David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Sport England
"This Girl Can Returns"
90s
24 February 2017
UK Lobby Groups

The bedrock of the long-awaited second instalment of Sport England's 'This Girl Can' campaign is provided by Maya Angelou's mischievous reading of her own poem 'Phenomenal Woman'. It's a perfect fit for the everywoman approach which drew so many plaudits for the original film... also directed by Somesuch's Kim Gehrig.

The new film is the same... but different. It builds on the 2015 film by coyly acknowledging its success, which was enormous. The honest and relatable depiction provided a catharsis for women who have grown up trying to live up to impossible standards and social media was ablaze with positive responses.

This looks destined to have a similar impact. Street casting delivers a tangible authenticity and it's this honesty which makes it such a compelling proposition.

We suspect there was blood, sweat and tears on both sides of the camera as the athletes toiled, and its makers worried whether they could make a film worthy of the original. Everyone can relax... you've done it.

Lancôme
"My Shade My Power"

Matt said:

How dull. They might as well have been telling me what size their shoes are.


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Sport England
"This Girl Can Returns"
90s
24 Feb 2017
The bedrock of the long-awaited second instalment of Sport England's 'This Girl Can' campaign is provided by Maya Angelou's mischievous reading of her own poem 'Phenomenal Woman'. It's a perfect fit for the everywoman approach which drew so many plaudits for the original film... also directed by Somesuch's Kim Gehrig.

Eurostar
"Travel State of Mind"
60s
20 Feb 2017
There’s plenty of joie de vivre in this 60” ad for Eurostar. These travellers discover what can happen when you just say qui. A lot, as it happens - you’ve just got to have the right mindset. Long lunches, lost and found love, and discovering one’s dancing shoes… sod the itinerary and just roll with it.

UNICEF
"It Begins With A Blanket"
1 min 35s
28 Nov 2016
This UNICEF film arrives just as many in the West will be counting their spoils from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amidst a whirlwind of discount tellies and clothes, it’s easy to forget how drastically wants and needs differ across the globe. A girl wanders around a makeshift refugee camp picking up odds and ends - after all, her life depends on it.

Lurpak
"Game On, Cooks"
60s
22 Sep 2016
Has cooking become too much of a spectator sport? Lurpak thinks so, and the brand makes a bold move by telling viewers to switch their attention from telly to belly. Lurpak being Lurpak, they've done a first-rate job. Somesuch's Daniel Wolfe meets this campaign's exacting standards head on with a brilliant execution. Once the game begins, it's something to behold.

Audi Quattro
"Everyday Extremes"
60s
17 Jul 2016
The best of Audi's advertising tends to focus on the car as an object of desire, serving it up in a fashion designed to give petrolheads an erotic experience. The emphasis is different here but it retains an important element of the other approach... a intensely visceral soundtrack. The bass guitar riff from the 'Are You Being Served?' theme music provides an excellent sound bed to which String & Tins's Will Cohen has added an appropriate array of other noises to give this after-hours exploration of a department store real vim.

Ray Ban
"Long Wave"
6 mins 28s
23 Jun 2016
This lengthy film for Ray-Ban directed by Somesuch's Rollo Jackson follows a teenage girl as she drifts through her humdrum existence before happening upon a rust-ridden car with a powerful radio signal. Grime MC Trim's 'Before I Lied' offers an escape from reality before Agnes decides it's time to walk tall. It's an elusive portrayal of the brand, but the intriguing story unfolds with fetching photography and well-judged musical interludes.

Short Films
"Home (Trailer)"
1 min 52s
14 Jun 2016
It's a familiar trope of the refugee crisis to find ways of asking ourselves how we'd feel if we were in their shoes and, hard on the heels of the latest Save the Children film mining this seam comes another hard-hitting piece of work. As is clear from this trailer, Home makes its displaced citizens white, English and middle-class in the hope that those unmoved by the sight of distressed Syrians on the news might rethink the situation if those affected are more relatable.

Vita Coco
"Karaoke"
60s
23 May 2016
There's a myriad of ways for you to work up a sweat, be it through exercise, physical labour, or mental exertion. Eventually, you're giving it your all on a beach hut karaoke stage, and it's this unlikely scenario which Vita Coco pitches as the ideal situation for some life-restoring coconut water. It's fair to say a mustachioed Frenchman giving a creative rendition of Celine Dion's 'It's All Coming Back To Me Now' is an oddity, but it's an enjoyable one.

Secret
"Raise"
60s
13 Apr 2016
So yesterday we shake our heads despairingly at a film promoting Equal Pay and today we are able to heap tons of deserved praise on a commercial for a deodorant that actually does a much better job of pressing the equality argument. It's a terrific piece of work on every level and - who knows - maybe it communicates this issue with more passion because it was directed by a woman... the marvellous Aoife McArdle.

Age UK
"Man on the Moon"
50s
20 Nov 2015
This film underlining the importance of John Lewis's partnership with Age UK for this year's Christmas commercial offers a further insight into the plight of old people who feel abandoned by their family and friends at this time of year... and it's been achieved by making the agency look like the bad guys!

John Lewis
"Man on the Moon"
2 mins
6 Nov 2015
The anticipation ahead of the John Lewis Christmas commercial grows and grows and this year it's been so great that the backlash began before anyone had even seen it. Those silly naysayers have - as you might expect - just been completely trumped by the film itself which is unerringly beautiful.

Honda
"Stepping"
60s
2 Sep 2015
Honda tends to make commanding, challenging and intelligent ads. Some of them leave us to join the dots ourselves, others literally spell their message out - but never half-heartedly and always with chutzpah. This launch spot for the Honda HR-V communicates the brand's obsession with engineering perfectionism; marrying its mechanical precision to the movement of its human counterparts.

Vauxhall Corsa
"Call Mum"
10s
15 Jun 2015
Vauxhall's alphabetical journey continues with the letter C. This quick outing shows how the new Corsa's voice activation technology allows drivers to make phone calls handsfree; in this instance, everyone's wanting a natter with their mum while travelling down the road. It's all getting a bit easy for Vauxhall with this campaign now - tackle X, Y, and Z for bonus points.

Vauxhall Corsa
"Everybody In"
20s
2 Jun 2015
The A-Z conceit for this Vauxhall campaign guarantees the initial commercial can be spun out for a little longer than usual. The same energy is carried across well as this treatment is about "E for Everybody In". We're then treated to a zippy montage showing everyone from kids at footie practice to a happy Dalmatian finding their way into the advertised vehicle.

Dulux
"New Travels In Colour"
30s
29 Mar 2015
Following on from their campaign's sci-fi reboot, Dulux takes us back to the future. With colour now a part of this futuristic brave new world, our hero faces a new challenge: how to pick the right one from so much choice. The new range of neutral tones provides the solution. The scope is far more modest than the epic original, but the message is still conveyed well.

Dulux
"Colourless Future"
60s
12 Mar 2015
Apparently we're using colour less and less as a nation these days and Dulux are concerned this will mean a future where the entire world looks like the inside of an Apple store. Like all the best dystopian notions, they're not really talking about the future though... they're talking about now. And they have a point.

Vauxhall Corsa
"No Hands"
10s
13 Feb 2015
Terrific use of a ten-second spot here with a young guy confounding his mate by reversing without touching the steering wheel. Apparently in the A-Z of Corsa-speak, 'L' stands for 'look, no hands' - and it has to be said, it's very impressive to watch. Nice bit of vérité-style filming, too - it feels really spontaneous.

Vauxhall Corsa
"Bye Frost"
10s
3 Feb 2015
This is only short and it's pretty basic, but it gets across a strong message simply and clearly. Which is that the Vauxhall Corsa has a heated windscreen. Suddenly, we're thinking: why don't ALL cars have that? Why is the rear window heated but not the front? It's reasoning that's literally back to front. Anyway. We're on 'B' at the moment... does this mean there are 26 advantages to choosing a Corsa in total?

Vauxhall Corsa
"A to Z"
60s
16 Jan 2015
This vibrant slice of life positions the Vauxhall Corsa as a car we might find at the centre of normal human existence... a life utility vehicle helping young drivers who are trying to make their way into the adult world. It's a canny move. The vehicles of yesteryear that occupied this space - the Mini and the VW Beetle - have been seriously upgraded in the last decade or two and although this may mean they are far superior to their forebears, they are probably beyond the financial reach of many youngsters.

Honda
"The Other Side"
2 mins 55s
2 Nov 2014
This devilishly clever piece of work by W+K for Honda enables an online viewer to switch between two contrasting narratives when they watch the ad on YouTube. DAVID thoroughly recommends that you click the link and watch it as it was designed to be seen but - for your convenience - we've run off a version that switches between the two edits to give you a sense of the experience.

Metronomy
"I'm Aquarius"
4 mins 11s
20 Dec 2013
We're not hugely enthusiastic about Metronomy here at the Zoo, but maybe that's because we've only heard a few singles which have sounded a bit insipid to our jaded ears. They have plenty of fans, though, and we're sure I'm Aquarius is going to win over an even bigger swathe of followers. That, we suspect, is as much to do with the video as it is the track.

Qatar Airways
"Barcelona FC"
90s
29 Aug 2013
Although the footballers of Barcelona FC are the clear stars of this ad for the club's major sponsor, it's actually Jackie Wilson's sparkling performance behind the microphone that ensures the piece has the requisite feel-good factor. Having said that, the boys do a grand job... and mop-haired defender Puyol sends up his own hard-man image with great aplomb.

John le Carré
"A Delicate Truth"
1 min 40s
29 Apr 2013
It's very rare to see a book being promoted with any kind of élan so this 'trail' by Somesuch's Kim Gehrig breaks new ground. The octogenarian author provides a neat finish and his intriguingly cryptic breakdown of the story will have his legion of fans foaming at the mouth.

Samsung
"Charge"
90s
27 Mar 2013
Directed by the formidable Romain Gavras, this has a host of 'armies' joining forces and charging towards a destination unknown to us until the end. It's gorgeous to watch, and the use of Kill It Kid's 'Run' is perfect - but there is a sense that the ad has sacrificed a bit too much product information in the process of achieving such a build-up.

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