David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Barnardo's
"Believe In Me"
60s
26 September 2016
UK Charities

Some labels stick firmer than others, and it's enough to derail a child's life before it's even begun. Children's charity Barnardo's believes this shouldn't be the case, and this powerful ad from FCB Inferno makes the point with a cocktail of kicks, punches, twirls, and drum beats.

Various youngsters are shown observing their dreary surroundings. Instead of losing hope, they leap into action. Dingy bars, garages, and lifeless living rooms play host to self-expression through shadow boxing, dancing, football practice, and showing a drum kit no mercy.

As the kids give their all, on-screen text reminds us of the descriptions that can erode optimism for countless children. But, they needn't be defined by what they've lost or never had - they can believe in something more, and the advertised charity wants to fuel that self-belief.

Rattling Stick's Sara Dunlop realises FCB Inferno's idea with force and grace. A cover of Tears for Fears' 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World' complements the aspirational visuals, while the lyric "So glad we've almost made it" attains extra gravitas. After all, it's not just these youngsters with a point to prove - many more require a helping hand to lift them above their own labels.

Pearl & Dean
"Tumbleweed Trainer"

Andy said:

Stunning film. Deserves a pencil.


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Barnardo's
"Believe In Me"
60s
26 Sep 2016
Some labels stick firmer than others, and it's enough to derail a child's life before it's even begun. Children's charity Barnardo's believes this shouldn't be the case, and this powerful ad from FCB Inferno makes the point with a cocktail of kicks, punches, twirls, and drum beats. Various youngsters are shown observing their dreary surroundings. Instead of losing hope, they leap into action.

National Lottery Euromillions
"Drip"
30s
8 Sep 2016
Do the newly minted receive a pamphlet entitled: "How To Be A Multi-Millionaire"? For example, changing a light bulb's one thing, but how about a priceless chandelier? Like 'first world problems' gone mad, this amusing ad for the National Lottery Euromillions highlights the minor foibles that can accompany a jackpot win.

National Lottery Euromillions
"Parking"
30s
8 Sep 2016
One of two entertaining ads from the National Lottery Euromillions showing that the transition to multi-millionaire can be tricky for some. In this instance, parking a luxury yacht in the marina proves to be far more difficult than nabbing a space at the supermarket car park. Lovely back and forth work from the couple encountering one of the pitfalls of being stinking rich.

KFC
"Roller Skater"
60s
11 May 2016
This charming commercial for KFC has a young man heading out of the office on his roller skates as a cypher for the freedom he feels when getting away from work. Outside, it's a lovely sunny day and everyone appears delighted to tune into the protagonist's palpable sense of well-being. It culminates - as it must - with food from the advertised fast food joint, shared with his children.

Hostel World
"Meet The World (Edit)"
30s
14 Apr 2016
Eyebrows were raised by the nudity in the original ad but its real problem was surely the tremendous height from which the young people leap. Both problems have been resolved in this version suitable for all audiences... though it's still quite saucy by the standards of British telly, and its promise of adventure certainly hasn't been neutered.

Evian
"Baby Surfers"
1 min 35s
20 Apr 2016
Just as Volvic have always been obsessed with volcanoes, Evian have become synonymous with babies - often ways which leave a quizzical look on the face. With this latest commercial, the brand bring a new level of charm and ambition to the conceit with a cast of tiny surfers chasing big waves.

Hornbach
"You're Alive"
60s
3 Apr 2016
This lovely commercial for German DIY retailer Hornbach introduces us to a middle-aged man steeling himself for a spot of good old fashioned hole digging. Oh, and the same man standing naked as the day he was born on a mountain ridge. Is he preparing to say goodbye to this cruel, cruel world? Far from it - he's diving back into nature with style.

T K Maxx
"Weekend Bag"
30s
31 Mar 2016
T K Maxx once again invite customers to think beyond what they've jotted down on their shopping list with another helping of visual absurdity. While this chap initially desired only a spatula from his visit to the store, his purchase of a weekend bag whisks him off on an unexpected sojourn along the coast... and one which leads to a whole new definition of 'weekending'.

T K Maxx
"Airbed"
30s
31 Mar 2016
A seafaring follow-up to T K Maxx's 'Ridiculous Possibilities' launch features the relaxing sight of a woman drifting away on an airbed complete with duvet set. Via VO, she explains how a trip for some shampoo ended with her lugging more to the checkout counter than she previously anticipated - illustrating just how varied the store's goods are. Nice cameo from a curious seal, too.

T K Maxx
"Ceiling"
30s
23 Mar 2016
Wieden + Kennedy's work for T K Maxx gets off to a bouncy start with this surreal slice of fun starring... well, a pair of legs dangling from the ceiling. It's not a bad way to grab the audience's attention from the off. In fact, it's brave to wait a few seconds until we're given an explanation for this fleshy chandelier.

Jägermeister
"Craft The Moment"
30s
25 Nov 2015
The après-ski beverage of choice, Jägermeister picks a fiery way of demonstrating the mixture required to make the potent liqueur. This lot embrace the great outdoors as they build a wooden tribute to the brand's trademark stag. After admiring their handiwork, the sculpture is set alight to provide the gang with a stunning view with their ice cold drink.

Apple iPhone
"The Only Thing That's Changed Is..."
60s
10 Sep 2015
This would be a more pleasing ad if it weren't so satisfied with itself. The touch-screen developments are intuitive and sensible, and Siri's voice command feature seems to be getting ever more impressive - we like the way the chap attempting pasta is horrified when he sees what he actually should be making. But the overall smugness is rather annoying, quite frankly.

Levi's 501s
"Beautiful Morning"
60s
13 Aug 2015
It's the morning after the night before in this assured return to form for Levi's and we think we've got this Lothario pegged. As the muscular chords of Hanni El Khatib's version of 'You Rascal You' kick in, the protagonist slips out the door with nary a goodbye. He has much more style than that though - beneath the label also lies character.

Hostel World
"Meet The World"
60s
1 Jun 2015
This is quite a departure from the last Hostel World ad, and - we suspect - will have far more appeal for its target audience. A bunch of twenty-somethings strip naked and jump into a tropical pool from a great height; both controversial things to do in an ad. It's arresting and unshowy all at once - a tricky thing to pull off, but it's worked very successfully here. Can't wait to see what the Daily Rail makes of it.

thetrainline.com
"Wardrobe Malfunction"
30s
12 Apr 2015
There's a couple of new bits in this commercial for the train ticketing service that promises rail discounts... and nothing more. Once again, the focus is directed towards the situations where a cheap rail ticket really isn't going to be of any assistance. It's a neat compendium of disaster even if it doesn't naturally follow that you'd place your faith in the advertised service.

Transport For London
"Tortoise v Hare"
60s
9 Mar 2015
Sara Dunlop always brings a distinctive edginess to her projects and here it provides an intrigue that hooks you and makes sure you get the message. The puzzling nature of the film enhances rather than detracts from its surprise and the surreal nature of the two gangs ensures it stays with you long after you've seen it.

thetrainline.com
"Beach"
10s
11 Sep 2014
Ads for thetrainline.com tend to be hit and miss, but this one's very much on the nail - and it's only ten seconds long. As we by now know, the app is very good for providing train-based info... but rubbish for anything else. In this instance, it's given no help at all to the couple looking for a suitable beach. Lovely direction. Wonder where they shot it?

Lotto
"Life Changing"
20s
3 Aug 2014
This approach is far more enticing than the campaign revolving around the I Heard A Story ditty. It plays on the dreams that flit through our heads when we imagine what it would be like to suddenly possess untold wealth; the frisson of fairytale magic that would imbue our every waking moment. Forget the undeserving lumps who claim they'll continue to work; these are winners who know how to live.

Lotto
"Life Changing"
30s
6 Jul 2014
This spot explains that 'play' makes lots of worthy projects possible... and makes six millionaires every week. Does this mean the rules have changed so that half a dozen people get that amount and no more? How do they ensure they'll get six people? And why a measly million each? We suspect this is what will stick with the viewer rather than a sense of helping fund 'life-changing' schemes. Dammit, winning a mountain of money is life changing, isn't it?

thetrainline.com
"Bus Weirdo"
10s
12 May 2014
In this short ad, we're reminded that the app that can help you find cheap train fares isn't good for anything else... and once again we're offered an example of what it can't do. As Simon Bird explains, it won't save you from the nutter on the bus (although he avoids the word 'nutter', obviously, as the use of that description rather than the depiction of mental illness itself is what offends).

thetrainline.com
"Ultrasound"
10s
12 May 2014
A man whose genes no woman in her right mind would want to pass on to the next generation is - improbably - present at his partner's ultrasound scan. Witlessly he lubes up his phone while the nurse is out and tries to scan her belly. Of course, it doesn't work, which is thetrainline.com's way of telling us their app is only good for checking train times.

thetrainline.com
"What It Can't Do"
30s
13 Apr 2014
A tried and trusted method of focusing attention on what your product or service can do is by highlighting what it cannot do and this idea has been used to excellent effect in the latest film for thetrainline.com. Simon Bird of The Inbetweeners uses his nebish intonation to narrate a series of catastrophes that befall the hapless protagonist. Not one of these situations would have been improved by use of the advertised service but when he wants to secure a discounted rail ticket then he knows where to turn.

FIFA 13
"Can't Wait"
90s
28 Nov 2013
Shot in a number of exotic locations - including a Moroccan souk, a Brazilian favela, a Tokyo apartment and a London bank - this film catches the keen anticipation that builds around a major football event. It gives us notice of what we can expect when the World Cup proper rolls into Brazil next year.

Robinsons Cordials
"Worth Waiting For"
60s
7 Jul 2013
When BBH made this commercial for Robinsons in 2009, they obviously hoped they'd be able to change the ending when Andy Murray made his way through the tournament to claim the coveted title. It didn't work out for him that year but finally he's done it and Robinsons are able to attach themselves to his success.

Johnnie Walker
"Morning"
75s
11 Apr 2013
A very unusual - and rather brave - angle to take for a whisky commercial. Instead of the traditional routes - ie, the blend men choose to bond over / the quirky logo-based approach / the single malt that transports you to its place of origin - this aligns itself with significant moments, whether planned or yet to arrive. It suggests Johnnie Walker is the brand appropriate to commemorate them. Shrewd.

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