David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

House Of Fraser
"Ready Or Not"
80s
4 November 2016
UK Department Stores

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.

This is as far away from ads featuring log fires and twinkly-eyed folk as it's possible to get, and suggests that if we let the day creep up on us without being properly prepared then we're just yesterday's wrapping paper and should hang our heads in shame.

The near-monochrome palette offset by vivid flashes of colour doesn't particularly conjure Christmas as we traditionally think of it, and it does help the ad stand out. Plus when you chuck in the chic production, confident direction and bold sound design too, you end up with something very classy indeed.

Toys R Us
"Christmas"

Matt said:

I don't ever recall disliking an ad so quickly. Shot 2 did it for me.


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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.

Danone Activia
"Live In Sync"
30s
12 Oct 2016
We hate to break this to Activia, but there's not really any convincing way to make digestive bacteria sexy. Call it 'finding your balance' or 'being in the zone' if you like, or 'living in sync' as Activia grandly put it... but you're still talking about regular bowel movements, guys. No matter how many bifidus cultures you stick in there, that fact is pretty hard to ignore.

T K Maxx
"Space Station"
30s
10 Sep 2016
A woman in T K Maxx's health and beauty department striking eye for a bargain leads her to join the space programme. Forget about exploring new planets or establishing contact with aliens - this crew's mission is all about looking and feeling fabulous. The zero-gravity visuals are impressively realised, while Katherine Parkinson's VO maintains the retailer's carefree spirit.

T K Maxx
"Biker Jacket"
30s
3 Sep 2016
T K Maxx has captured the frisson associated with a new and unexpected purchase throughout this campaign with a variety of eye-catching scenarios, and this ad maintains the sophisticated silliness with a woman taking motorcycle stunts to new levels of chic. As if the addition of a designer dress and a biker jacket to her wardrobe wasn't enough, the latter inspires her to add some two-wheeled thrills to her Tuesday afternoons.

Right Guard
"Gym"
90s
21 Jun 2016
Sequels are always tricky, but Right Guard produce a worthy successor to last summer's 'Kung Fu Fighting' ad with another helping of synchronised entertainment. Having conquered their workplace foes with a dance-off on a basketball court last time out, the deodorant brand's hip-to-be-square trio (led by one of the best beards in the business) hit the gym the only way they know how - and that's with a skip in their step.

Short Films
"Macbeth Act I Scene 5"
3 mins 06s
23 May 2016
The Colonel Blimp stable has clearly embraced the challenge of taking some of William Shakespeare's most iconic scenes and injecting them with fresh blood. Following on from Pedro Martin-Calero's thoroughly modern take on 'Julius Caesar', director David Wilson gets to grips with Act I Scene 5 of 'Macbeth' with equally riveting results.

Marks & Spencer
"The Art of Summer"
30s
4 May 2016
The trials and tribulations of Marks & Spencer's fashion department seem to have been going on forever, but it's hard to believe when you see the gossamer delights of spots like this. Airy and frothy and radiating the fragrance of blossom through our screens, this makes us feel like popping out to our nearest branch and revamping our wardrobes.

First Choice
"Life's Too Short To Say 'No'"
90s
19 Dec 2015
The woman at the heart of this impressive commercial for First Choice is ready to begin following her heart's desires so she begins a magical journey by pursuing an ice cream van. The dream-like quality continues as she dives into a lake only to emerge in a tropical paradise.

Currys PC World
"Twins"
30s
3 Aug 2015
What better way to try and persuade your dad to cough up for a new laptop than to send a little flattery his way? It's the logic favoured by this teenager as he favourably compares his pa's features to those of a chiselled hunk (David Gandy, if our eyes don't deceive us). Lovely understated comedy as the family aren't buying it while the lad maintains his façade of amazement.

Currys PC World
"Song"
30s
2 Aug 2015
This will no doubt raise a knowing smile on the faces of parents across the land. After all, haven't all offspring tried heavy-handed manipulation to get something they want? It's as clever as it is funny because the song is just the right side of completely awful - terrific performance from the young actress - and, like its companion ad with Benji the pug, nails a fundamental truth about human behaviour.

Currys PC World
"Dog"
30s
1 Aug 2015
Oh dear - poor Benji the pug. While mum's out, dad is plotting to get a new pc and has decided the dog is just what he needs for success. Concocting a liquid that can pass for pee, he spills a glass liberally over the keyboard of the family laptop and puts Benji on the table beside it. Cue the return of his other half, who is horrified at what she assumes is the mutt's incontinence.

Right Guard
"Kung Fu Fighting"
1 min 55s
3 Jul 2015
Right Guard have been advising us to "start the day right" for some time now, but they've have never really caught our imagination. With this buoyant film, however, we'll all want to start the day like this hairy go-getter. With a bushy beard and a skip in his step, he's a ray of sunshine to everyone around him... much to the chagrin of the corporate clones.

Currys PC World
"LG Oled TV"
30s
1 Dec 2014
The visual aspect is as lovely as in the original ad but we have to wonder whether everyone is ruing the choice of Nick Frost as VO artist. Sounding a bit like a subdued Ainsley Harriott, he plods through the script like a man who doesn't entirely understand its words and it's an unconvincing accompaniment to what we see. Maybe he was exhausted after the much better performance he delivered in the previous execution (for ovens).

Currys PC World
"Oven"
30s
24 Nov 2014
Another in the lovely campaign featuring the various goods you can buy at Currys PC World. This time, there's a focus: that new oven you're after for cooking the Christmas dinner in. The script is lovely - just the right combination of chatty and informative - and provides a terrific counterbalance to the panache with which the products glide around.

Argos
"Advent Calendar"
60s
8 Nov 2014
Yes, yes; we know we gave five stars to the first ad in this campaign a five - but this, if anything, is even better. Inventive, quirky (dancing arms in a box!) and constantly surprising, it doesn't just put a fresh gloss on the retailer, it gives it a whole new image. Far from the cosy, somewhat staid and slightly downmarket feel it's had since it arrived on our high streets several decades ago, this suggests Argos is bursting at the seams with intelligent inspiration.

Currys PC World
"We Start With You"
60s
21 Oct 2014
You have to stay with this to the end to 'get' its conceit. Most of the ad is spent setting aside the thousands of goods available at Currys PC World which aren't wanted by a particular punter and - once everything else has been eliminated - the one thing he does want is the only thing left standing. It's been done with considerable visual flair and the movement is very effective... only the decision to place it in a cold warehouse lets it down.

Rightmove
"Find Your Happy"
30s
9 May 2014
Ads where phrasal snippets are stitched together from various people's conversations are notoriously hard to do successfully, and this one doesn't quite make the grade. Slightly clunky, and overflowing with 'funny' juxtapositions such as: "...and if anyone wants to stay, I've got a spare..." "...compost heap..." it subsumes the brand into the concept so that Rightmove feels bolted on instead of integral.

Marks & Spencer
"Alice in Oz"
2 mins
5 Nov 2013
The impossibly beautiful Rosie Huntington-Whitely plays an updated version of Alice in this year's ambitious Christmas ad from Marks & Spencer. She falls down a manhole rather than a rabbit hole, but encounters all the surreal magic one would hope for, including Helena Bonham-Carter's disembodied head.

Dulux
"Pink"
60s
18 Feb 2013
Another in this excellent series for the paint manufacturer which aims to demonstrate to us how a change of décor can have far-reaching implications. A young man hates his room and receives nothing but opprobrium from his mates - but are they missing the subtle nuance of his plans?

L'Oreal Elnett
"It"
30s
12 Nov 2012
Cheryl Cole makes a series of suggestions about what can be done with your hair in this commercial for L'Oreal Elnett. The Novacastrian is not without charm but it feels as though advertisers are a bit behind the curve as far as her star status is concerned... it's pretty much over for her, isn't it?

British Airways
"The Relaxed Trainer"
30s
23 Oct 2012
Another of the new series of commercials which determinedly highlight the notion that travelling with the advertised airline is a lot more relaxing journey with their rivals. In this execution, a pair of trainers worn by a man who expected to have to race for his seat lie discarded in the aisle... ready to trip an unsuspecting trolley dolly.

British Airways
"The Friendly Lemon"
30s
22 Oct 2012
Now that Easyjet have begun assigning seats, British Airways is limited in its points of difference with the budget airline and the decision to focus on those that remain serves only to remind the public that there aren't many reasons for choosing them. Here, it's suggested we should fly BA for a free gin and tonic with a slice of lemon... hmmmm.

British Airways
"The Happy Jumper"
30s
22 Oct 2012
Oh British Airways, why did you choose today of all days to have your new commercials ready to be reviewed on here? On any other day DAVID would be prepared to compliment the simplicity of this ad showing a woolly jumper falling slowly into a suitcase but after the airline's incompetence buggered up a trip to London this morning, we can only do so through gritted teeth.

Virgin Media
"Virgin Talent School"
60s
9 May 2012
Because so much comedy is dryly delivered these days, it's become difficult to know when you're looking at something you're supposed to take seriously or something that's poking fun at something you're supposed to take seriously. We think this is the former but it really could be the latter.

PG Tips
"Eagle"
30s
3 Apr 2012
A bit's been added to the end of this classic ad for PG Tips. Having been grabbed by the eagle as he tries to prompt Al into recognising that the key word is 'fresh', Monkey finds himself in the bird of prey's nest with it's chicks. Time for a little song... obviously.

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