David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Leo Vegas
"Double Vegas"
90s
21 February 2017
UK Betting

It turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors. We're already familiar with the suave yet faintly menacing lion... and now another familiar visage joins him. It's the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas - and boy, what a bonus he proves to be. Having "bigged it up" in the audition, he finds himself slightly out of his depth - and we can't look away.

The 90-second ad uses a variety of behind-the-scenes tropes to convey the comic's anxiety about the things he's expected to do. We see him roar feebly in the recording booth, protest at featuring in a Japanese ad, and jump out of a plane... onto a greenscreen mat.

His timing and physicality are superb, and what's so clever about bringing him on board is the extra dimension he introduces.

While the besuited big cat suggests the brand has a sophisticated player demographic, Jonny opens things up and invites a broader audience.

The hapless manner in which he bumbles through renders the idea of gambling harmless - it's just a bit of a laugh. Existing customers can align themselves with the superiority of Leo the lion; new ones will associate the brand with fun and frippery.

But to say his clout stops there would be wrong. Johnny Vegas is also known for being controversial and anarchic; his size and his ability to look and sound dim-witted belying a sharp intelligence. So both target audiences will appreciate his presence and take what they choose from it.

Whatever we feel about the ubiquity of online gambling and the barrage of ads promoting it, we have to judge each campaign by the quality of its ideas, execution, and presumed effectiveness. This particular ad hits the jackpot on all three counts and we look forward to seeing what's next for the newly-formed double act.

McDonald's McCafé
"Madness"

Hanna said:

lovely work! nice one everyone x


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Leo Vegas
"Double Vegas"
90s
21 Feb 2017
It turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors. We're already familiar with the suave yet faintly menacing lion... and now another familiar visage joins him. It's the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas - and boy, what a bonus he proves to be. Having "bigged it up" in the audition, he finds himself slightly out of his depth - and we can't look away.

Miike Snow
"Pull My Trigger"
3 mins 22s
23 Aug 2016
Miike Snow's follow-up to 'Ghengis Khan' is as poppy and infectious as its predecessor - so it made perfect sense for director Ninian Doff to create a follow-up promo too. 'Pull My Trigger' features the same cast as before, but in an alternative conflict... this time there are nukes rather than giant lasers.

Temptations
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
2 mins 43s
9 Aug 2016
There will come a day when cat videos fade away, but today is not that day - not if Temptations have anything to do with it. The brand has become synonymous with work inspired by internet virals in recent times, and after their Elton John-scored Christmas ad, they now turn to Simple Minds for this beautifully realised tale of a cat yearning for attention from his material girl owner.

Run The Jewels
"Love Again (ft Gangsta Boo)"
3 mins 54s
19 Apr 2016
Ninian Doff's promo for 'Love Again' by Run The Jewels is supercharged sexy. But not in the way you might expect. Thankfully there are no bootylicious babes shaking their assets or manspreading fly guys calling the shots... instead, what we have is a world in macro where insects and flowers dominate the scene and are both predator and prey; pursuing the objects of their lust.

Miike Snow
"Genghis Khan"
4 mins 07s
13 Jan 2016
If you didn't know this was Miike Snow, you could be forgiven for thinking at first that this is some mainstream Euro act glibly singing about why he's like one of history's most powerful and ruthless conquerors. But there's just too much of an intriguing, infectious hook to shrug it off - accessible and poppy the track may be, but it has something extra that worms its way into your affections.

giffgaff
"House Of Horrors"
2 mins
29 Oct 2015
Halloween has featured a lot this year, and giffgaff are the latest brand to put us through the ringer. Through the eyes of an unlucky mobile customer, we experience a haunted house inhabited by a distinctly modern collection of horrors picked by giffgaff users. It's an enjoyable ghost train of an ad from director Ninian Doff as our unseen protagonist is besieged from all sides.

Chemical Brothers
"Sometimes I Feel So Deserted"
4 mins 14s
18 Aug 2015
The Chemical Brothers have collaborated with a host of great directors for their videos over the years, but for us, Ninian Doff's promo for I Feel So Deserted not only raises the bar but propels it into space. A zombie-style dystopia set in a desert, it grabs you by the throat and won't let go. The big screen surely beckons on the back of this.

Pearl & Dean
"Back of the Head"
2 mins 41s
8 Jul 2015
Pearl & Dean, the cinema advertising company whose jingle is as well known as Big Ben's chimes, takes an affectionate look at the unsung heroes of cinema in this sweet spoof. 'Actor' Chad Jackson - or the back of his head, more accurately - fondly regales us with the challenges he's faced over a decades-long career emoting without being "front-facing".

Hula Hoops
"Music Video"
30s
23 Jun 2015
Imagination has been brought to life in this sparky commercial for Hula Hoops which suggests they're as much fun to play with as they are to eat (something that's true... though not necessarily in a good way). A young girl pictures herself as a groovy grown-up dancer after placing two of the potatoey snacks on her finger tips.

Snickers
"Perfect Face"
1 min 51s
9 Apr 2015
An extension of the 'You're not you when you're hungry' campaign sees popular YouTubers joining in. The Snicker-branded videos start off as they normally would for each vlogger, but then go awry because their presenters haven't eaten. Some are more successful than others, like this one for online art tutor Leonardo Pereznieto.

Snickers
"Top DIY Hacks"
2 mins 08s
9 Apr 2015
An extension of the 'You're not you when you're hungry' campaign sees popular Youtubers joining in. In this video, a popular DIY presenter is off his game - which is down to the fact he hasn't eaten. So instead of the normally sensible advice he'd give, viewers are advised to use something entirely different to silicon as a sealant in the bathroom... and it doesn't stop there.

Migos
"One Time"
4 mins 46s
8 Apr 2015
Ninian Doff turns time into a shattered mirror for Migos' latest track; littering the morning after the night before with shards of memories for everyone to stumble into. Their freezing, multiplying, fragmenting presence gives a reason for finding this on YouTube - something that cannot be said for the track it promotes.

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.

Peace
"Lost on Me"
3 mins 49s
19 Aug 2014
We rather like the way this appears to be having a dig at the mindlessness of boy bands. The group are rehearsing a routine with the aid of cue cards, and when an accident on set distracts their choreographer it doesn't occur to them to stop practising. They veer out of the studio with their click-and-walk moves, and slowly head towards their doom. Just wish this came from a more subversive outfit than Peace - it has the potential to be a very cool idea indeed.

O2
"Bundles"
30s
16 Jul 2014
A cat might be king for a day, but a dog is bling forever - that seems to be the message in this spot for O2, in which our cat, having discovered his inner pooch, pimps up his ride and lives big. That's because he wants to do justice to his big bundle pay-and-go sim for £15 a month. Remarkable, though, how kitty morphs from a middle-class chappie to an ebullient northerner as soon as he unleashes his labrador.

Royal Blood
"Figure It Out"
3 mins 05s
10 Jul 2014
Rapid risers on the music scene Royal Blood - a two-piece based in Brighton - have released this glam-tinged belter which comes with an appropriate video from Ninian Doff. Lashings of thrashy riffs set the tone for the unfolding story of a girl in a shopping mall, whose dazed appearance seems connected to the bloodstains that show up on her in blue-filtered light.

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.

Gran Turismo
"Beat"
2 mins
9 Dec 2013
This takes beatboxing to a whole new level... instead of creating percussive sounds, the young guy in this spot produces the throaty, turbo-charged revs of a racing car engine. He continues for so long there comes a point when you're wondering if his larynx will start bleeding, but it's very impressive and demonstrates that wherever you are, your head can be still competing in the vehicle of your choice thanks to Gran Turismo.

Easyjet
"Generation EasyJet"
30s
15 Sep 2013
Crystal Fighters provide the music to a montage of people making or about to make their airborne voyages across the world. It's a feelgood piece designed to reinforce the ease and affordability of plane travel; suggesting you can go anywhere at the drop of a hat without breaking the bank. Thanks to work like this, Easyjet have very cleverly repositioned themselves in recent years.

Mykki Blanco
"The Initiation"
3 mins 49s
6 Jun 2013
Mykki Blanco has released a second single from her EP Betty Rubble: The Initiation – also called The Initiation. After the announcement “Hell is chilly, motherfucker” she lapses into Latin, apparently gleaned from Wikipedia and online translation sources. “Carpe diem” makes an inevitable appearance, as does “Deo confidimus,” which has a nice ring to it whether she trusts in the concept of God or not.

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