David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

9 October 2017
UK Fast Food Restaurants

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.

A couple on a safari holiday are driven by their guide to a remote spot on a South African savannah. When the latter adds dangerous animals to his wistfully delivered list of the local attractions, they realise they may have bitten off more than they can chew.

The metaphorical message is clear - if you want to sample an exotic cuisine, you may find yourselves with all kinds of nonsense on your plate so it's best to stick with a food outlet you can trust. It may not be something gourmets want to hear, but they're not exactly the target audience.

As a piece of advertising, it gets the job done. It captures the audience's attention and then provides them with a glimpse of something they might want to try, and we suspect sales of the advertised offering will go through the roof on the back of this. Safari holidays... not so much.


Barry said:

This is basically an advert about fly tipping



Five Star Work

19 Oct 2017
Swedish insurance providers AMF take a surreal approach in this entertaining ad for their pension plan. Director Tomas Jonsgården mixes the fantastical with the mundane to great effect, as we see a guy's inner monologue come alive. He catches the bus home on a rainy night, feeling sorry for himself... until something unexpected sends him to his happy place.

Now TV
"Walker Survival Guide"
2 mins 30s
19 Oct 2017
It’s a modern conversation staple: “What would you do in a zombie apocalypse”? Well, Joe Wilkinson has got us covered. To promote Now TV’s The Walking Dead collection, the comedian offers some, er, helpful tips to avoid infection. These instructional videos cover everything from morale to bite prevention. Alas, things don’t always go according to plan.

Super Mario Odyssey
"Jump Up, Super Star!"
1 min 40s
19 Oct 2017
Mario has come a long way from his 8-bit origins. Since making the leap into 3D, Nintendo’s mascot has toured the universe and elsewhere. With ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ on the horizon, this Broadway-inspired commercial urges us to “do the Odyssey”. Set in the game’s New Donk City level, Partizan’s Warren Fu blends live-action and CG to jolly effect.

"Floor 9.5"
2 mins
13 Oct 2017
Mars have released a series of short horror films to coincide with the spookiest month of the year... and they're bloody good. With minimal product placement and a two minute running time, each 'bite sized' chunk of horror promises to chill audiences to the bone. 'Floor 9.5' - sponsored by Skittles - takes a new approach to the idea of being followed.

"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 Guðnason 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.

Five Star Work

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