David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

U.S. Bank
"Lights"
50s
19 May 2016
USA Banks

"Let there be light!" say U.S. Bank with a commercial which portrays the institution with the kind of restrained optimism currently so prevalent in the financial sector.

It's a compelling treatment both aurally and visually, with Gorgeous director Patrick Daughters flicking the switch on a rapid-fire light show. Desk lamps, fluorescent lights, the mellow glow of a computer screen, even a light bulb erupting into incandescence... each adds to the electric tapestry. Kudos to the maintenance team ( or post team!) for ensuring there isn't a dud bulb on site, either.

Coupled with a progressively intense soundtrack of cheerful bleeps, beeps, and chirps, the ad draws you into an entire building 'waking up' as a new day breaks and inspires customers to see the hours ahead as full of illuminating moments. Thanks to the skilful realisation of the notion, the bank does a quietly effective job of sharing its bright outlook.

Simply Be
"Summer '16"

Miles said:

littering


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On This Day

Vauxhall
"Surfing Car"
40s
25 May 2006
Impressive visual here as a car appears to surf the giant waves crashing down on a beach as the surfer dudes watch on in amazement. Good to know there's a bunch of advertising folk who are praying as hard as anyone that there isn't a repetition of 2004's tsunami... if for slightly more asinine reasons.

Strongbow
"Our Time Has Come"
40s
25 May 2009
This amusing film for Strongbow has a general on a hill giving a pep talk to the ordinary heroes whose manual work improves our lives. There are shades of Gladiator as the army readies itself for the pub with a lovely dry delivery of the silly script.

Lynx
"Muchas Maracas"
30s
25 May 2009
Muchas Maracas indeed. Maracas are used as a heavy-handed and pretty juvenile metaphor for cojonas in this ad for shower gel. A man who finds that his are a little on the small side is delighted to come out of the shower sporting a giant pair of maracas.

HSBC
"Lions Idents"
67s
25 May 2009
A brilliant series of bumpers advertising HSBC's sponsorship of television coverage of the tour of South Africa by the British Lions. Footage of the players has been craftily added to clips of African wildlife to make it look as though they are coaching the animals.

Anchor Butter
"Celebrating 125 Years"
40s
25 May 2011
The cows of Anchor are celebrating a special anniversary with a party in this wonderfully silly piece for the New Zealand butter. As in the previous ads, delight is provided by the unlikeliness of the cows' activities as they are anthropomorphised for comic effect.

Matalan
"Forever Summer"
60s
25 May 2011
Another rotating view of a summer scene designed to show off the fashions available from the advertised retailer. As before, the apparently continuous nature of the shot gives the commercial an impressive dynamism.

Todos Los Dias Es El Dia
"Playground"
60s
25 May 2013
This extraordinary film puts paid to the 'words will never hurt me' rhyme we were all taught growing up. The power of verbal cruelty is demonstrated with simplicity and resonance here, as a boy who appears to be escaping a horrific school massacre is revealed as the victim of bullying.

Svenska Lotteriet
"Dreams"
2 mins
25 May 2015
Mikael Marcimain's lovely commercial for the Swedish lottery mines the same seam as the recent P & G work that represents mothers as the ultimate motivators - but because these young achievers appear to be providing their own incentives, it doesn't have that yukky 'pushy parent' dimension. The way in which the progress of the youngsters is depicted is quite lovely with a rising tide of emotion as we see them move from aspiration to achievement.

Benjamin Moore Ultra
"Sweat"
65s
25 May 2015
This funny commercial for a paint company who promise that their goods will enable you to decorate your house with a minimum of effort manages to send up advertising in the perfume sector. Scandinavian director Tom Malmros shows a lovely touch for parody and gives the dialogue a wonderfully strange quality. One to watch in every sense.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Rhythm"
30s
25 May 2016
This is almost the best of these films but the curious decision to return to the campaign's familiar music halfway through derails it a bit. It still deserves its five stars as the opening sequence is sensational... but what follows is a bit puzzling, the sequence is crying out for the music from the first half to keep playing.

John Smith's
"No Housewife Telly"
30s
25 May 2006
The motley collection of drinkers in this pub look a sad bunch and this campaign perhaps serves to underline the idea that this is an old man's drink. Here, the scorn is aimed at a fellow who wants to watch a home shopping channel in the pub.

Mars Bars
"Brazil"
10s
25 May 2006
The man urging us all to believe in England's bid to win the World Cup has a moment of doubt when he suddenly remembers that Brazil are a much better team. Like an alcoholic consoling himself with the life-numbing virtual reality of cheap liquor, he scoffs a Mars bar and all is well.

The Friday Night Project
"Parkour"
60s
25 May 2007
The Friday Night Project's Justin Lee Collins and Alan Carr appear to make their way to the studio the hard way in this trail for a new series of their anarchic Friday night programme. Neat editing makes it appear as though the two are capable of unlikely manoeuvres.

EDF Energy
"Aged Olympians"
40s
25 May 2008
A number of people who competed at the Olympics talk about their experience and the opportunity they had. A nicely photographed ad that builds on the advertiser's aim of getting us to think about things in an environmentally-friendly fashion because this commercial is "made from recycled dreams".

Renault
"Perfect Everywhere"
30s
25 May 2009
Blur's imaginatively named Song 2 (which you probably know as the 'woo hoo song') is used to good effect in this ad which takes the piss out of drivers who use inappropriate vehicles to get around town. The advertised car is 'perfect everywhere'.

Old Speckled Hen
"Dave Sponsorship"
60s
25 May 2009
A fox passes comment on a series of strange activities and concludes that each is "different but not a hen" in this series of amusing and quirky bumpers advertising Old Speckled Hen's sponsorship of comedy on Dave. A good fit with the channel's approach.

Morrisons
"Sun Promotion Viral"
90s
25 May 2009
This amusing viral has a pair of men using a chainsaw to remove a poster which advertises a discount voucher available in The Sun. Clearly, these men have slightly misunderstood the offer as they think they need the giant voucher to take advantage of the offer.

Birds Eye Simply Fish
"Cheat"
30s
25 May 2009
The company that introduced 'boil in the bag' have moved on to 'bake in the bag'. For those who find the business of wrapping a piece of fish in some foil a bit too complicated, Birds Eye have come up with the perfect solution.

Kellogg's Crunchy Nut
"Monitor"
30s
25 May 2009
An excellently choreographed piece in the long-running campaign for Crunchy Nut has a vigilant man making sure that no-one takes any of his prized cereal. The little ballet in the kitchen is a master class in comedic movement.

Peugeot
"Kris Meeke"
30s
25 May 2009
This is a clever way of drawing attention to Peugeot's participation in the World Rallying Championship. Their driver Kris Meeke is at the wheel as an actress playing his wife navigates him around town so she can complete her shopping.

Nestlé Oats & More
"Our Children?"
20s
25 May 2009
The Dad from the previous ads raises the possibility that his children aren't his children in a bid to prevent them from getting hold of the cereal he adores. His wife is appalled and so are the children who, unbeknownst to him, are stood behind him.

Nike
"Ronaldo"
30s
25 May 2010
This excerpt from Nike's epic is the first of this campaign we've seen on the telly box... and it includes our favourite bit. Cristiano Ronaldo faces his destiny when Portugal are awarded a free kick within range of his powerful boot... plus Homer Simpson. Love it.

Birds Eye
"Clive"
30s
25 May 2010
Clive is the latest householder to be surprised by the presence of a stuffed polar bear in his freezer. He's told by the Willem Dafoe voiced puppet that it's okay to give Chicken Dippers to his children because they're made by Birds Eye. These will sell on the back of this.

Netflix
"Maiden"
30s
25 May 2010
This amusing American ad features a tender farewell scene between an English knight and his love interest. He leaves her with a memento but she isn't entirely sure what it is. Hang in there for the very last bit.

Netflix
"Musical"
30s
25 May 2010
This faithfully put together spoof of a 1950s musical relies on an amusing anachronism. It advertises a confusing American offer which allows punters to do something clever with one of their gadgets to get a better deal on another.

On This Day

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