David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Instrumentarium
"Eternal Love"
66s
13 February 2017
Finland Eyewear

Just in time for the most romantic day of the year, Finnish eyewear retailer Instrumentarium bring us a touching story of enduring love - sort of.

An elderly couple have been married for decades when the husband brings home some new specs for himself and his missus. He persuades her to try them on, and what follows isn't exactly what he was hoping for.

The wonder on her face as she suddenly realises what she's been missing all these years is abruptly curtailed when she spots hubby's visage, and even shades can't save the old boy's cool once she sees what she's wed to.

A refreshing touch of cynicism amongst the hearts and flowers, this ad suggests true love really can last forever... as long as you squint.

Hallmark Cards
"Hannah & Henry"

Ben said:

Bloody hell that was boring...


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Instrumentarium
"Eternal Love"
66s
13 Feb 2017
Just in time for the most romantic day of the year, Finnish eyewear retailer Instrumentarium bring us a touching story of enduring love. An elderly couple have been married for decades when the husband brings home some new specs for himself and his missus. What follows isn't exactly love at first sight...

Toyota
"Right Light"
60s
15 Dec 2016
We’ve seen lots of variations on the Christmas lights meme this year. Now Toyota unveil their own bright idea to promote their annual Toyotathon sales event. We see family and friends driving into the countryside on a mission. As dusk approaches, rolls of lights are arranged with purpose. Soon we spot a plane overhead, and one passenger looks out the window onto a luminous greetings card.

Yorkshire Building Society
"Outgrown"
30s
26 Sep 2016
In an ideal world, when our family grows, our home would automatically create space in return. Instead, it can feel like the walls are closing in. This Yorkshire Building Society commercial shot by Pete Riski depicts this idea with clever set design and a lightness of touch. This family finds their home to be less and less roomy as their needs expand.

Folgers
"Coach"
90s
10 Aug 2016
Pete Riski demonstrated his ability to squeeze every drop of emotion from a script with a Wrigley's ad which picked up a number of awards as well as finding favour with the public. Now, he's only gone and done it again with a splendid Olympics-themed commercial for Folgers coffee.

Hallmark Cards
"No Ordinary Mom"
1 min 40s
26 Apr 2016
Sentimentality is a property mishandled by many. Not that it requires elongated tongs and a hazmat suit, but too much schmaltz is capable of hefty damage. It pays therefore to bring in an expert like Rattling Stick's Pete Riski to handle proceedings, and this moving film for Hallmark delivers a Mother's Day message with just the right amount of sugar stirred in for good measure.

Dogs Trust
"Special Someone"
60s
22 Feb 2016
Sentimentality in advertising doesn't always sit well with us and when it's used to sell financial services it can be a bit gag-inducing... but when the aim is to persuade people to adopt a dog rescued by a charity, no one with a heart should question its legitimacy. And this adorable film for the Dogs Trust will melt yours, if it's functioning.

IKEA
"Taxi"
40s
3 Dec 2015
A taxi driver finds his passengers aren't exactly in a rush to get going in this nicely observed Finnish ad for Ikea. Despite his reminders, this group of friends find it impossible to leave the comforts of their current surroundings, leaving the poor driver with no choice but to get comfortable for the night. Best to take a job from those who aren't Ikea customers next time, eh?

Wrigley's Extra
"Sarah & Juan"
2 mins
8 Oct 2015
It takes a lot of bottle to imbue a commercial with this much sentimentality and - if you're going to do it - it's best to commit fully. Rattling Stick's Pete Riski has done exactly that in this ad for Wrigley's Extra and the result is absolutely lovely. The famous scene in the film Up! recapping Carl and Ellie's marriage set a high bar for sequences of this kind and it looks to us as though the authors of this film had it in mind when creating this tableau

Short Films
"Here With Me"
11 mins 31s
22 Sep 2015
A man’s world falls to pieces in violent fashion while a glimmer of better times lingers in this absorbing drama from Rattling Stick's Pete Riski. Non-linear storytelling takes you from the calm into the storm and back again at well-judged junctures. Riski manages to invite both sympathy and dismay at the plight of his characters, while Jean-Noel Mustonen’s imagery renders the grim scenario with eerie tranquillity.

UPC
"Pixie"
60s
16 Jul 2015
This sweet tale from Ireland illustrates the positive side of social media as a missing dog is tracked down through the network of connections in which we all live these days. There's even a hint that the two human protagonists might get it on as a consequence of their pets' flighty behaviour, given that the young woman's parrot has taken off at the end, suggesting the story continues.

Colman's
"Awkward"
20s
18 Apr 2015
Further proof that adam&eveDDB are masters of the domestic domain. In just twenty seconds we learn that a young woman is meeting the daughter of her new beau and that they're both feeling awkward about the situation. However, thanks to the comforting food provided by Colman's new meal kits, potential disaster is avoided and the first tentative steps towards friendship are taken.

Colman's
"Leaving Home"
30s
26 Mar 2015
This mustard really ought to be called 'English Reserve' as - to judge by this commercial - that's what it's helping to offset in the depicted scenario. A family's oldest son is heading to university and as his parents prepare a farewell meal, their minds are full of thoughts about the departing adolescent and his new adventure.

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.

Nuffield
"Small Victory"
60s
29 Dec 2014
This lovingly composed film for Nuffield focuses on the notion that the private health company has an holistic approach to healthcare. As well as the hospitals they are best known for, they have more than seventy gyms up and down the country and we see a variety of people taking advantage of these facilities in a bid to stay fit.

Stockmann
"The Letter"
60s
24 Nov 2014
There are shades of John Lewis's 'The Long Wait' in this immensely sweet commercial from Finland which has a young boy discovering an old letter while looking for Christmas decorations. It gives him pause for thought, and provides the spur for the gift we see him inexpertly wrapping. This gift is handed to his father on Christmas Day... and it's evidently something with massive resonance.

Vodafone
"Power to the Festive"
60s
10 Nov 2014
Those essential people who keep things running even on the biggest day of the year feature in this spot from Vodafone, which unites disparate pockets of workers - in hospitals, on farms, in kitchens and on the road - by showing them full of cheer as they sporadically watch Frozen on their phones and other devices.

McDonald's
"Bubbles in Heaven"
30s
6 Oct 2014
Another in the excellent series celebrating the 40th anniversary of McDonald's arrival in the UK has a father helping his daughter come to terms with the demise of her pet goldfish. Wordlessly the two of them contemplate the forlornly empty bowl and he hands her a milkshake from the fast food joint to comfort her in her hour of need. Lovely.

McDonald's
"After Movie Natter"
30s
1 Sep 2014
After proving that it isn't just teenagers who annoy the hell out of other cinema-goers by nattering through the film, this sweet pair continue their conversation in McDonald's where it's a bit more sociable to chat. It's a neat addition to the series of films celebrating the fast food company's forty years in the UK and will certainly appeal to the demographic depicted.

McDonald's
"Camping"
30s
28 Aug 2014
It's not a new idea, but it does perfectly capture that British stoicism in the face of dour weather. People camping sit in silence waiting, it's revealed, for someone to return with their McDonald's take-out. Over the top, Peters & Lee's Rainbow plays (DAVID remembers Peters & Lee) to mark the fast food restaurant's fortieth UK birthday. Have a good one, Maccy D.

McDonald's
"Just Moved In"
30s
28 Aug 2014
If you're familiar with the song, you'll wonder why this McDonald's ad is using a goofball track from 1974. Well, that's to acknowledge that this year Maccy D is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its arrival in the UK and just because Melanie's new roller skates don't have a great deal of relevance to moving house doesn't mean it's not a nice fit in this spot about a family moving home and rewarding themselves with a take-out from the fast food restaurant.

McDonald's
"Nervous First Date"
30s
28 Aug 2014
One of four well-observed ads celebrating Maccy D UK's 40th anniversary with contemporary scenarios backed by 40 year old tracks - a nice way to successfully encompass all the age groups. Here, two youngsters go on their first date and end up bonding over fries in a McDonald's. The casting is lovely as the couple are both simultaneously ordinary and radiant, evoking memories of sweaty palms and trying to eat food attractively.

McDonald's
"Just Passed Test"
30s
28 Aug 2014
A car full of Inbetweener-aged boys jerks to a halt at a McDonald's drive-in while The Boys Are Back In Town plays throughout. Not an incongruous choice of music, and made thoroughly pertinent by the fact it's forty years old - the same age that Maccy D (UK) is celebrating this year. Well-cast and well-observed, this depicts the eternal awkwardness teenage lads display around girls.

Vodafone
"Race Day"
30s
14 May 2014
They're very good, these ads; not only does the strapline vary to contain both a feature and its benefit, but each execution has a real warmth and humanity as well. In this spot, devoted sons ensure their elderly father (just how old was he when he had them?) doesn't miss out on the big horse race he's too frail now to attend.

Vodafone
"Heartbreak"
30s
14 May 2014
This is one of two new commercials made for Vodafone in Ireland by Grey London and - like the previous work - it tells a very human story. It's reminiscent of this UK film for the same brand which also involved someone exhibiting self-sacrifice for a person in distress. It's a touching tribute to friendship and handily demonstrates how technology can help someone wanting to offer a little support.

NatWest
"Magic Mum"
40s
13 Apr 2014
A rather lovely ad for NatWest which makes the bank seem far more capable than we tend to perceive it as. It's astute, too. This is going for the family audience: parents want their children to think of them as perfect, however delusional the wish may be; and if a bank can help them appear to have magical qualities because they don't go into a sweary meltdown over their finances, so be it.

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