshurr, Olympic boxer Nicola Adams, TV presenter Ade Adepitan, and MP Chuka Umunna. Lady Leshurr raps about the potential and achievements of British black and Asian people at her verbose best, but the tone of the music changes when she points out that they make up only 3% of blood donors.

Mencap
"DJ"
60s
21 Oct 2016
Past and present attitudes collide in this thought-provoking Mencap ad. The voice of a 'leading academic' claims that those with Down’s syndrome do not merit a human response. That was in 1968; it’s now 2016, and DJ Casey Rochell thinks it’s time for a long overdue remix. Rochell’s audio trickery and director Ed Morris’s stark visuals ensure this is a distinctive rallying call.

NSPCC
"Party"
5 mins
20 Sep 2016
Much of this film rings true. In a bid to remind teenage girls to trust their instincts, it depicts a very believable scenario as an innocent party is spoiled by the arrival of a young man with sexual designs on a young teenage acquaintance. The devil is in the detail. It's in the face of her young male friend when the newcomers arrive and it's in their pushy attempt to make him 'one of them' by pressing beer on him. It's in the girl's effort to juggle the contrasting demands of two sets of friends. It's in her willingness to lie to her mum about who she is with. But most of all it's in the pervading sense of doom Dan and his friend bring with them.

Maltesers
"Dance Floor"
30s
6 Sep 2016
The third of the three excellent commercial for Maltesers which won £1 million of free airtime on Channel 4 has a woman in a wheelchair describing a mishap on the dance floor at a wedding. It didn't end badly for her though... she managed to pull the best man. Another enlightening instalment.

Maltesers
"Theo's Dog"
30s
6 Sep 2016
Another helping of funny and rude from the campaign for Maltesers which was selected by Channel 4 to champion diversity. In this execution - which is told in sign language - we learn how a hearing aid was swallowed by a dog and the only prospect of its return lies in filtering the pet's excrement. None of this is explicit but it doesn't take much to read between the lines.

Maltesers
"New Boyfriend"
30s
6 Sep 2016
It's sometimes said that the Marx Brothers got away with their most risqué gags because the censors didn't understand the innuendo and we have to wonder whether something similar happened here - as we can't quite believe a gag as rude as this has made it onto our screens. We're bloody glad it has though, as it's a perfect way of reminding a general audience that you don't have to be able-bodied to have a wicked sense of humour.

DJ Shadow
"Nobody Speak (ft Run The Jewels)"
3 mins 33s
29 Aug 2016
Things are getting tense and personal at a summit meeting of the world's superpowers. "We the best," bristles a silver-haired elder statesman to his counterpart across the floor; "we will cut a frowny face in your chest." The nerve! "Fuck outta here," comes the response, before everything escalates and turns into a potty-mouthed bunfight.

Alex Arcoleo
"First Sunset"
3 mins 57s
8 Aug 2016
A happy cloud wanders across a blue sky in search of friends and fun, only to discover everyone feels he's about to rain on their parade. Will he ever find companionship? This promo for Alex Arcoleo's track 'First Sunset' is based on a children's story about a lone cumulus called Cliffy, and combines live action with puppetry. It's a fun idea, but the slightness of the track demands something a bit more dynamic to lift it.

The Singleton
"Drop To Drop"
75s
25 Jul 2016
Anyone who's taken a trip to one of Scotland's whisky distilleries - and reined themselves in long enough during the tasting session to remember the experience - will pay tribute to the aesthetic pleasures to be found both inside and outside. This arresting film for Singleton malt whisky harnesses both these elements as well as Speyside's natural beauty for an intoxicating depiction of whisky production.

Monarch
"Our People"
30s
12 Jul 2016
As this advertises a low budget airline, perhaps it makes perfect sense to go for a low budget version of this Virgin Atlantic proposition! It's a nice enough depiction though, and never a bad idea to emphasise the human credentials of your staff when you operate in a sector with a poor reputation for customer satisfaction (thanks to Ryanair).

Hinds
"Warts"
2 mins 51s
14 Jul 2016
We knew the music industry was cutthroat, but you'd think an act would be safe on the set of their own video. Alas, Madrid quartet Hinds find their friendly warning to a besotted young lad falling on deaf wars with grisly results in this multicoloured promo for 'Warts'. With skin-like ice and an equally cool demeanour, this femme fatale ultimately tires of the band's presence and begins as visually refined a massacre as we can remember seeing.

Nando's
"Napkin"
50s
28 Jun 2016
Another execution from the new campaign for Nando's which cleverly aims to bring a slightly more ambitious diner into their outlets. This time a young couple use napkins to make themselves look more posh which is a great way of using comedy to draw attention to the chain's slightly more upmarket offerings.

Nando's
"Fino Platter"
40s
28 Jun 2016
Earlier this year there was much hilarity on social media as Americans tried and failed to understand the concept of "a cheeky Nando's". The owners of the chicken restaurants must have enjoyed it... not least because you can't buy that kind of publicity. Neither can you buy a place in popular culture and Nando's enjoys this as well. It's the "turn to" reference of comedians like Jack Whitehall when they want to invoke a certain kind of dining experience.

Short Films
"You Are Awake"
4 mins 28s
5 Jun 2016
Oscillating somewhere between a dream and a nightmare is this eerie short film by Colonel Blimp's Pedro Martín-Calero. Based on the bizarre sleeping plague which has afflicted a Kazakh village since 2013, this unnerving and confounding piece explores a world where taking forty winks produces infinite uncertainty.

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