David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Xerox
"Brother Dominic"
2 mins
8 January 2017
USA Computer Hardware

This short for Xerox is sumptuously cinematic in its sweep, with each detail and element lovingly considered. From the moment it opens on a remote monastery overlooking a rural idyll, it's obvious this is going to be something special... and it doesn't disappoint.

The action focuses around Brother Dominic, who is creating pages of an illuminated manuscript with laborious care. The plaintive score, the cool palette, the exquisite contrast between his ascetic cell and the rich decoration of the manuscript - all these make us wish it were writ large on the silver screen: you can almost smell the mustiness of the ancient, priceless tapestries on the walls and feel the dampness of the echoing chambers.

The punchline is oddly positioned - in the middle rather than the end - and, appropriately, has the feel of something ordained by a higher force! Nevertheless, it's a beautiful piece of direction and suggests it's time for James Rouse to think about another feature.

Army Recruitment
"Jungle"

Mark said:

The horrors of war


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Xerox
"Brother Dominic"
2 mins
8 Jan 2017
This short for Xerox is sumptuously cinematic in its sweep, with each detail and element lovingly considered. From the moment it opens on a remote monastery overlooking a rural idyll, it's obvious this is going to be something special... and it doesn't disappoint. The action focuses around Brother Dominic, who is creating pages of an illuminated manuscript with laborious care.

Currys PC World
"Christmas Lights"
30s
3 Nov 2016
One of two droll Christmas ads from Currys PC World showing how far we’ll go to draw attention to the items on our festive wishlist. In this, a family gathers round as dad prepares to switch on the Christmas lights. He’s delighted with his handiwork, but their excitement quickly fades when they see the lights pointing to next door’s living room - and the LG 4K Oled television within. Oh, and one very confused neighbour into the bargain.

Currys PC World
"Nativity"
30s
3 Nov 2016
After last year’s excellent ‘Spare The Act’ series starring Jeff Goldblum, Currys PC World have some, well, act to follow. However, AMV BBDO and Outsider’s James Rouse have proved themselves to be up to the challenge with two wry ads. We join this school’s nativity as the Three Kings arrive on the scene. We all know how the story goes, right? “The gifts the wise men presented were gold, frankincense, and… oversized silver headphones?”

National Lottery Euromillions
"Drip"
30s
8 Sep 2016
Do the newly minted receive a pamphlet entitled: "How To Be A Multi-Millionaire"? For example, changing a light bulb's one thing, but how about a priceless chandelier? Like 'first world problems' gone mad, this amusing ad for the National Lottery Euromillions highlights the minor foibles that can accompany a jackpot win.

National Lottery Euromillions
"Parking"
30s
8 Sep 2016
One of two entertaining ads from the National Lottery Euromillions showing that the transition to multi-millionaire can be tricky for some. In this instance, parking a luxury yacht in the marina proves to be far more difficult than nabbing a space at the supermarket car park. Lovely back and forth work from the couple encountering one of the pitfalls of being stinking rich.

Campofrio Finisimas
"Job Interview"
1 min 57s
13 Jul 2016
Another dollop of intimate brilliance from James Rouse as he directs some more Spanish actors with trademark aplomb. This time, the terms and conditions of a job are being candidly discussed with both prospective employer and employee letting the other have both barrels... all leading to a slightly spurious connection with the advertised product.

Campofrio Finisimas
"Proposal"
60s
13 Jul 2016
We're going to assume that the way the brilliant scene which dominates this commercial rather flimsily connects to the product proposition at the end is because something has been lost in translation. This is because we want don't want to take anything away from the superbly-constructed dialogue between the young man and his fiancée as they lay all their cards on the table ahead of their marriage.

McDonald's
"For Good Times"
60s
14 May 2016
A gentle instrumental version of The Jam's 'That's Entertainment' carries us through this lovingly made ad for McDonald's which reminds us of the part it plays in the lives of so many of us. Whether it's the perfect hang-out for after school or a stop-off for coffee to enjoy in blissful solitude, it's a familiar and welcome destination for all generations.

Prostate Cancer UK
"Coming of Age"
1 min 50s
24 Apr 2016
When a dad tells his son he's off to play golf with Dave, he's ushered onto the sofa for a little chat. Turns out it's time for pops to receive 'the talk' - that's right, the one about prostate cancer. You can tell he's desperate for the couch to swallow him up as his beanie-wearing son describes with some colourful imagery how ignoring the prostate can cause more problems than a missed tee time. Only when the message is received can dad go and out play with Dave.

Evian
"Baby Surfers"
1 min 35s
20 Apr 2016
Just as Volvic have always been obsessed with volcanoes, Evian have become synonymous with babies - often ways which leave a quizzical look on the face. With this latest commercial, the brand bring a new level of charm and ambition to the conceit with a cast of tiny surfers chasing big waves.

Danepak
"Fallen Tree"
30s
12 Apr 2016
More amusingly calm crisis management from Danepak sees our couple experience yet more misfortune - this time, Magnus finds himself up and close and personal with a fallen tree. Of course, when you have a microwave and some microwaveable bacon close to hand, there's no need to lose your cool. Lovely pay-off with the woman going on her merry way to fetch help... and the components for a bacon butty.

Danepak
"Precipice"
30s
11 Apr 2016
This couple may be teetering on the side of a cliff, but it's not enough to make them lose their appetite. While their jeep isn't as sure-footed as a mountain goat (which seems to give a mocking bleat at their plight), they find life on the edge much more bearable with bacon stored in Danepak's new resealable pouches. After all, harsh times call for dependable bacon.

Army Recruitment
"A Better Me"
40s
3 Feb 2016
Another helping of authenticity as a young person tries to persuade others that the Army is a way to assert one's independence. Last time it was a father who needed convincing... this time, it's an even tougher sell as a young woman tries to explain to her friends how she feels she'll benefit from enrolling.

Army Recruitment
"Don't Join"
40s
1 Feb 2016
We tune in to this army recruitment film just as a father is urging his son not to join the army. His objections aren't stated but it's all there in his eyes. The boy is gently defiant and tells his father what he thinks it will do for him and it's clear the older man's reservations form part of his need to stand on his own two feet.

McDonald's
"Christmas Singers"
90s
25 Dec 2015
Some of those who responded to the invitation to send in their own clips of car sing-a-longs to match the McDonald's Christmas ad have been compiled alongside a contribution from James Corden in this sweet follow-up commercial. Our favourite moment is the glance shared by the chaps in jumpers... it may have been the moment they realised they're in love.

Paddy Power
"Pocket Jostle"
30s
25 Nov 2015
Paddy Power take their cheeky approach to new heights in an outing that was deemed too risqué for the telly box. The Irish bookmaker is notorious for pushing the envelope when it comes to advertising but this time they may have shoved the envelope off a cliff. To illustrate how easy it is to use their new phone App, punters are shown using them inside their trouser pockets and that - combined with an innuendo-laden VO performance - makes it look as though they are all having a crafty hand shandy.

McDonald's
"The Journey to Christmas"
60s
20 Nov 2015
Every aspect of this lovely piece of seasonal advertising has a wonderfully authentic feel to it. A family sets off in their car to visit relatives, and Wizzard's well-trodden classic 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day' comes on the radio as the long drive ahead begins. Working within the cramped conditions of a family car, director James Rouse uses trademark understatement to conjure a thoroughly charming scene as the rest of the family takes the opportunity to wind up Dad.

Sainsbury's
"Mog's Christmas Calamity"
3 mins 20s
12 Nov 2015
Sainsbury's Christmas commercial always comes later than the others because of the supermarket's respectful decision to defer their seasonal marketing until after Armistice Day. And for the third year running, it's been worth the wait... John Lewis's offering continues to attract the most attention but Sainsbury's is running them a close second these days and this spectacular commercial featuring Judith Kerr's much-loved Mog the Cat edges them ever closer.

Mulberry
"The Miracle Of Mulberry"
2 mins 05s
2 Nov 2015
When adam&eveDDB ask James Rouse to turn one of their scripts into a commercial, awards swiftly follow and it seems likely that this wonderful retelling of the nativity will once again have juries bestowing gongs upon both agency and director. It's a blissfully sacrilegious take on the famous story with the baby Jesus being replaced by a highly desirable accessory.

The Guardian
"Kids Party"
30s
28 Apr 2015
The third in this series of beautifully observed commercials for The Guardian reminding us of the perils of allowing other people to set our social agenda at the weekend has a woman helping out at a children's birthday party. It's been made to look like one of Dante's infernal circles and the protagonist's face is a perfectly calibrated picture of middle-class torment.

The Guardian
"Sandra"
30s
19 Apr 2015
The hapless hero of this commercial stands obediently in the pouring rain to offer support to his other half as she battles bravely across the mud. He doesn't want to be there but he failed to take ownership of his weekend so Sandra annexed it - if you don't want the same thing to happen to you, buy The Guardian and The Observer (and ditch Sandra).

The Guardian
"Two Men"
30s
16 Apr 2015
This truthiness of this situation will be recognised by many. Two women (or men) who are friends drag their significant others along to a social occasion but the newly-introduced pair find they have nothing in common. The awkwardness of the scenario has been well caught by this amusing ad and its point is well made... own your weekend or someone else will.

VW Up
"Eye Surgery"
30s
24 Dec 2014
Another lovely ad in VW's 'you get what you pay for' campaign features a bespectacled woman who wants laser eye surgery but isn't keen on paying more for the safest option. As she books her appointment, the receptionist carefully explains the difference but the doddery equipment speaks for itself anyway. Our patient - beautifully cast - remains steadfastly in denial.

Maille
"Memorable Guest"
80s
1 Dec 2014
It takes a lot of skill to get something like this right - and this online spot for Maille mustard is balanced perfectly between excruciating and hilarious. A young dinner guest is drawn into conversation by the woman on his left, who, a propos of nothing, suddenly starts telling him way more than he could ever want to hear about her and her husband's sex life.

VW Tiguan
"Compromises"
60s
14 Sep 2014
The scenarios in this delightful ad show a deep understanding of the nature of parental compromise. To the apt and gentle strains of I'd Do Anything, a dad cedes to his offsprings' wishes, consoling himself with the thought that once alone in his Tiguan, he is temporarily the master of his own domain.

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