David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

John Lewis
"Buster the Boxer"
2 mins
10 November 2016
UK Department Stores

As the world reels in revulsion at the decision to put Donald Trump in The White House, one wise Twitter user summed up the mood of the nation. Philip Westerman used the social media platform to say: "The John Lewis Christmas advert better be fucking spectacular". Well, we've got news for you, Mr Westerman... for the next two minutes, everything's going to be all right because it is "fucking spectacular".

A week after John Lewis picked up the Grand Prix at the IPA Effectiveness Awards for the second year running, the engraver will be thinking he might as well have popped their name on next year's trophy. adam&eveDDB and Dougal Wilson have taken on the highest expectations in the world of advertising and absolutely smashed them by delivering a truly brilliant film.

There has been a creeping danger that this landmark ad was eventually going to collapse under the weight of its own sentimentality. Amidst the praise received by the last couple of instalments has been a murmuring of dissent which could easily have grown into a backlash. But this execution shuffles the tone from out-and-out pathos toward a lighter, funnier vibe and the move has been judged to perfection.

MPC's CGI work is sensational. So good that many viewers will be wondering how they trained the animals to jump on a trampoline. And the craft that's gone into their condensating breath takes the VFX to another level.

It is loaded with wonderful moments that reward repeated viewing: Buster's joyous face with his tongue flapping when he finally gets his turn on the trampoline; the look of wonder on the young girl's face, swiftly supplanted by a moment of perplexment as Buster races past; the soundtrack dropping out as we gain a perspective from a passing neighbour.

But it is more than the sum of these gorgeous parts and even though many people resist the idea that a piece of advertising heralds the start of the festive season, this film completely justifies the notion. So let's put the last forty-eight hours behind us and eat, drink and be merry... for next year Trump has the nuclear codes.

Boots
"The Gift of Beauty"

Sam said:

Supporting public services comes from paying your taxes not avoiding them


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John Lewis
"Buster the Boxer"
2 mins
10 Nov 2016
As the world reels in revulsion at the decision to put Donald Trump in The White House, one wise Twitter user summed up the mood of the nation. Philip Westerman used the social media platform to say: "The John Lewis Christmas advert better be fucking spectacular". Well, we've got news for you, Mr Westerman... for the next two minutes, everything's going to be all right because it is "fucking spectacular".

Subaru
"Take The Subaru"
60s
1 Sep 2016
"You're not taking that / those / him," is a mantra parents everywhere are familiar with in relation to the potentially dangerous items their young offspring are drawn to. Hair clippers, axes, nunchucks, inappropriate boyfriends... it would appear mums and dads have to be perpetually on their guard to ward off trouble at the pass according to Subaru.

Subaru
"I'm Sorry"
30s
1 Sep 2016
One of two US ads focusing on Subaru's safety features, this takes quite a brave approach. We see young drivers in the aftermath of collisions; each is shaken and remorseful. But crucially, they are unhurt - because, the ad suggests, their accidents have been while driving the car in question. You just don't want to see the other guy!

Subaru
"The Boy Who Breaks Everything"
60s
17 Aug 2016
Subaru choose a lovely way to communicate their Legacy model's enduring properties by introducing us to a child whose mere touch turns lifetime guarantees to dust. Everything the poor boy touches at home, at school, and on the street somehow malfunctions in quietly spectacular fashion. Great if you're a kid after some free candy, but not so great if you can't open a door, turn on a light, or play on a bouncy castle without causing a fuss.

University of Arizona
"More Than Brains"
60s
25 Apr 2016
An alternative version of the Scarecrow's song "If I Only Had A Brain" serves to express the kind of people the University of Arizona wants to attract. It has a real warmth to it - whatever walk of life you come from, it suggests, and wherever your talents lie, you can develop them to the full without having to give up the jobs crucial to keeping your head above water.

Booking.com
"Battle"
30s
1 Mar 2016
Booking.com kicks off a new campaign proclaiming that holidays can be the perfect time to indulge our most beloved pursuits. A gravelly VO lends an aura of seduction to the proposition while a couple are shown going medieval on each other, as it were. A neat reminder as to the variety of activities that can shape our time away, and that the advertised website can help get us closer to them.

Booking.com
"Inner Warrior"
30s
1 Mar 2016
Booking.com kick off a new campaign proclaiming that holidays can be the perfect time to indulge our most beloved pursuits. This family is determined to embrace new cultures and do so with an animated attempt at a woodland Haka in New Zealand. Thanks to the featured website, their adventurous spirit and ideal accommodation go hand in hand.

Booking.com
"Truffles"
30s
1 Mar 2016
Booking.com kick off a new campaign proclaiming that holidays can be the perfect time to indulge our most beloved pursuits. This execution pits one truffle fiend against another in the picturesque French countryside, while the well-chosen VO encourages fellow foodies to use the accommodation site and achieve culinary bliss on their vacation.

Crown Royal
"The One"
90s
16 Nov 2015
This cinematic ad for Crown Royal whisky takes us back to George VI and Queen Elizabeth's visit to Canada in 1939. To celebrate the occasion, an enterprising distillery decided to create a new whisky fit for a royal. Alas, as the film shows, the size of the task at hand would be enough to drive a man to drink. Fortunately, these distillers have more than enough bottle.

Acura
"The Test"
60s
19 Oct 2015
For anyone who enjoyed 'Humans', this terrific spot for luxury car brand Acura will no doubt have extra resonance. As we watch, an R&D guy carefully places people in a pristine vehicle and belts them in. They comprise a family: mum, dad, a boy and a girl. But strangely, they are completely passive - catatonic, even. What's the deal? Wait for the clever reveal at the end.

Gillette
"Bond Moments"
1 min 40s
7 Oct 2015
While James Bond readies himself for another bout of well-dressed espionage, Gillette encourage men to channel their inner 007 with this big-budget romp. The release of a Bond film typically gives agencies and production companies the chance to indulge their blockbuster fantasies. With that in mind, Smuggler's Adam Berg shows he has a firm feel for Bond with an enjoyable blend of action and suaveness.

Motorola
"The Longest Search"
45s
6 Aug 2015
Wandering aimlessly across the desert atop his trusty camel, things don't seem too promising for this weary traveller. At least his Moto G's battery is still going strong, and there's salvation on the horizon in a form of a potential date... albeit one a hundred miles away. With R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)" as his anthem, it's a worthy trek. An amusing idea well-realised.

Nike
"Inner Thoughts"
60s
15 Apr 2015
This excellent ad from Nike taps into the idea that sometimes overcoming the voice in your head is the first obstacle when it comes to exercise. Anxiety about what everyone else is doing, whether you can step up to the plate, whether it's all worth the effort... the insights into each person's mindset in this ad provide both empathy and likeability.

Kia
"Pierce Brosnan"
70s
28 Jan 2015
A slickly-produced spot that is nonetheless more cheese than chutzpah. An ageing Pierce Brosnan is discussing a movie role with an agent. The latter describes a particular scene, which Brosnan keeps interrupting by incorrectly anticipating the action sequences that he thinks are about to happen. But the true excitement is simply that he's driving a Kia Sorrento. Hmm.

Canal+
"Unicorns"
70s
28 Jan 2015
Canal+ is always a good bet for an entertaining ad, and this doesn't buck the trend. With just fifteen minutes before the deluge begins and the Ark is sealed, Noah notices he's short of two animals. "Where are the unicorns?" he asks a lackey with ominous calm. The lackey dashes off, and - happily - returns with the beasts. All is well... or is it?

John Lewis
"Monty the Penguin"
2 mins
6 Nov 2014
A remarkable aspect of the John Lewis Christmas phenomenon is the way adam&eveDDB take the annual anticipation in their stride and make it work totally to the advantage of the brand. Fulfilling expectations after success is so difficult we even have a name for it - that "difficult second album syndrome" - but this Christmas institution is already onto its sixth album and there's no sense of any difficulty in maintaining the quality. Indeed, this year's may be the best yet.

Smirnoff
"The Mixologist"
60s
11 Apr 2014
The considerable comedy talents of Adam Scott (Parks & Recreation) and Alison Brie (Community) are upstaged by a lovely performance from DC Pierson as an enthusiastic barman in this excellent film for Smirnoff out of 72andSunny in Amsterdam. This is part of a series of films that includes a three-and-a-half minute long piece unifying elements of each of the shorter films but - thanks largely to Pierson's excellent turn - we judged this to be the strongest film in the collection.

Sony PlayStation
"Experience More Together"
80s
18 Feb 2014
This amusing ad goes all out to impress upon us the sense of immersion and variety a Sony Playstation provides. An intriguing start has a young man waking to a post-apocalyptic scene of devastation as his clued-up friends arrive and tell him to get ready to move on. Its clever blend of hi-tech tension, comedy tight spots and camaraderie is a winner: for once, it the PS might appeal to the girlfriends of gamers as well as the gamers themselves.

Sony PlayStation
"Perfect Day"
60s
16 Oct 2013
Do you remember that BBC film which had different people singing bits of the Lou Reed song Perfect Day? Well, Sony have used the same conceit for their latest US ad for the Playstation 4 and it's almost as good as its forbear - indeed, it's a stunning way of highlighting the idea that video games enable players to engage with one another.

Nike
"Running Woman"
30s
21 Sep 2013
Another beautifully filmed piece for the brand spurring people to push themselves has a runner outstripping wolves and track athletes. It's a strong conceit: if you can run late, you can run the block... and then on to bigger, better, more ambitious things. Clever way of conveying Nike's philosophy.

Honda
"Do More New"
40s
22 Oct 2012
This impressive-looking new commercial for Honda is the first TV work for the car made by mcgarrybowen. A portal inside a house opens up and the car driver decides to accelerate towards it in the spirit of "do more new". The new he's doing isn't explicit (or even implicit) but that's one cool garage door.

Heineken
"Crack The Case"
60s
27 Sep 2012
It's a case of mistaken identity as an innocent bystander is inadvertently swept into James Bond's world of espionage. Luckily, our hero has a few tricks up his sleeve and he's more than able to hold his own as he looks to escape the villains aboard a train making its way across a snow-covered landscape. Startling stuff.

Sprite
"Camouflage"
60s
13 Jul 2012
Dashed clever stuff from Gorgeous's Peter Thwaites here on behalf of the soft drink as people blend into the background because of the dull drinks they're obliged to consume. One of their number is able to break loose once he samples the advertised drink and it provides a handy metaphor for it's allegedly liberating effect.

Nike
"My Time Is Now"
2 mins 40s
19 May 2012
A game between the French and the Dutch is interrupted by a horde of invading interlopers in this ad for Nike that continues their trend of making it look more like they're selling video games than football boots. It's fast, furious and fun but Nike's ads were better when they had a more coherent narrative. (Longer online version).

Nike
"My Time Is Now"
90s
19 May 2012
A game between the French and the Dutch is interrupted by a horde of invading interlopers in this ad for Nike that continues their trend of making it look more like they're selling video games than football boots. It's fast, furious and fun but Nike's ads were better when they had a more coherent narrative.

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