David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Apple AirPods
"Stroll"
60s
16 January 2017
UK Headphones

The first advertising push for Apple’s AirPod earphones has a job on its hands. Last year’s Apple press conference sparked frenzied reactions online as headphone jacks and wires were consigned to history. Now the tech giant has to convince consumers that cordless earbuds are the future.

They’ve gone about it in typical Apple fashion. Compelling visuals and a catchy soundtrack are both present and correct as dancer Lil Buck goes for a walk with a difference. Once he’s tuned in, the world moves at a more rhythmic pace… and gravity enjoys a time-out.

It’s sheer freedom of movement as he dances up and down walls, sticks to car doors, and glides across a sea of lights. Anyone still with a spring in their step after watching ‘La La Land’ will appreciate the spectacle.

As for the AirPods themselves? Close-ups are few and far between, though do we learn removing one earbud pauses the music. A neat demonstration - getting your hands on them is another matter.


NatWest
"Nuts and Bolts"

Matt said:

'And we' thought, yes it is'.


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Apple AirPods
"Stroll"
60s
16 Jan 2017
The first advertising push for Apple’s AirPod earphones has a job on its hands. Last year’s Apple press conference sparked frenzied reactions online as headphone jacks and wires were consigned to history. Now the tech giant has to convince consumers that cordless earbuds are the future... and they’ve gone about it in typical Apple fashion.

Road Safety (Republic of Ireland)
"Crashed Lives"
1 min 50s
5 Dec 2016
This gruelling road safety film gives words to the unspeakable. One by one, we meet those haunted by Ciarán Treacy’s death: his parents; the emergency services who attended the scene; and the nurses who fought to save the four-year old’s life. These are the ripple effects of drink driving laid bare.

Tove Lo
"Cool Girl"
3 mins 55s
29 Aug 2016
Tove Lo's 'Lady Wood' is an album of two halves: 'Fairy Dust' and 'Fire Fade'. This first release - 'Cool Girl - is, in effect, chapter one of 'Fairy Dust'; and director Tim Erem has delivered a tantalising promo to accompany it. Here we witness Tove shaving her hair Britney-style and straddling a perspex coffin inhabited by a body appearing to represent her former self... but what does it mean? We'll have to wait and see.

Under Armour
"Numbers"
45s
13 Jul 2016
For those of us who struggled with arithmetic at school, this quick-fire commercial for Under Armour may feel like a machine gun volley from your maths teacher. Thanks to films like 'Moneyball' and the sport's overall preoccupation with raw data, numbers have become a major player in professional baseball - but for the likes of Washington Nationals fielder Bryce Harper, big hits trump digits all day long.

The Prince's Trust
"Parallel Lives"
90s
11 Jun 2016
It's difficult to recall a more effective use of split-screen than that seen in this admirably restrained film highlighting the role of The Prince's Trust in guiding young people away from potential disastrous lifestyle choices. The parallel lives it depicts belong to a young woman living in a high rise. In one version of her life, she eagerly awaits the arrival of a young man on whom she has pinned her highest romantic hopes. In the other, she faces the dismal prospect of being paid for sex.

Frances
"Don't Worry About Me"
3 mins 45s
4 May 2016
Young singer-songwriter Frances has penned a touching song for someone who has been there for her and who she now wants to be strong for in turn. The simplicity of the track is all the more poignant for Zak Razvi's accompanying promo, which focuses on an elderly man keeping vigil at his dying wife's bedside.

Nike
"Spark Brilliance"
90s
6 Apr 2016
Paris Saint-Germain and France midfielder Blaise Matuidi is the star of Nike's energetic tribute to the moments that trigger a lifelong passion for football. For Matuidi, it was watching Jay-Jay Okocha (the man famously described as "so good, they named him twice") on the television screen. He may get put in his place early on, but years of distance running finally earns him a berth at the heart of Les Bleus' midfield.

New Order
"Tutti Frutti"
4 mins 39s
3 Feb 2016
The intricate tale takes full advantage of the canvas provided by New Order's latest single Tutti Frutti. Bernard Sumner's lyrics rarely get beyond songwriting 101, so it's natural for the director of a New Order promo to move in their own direction - and BOLD's Tom Haines has done exactly that in this sad depiction of an ageing fantasist.

Sara Charlton Foundation
"12 Days"
80s
1 Dec 2015
A little girl plays with a tree bauble while reciting - in VO - alternative lyrics to the Twelve Days of Christmas. But they're not gifts she's describing. They're acts of violence her dad has inflicted on her mum; leading to a Christmas in which police and A&E play a central role instead of crackers and turkey leftovers. This spot, filmed for the Sara Charlton Foundation for victims of domestic violence, is filmed very simply to contrast with the brutality in the girl's descriptions.

Android
"LeeFest"
60s
16 Nov 2015
This smart commercial tells the true story of LeeFest - an annual event which started in 2006 when Lee's parents went on holiday and he decided to have a festival in their back garden. According to this handsome commercial, he couldn't have done it without Google... which he used in 2006 to find out everything he needed to get started.

Breast Cancer Now
"The Last One"
60s
14 Jun 2015
A group of women weave their stories together in this profoundly moving ad for Breast Cancer Now. One by one they tell us they won't be the last to find a lump, or lose a breast, or find it's spread, or tell the children. They won't be the last to die from the disease. But their message is that with our help, there will, one day, be someone with the distinction of being the last person to die from this disease.

Clark
"To Live And Die In Grantham"
4 mins 52s
30 Mar 2015
Clark's trademark techno is exhilarating and gruelling in equal measure here as a young guy bobs and weaves threateningly through a trailer park. The washed-out grade emphasises his pallid skin with its faint grey tinge of cigs and junk food. But he's on a transformative journey, and the almost mystical scenes of shadowy, smoke-filled ritual we cut to intermittently subvert the aggression into something spiritual.

New Balance
"Run Different"
60s
9 Mar 2015
A group of joggers head out in the night... their fluorescent trainers bright flashes of colour as they make their way towards their goal - not to outrun one another, but to give a neglected play park a new lease of life. It's an astute way of suggesting that New Balance isn't all "me, me, me" like some of the other sportswear brands.

Greene King IPA
"King Snare"
1 min 55s
2 Dec 2014
After a rousing drum solo 'King Snare' pauses for a sip of the advertised beer. It doesn't sound like a very good premise for a commercial - especially one that's just under two minutes long but it works surprisingly well and fully holds the attention. 'Good things come to those who wait' as another drink marketer was keen on telling us.

Uniqlo
"Heattech - Cate"
60s
3 Nov 2014
One of two quietly impressive spots for Uniqlo's Heattech clothing range. These feature people in jobs that expose them to difficult weather conditions and explain - without any song and dance - the importance of wearing gear they can rely on to keep them safe and warm against the elements. Here, ex-office worker Cate talks us through her job cleaning the windows of tall buildings.

Uniqlo
"Heattech - Arno"
60s
3 Nov 2014
One of two quietly impressive spots for Uniqlo's Heattech clothing range. These feature people in jobs that expose them to difficult weather conditions and explain - without any song and dance - the importance of wearing gear they can rely on to keep them safe and warm against the elements. Here, Journalist Arno tells us about his line of work.

Branston
"So Many Things"
10s
27 Oct 2014
For a 10" ad (largely taken from last year's 30"), this is very sweet. An earnest dad and his son brave the dank grey skies of winter to launch a home-made model rocket. Unfortunately, it merely jumps and falls over like a stroke-felled seagull - not the blazing triumph dad was hoping for. But while he can't make some things, he can make others - and applies the same degree of concentration to the construction of a sandwich for the boy far more success.

Kasabian
"Stevie"
4 mins 47s
16 Oct 2014
Kasabian's tale of psychopath Stevie, features a video of a baby grown in a lab reminiscent of the eerie black room in Under the Skin. We leap forward in time to see him at the age of ten being put through various experiments by menacing men in gas masks who seem to be attempting to stop him responding to pain. But young Stevie has other plans.

Ronald McDonald House Charities
"Dad's Voice"
60s
25 Jul 2014
This low-key and tenderly made ad for Ronald McDonald House Charities underlines the perception that this is a company that puts something back into the community. Providing free home-from-home accommodation for families with a child in hospital, the charity enables mum and dad to stay close at hand so that at least some element of the strange new world they've found themselves in is comfortingly familiar... like dad's voice.

Peace
"Money"
3 mins 37s
4 Jun 2014
This is one of those videos that turns a passably catchy track into a much more memorable one - albeit simply because people will know it as "that funny handshake song". Peace has been hailed as the new leader of the indie scene, which tells you all you need to know about that - but the video's a corker. Businessmen suss each other out with a series of increasingly convoluted greetings that would put the Masons to shame... and it all ends very oddly indeed.

The Fableists
"Finn"
2 mins 05s
7 May 2014
This terrific little film promoting an ethical clothing label for kids features a fearless - and skilled - young skateboarder learning his craft. As a brand, The Fableists is "a mix of timeless, unisex and ultra-stylish clothes" that aren't made in sweatshops or laden with chemicals; and in showing Finn wearing Fableist gear we're made aware a) of its durability and b) that we all have a responsibility to children, wherever they are.

KFC
"Quad Bikes"
30s
28 Apr 2014
KFC aim to show how much their new Quad Wrap packs in with an ad featuring besuited office types doing donuts on the beach on quad bikes during their lunch hour. Not only have they had an adrenalin-fuelled time while others are picking up a sarnie from the local Greggs, but they've still got enough leeway to order the aforementioned item before heading back to work.

Waitrose
"Very Small Holding"
90s
4 Apr 2014
This delightful commercial for Waitrose by BBH underlines the difference that a sense of ownership can make as we see a boy painstakingly transforming a small space in the garden into an allotment. The whole family then celebrates his modest success by taking a bite each of the tiny carrot he manages to grow.

Branston
"Sorry"
30s
7 Dec 2013
A heartwarming ad in a traditional style, Branston plays on the father-son relationship that's been a real trope of the past year in advertising. Even if dad gets it wrong on lots of well-meaning levels, at least he knows how to make a decent sandwich for his lad. Well targeted for its inherently conservative audience, and likely to draw new consumers into the mix.

Jon Hopkins
"Collider"
5 mins 23s
12 Dec 2013
Jon Hopkins is music's Large Hadron – in Collider, as with all his work, he somehow finds the god particle. This latest from Immunity is an astonishing track, turning the senses inside out. As director of the accompanying promo Tom Haines explains: “Jon's music has a transportive quality, which can be blissful and expansive, but can also be internal, and more aggressive, and Collider is at this end of the spectrum."

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