David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.


Five Star Work

BNP Paribas
"The Day After"
17 Feb 2017
This French BNP Paribas commercial will bring back painful memories for some - or hazy ones, at best. A man wakes up in a hotel hot tub after a night involving, erm, chainmail. Alas, it’s far from the suite life. Only hotel CCTV can piece together whatever happened here.

"Make Love Not Walls"
1 min 38s
15 Feb 2017
This film launching Diesel's 'Make Love Not Walls' campaign is hopeful, surreal, and flamboyant. But then, it's directed by famed photographer and Warhol protégé David LaChapelle, so why would we expect anything different? It stars 'bad boy of ballet' Sergei Polunin, who wanders through a wasteland until he comes across a mysterious wall (no word as to whether Mexico paid for it).

14 Feb 2017
Finish’s ‘Who Cleans The Cleaner?’ campaign continues to stand tall in this sector. This latest instalment focuses on, erm, fusion cuisine. Caesar salad and orange jelly, scrambled eggs with cat food, baby milk and tuna bake… no, it’s not a Heston Blumenthal set menu, it’s just some of the unedifying things that nestle beside one another in the dishwasher.

Johnnie Walker
"This Land is Your Land"
1 min 40s
14 Feb 2017
This spirit-lifting ad for Johnnie Walker functions as both declaration of intent and rebuttal to the current political climate across the pond. It features a timely remake of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land is Your Land', sung in both English and Spanish by funk band Chicano Batman. The upbeat melody and lyrics sound joyful - a bold statement of identity as the band roam the streets of California in all its multicultural glory.

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.

"Eternal Love"
13 Feb 2017
Just in time for the most romantic day of the year, Finnish eyewear retailer Instrumentarium bring us a touching story of enduring love. An elderly couple have been married for decades when the husband brings home some new specs for himself and his missus. What follows isn't exactly love at first sight...

"Hero's Journey"
2 Feb 2017
It's impossible to write about this funny commercial broadcast during the Super Bowl without noting that its star - Melissa McCarthy - catapulted herself into the front line of the battle against tyranny the same weekend. Her unforgiving impersonation of Donald Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer during 'Saturday Night Live' was a perfect demonstration of the power of ridicule.

"Every Element of Wonder"
9 Feb 2017
Olivia Colman covers Tom Lehrer’s ‘The Elements’ with a BBC twist in this colourful promo. Replacing the elements of the periodic table are programmes designed to stimulate the ol’ grey matter. Who said learning had to be dull? Directors weareflink match Colman’s pacy delivery with a cubic spectacle.

"I Need You"
1 min 34s
9 Feb 2017
The Michelin Man takes a back seat in this engaging commercial. The mascot has typically appeared as a jolly CGI creation, but not here. Instead, his likeness becomes a reassuring sign on the road - just what these particular motorists need.

9 Feb 2017
Online gambling can have hidden dangers beyond losing a few quid on the outcome of a football match, and this unsettling ad for GambleAware brings that home hard. The key to this film is a masterful vocal performance, as a man sitting on a young woman's desk speaks her inner thoughts aloud while she tries not to give in to the urge to gamble.

7 Feb 2017
How do the dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporters - who've managed to rationalise their way past their man's hot-headed stupidity, in-your-face corruptness, blatant racism and appalling sexism - turn a blind eye to this raw appeal from VoteVets? It doesn't condemn Trump. It gives him a chance. It reminds him of his promises and his responsibilities and asks for a response.

"Harry and Ahmed"
2 mins 05s
8 Feb 2017
This thoughtful UNICEF film reminds us that time doesn’t necessarily heal everything. Harry and Ahmed are separated by decades, yet united by hardship. Side by side, the two describe their respective ordeals. Faces, countries, and technologies may change, but the language of suffering remains the same. When Harry and Ahmed’s stories overlap, the humbling effect is compounded.

"A Period Drama"
7 Feb 2017
Fans of barechested scything drama Poldark will enjoy this affectionate spoof. Squint your eyes and these two could be stars Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson on horseback. They exchange tender glances, but time is of the essence. Riding across the moors at full speed, they finally reach their destination… though we’re not in the eighteenth century anymore.

Paddy Power
"Coach Driver"
6 Feb 2017
Paddy Power pay tribute to another unsung hero: a long-suffering coach driver who ferries football fans to and from matches. There are some lovely omedy beats in this ad, from the lacklustre delivery of the driver's own version of 4 Non Blondes' 'What’s Up?' to the introduction of 'Big Fat Phil' - who gets left behind when the coach stops for its passengers to, uh, water the grass behind some bushes.

Mexican Avocados
"Secret Society"
1 min 40s
2 Feb 2017
In this age of leaks, spoilers, and whistleblowers, clandestine organisations have it tougher than ever. Avocados from Mexico’s amusing Super Bowl commercial highlights the difficulty in keeping things under wraps. One can’t help feel sorry for this concerned leader as his acolytes vex him with supposed leaks.

"John Malkovich"
2 Feb 2017
John Malkovich has built his reputation on being other, gently menacing versions of himself. And even as he turns from acting to fashion design, some things don't change. This Super Bowl campaign for website building service SquareSpace shows him trying to maintain his cool on discovering someone has already taken the domain name JohnMalkovich.com.

1 Feb 2017
We’ve known for a while that the Barbie world is changing. Having laid the groundwork in 2015’s charming ‘Imagine the Possibilities’ film, the brand now get the dads involved. “I’m a typical man’s man”, states dad number one. Not that his daughter is fussed. All that matters is having a dad to play with. What follows is a charming montage of fathers and daughters letting their imaginations guide them.

"Perfect Corner"
1 Feb 2017
Jaguar have a case of the bends in this attractive commercial. Bends in the road, of course. The premium brand suggests any car can drive around a corner - doing it in an F-Type Jag is another matter. Flitting between slow motion to full-on thrust and power, we’re given an artful demonstration of the car’s form.

"Honest Player"
1 Feb 2017
Jim Telfer’s speech during the 1997 Lions tour in South Africa propels this stirring Gillette ad. It’s the kind of voice you daren’t talk back to, only absorb what’s being said. He outlines what it means to be a rugby player in no uncertain terms - standards for George North’s generation to live up to. An ideal appetiser for this year’s Six Nations and Lions action.

"How To Make It"
1 Feb 2017
Budweiser's Super Bowl ad follows the journey of Adolphus Busch as he emigrates to the US to achieve his brewing dreams. He faces xenophobia, fire, and toil before he finally reaches St Louis and meets Ebert Anheuser - the man with whom he would establish AB InBev, today the world’s largest beer company. It's a timely reminder that the United States and all its corporate giants were built by one kind of person - immigrants.

Department for International Trade
"Invest in GREAT Britain"
31 Jan 2017
The Department for International Trade extends an invitation to global investors with this beautifully shot film. Where do you begin when showing Blighty at its best? Well, a cameo from James Bond’s Aston Martin DB11 is a good place to start. Dan Gifford and DP David Luther ensure a polished outcome as various UK industries receive their moment in the spotlight.

Great Ormond Street Hospital
"Welcome to Ordinary World"
30 Jan 2017
This ad for Great Ormond Street hospital is crafted with skill, serving both as a deft parody and a poignant reminder of the struggle children with serious illnesses face in their day-to-day lives. We see a parody of a theme park ad for 'Ordinary World', complete with a hyperbolic script which turns a trip to the supermarket into a magical thrill ride... but for kids stuck in hospital, it really is the adventure they want.

30 Jan 2017
In contrast to their last strange Super Bowl ad featuring Steven Tyler at his most dead-eyed, this year Skittles keep things simple - and it works. We're shown a house late at night, with a guy trying to get the object of his affections to notice him. Instead of throwing pebbles at her window, however, he's decided confectionery might sweeten his chances.

30 Jan 2017
Who knew shrimp could hold a tune? They can if this entertaining MailChimp ad is anything to go by. A shrimp proves he’s more than just a sandwich filling by serenading a mailroom employee on his lunch break. “One day, I know I’ll become MailShrimp”, he croons. Thanks to one big chomp, the prawn achieves his bizarre goal.

"Beer Buddy"
25 Jan 2017
Edinburgh-based craft beer delivery service Beer52 have invented a drinking buddy for any subscriber feeling a bit lonely when they receive their monthly crate of bevvies. If you need a pal, Beer Buddy is here for you. The guy knows everything there is to know about beer, but he struggles to get anybody to stick around long enough to share his passion because, let's face it, he's a bit desperate.

Five Star Work

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