David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

23 March 2017
UK Banks

Barclays once again retreat to go forward with another well-shot ad. This woman moves backwards while describing her fears about her housing prospects. Fortunately, the advertised bank offers her a Family Springboard Mortgage, using her (willing) parents’ savings as the deposit. The device cleverly ensures we pay attention to the proposition.


Anthony said:

Whatever next? Mumm-Ra struts to Hot Chocolate? Dungeon Master and Venger do the Macarena? What's Cyril Sneer up to these days? Yawn.



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23 Mar 2017
Barclays once again retreat to go forward with another well-shot ad. This woman moves backwards while describing her fears about her housing prospects. Fortunately, the advertised bank offers her a Family Springboard Mortgage, using her (willing) parents’ savings as the deposit. The device cleverly ensures we pay attention to the proposition.

"Cara and Nadia"
2 mins 47s
14 Mar 2017
Rimmel moves into music videos with this sassy film featuring grime artist Nadia Rose. Cara Delevinge and posse strut to the beat around an old industrial building; heading up to the roof from which they can see their city playground through eyes enhanced with the brand's Volume Shake mascara. Directed by Emil Nava, the promo has attitude - and then some - which the young target audience is bound to love.

"Human Made"
8 Mar 2017
This cultured Volvo commercial is touchy-feely in the best possible way. The carmaker claims it’s the human touch that inspires them. Instead of a portentous VO describing myriad design features, the ad favours a more tactile approach. Subtle gestures make a big impression - for Volvo, this is the ideal starting point when designing their interiors.

3 Mar 2017
The Suzuki Ignis claims to put “a new angle on life” - hence why the advertised vehicle manages to find its way to a rooftop beach party. So if you believe everything life has to offer should be found within the city limits, this is the mini SUV for you. Some colourful visual flourishes and a Shazam-bait soundtrack give the ad some pep.

"Sky Cinema Sponsorship"
3 Mar 2017
Director Brad Lubin packs a punch with these brief idents for E.on's Sky Cinema sponsorship. Styled as mini movie tributes, the amusing films riff on sci-fi classics including The Matrix, Frankenstein, and RoboCop. Considering the energy provider are about to hike their prices, they may be relying pretty hard on the goodwill these playful spots create.

"Epic Journey"
3 Mar 2017
Ahh... the cupboard under the stairs - convenient dumping ground for everything from gym equipment to Harry Potter. This fun E.on commercial depicts what happens when we let said cupboard get the upper hand, and this chap is forced to navigate all sorts in search of the electricity meter. Good thing E.on have some smart solutions up their sleeve.

"Prosecco Princess"
2 Mar 2017
Thortful is the latest online greetings card emporium to hit the e-high street. Here, the website’s mind-reading, orange suit-wearing, cloud-headed spokesman congratulates this chap on his choice of card… and his, erm, “sparkly pants”. Be interesting to see how it fares in what is a pretty competitive market.

Honda Civic
28 Feb 2017
Aim high and don’t look down, says this stunningly-shot Honda Civic commercial, in which rock climber Imogen Horrocks decides to take the gnarly way up an imposing mountainside. After all, she didn’t become a Team GB member by climbing ladders. Evoking ‘Mission: Impossible II’’s opening scene, Horrocks tackles great heights in searing heat.

Vancouver Sleep Clinic
"Someone To Stay"
4 mins 11s
22 Feb 2017
There’s a hint of Bon Iver to Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s ‘Someone to Stay’. Mister Clinic a.k.a. Tim Bettinson delivers a wistful ballad which should chime with anyone who’s endured a rough patch. Director Georgia Hudson brings an other-worldly feel to suburbia as Bettinson chases a will-o'-the-wisp through the streets. Suitably dreamlike.

McDonald's McCafé
20 Feb 2017
When did a cup of joe become so complicated? The sheer variety of sizes, roasts, and finishes available is enough to leave anyone's head spinning. So this entertaining McDonald's McCafé ad offers salvation for all those who - in the face of overwhelming choice - have ever uttered the phrase: "I just want a coffee".

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
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.

"Interview Skills"
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.

"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
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.

"Playtime Island"
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"
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"
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
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.

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.

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.

"Dance Floor"
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.

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