David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Barclaycard
"A Nation of Shoppers"
60s
28 May 2016
UK Credit Cards

Foolish Napoleon, damning the British as 'a nation of shopkeepers'. Because there are no shopkeepers without shoppers - and what defines us as a breed is not our humble status as purveyors of products but as a people who know what they want and will pay to obtain it, whether it's an out-of-hours pickle or a designer dog coat. We rock.

So says Barclaycard as it celebrates fifty years of being a prime enabler of Britons' immediate gratification.

This lovely commercial featuring all kinds of items to purchase, people to purchase them from, and punters desperate to part with their cash is considered down to the smallest detail.

From pram-kicking amateurs to sartorially-challenged optimists, the shoppers here display a rainbow of repressed emotions we all recognise as being part of the traditional British mentality.

We watch folk standing patiently in the rain for a department store to open while David Mitchell announces that "we invented the queue, for heaven's sake," and the subsequent scene with two ever-so politely venomous women after the same top has us nodding wryly.

The casting and the acting is pitch perfect: director Peter Cattaneo knows exactly how far to push for a reaction to make things amusing without being predictably obvious, and there's joy bubbling all the way through: the joy that comes from knowing we're all pretty silly but taking pride in it anyway.

Alton Towers
"Galactica"

Matt said:

I heard a ticket to Alton Towers these days can cost and arm and a leg.


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Barclaycard
"A Nation of Shoppers"
60s
28 May 2016
Foolish Napoleon, damning the British as 'a nation of shopkeepers'. Because there are no shopkeepers without shoppers - and what defines us as a breed, says Barclaycard, is not our humble status as purveyors of products but as a people who know what they want and will pay to obtain it, whether it's an out-of-hours pickle or a designer dog coat. We rock.

Sky Broadband
"Kung Fu Panda"
50s
29 Dec 2015
Sky once again demonstrates its heft in the world of movie distribution by incorporating characters from a major animated film in one of their commercials. This time some of the characters from 'Kung Fu Panda' provide a piece of comedy designed to make a point about the reliability of Sky's broadband offer.

Warburtons
"Keith Chegwin"
10s
17 Nov 2015
Et tu, Cheggars? The diminutive, unemployed TV presenter has apparently broken away from his daily routine of stealing jokes on Twitter (and then blocking anyone who has temerity to expose him for doing it) in order to spend time bothering Jonathan Warburton in a bid to plead his case to be the celebrity in the next ad.

Warburtons
"Louis Walsh"
10s
17 Nov 2015
Louis Walsh may have narrowly missed out on a stay in the Australian jungle for 'I'm A Celebrity...' but he hasn't missed out on a namecheck in the latest teaser for Warburton's. The colourful Irish music mogul has apparently been harassing poor Jonathan Warburton on a daily basis... the fiend. Do celebrities have to give their permission to be mentioned like this? Do they get a fee?

Warburtons
"Gareth Gates"
10s
13 Nov 2015
According to this brief teaser, Gareth Gates is pressing his case to be the next celebrity to take part in a spectacular Warburtons commercial... though - in truth - he may merely be angling for a tour of the bakery as the ad suggests. It raises the question: who can follow Sylvester Stallone and The Muppets? Our money's on Vladimir Putin.

Warburtons
"The Muppets"
2 mins
14 Nov 2015
The Muppet Show's recent revival on Sky doesn't seem to have caught the public's imagination particularly, but that might change when they get a look at the new ad for Warburton's featuring Kermit and the crew. It opens with Kermit the Frog (or "Mr the Frog" as he's formally introduced) turning up at the offices of Jonathan Warburton. Like Sylvester Stallone before him, Kermit wants to pitch an idea to the baking supremo.

BUPA
"Cancer Survivorship Programme"
30s
13 Jan 2015
This sensitively made spot highlights the idea that Bupa isn't merely there when you need treatment. Often, recovering from illness or trauma requires psychological support... and their Cancer Survivorship Programme offers just the support needed for members who have undergone a bout with the Big C.

BUPA
"Elderly Care Line"
30s
14 Jan 2015
In the West, we're not great at looking after our elderly. In fact, we don't really know what to do with them; rather like the aunt or uncle who has a baby thrust into their arms for the first time. So it's great to learn from this sensitive, beautiful film that Bupa has an advice line members can call when their ageing parent does something unfamiliar and worrying.

Dove Men+Care
"Daily Use"
30s
6 Jul 2014
A winning addition to the work from last year once again has Hugh Dennis reading an amusing script which is illustrated by excellent animation. It services the idea that a new version of the product is compressed and will last just as long as it did before even though it's in a smaller packaging. You need to be pretty trusted to get punters to buy into that idea.

Nescafé
"Unison"
30s
6 Jan 2014
After a cup of their product you'll be ready for whatever comes next, according to this likeable ad for Nescafé. 'Bring Me Sunshine' is whistled in unison by the cheerful folk who've had their coffee, and each appears to have specially heightened senses as they cruelly wake their children or catch flying food debris hurled by toddlers.

Dove Men+Care
"Outer Layer"
30s
13 May 2013
Another in this astute series of ads presenting Dove as an acceptable grooming and hygiene brand for 'man'. The manual mentioned here explains that while man can withstand shock, multiple attacks and rain, he is prone to drying out, which the aforementioned product can help combat. Nicely tongue-in-cheek.

Barclays
"Bouncy Castle"
30s
1 Mar 2012
A clever reworking of an old ad from this campaign has Stephen Merchant suggesting that it all seems a bit familiar in his voiceover. As always, Merchant's wry delivery of an excellent script enhances material that wouldn't otherwise stand out.

British Airways
"Pioneers"
90s
21 Sep 2011
This striking new ad for British Airways takes a look back at the pioneers of flight in order to emphasise the airline's heritage. It's slickly constructed but has the feel of a piece of communication that's been made for shareholders rather than punters.

British Airways
"Teaser"
20s
5 Sep 2011
BBH demonstrate their faith in social media by signalling their intent to début their new British Airways commercial on Facebook. From the looks of things, it's going to be pretty spectacular so it's just as well that they're planning to show it on television later that same day.

Barclays
"Flexible Bonds"
30s
11 Jun 2011
A bow and arrow is used as a metaphor for a savings account which allows access to funds without penalty. A young man shoots golden balloons while Stephen Merchant comments in the sardonic fashion that has made this series of commercials notable.

Barclays
"Bouncy Castle"
30s
9 Mar 2011
Another in this excellent series demonstrating the value of a decent voiceover. Stephen Merchant is the man providing it and this time he's describing a metaphor built around a deflated bouncy castle which represents ISAs that aren't fully funded.

Vodafone
"Special Events"
30s
5 Feb 2011
A re-edit of an ad from last year which explained how Vodafone users are able to secure tickets for special events such as Grand Prix and fashion shows. Lewis Hamilton puts in an appearance... wearing logos belonging to his other sponsors.

Barclays
"Shoes"
30s
29 Jan 2011
Another excellent piece of work to add to this increasingly confident campaign. Stephen Merchant provides the wry voiceover that's become a trademark of the series as he explains that the advertised bank are doing what they can to loan money to small businesses.

Barclays
"Track"
30s
15 Jan 2011
More excellent work from Stephen Merchant as he provides another charming voiceover which introduces just the right amount of levity to an account of mortgage flexibility. There appears to be a growing recognition of the success of this campaign's formula with a more obvious intent to write to Merchant's comic vernacular. Super stuff.

Vodafone
"Britain's Best Events"
40s
22 Jun 2010
Vodafone are giving their customers the chance to be at some of this summer's biggest events according to this commercial for the mobile phone network which depicts people stood in crowds waiting for these events to get under way.

Barclays
"Spinning Coins"
30s
24 Apr 2010
Another in this winning series for Barclays which uses Stephen Merchant to poke fun at the imagery. This is clever as Merchant's heavy dose of irony enables very obvious visual metaphors to be employed without the ad seeming cheesy.

Barclays
"Performing Money"
30s
10 Mar 2010
If you're going to run with a pun then you might as well run big. That's certainly the case in this commercial for Barclays which has Stephen Merchant telling us that the bank's ISAs "perform better than you think" and then rendering this idea literally. Fun.

British Airways
"Sale Now Ending"
20s
3 Feb 2010
A collage of sunsets represents the news that British Airways's sale is coming to an end. With the transport company facing unprecedented problems, this may prove to be a more apt metaphor for their overall fortunes than is intended.

British Airways
"Carnival Season"
30s
1 Jan 2010
This is an undeniably attractive commercial and, if you have a few quid in your pocket, you may even find it persuasive. But, is it fair for British Airways to advertise for our custom when we all know their staff will go on strike as soon as they have a legal ballot?

British Airways
"Las Vegas"
30s
5 Nov 2009
Another of the British Airways ads which encourages us to think of far-flung destinations. Apparently, the world rodeo championships will be held in Las Vegas next month and this monochrome ad reminds us of the opportunity to attend. Yee-ha.

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