David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Macmillan
"Not Alone"
60s
1 August 2016
UK Charities

This is the second ad in the new Macmillan campaign, and it's an even stronger, more assured execution than the first. We follow the journey of a man stumbling through the dark days of his diagnosis and treatment for cancer - and at the points when it appears he doesn't have the strength to take another step, others are there urging him on.

Nurses, colleagues, therapists, family... all play their role in offering support. Their words of encouragement are in fact the lyrics to 'You'll Never Walk Alone', and the way they're delivered here is genuinely moving. Obviously, the song is strongly associated with Liverpool FC and therefore with the Hillsborough disaster, so it already has a special resonance in our national psyche... but it has a poignancy all of its own in this context.

The little girl whispering "Don't be afraid of the dark" is the moment which sums the situation up perfectly: the tables have been turned in her daddy's world and she is comforting him against the unknown, with instinctive and unfailing love, instead of the other way round.

While the ad reminds us that Macmillan provides support beyond nursing care alone, it's the visceral tug of these intimate scenes which brings it to life for us and keeps it in our memories long after it's vanished from our screens.

IKEA
"The Food Picture"

Matt said:

Very clever.


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Macmillan
"Not Alone"
60s
1 Aug 2016
This is the second ad in the new Macmillan campaign, and it's an even stronger, more assured execution than the first. We follow the journey of a man stumbling through the dark days of his diagnosis and treatment for cancer - and at the points when it appears he doesn't have the strength to take another step, others are there urging him on.

Macmillan
"Coffee Morning 2016"
60s
27 Jul 2016
This ad for Macmillan Cancer Support's annual cake and coffee event achieves the same goal as its predecessors by presenting a warm montage of fundraising events taking place in living rooms, community halls, and even a fire station. Still, as this article shows, it seems not everyone is as enthralled by the idea of indulging one's sweet tooth in the name of boosting research funds.

Macmillan
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"
60s
2 Dec 2015
People who have lost loved ones to cancer recite lines from 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' to illustrate a scheme which encourages us to donate money to the charity by purchasing special stars for our Christmas trees. The lack of slickness in both performance and editing appears designed to emphasise the emotion of the delivery.

Macmillan
"Go Sober for October"
30s
27 Sep 2015
We're all familiar with the concept of 'Dry January' after the alcoholic excesses of Christmas and New Year, and in recent times Movember has gained traction as a month to grow a 'tache for charity. There's also quitting smoking with Stoptober - and now we're asked to join in the effort to 'Go Sober for October' and raise money for Macmillan. This is appealingly done, but perhaps we could do with an 'Event-Free' month?

Macmillan
"Coffee Morning Kit"
30s
15 Jul 2015
After taking us to a bleak wasteland earlier in the year, Macmillan bring things closer to home with this ad for their annual coffee morning drive. Like the survivor depicted here, those looking to contribute to the charity can order a coffee morning kit to help them get started. Charity, coffee, and cake - can't really argue with that trio, can you?

Macmillan
"Mist"
60s
9 Mar 2015
A companion piece to another ad in which a man is stranded in an arctic wasteland, this has a woman finding herself alone on bleak moorland. The superb sound design and the dank, misty backdrop reminds us of the scenes towards the end of Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin, where the protagonist - herself an alien - tries to make sense of her situation alone in the austere landscape of Scotland... much like DAVID does every day.

Macmillan
"Online Community"
75s
16 Feb 2015
The simplicity of the animation makes this ad for Macmillan all the more moving and allows the really compelling soundtrack to take centre stage. A woman recounts in VO the moment she was diagnosed with cancer, and how she turned to the charity's forum to try to make sense of all the questions "mushrooming" in her head. The visual way in which we're shown her receiving answers, and the reveal that portrays the forum users under one roof, really do suggest kindness and togetherness.

Macmillan
"Blizzard"
60s
12 Jan 2015
This very impressive piece of work vividly describes the bleak and arduous landscape that cancer can lead us into. A man dressed only in a hospital gown is standing barefoot in frozen wastelands. He appears dazed and vulnerable; taking tentative steps as the wind whips around him between the iron ground and the leaden sky. How did he get here?

Macmillan
"Go Sober"
60s
23 Sep 2014
We're asked to believe the people in this ad for Macmillan regularly get pissed at work or on a night out and could do with a month off the booze to get some perspective. It's a good idea to make us examine our own drinking habits more closely and - while this doesn't quite nail the proposition - the situations are recognisable enough to strike a chord.

Macmillan
"World’s Biggest Coffee Morning"
60s
2 Jun 2014
This touching piece of work looks like it must have been filmed with people whose lives have been affected by cancer so it's forgiveable if the acting is a bit 'Acorn Antiques'. We're being urged to participate in an event which claims to be the world's biggest coffee morning and, let's face it, raising money by eating cake is a lot more fun than running a marathon so why not do it?

Macmillan
"Thank You"
60s
17 Feb 2014
A beautifully measured reminder of the support needed by people faced with the agonies inflicted by cancer. The photography combines extremely well with the quietness of the VO... it's just a shame that it was felt necessary to add the layer of sound provided by the piano. But that can't detract from a well-judged plea for donations to help the charity achieve its noble aims.

Macmillan
"World's Biggest Coffee Morning"
60s
19 Jul 2013
This touching film shows how a family held a coffee morning in honour of a family member who succumbed to cancer. Theirs was one of hundreds of similar events that raised a huge sum of money for the advertised charity last year and this film will undoubtedly persuade others to follow suit this year.

Macmillan
"Night In"
60s
12 Mar 2013
Impressive work for Cancer Research and Marie Curie may be putting the fund-raisers at Macmillan under a certain amount of pressure but they've come back with an excellent riposte. On Friday 26 April they want us to "stay in" and donate the money we would have spent on a night out.

Macmillan
"Support"
60s
11 Feb 2013
Macmillan is all about support and this piece provides an exquisite illustration of this. A man's world implodes when he hears dreaded news from the doctor, and as he quietly collapses in shock a few minutes later a nurse representing the advertised charity rushes to his rescue.

Macmillan
"Not Alone"
10s
5 Oct 2012
An unseen person stares into a half pint of orange juice as poignant music plays and a female voiceover reminds us that we don't have to go through cancer by ourselves. Someone from Macmillan is at hand to drink their own orange juice and listen to all the worries being expressed. Must have been beer or wine in the original script, mustn't it?

Macmillan
"Jo Brand"
40s
11 Aug 2011
Overweight comedian Jo Brand jogs through the streets in determined fashion in this film designed to raise awareness of the importance of exercise. Only when she reaches the house of her Getting On co-star Joanna Scanlan does she realise she's forgotten the biscuits.

Macmillan
"That Word"
60s
15 Aug 2011
Various people talk about the way in which they were helped after a cancer diagnosis by the staff at Macmillan. This film is properly sombre and makes its point with a nicely-judged emotional emphasis that doesn't stray into something overly-sentimental.

Macmillan
"Photobooth"
30s
9 Oct 2009
Another in this likeable series which reminds us that the advertised charity helps people suffering from cancer to spend some of their time being something other than a cancer patient. This film concentrates on a bit of fun in a photo booth.

Macmillan
"Today's A Good Day"
40s
5 Oct 2009
An attractively-filmed series of vignettes give us an upbeat look at the work done by the advertised charity. Each of the participants talks about the way in which cancer isn't going to be affecting them because they're dealing with aspects of their lives other than cancer.

Macmillan
"Living With Cancer"
40s
1 Oct 2008
People talk about the way a diagnosis of cancer takes over their entire lives in this film for Macmillan Cancer Support. It reminds us that people have more to deal with than the illness itself and that supporting them can involve more than medical help.

Macmillan
"Cancer Support"
30s
1 Oct 2007
A simple animated commercial which shows the range of support services provided by Macmillan for people who are having to contend with cancer. People are shown in green silhouette as one scene melts into another.

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