David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Great Western Railway
"The Famous Five"
25 September 2017
UK Train Services

adam&eveDDB are no strangers to reviving childhood favourites. Having tapped Hanna-Barbera’s animated roster for Halifax, the agency stick closer to home for this Great Western Railway ad. Enid Blyton fans, rejoice - the Famous Five ride again.

Anne, Dick, George, Julian, and Timmy the dog embark on their latest countryside jaunt via train. Well, four of out of the five. While Timmy samples other modes of transport, Enid Blyton’s intrepid youths enjoy the carriage view.

Friend Electric’s Pete Candeland does a lovely job with the storybook visuals. Rollicking and painterly, the ad offers an idyllic vision of train travel.

Given the popularity of recent Blyton parodies like ‘Five on Brexit Island’, it wouldn't have been a surprise if adam&eveDDB had opted to follow suit, but they've kept everything traditional, and to good effect. There isn’t an app or smart device in sight - only binoculars, a paper map, and a jar of hard-boiled eggs. A fetching invitation out west.

Marks & Spencer
"Steak and Chocolate"

Chris said:

With some footage courtesy of Y&R LONDON.



Five Star Work

"The Forest Man of India"
2 mins
18 Oct 2017
This atmospheric film for Prudential explores the work of Jadav Payeng - dubbed the 'Forest Man of India'. After being inspired as a teenager, Payeng has spent the last thirty-eight years planting trees on deserted sandbars near his home - eventually amassing a forest of over fourteen-hundred acres. His unwavering dedication to improving the environment is depicted lovingly here by director Asif Kapadia.

2 mins 22s
16 Oct 2017
AMV BBDO have struck another fierce blow against the orthodoxical coyness used to advertise sanitary protection products with a brilliant commercial for Libresse. Director Daniel Wolfe's film breezily confronts an audience accustomed to the conventional approach in which red is blue, and women are shown conducting themselves as though in denial of the reality of their menstrual cycles.

"Woe is Me"
17 Oct 2017
There's nothing like a home cooked meal... or is there? McDonald's attempt to disprove the old adage in this amusing US ad, featuring a grandma who's not entirely unhappy that her cooking is being usurped. There's a great central performance here, as the deadpan granny declares she's got better things to do than cook for her rotten family members.

Federal Express
"Conspiracy Bookstore"
16 Oct 2017
FedEx's delivery service is so affordable it seems too good to be true... if you're a conspiracy theorist, that is. The real conspiracy in this entertaining ad is how an independent book store is thriving up against the likes of Amazon, but perhaps these customers don't trust big companies with their payment information...

16 Oct 2017
Good Morning Britain viewers are used to peculiar sights... that’s what waking up to Piers Morgan’s face each day will do. However, the regular audience may have been surprised by this excellent film from breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! Tackling taboos before our first slice of toast, the ad features pre-watershed nipples.

"Made in the Mirror"
1 min 40s
13 Oct 2017
Cosmetics advertising is undergoing something of a, well, makeover. Boots No 7’s recent fencing bout delivered style and substance - now it’s US brand CoverGirl’s turn. This classy ad gathers a strong cast: diverse, dynamic, and in control of their identities. Contrasted with the modish cast and cinematography, the soundtrack provides old-school satisfaction.

13 Oct 2017
Smyths' 2017 Christmas campaign has big shoes to fill. Last year's effort - featuring a rewrite of Beyoncé's 'If I Were A Boy' and a whimsical dive into a kid's imagination - went down a storm. It's a tough ask, and this excellent animated ad meets the challenge with relish. A playful voiceover narrates the adventures of Snot, a hapless ball of yuck who's been sent down life's reject chute.

Project Everyone
2 mins 57s
11 Oct 2017
Project Everyone's 2016 film - an in-your-face piece of work which recreated the energy of the original promo for the Spice Girls' 'Wannabe' with a serious message - showed women and girls around the world having fun while asking to be given the rights they deserve. This year they're no longer asking - they're demanding to be heard.

9 Oct 2017
Leo Burnett once again demonstrate an uncanny ability to make the most of McDonald's cyclical propositions by injecting a little humour into the script. And by asking Tony Barry to direct, they gain hugely from his innate understanding of how a joke should be weighted.

"Still Got It"
6 Oct 2017
Ian Derry is no stranger to exertion. His profile of ice diver Johanna Nordblad captured the physical and mental rigours of pushing one’s limits; this Fitbit commercial reminds us it’s never too late to challenge ourselves. We see thirty, forty, and fiftysomethings throw themselves into various pursuits: running, swimming, cycling, even lifting ruddy big tires.

"Pride and Breadjudice"
3 mins
4 Oct 2017
Peter Kay stars in this brilliant Jane Austen spoof for Warburtons created by WCRS and directed by Declan Lowney. It's the third outing in a highly ambitious campaign which is rapidly establishing itself as an advertising institution. With previous instalments starring Sylvester Stallone and the Muppets establishing a broad eclecticism, it was very hard to anticipate where Warburtons might go next in their annual bid to create the most noteworthy commercial of the year.

"Lesson of Love"
1 min 35s
4 Oct 2017
This curious love story for Instrumentarium sees a young man infatuated with his lecturer. The period piece is beautifully constructed, with spot-on styling and a sepia-tinged grade which screams retro. Why the student decides to make his move via specs remains mysterious, and raises the question of how he found the teacher's prescription. A surreal twist on classic romance tropes from Pete Riski.

Campaign to End Loneliness
3 mins
26 Sep 2017
This fascinating depiction of an experiment designed to highlight the corrosive power of loneliness pits a young man against himself by placing him in solitary confinement for a week. As prisons go, this one isn't bad. He has a television and he can feed himself but he pretty rapidly comes apart at the seams for want of human interaction.

2 Oct 2017
Independent’s Philippe André hits the desert in this attractive BMW ad which launched their new M5 model by paying tribute to their motorsport heritage. As the saloon reaches top speed, it literally leaves its predecessors in the dust as dIrector André, DP Óttar Guđnason and their crew craft an elegant sandstorm.

Period Equity
"Not A Luxury"
2 Oct 2017
Amber Rose stars in this excellent film for Period Equity - an organisation which lobbies for the removal of a luxury tax on sanitary products in the USA. Director Melanie Bridge helms a spot-on parody of a deluxe ad, diamond sparkle dominating the screen as Rose caresses herself and provides a sultry voiceover narrating just how expensive her jewellery is... and what it conceals.

"Bank Robbery"
1 Oct 2017
Skincare brand Bulldog provided one of Christmas 2016’s surprise ads. Socially-awkward elves exchanging gifts underlined the brand’s appreciation of male hang-ups. This latest outing now brings their eponymous mutt to life - and he aims to turn this would-be bank robber’s life around. Perma-grumpy expression aside, the bulldog provides likeable moral support.

"El Tornado"
2 mins 07s
29 Sep 2017
Rabonas, Cruyff turns, Marseille Roulettes… now FIFA 18 adds ‘El Tornado’ to football’s bulging trick book. The specially-created manoeuvre encompasses a drag back followed by a swivel and volley. Easy enough for pixelated superstars, but can real-life players replicate it? The results are, well, mixed. Riffing on social media reactions and gameplay sharing, the football sim advocates self-expression.

"Miss You"
2 mins 25s
29 Sep 2017
This emotive film for Finnish telecommunications provider Elisa shows the deterioration - and subsequent reconciliation - of a relationship between father and son. Director Pete Riski is a master of creating touching content, and his talents are beautifully exhibited in this poignant film. This is excellent, emotionally honest work which many parents will relate to.

28 Sep 2017
We meet the brains of the operation in this surreal MailChimp commercial. The e-marketers suggest their online tools are like having a second brain - ably demonstrated by their idiosyncratic spokesperson. Arch yet playful, Fliss Russell's other-worldy performance lends e-commerce a light touch.

29 Sep 2017
Next time someone is bemoaning the lack of creativity in modern advertising, stick this under their noses. This isn't just a brilliant execution by Ringan Ledwidge, it's a superb idea based on the really excellent insight that it's not our driving that endangers us on the road, it's all the other clowns out there.

27 Sep 2017
This bold film from the newly branded Y (formerly YMCA) serves as a statement of intent, a promise that the organisation will work to bring communities together during this divided time. Director Malik Vitthal doesn't shy away from the grim realities of life in modern America, as gritty shots address racism, violence, and police brutality with unblinking frankness.

"Drive On"
26 Sep 2017
Given their mascot’s limited movement capabilities, Churchill have rarely pursued high-octane scenarios. This online film marks an ambitious shift for the insurer - one which gives their write-off scheme some blockbuster oomph. Stuntwoman Jess Hooker makes a leap of faith between her old banger and a pristine replacement.

Parasport Denmark
"How Hard Can It Be?"
27 Sep 2017
This Danish film demonstrates the universality of the 'superhumans' phenomenon that we've come to associate with Channel 4 through their coverage of the Paralympics. It follows the well-established path of introducing us to individuals who are utterly determined to overcome their disabilities.

Great Western Railway
"The Famous Five"
25 Sep 2017
adam&eveDDB are no strangers to reviving childhood favourites. Having tapped Hanna-Barbera’s animated roster for Halifax, the agency stick closer to home for this Great Western Railway ad. Enid Blyton fans, rejoice - the Famous Five ride again. Rollicking and painterly, the ad offers an idyllic vision of train travel.

Old Spice
22 Sep 2017
Old Spice knock it out of the park again with another excellent ad. Directed by Andreas Nilsson, we see US football player Von Miller hatch from an egg in a dry wasteland. He staggers towards a source of hydration - Old Spice sports body wash, naturally - and then things get really dramatic... Great work which makes the most of the self-aware humour we've come to expect from the brand.

Five Star Work

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