David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

McDonald's McCafé
"Madness"
60s
20 February 2017
UK Fast Food Restaurants

When did a cup of joe become so complicated? The sheer variety of sizes, roasts, and finishes available is enough to leave anyone's head spinning. So this entertaining McDonald's McCafé ad offers salvation for all those who - in the face of overwhelming choice - have ever uttered the phrase: "I just want a coffee".

It's a well-observed spoof of artisanal shops - the kind of places that pride themselves in telling a coffee bean's life story, or whose brews are destined for Instagram. What follows is a delicious montage of coffee retail gone mad.

There are some lovely gags sprinkled throughout, from comically small cups to meticulous nutmeg decoration. We especially like one establishment's aspirational WiFi password: "Fly high with your dreams". The hipster barista's delivery is perfect, as is his enigmatic look away.

Some may take umbrage at the global giant ribbing their independent rivals, but director Tony Barry ensures it's a good-natured parody. While coffee alchemists enjoy their concoctions, the brand appeals to those who want a solid caffeine fix and nothing more.

Jose Cuervo
"Last Days"

Matt said:

'Tomorrow is overrated' is an amazing endline for a tequila.


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McDonald's McCafé
"Madness"
60s
20 Feb 2017
When did a cup of joe become so complicated? The sheer variety of sizes, roasts, and finishes available is enough to leave anyone's head spinning. So this entertaining McDonald's McCafé ad offers salvation for all those who - in the face of overwhelming choice - have ever uttered the phrase: "I just want a coffee".

Hallmark Cards
"Hannah & Henry"
2 mins 02s
10 Feb 2017
This commercial for Hallmark has a sly twist which - if heeded - could massively boost the sales of the card company's Valentine's offerings. It charts the burgeoning love affair between two people who work in the same building. Painfully unaware of a mutual attraction, they appear likely to opt for love of the unrequited variety.

The FA Cup
"Anything Could Happen"
60s
4 Jan 2016
One of the most difficult tasks in advertising is the reselling of an annual event like the FA Cup. The message is quite simple... the business end of the competition is about to get under way and its time to enjoy all the drama and excitement of the third round. But how do you say that without saying the exact same thing you said last year? The rather brave answer to such a question is provided by this wistful film from Tony Barry.

T K Maxx
"Love Your Neighbour"
60s
3 Nov 2015
T K Maxx has subtly gone about bolstering their reputation as the home for canny fashionistas this year, but now that the season of goodwill is here, they turn their attention to how we can treat our nearest and dearest. In a charming twist, all the attention is on the former - our neighbours. The retailer encourages us to overcome hesitance by treating our neighbours with a small festive token.

Experian Credit Expert
"Chopsticks"
40s
1 Jul 2015
This commercial for Experian cleverly addresses a question that troubles people about a service like this... what exactly is the point of it? While the ad doesn't provide a specific answer to this pivotal enquiry, it nonetheless manages to seed the idea that investigating your credit score may prove more useful than you might imagine.

HSBC
"Housewarming"
60s
10 Apr 2015
The authentic depiction of a house move really comes to life in this 60" version. So much of the loving detail is lost in the 30" that you really have to wonder why it appears to be getting more airtime than this far superior edit (well, we know why... but why not run this version less frequently if the advertiser wants to rein in the media spend?).

HSBC
"House Warming"
30s
1 Apr 2015
Candles and improvised crockery remind us all of that exciting first day in a new house in this attractive-looking commercial for HSBC. Michael 'Jambon' Gambon was given a day off in the recording booth, and it's remarkable how much this shifts the mood. It may have lost that self-satisfied tone he provides but it's also lost some of its distinctiveness and this could - in truth - be an ad for any mortgage provider. It's just as well it looks as good as it does.

McDonald's
"Petrol Station Miser"
30s
31 Dec 2014
Misers of the world, your time has come. If you recognise yourself in this fellow's attempt to get the last pico-particle of unleaded fumes out of the pipe and into his petrol tank, you'll no doubt appreciate the burgers on the saver menu at McDonald's. He may not look the type who needs to, but then again, how do millionaires make their money?

McDonald's
"Week Five"
30s
12 Nov 2014
Ah... we'll be sad to see the back of this campaign. It's been a delight with its strange blend of people who could have won the burger challenge... but didn't. The posh pair in this final ad came so close, it seems; although less and less so as the ad progresses. But delusion is a funny thing, and their earnestness - his conviction and her pop-eyed puzzlement - are marvellous.

McDonald's
"Week 4"
30s
4 Nov 2014
A mild-mannered chap tells what went into the burger he created for the McDonald's burger competition. He lists an impressive number of ingredients before pausing, waiting for a positive acknowledgement. Instead, it's pointed out to him that the creation already exists as a quarter pounder. He nods as the information sinks in, and his amiable expression slowly incorporates a hint of surprise. Lovely.

McDonald's
"Sweet Chilli Fiesta"
30s
16 Oct 2014
Another terrific ad in this necessarily short-lived series. A sweet-faced young woman is explaining - with a look of practised patience in her faraway gaze - how she had exactly the same recipe as one of the winning burgers... and why her triumph wasn't realised. Beautiful performances and great direction - that little glance at the end tells you everything you needed to know.

McDonald's
"The Ultimate Supreme"
30s
16 Oct 2014
The third of the commercials for McDonald's special promotion built around burgers put together by competition winners has a perfectly-performed piece of dialogue from a couple who were one ill-advised smear of sour cream from victory. In a scene lasting just seventeen seconds, a couple's happy recollection of their collaboration turns as sour as the ingredient that ruined it all as she points the finger and he accepts responsibility.

McDonald's
"The Big Uno"
30s
14 Oct 2014
Sometimes it's all in the casting... and whether this chap is an actual also-ran in the McDonald's 'My Burger' competition or someone merely playing the part, he's utterly perfect. Listing the ingredients in his suggested burger, he demonstrates how close he came to one of the winning recipes... and just how far away he was at the same time.

McDonald's
"Fancy Dress"
20s
16 Jun 2014
Great little ad demonstrating that if you like getting your money's worth, you'll like the current deal at McDonald's. A woman spots her neighbour trimming the hedges of his 70s-style home in full Regency costume, and discovers exactly what's going on when she hesitantly queries him about it. This grabs your attention from the off, entertains you, and gets the message across loud and clear. Lovely.

McDonald's
"Post Boy"
40s
12 May 2014
A lovely ad which really sells McDonald's iced coffee to us. Knowing the vagaries of the British climate (ie everywhere except the overheated little microclimate of London town), there's no point suggesting it's the ideal drink to cool down with on a sweltering day. Instead, it's the perfect way to evoke the heady pleasure of summer wherever you are - even stuck in the depths of a warehouse.

McDonald's
"Car Park"
20s
17 Mar 2014
This amusing ad is the latest in the McDonald's series which depicts people who are determined to get their money's worth. A man is not prepared to move his car until he's had every minute of the time he's paid for while his long-suffering wife waits for the deadline to arrive without any hint of tolerance for his foibles. Nice.

McDonald's
"Dusky Lady"
30s
1 Jan 2014
A wife wonders what the smell is that's wafting from the ensuite. Upon investigation she discovers what it is, and why she can smell it. Beautifully economic and funny - just a shame the product has to be tenuously bolted on at the end, because it's like watching a completely different ad once the brand comes into play.

SMA
"Muddling Through"
60s
4 Dec 2013
DAVID has always found it peculiar that you don't need to sit any exams qualifying you for parenthood. However, good though your theory may be, nothing can really prepare you for the practical - and in this longer version of a spot we first saw earlier this year - SMA genuinely reassures you that its 90 years in the field, so to speak, means it's an expert you can rely on when the going gets a bit much.


"Give In"
30s
17 Nov 2013
A woman who knows there is a pudding of the chocolate variety in her fridge is irresistibly drawn to it no matter how hard she tries to get on with other things. We all know that feeling. Who hasn't heard the siren song of three day old chicken nuggets from that dodgy takeaway calling to them from the bottom shelf?

XFM
"Roadies"
2 mins 36s
7 Aug 2013
Superbly done, this little spoof documentary features children as roadies for bands. Why? Because apparently child roadies are cheap, keen, eager to please and generally entertaining. Some wonderful performances have been captured; especially by the scarily tough boy who talks about a fight and swears a lot.

SMA
"Muddling Through"
30s
9 Jun 2013
Instead of a succession of yummy mummies planting adoring kisses on the foreheads of their young offspring, we're introduced to the reality of time alone with the needy little creatures in this excellent film by Sonny's Tony Barry - and it's the more powerful for its brave depiction of modern parenting. Excellent stuff.

McDonald's
"Busy Doing Nothing"
40s
4 Mar 2013
You really cannot fault this thoroughly charming film for McDonald's. The photography is beautiful... the performances from the children are natural... and it makes its point about the product's purity in a very clever fashion. If only it weren't for McDonald's.

Kwik-Fit
"What Your Car Would Choose"
30s
3 Mar 2013
Cheap MOTs and tyres... so good the script says it twice. It certainly makes sure you know what the deal is, and just to underline it, we have a car driving itself to Kwik-Fit because it's such an irresistible prospect. Shame the emphasis on the line at the end sounds so odd: "It's what your car would choose." Would someone else's choose differently, then?

Sainsbury's
"Lift Off"
60s
15 Sep 2012
In this splendid addition to this charming series, a young girl is taken by her father on a kite flying expedition. As anyone who has ever attempted to fly a kite will know, this is not always a straightforward proposition if you lack sufficient experience but the duo enjoy their failure as much as their success.

Time To Change
"Stand Up Kid"
3 mins 05s
13 Sep 2012
This brilliantly compelling piece promoting the need to adjust our attitude to mental health shows a teenage boy making a statement in the classroom. He has been off school because of depression and has decided that he should no longer have to put up with ridicule and innuendo.

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