David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

VW
"Car Karaoke"
75s
7 January 2017
UK Cars

Festive traffic jams are no concern for a musical family in this excellent ad for VW. It's a familiar scene: kids bored in the back, parents equally bored in the front as the cars around them go nowhere. All that's missing is an 'are we nearly there yet?'. That is, until Dad decides to bust out some tunes and take a creative approach to killing time - one the rest of the family soon join in with.

Peter Lydon knows how to coax a tune from his cast - he once turned Hodor from Game of Thrones into a chatterbox, after all. The performances here are terrific, everything from the Dad's sassy head bob to the previously disengaged son in the backseat suddenly singing lead.

Cutting to another family watching the performance from their car - soundless - is another great moment which captures the unself-consciousness of every truly committed car karaoke singer. The choice of music for the acapella performance is inspired, we're only sorry it didn't help propel the Darkness to Christmas number one. Every year...

BUPA
"Dancing"

Miles said:

lovely performance


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VW
"Car Karaoke"
75s
7 Jan 2017
Festive traffic jams are no concern for a musical family in this funny ad for VW. It's a familiar scene: kids bored in the back, parents equally bored in the front as the cars around them go nowhere. All that's missing is an 'are we nearly there yet?'. That is, until Dad decides to bust out some tunes and take a creative approach to killing time - one the rest of the family soon join in with.

VW
"Barry's Golden Beetle"
2 mins 11s
4 Nov 2016
The VW Beetle's legacy has been beautifully tapped into by this online film from adam&eveDDB - Doyle Dane Bernbach's contemporary equivalent - which has been directed with great sensitivity and skill by documentarian Amanda Blue. The agency are never fearful of using sentimentality and this really seems to help them employ it effectively.

VW Motability
"Brother and Sister"
2 mins 22s
14 Oct 2016
Amelia Hashemi's latest film for VW Motability depicts a sibling bond that takes a little time to thaw. A girl is disappointed when her older brother arrives to pick her up from a birthday party. Her attitude seems a tad harsh, though his choice of music leaves a lot to be desired. Brother knows best though - all it takes is some seagull trivia and ice cream to get things back on track.

McCain Crispy French Fries
"Friday Teatime"
30s
12 Sep 2016
McCain argues that Friday evenings are nothing without French fries - specifically, the brand's extra crispy variety. With work over and school uniforms consigned to the laundry basket, it's time for the whole family to sit down for some well-earned grub. adam&eveDDB's work for McCain has convincingly placed the brand at the heart of family mealtimes, and this is another smart example.

VW Motability
"Success"
90s
12 Sep 2016
If London 2012 planted the seeds for more representations of disability in advertising, then 2016 has seen the green shoots emerge. The latest brand to embrace the mood is Volkswagen. No stranger to controversy in recent times, the car manufacturer hits a positive note with this ad promoting their Motability vehicles.

Smithwick's Ale
"Biker Jacket"
20s
19 May 2015
Anther piece of stylish, swirling camerawork reminds us of the heritage of Smithwick's Ale and and introduces a new variant - the Blonde, made with polaris hops. Wait a sec - polaris hops?? That's a whole bunch of jokes waiting to happen. It's a single shot so it only took twenty seconds to film... might have taken a bit longer than that to set up though and it's been beautifully done.

Hertz
"Cleaned Out"
60s
15 Apr 2015
adam&eveDDB once again prove themselves masters of domestic comedy in this finely-judged ad for Hertz directed by Smuggler's Guy Shelmerdine. Mum and Dad offer tender farewells to their son as he flies the figurative nest but there's a rude awakening waiting for them when they retreat into their house for a consoling cuppa.

Smithwick's Ale
"Longevity"
50s
8 Apr 2015
This single-shot 50" commercial must have taken some setting up. The camera swoops through a bar identifying a number of design classics - all of which happen to be part of the official list of possessions required to join the hipster community. As is the way with the best examples of in-camera jiggery pokery, you don't have to notice the trick to appreciate the dynamism it generates.

McCain
"Real Teatimes"
60s
6 Apr 2015
There's no attempt here to dress up the humble chip as anything more than it really is... this concentrates instead on capturing the reality of modern family life and does so quite beautifully. The chip is at the centre of each of the teatime meals we see being cooked and eaten; and many, many viewers will recognise themselves in one or more of these vignettes.

VW
"Bill the Boss"
60s
16 Feb 2015
Bill is the boss of a business that relies on its fleet of VW vans, and this observer's view of his behaviour during an average day suggests he's a gentle chap. His affable face and well-padded shape radiate the comforting squashiness of a favourite teddy, and he's solicitous of other people's welfare almost to a fault. But at his local VW Van Centre he gets the treatment he usually dispenses.

Save The Children
"Christmas Jumper Day"
40s
5 Nov 2014
This is a great way to encourage people to donate to Save the Children: get them to raise money by wearing a classic 'Christmas Jumper' for a day. To Elvis Costello's revvy Pump It Up we see a whole bunch of individuals dancing in their reindeer / elf / tree-patterned pullies, and it really does incline you to join them.

Halifax
"Vicky Harris"
60s
18 May 2014
This is a lovely campaign, and this could quite possibly be our favourite spot so far. It tells the story of Vicky the intrepid photographer who can charm the leaves from the trees - or at least, the shy from their shells - and doesn't mind getting herself into deep water if it means getting the shot she wants. These are terrific depictions of everyday people we'd be happy to be counted among; which gives us a feeling of goodwill towards the bank that so astutely recognises them.

Halifax
"Gavin Gates"
30s
5 May 2014
Gavin Gates (not to be confused with the ex-X Factor Gareth Gates) is a big bear of a man, who does house removals for a living. Good-naturedly he takes care of fragile items and triceratops alike; and goes to the Halifax when he wants a mortgage for the time when he decides to move home himself. Nicely done with understated humour and real warmth.

John Lewis
"150 Years"
90s
4 May 2014
It's a sign of their well-earned confidence that with every ad, John Lewis seems to move further and further away from showing any hint of product. In this 90 second spot celebrating 150 years of "never standing still", we see a selection of vignettes showing memorable moments that typical customers have experienced throughout that time.

Halifax
"Holiday Dad"
60s
9 Mar 2014
This campaign goes from strength to strength, and the latest celebration of ordinary heroism may be the best yet with a wonderfully cast 'Dad' having his mettle tested by all that life throws at him. It's a terrific depiction that manages to incorporate every positive aspect of modern fatherhood... something advertising is getting rather good at after years of portraying men as bumbling buffoons.

Phones 4 U
"Movie Idents"
50s
24 Oct 2013
The premise of these suitably silly bumpers is that Phones 4 U can offer more - and these absurdly abbreviated movie scenarios are a demonstration of less. Once you get your head around this idea, you can see that they're great fun and you can enjoy the truncated nonsense.

Halifax
"Laura Smith"
60s
3 Oct 2013
The lovely high-flying Laura attends to passengers on board with consummate charm and professionalism. Equally at home with full sick bags and fretful youngsters at 4am, it's little wonder the Halifax is happy to offer her a current account with 15% cashback, is it not?

Lastminute.com
"Expensive Room"
20s
5 Aug 2013
"This must have cost you a fortune!" gasps a young woman as her chap shows her into the sumptuous hotel room he's booked via the advertised site. "It didn't," he says, looking thrilled with himself. "Although I'm happy for you to think that." A lovely post-modern riposte and one that the target audience will appreciate.

Lastminute.com
"What Begins With 'L'?"
20s
25 Jul 2013
A cynical woman listens to her partner's cryptic proposition regarding a hot tub in an exotic location and assumes the 'L' in his question refers to "lies". It actually refers to lastminute.com, after which she appears to take him more seriously, but ultimately the state of their relationship leaves more of an impression than the website does.

Halifax
"Linda Turner"
60s
15 Jul 2013
"Linda - you've nailed it," opines the VO triumphally as the Halifax welcome a helpful DIY store employee with open arms. This is a campaign with real craft involved from every angle - from the wonderful script that chooses each word carefully and and gives itself plenty of time to breathe - to the superb direction and casting. The whole thing just exudes class.

Persil
"Whatever Life Throws"
50s
11 Jul 2013
M83 provides the soaring soundtrack to this summery splatterfest of colour. A little girl walks in slow motion through a meadow towards the camera as arcs of paint representing stains soil her pristine dress. It's an attractive way to convey what washing powders have to do; somehow managing to sanitise the very dirt the ad is seeking to highlight.

Halifax
"Mark Watts"
60s
7 Jul 2013
Ooh. The Halifax has certainly got its mojo back with this lovely ad. By the end of this sixty seconds, you feel you know Mark Watts and are rooting for him - so we like the Halifax for offering him the mortgage he so obviously deserves. Smartly done; with humour, compassion and warmth.

Bulmers
"Reverse"
60s
1 Mar 2013
Bulmers have upped their game with a new campaign for their apple and pear-based alcoholic drinks. Classily shot, it takes you on a reverse journey through an evening, ending with the beginning - friends drinking the advertised product in the pub. It's fun, and suggests quite cleverly that you don't have to get off your face to have a good night out.

Phones 4 U
"Lingerie"
20s
22 Nov 2012
A man stood in a lingerie shop is puzzled by the options available to him so he's delighted to learn that he can buy a gift from Phones 4 U instead. And as with the underwear he's holding in his hands, he'll have a choice between pink and white when it comes to mobile phone handsets as well. Winning stuff.

Phones 4 U
"Christmas Gifts For Everyone"
40s
4 Nov 2012
Another deliciously over-the-top series of vignettes for the mobile phone retailer who promise they have a phone for everyone. This is an advertiser who have bravely sought a distinctive voice for several years... this campaign provides it in spades and we suspect it provides them with a lot of custom in a tough market.

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