David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Aviva
"Taxi Driver"
60s
1 January 2017
UK Insurance

The trickery in this clever commercial for Aviva is as multi-layered as a Matryoshka doll. It suggests that the two people in the back of a taxi being steered by ex-Formula One driver David Coulthard have no idea what's in store for them. But, clearly they do. It also suggests that Coulthard did all the driving in this ad, which seems pretty improbable. After all, the racer turned pundit is not a stunt driver.

We can't help wondering if the original intention was to film this as a hidden-camera enterprise. If so, we should be grateful that someone recognised that it would stand out more if they ditched that idea in favour of verisimilitude. This enabled them to pull out all the stops... something they couldn't possibly do if the participants were unaware of what was about to unfold.

Instead, we're treated to a brilliant reconstruction of what this ad would look like if you were really allowed to do what it suggests it has done.

The outcome is spectacular... so much so that genuine members of the public would screaming in horror if it was authentic.

The illusion is maintained by the arrival of a 'camera crew' to capture the reactions of the passengers as they disembark from their joy ride to 'discover' the identity of their driver.

DAVID thoroughly approves of a return to the idea that outcome is more important than process. While there's always a chance that doing it 'for real' will create a desirable piece of PR, it isn't worth backing that horse if it adversely affects the ad's quality. This film for Aviva is a great example of what can happen if you get your priorities right.

Virgin Gaming
"Vampire"

Chris said:

Is this bad casting or just not funny? maybe both.


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Aviva
"Taxi Driver"
60s
1 Jan 2017
The trickery in this clever commercial for Aviva is as multi-layered as a Matryoshka doll. It suggests that the two people in the back of the taxi being steered by ex-Formula One driver David Coulthard have no idea what's in store for them. But, clearly they do. It also suggests that Coulthard did all the driving in this ad and this seems just as improbable. After all, the racer turned pundit is not a stunt driver.

Aviva
"Older Selves"
60s
1 Oct 2016
This could have been gimmicky in the wrong hands, but adam&eveDDB and Outsider's Max Fisher have crafted an affecting glimpse into the future for Aviva. Thanks to some heavy prosthetics, Adam and Toni sample life after retirement... and then given an enlightening indicator of their respective pensions. When confronted with the figures, both participants are given food for thought.

Aviva
"Petition"
90s
15 Aug 2016
Satire isn't always the best way of making a point but it's absolutely perfect for this message about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving. A young man is given the thankless task of lobbying for legalisation of this practice and encounters - as you might expect - a fair degree of hostility. This is because we are all opposed - in principle - to this extremely dangerous idea.

Aviva
"Smartest Savers"
60s
28 Mar 2016
Another dose of real life for the insurance company as two families go head-to-head to see which can save the most money. This form of advertising can sometimes feel a bit basic but director Nick Rutter has cleverly retained the authenticity despite using techniques normally associated with scripted work; ensuring it looks good as well as being highly effective.

Aviva
"The Winner"
40s
18 Jan 2016
We had a sneaking suspicion who the winner of the Aviva Drive Challenge might be, and we were right - it's the awkwardly-named Malki. No prizes for guessing the young guy would be the least safe on the road. The pleasant vibe of this promotion does a great job of selling the app... which in turn could lead to a significant uptake in Aviva insurance.

Aviva
"The Challenge"
60s
25 Dec 2015
A rather clever piece of work poses a challenge: download the app from Aviva to find out who is the safest driver in your family. Knowing what a bone of contention other people's driving habits are, it's a compelling proposition - finally here's the chance to show your parent / offspring / partner just how crap their road skills are compared to yours.

Aviva
"Bingo Caller"
30s
28 Jul 2014
Paul Whitehouse is transmogrified into a bingo caller this time around in Aviva's campaign. In between calling out random numbers, his cheery Lancastrian character tells us all about the Aviva Drive app which helps him save money on his car insurance. Interesting that his car itself is clearly branded - Ford, to be precise: where do they fit in?

Aviva
"Lady Geek-Geek"
20s
17 Feb 2014
Lady Brassick (played by Caroline Langrishe - who was once Ian McShane's romantic interest in Lovejoy) doesn't look too thrilled to be labelled Lady Geek-Geek by her husband (Paul Whitehouse) in this amusing postscript to last month's commercial. Once again, the stress is on the money that can be saved by going to Aviva direct... a fairly annoying message to anyone who thought they could find the best deal via a price comparison site.

Aviva
"Inner Peace"
40s
2 Feb 2014
Paul Whitehouse assumes the persona of "Yoga Dan" in this spot for the car insurance firm. Having bewailed in a Lahndahn accent the prang that's befallen his car, he switches to a faux posh voice to explain the inner serenity that followed with the help of Aviva. To illustrate the point, he talks from his yoga studio while convincingly adopting a number of eye-watering poses. Lovely.

Aviva
"Spentitt Hall"
30s
28 Dec 2013
Paul Whitehouse is always great value for money, and here he's very amusing as the stereotypical lord fallen on hard times but still ineffably optimistic. As owner of Spentitt Hall, he and Lady Boracic have to part with their Roller... but thanks to Aviva's inexpensive insurance they can still afford a nice little modern motor without having to lose trusty retainer Higson.

Aviva
"Drive"
30s
2 Jun 2013
Paul Whitehouse plays an old bruiser of a biker with a heart of gold. However, it's not a bike that transports him from A to B but a rather swish car, complete with an app from the advertised insurers that tells him how safely he's driving. His missus, on the other hand, prefers something powerful she can straddle. Ooer.

Aviva
"Toni's"
30s
28 Jan 2013
Paul Whitehouse once again dons a prosthetic nose to sell insurance in the latest of his ads for Aviva. He plays the role of Toni - an Italian restaurateur - who believes the three most important aspects of his trade are 'service, service and service'. It's like watching a Dolmio puppet that's been brought to life.

Aviva
"Here And There"
30s
13 Jan 2013
Comedian Paul Whitehouse adopts another persona on the latest commercial for the insurance giant. This time he's a jaunty Geordie who liks to "save a little here and a little there." Meanwhile, his family give him glances that suggest he may soon find himself on the underside of the patio.

Aviva
"Lifetime"
60s
26 Dec 2012
Veteran comic Paul Whitehouse offers a portrayal of a man during some of the major moments of his life in order to illustrate the help offered by the advertised company. Ultimately, the catalogue of misfortune is slightly too hapless and it provokes dark laughter rather than poignancy.

Aviva
"Floats"
30s
9 Jul 2012
Paul Whitehouse returns as the fisherman from the West Midlands who uses the money he saves using the advertised insurer to buy equipment for his hobby. This one is more like a Fast Show sketch than a television ad as Whitehouse's character explains the importance of stealth while spotting carp just as a friend falls into the river.

Aviva
"Coins"
20s
25 Jun 2012
Paul Whitehouse's metal detector character is finally able to complete his collection of 1970s World Cup squad members when he finds the Bobby Charlton coin he's long coveted. Never mind the possibility of finding Roman treasure, for this walking anorak a more contemporary discovery is just the thing.

Aviva
"Tradesmen"
30s
15 May 2012
Paul Whitehouse dons his Goth costume once again to highlight the extent to which Aviva assists their customers following a burglary. White House is handing out cups of tea to the various workmen provided by the insurance company... being Wales, of course, they are all called Jones.

Aviva
"Burgled Goths"
30s
29 Apr 2012
Paul Whitehouse gives us a reprise of his ageing Welsh Goth character in the latest commercial for Aviva. He and his partner return home to discover that they been burgled and one of the unlikely china figurines that he collects has been damaged into the bargain. Luckily, the advertised insurer ensures that all is made good.

Aviva
"New Headphones"
30s
3 Apr 2012
Paul Whitehouse's treasure hunter character has used the money he saved by switching his car insurance to Aviva to buy a new pair of headphones. He uses them to investigate the countryside and soon appears to be on the brink of an exciting discovery.

Aviva
"Home Sponsorship"
80s
14 Feb 2012
These lovely vignettes illustrate what home means to an octet of homeowners who've taken their hobbies to the limit of plausibility. One question though... is the man who has hundreds of gallons of water in his front room actually able to insure his house using the advertised company? We doubt it.

Aviva
"Love Your Home"
30s
9 Feb 2012
Three lovely vignettes illustrate what home means to a trio of men who've taken their hobbies to the limit of plausibility. One question though... is the man who has hundreds of gallons of water in his front room actually able to insure his house using the advertised company? We doubt it.

Aviva
"Metal Detector"
30s
6 Feb 2012
Another of Paul Whitehouse's weirdo characters explains how he used money he saved by using the advertised company's insurance service to pursue a hobby. This time the pursuit is metal detection... we're waiting for an ad in which he plays a serial killer able to buy some new 'tools' with the money he's saved.

Aviva
"Waders"
30s
27 Dec 2011
Paul Whitehouse has created another yet character to flog the services of the insurance giant. The comedy actor adopts the persona of a fishing enthusiast who spends the money he says on a pair of waders that enable him to stride purposefully into the river in search of fish.

Aviva
"ITV Drama Premiere Sponsorship"
1 min 50s
18 Dec 2011
Domestic situations are made to look dramatic in this series of bumpers advertising Aviva's sponsorship of ITV's output. They're quite slight but at least there's enough of them to avoid too much repetition when they're wrapped around the programmes.

Aviva
"All Adds Up"
20s
4 Apr 2011
The paraphernalia required for his ballroom dancing hobby adds up to quite a cost so the character played by Paul Whitehouse is grateful for the relief provided by the cheap financial products available from Aviva. The comedian once again gets the chance to show off his dancing skills and, doubtless, audition for Celebrity Dancing With The Stars On Ice.

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