David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

"Life in Numbers"
3 May 2017
UK Banks

From first birthdays and first dates and first jobs and beyond, this skillfully crafted ad for UBS follows one man's life; touching on all the moments which shape him. The scenes are all connected by numbers, building to a final reveal that smart online investment with the advertised bank has allowed him to save up for his daughter's wedding.

Tying banks to life's milestones isn't an unfamiliar concept - almost all the big hitters have delivered their own version of 'we're always here for you' since 2008 - but Publicis and Rattling Stick have come together to produce a piece of work that stands out from the crowd. Everything from the appearance of changing film quality over the years to the central character's gradual ageing has been carefully planned and astutely executed - lovely work from all involved.

Kit Kat
"Extra Milk and Cocoa"

Matt said:

That's not a Kit Kat ad.



Five Star Work

"It's Perfectly Normal Until..."
13 Aug 2017
Have you ever spontaneously done something so cool you wish you could replay it endlessly for the benefit of those who missed it? Something that makes you feel like a winner in life because it happened so effortlessly? That, apparently, is the feeling of being Kwiffed - receiving an unasked-for boost to your odds when you place a flutter on the eponymous sports betting app.

"Herren des Feuers"
1 min 53s
15 Aug 2017
If you're aiming for 'over the top' then it's a good idea to go way over the top - as director Isaiah Seret has in this marvellously bombastic film for EDEKA. The narrator is a curious-looking old fellow who recites a poem detailing man's relationship with fire. He walks through a series of eras, speaking approvingly of the way fire is used to char meat.

11 Aug 2017
Visa serve up an excruciating hunt for cash in this summery ad. Assuming he has to pay his cafe bill in the local currency, a hapless holidaymaker unzips his trousers and - maintaining eye contact with the unfortunate waiter - delves into the murky depths to fish out the necessary coins. It's nicely cast and makes the point with tongue-in-cheek humour.

Secret Escapes
11 Aug 2017
Another engrossing poolside confessional from Secret Escapes. With vivid detail, this woman reveals how she took a bite out of the food chain. Always good to hear someone’s encounter with “death’s warm embrace”, isn’t it? Her companion knows exactly she means… three luxury breaks in a year really makes you think.

Secret Escapes
11 Aug 2017
We’ve all been stuck next to an interminable bore on holiday. However, the moustachioed gent in this excellent Secret Escapes ad has a story to tell - think Banged Up Abroad meets The Night Manager. His ordeal has given him a new respect for life. Nursing a cocktail at this resort bar, he thinks he’s found a kindred spirit - someone who understands how lucky they are to be here. Well, kind of.

10 Aug 2017
As Mo Farah bids farewell to the track at this month’s IAAF World Championships, Nike honour the man with this intense commercial. Beginning with Farah’s trademark celebration, the mood quickly changes. As we all know, life isn’t all smiles and Mobots. What follows is a visual workout as Farah trains through blood, sweat, and more blood.

Amnesty International
"25 Annoying Things"
1 min 47s
10 Aug 2017
This powerful film from Amnesty International lulls us into a cosy sense of connection with the women shown here, all reminiscing about the various annoyances of pregnancy. Even if we ourselves haven't swept things off tables with our enormous baby bump or suffered the indignity of cankles we know of enough friends or loved ones who have done to nod with a sympathetic smile.

"Athlete Refugee Team"
1 min 35s
9 Aug 2017
Hungry Man has teamed up with Swedish running company ON to create this enthralling tribute to the Athlete Refugee Team. We often see ads framing sport as a battle - crushing opponents, smashing through goals, athletes punishing themselves and suffering to reach their peak potential - but this film focuses on people who know the realities of war, and their attitudes are quite different.

Outride ADHD
"Specialized Foundation"
2 mins
7 Aug 2017
In this passionately-rendered piece of film, a young man describes how ADHD affects his ability to concentrate. His first person narrative is augmented by glimpses of his frustration before he explains how cycling has provided some relief. The young man at its centre is very charismatic and this helps to dispel prejudices about the condition.

Paddy Power
6 Aug 2017
This campaign for Paddy Power is one of DAVID's favourites of 2017, and this may be the best execution yet. A brand which spent years positioning itself as the bad boy of betting - deliberately seeking infamy on the basis that there's no such thing as bad publicity - has made one of the most positive depictions of disability we've ever seen in a British TV commercial. What a bunch of goody-two-shoes sell-outs!

4 Aug 2017
Above+Beyond and Believe Media have created this excellent Bond spoof for gambling site Betway. The latest in a series of homages to classic cinema, we see a bloodied and battered Mr Bond threatened with a buzz saw to the knackers, while his captor is distracted by trying to cash out at just the right moment on Betway. There's even a pun and a satisfying cut-away before Bond swears his head off. Electric.

3 Aug 2017
Cravendale resolve the mysterious teasers they've been releasing on Channel 4 with this excellent ad. Shot mockumentary style in the small rural village of Cravendale, the film addresses claims that the semi-mythical 'Moonicow' is responsible for the freshness of their milk. Moonie gets the full Loch Ness Monster treatment, from merchandise to walking tours and a ringing endorsement from the mayor.

BT Sport
"Being Dele"
3 Aug 2017
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli may only be 21 years old but he's already demonstrated he has more than enough charisma on the football field to become England's biggest star in a generation... and now he's shown that he's got a fair bit about him off the field too.

The Great British Bake Off
3 Aug 2017
How nervous are Channel 4 about the launch of the new series of The Great British Bake-Off? After being cast as the bad guys when they outbid the BBC and ripped this broadcasting institution from the grasp of the team that nurtured it, they will be hoping to attract an audience to justify their investment.

2 mins
1 Aug 2017
When the performers are as talented as the dancers in this captivating commercial for Timberland, the director can achieve a lot by allowing the action to speak for itself and that's exactly what White Label's Andy Margetson has done. By itself, it's a pretty piece of film and we might find ourselves praising this regardless of what it was for, but it's all the better because it cleverly shifts our perception of the advertised product.

"Don't Be a Monster"
1 Aug 2017
Smart were an early advocate of cleaner energy. Their cars - when the electricity is supplied by renewable energy - have a tiny carbon footprint and they represent the future of motoring. Despite the resistance of America's 'Dead Cat Bounce' president, the world's view of oil is changing.

1 Aug 2017
Ever wondered what a Honda karaoke video would look like? Well, this 30” commercial is a good approximation. Someone on the team is a ‘Wizard of Oz’ fan - thus, Judy Garland’s ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ plays over this desert roadshow. Nimble visuals evoke Chris Palmer's ‘Endless Road’ ad.

"Family Makes Us Better"
31 Jul 2017
This poetic Tesco commercial is a family affair. The supermarket delivers an ode to domesticity as various families navigate life’s ups and downs. While the film draws on familiar imagery, it also celebrates how no two family portraits are alike. Shot through a sensitive lens, “exquisitely bland” becomes engrossing.

Asylum Aid
"The Interview"
2 mins 44s
28 Jul 2017
This harrowing Asylum Aid film puts every bad interview you’ve ever had into perspective. This refugee is subjected to an intimidating ordeal. Suddenly, escaping her previous life becomes a bureaucratic nightmare. As asylum seekers encounter similar resistance elsewhere, this is a timely reminder of their vulnerabilities.

27 Jul 2017
This film for Gucci is proof that - despite the po-faced output we get most of the year - the beauty sector knows how to have fun. It takes the form of a beautifully measured series of spoofs of vintage Sci-Fi tropes. The opening shot brings to mind Star Wars's iconic opening titles before it shifts gear with a perfect pastiche of the original Star Trek series.

Royal Mail
"The Heist"
27 Jul 2017
A bank robbery takes a strange turn in this ad for Royal Mail. Created by M & C Saatchi and directed by Simon Ellis, the dramatic film shows a gang of masked men invading a bank and taking customers and staff hostage. The terrifying scene takes an unexpected direction, however, when it becomes clear that the criminals are after their victims' identities.

26 Jul 2017
Arsenal’s kit deal with Puma has produced some memorable work. This slick 90” film eschews first-team regulars in favour of unsigned talent. Hair cut and nails done, this diverse group has business to attend to. The six converge on a multi-storey car park. As the sun goes down, this three-a-side game sparks into life.

My Black is Beautiful
"The Talk"
2 mins
25 Jul 2017
P&G's anti-racism 'My Black is Beautiful' initiative has been running for over a decade, and it's still going strong as BBDO New York and Malik Vitthal have delivered its most powerful ad yet. This two minute film travels through time to explore 'the talk' which black parents in America still feel they have to have with their children.

"Test Drive"
2 mins
25 Jul 2017
One fears this bloke has spent too long down at the test track. Still, his fervent performance anchors this US Audi commercial. You wouldn’t hear this spiel down your local car dealership. As horseshoes rain down and bees turn to bullets, the caretaker suggests that casual motorists need not apply.

"The Rock"
3 mins 30s
25 Jul 2017
The Rock is at his non-stop best in this amusing short film for Apple. Siri facilitates the movie star's schedule as he decides to check off some things from his 'life goals' list. Just a few simple tasks... like flying his own plane to Rome to paint a fresco. This is a smart piece of work, capitalising on future President Dwayne Johnson's reputation as the nicest guy in show business.

Five Star Work

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