David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Canadian Club & Dry
"The Big Question"
45s
19 September 2017
Australia Whiskey-based Brews

This amusing ad announces Canadian Club's launch of their pre-mixed cocktail range Down Under. If that sounds like a strange proposition in a country known for its beer drinking then keep watching, this may surprise you...

A series of blokes come to the shocking realisation that they actually don't like beer, one even mournfully hanging his head as he explains that he 'thought it was compulsory'. Generations of beer drinkers see the light when Canada Club & Dry slides down the bar as an tastier alternative.

Aside from the excellent performances and sharp script here, it's a shrewd move to emphasise beer drinking as a social activity which needs refreshing. With the craft beer market growing exponentially, consumers have shown a willingness to branch out from whatever's on tap... perhaps even to pre-mixed whiskey and ginger.

Everything is skilfully balanced in this film, from the clever soundtrack and comic timing to the self-conscious silence at the sound of a bottle opening. Director Nick Kelly has got things right on the mark here - lovely, affectionate work.

Guinness
"Compton Cowboys"

James said:

and that last line is a bit too close for comfort to the last line in sea biscuit, no?


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Canadian Club & Dry
"The Big Question"
45s
19 Sep 2017
This amusing ad announces Canadian Club's launch of their pre-mixed cocktail range Down Under. A series of blokes come to the shocking realisation that they actually don't like beer, one even mournfully hanging his head as he explains that he 'thought it was compulsory'. Generations of beer drinkers see the light when Canada Club & Dry slides down the bar as an tastier alternative.

H & R Block
"Dave"
15s
14 Sep 2017
This entertainingly weird ad for Aussie accountancy firm H & R Block features a beekeeping barber who simply doesn't have time to handle his own books. Employing an outside accountant gives him an extra eight hours a week for his... rather unsuccessful beekeeping, if the stings are anything to go by. The comedy is well constructed here, delivered successfully in just 15".

Berlei
"Womankind"
45s
2 Sep 2017
Somesuch's Kim Gehrig is very much the go-to-woman when it comes to unvarnished representations of the female form and she demonstrates these skills once again in this excellent film for Berlei. The Australian ad uses a combination of specially-filmed vignettes and archive footage to make its point about the discomfort women suffer in the name of fashion... specifically when trying to enhance or limit the impact made by their breasts.

Hungry Jack's
"Keep It Real"
60s
25 Aug 2017
This bruising Australian ad for Hungry Jack's is like a cross-between Tony Barry's McDonald's McCafe ad; Danny Kleinman's Real McCoy work; and the 1993 Michael Douglas film 'Falling Down'. It features a man who just can't take it any more. And by 'it' we mean the creeping invidiousness of hipster culture.

Kit Kat
"Katapult"
60s
22 Aug 2017
There's krafty konstruction in this klever ad for Kit Kat... okay, unlike Donald Trump, we'll stop with the Ks now. This funny film features an excellent satire of the endless woes provided by flat pack furniture, as two blokes try to build a medieval weapon via picture-only instructions. Director Trevor Clarence draws out the comedy, including some relatable moments of frustration.

Foxtel
"Now"
60s
3 Jul 2017
This synchronous Foxtel commercial echoes every water cooler conversation about last night's telly. Occupying a multi-coloured dimension, this lot wax lyrical about plot twists, infuriating characters, and the moment "when you just know everything's going to go OFF". Neat closing gag as everyone realises something is amiss...

AHM
"Accidentally Ate That"
30s
26 Jun 2017
Straight-talking Aussie health insurance provider AHM offer medical insurance 'you might actually use' in an amusing series of ads from Clemenger BBDO and Goodoil. This instalment focuses on Roger, who's successfully navigating a party before he runs into a fruity speed bump. The voiceover works well here, as the awkward annual 'bring your partner' cringe-fest plays out onscreen.

AHM
"Attempting Gym Again"
30s
26 Jun 2017
Aussie health insurance provider AHM promote another of their amusingly specific policies; this time, it’s ‘attempting gym again’ cover… complete with remedial massage, no less. Handy for lapsed gymgoers like this bloke, whose fitness comeback ends before it’s even begun as he subjects his arms to a leg press. Perhaps he should read the instructions first.

Tiger Beer
"The 3890 Project"
1 min 44s
19 Jun 2017
Tiger Beer have teamed up with artists across the world to draw attention to the plight of the beer's namesake animal. We're informed there are a scant 3,890 tigers left in the wild, something the brand hopes to change by raising awareness of the situation. We're not sure how uploading selfies is supposed to do that, but this film to launch the project certainly piques interest.

WorkSafe Victoria
"Assault"
30s
14 Jun 2017
Recent events underline the importance of our emergency services, and this Australian commercial reminds us to treat them with the respect they deserve. A Victoria paramedic reveals why he pushes himself to help others... and his dismay at those who respond with violence. A full-motion punch brings the message home with ugly force.

Qantas
"Dreamliner"
2 mins
17 May 2017
Qantas ditch traditional shots of Australian scenery in favour of a more story-driven approach. This two-minute film from Skunk’s Glendyn Ivin depicts one family separated by hemispheres, but united by the advertised airline. It’s a mature effort from the carrier, and one which looks to foster a deeper bond with air passengers.

Qantas
"Couple"
1 min 51s
17 May 2017
No one can blame the male protagonist of this Qantas ad for leaving on a jet plane. As he endures grim weather and the London crowds, his girlfriend enjoys walks on the beach Down Under. On a whim, he decides to close the gap on their long-distance relationship. Another emotive film from an airline keen to make more reunions like this possible.

IKEA
"Aprons"
45s
12 May 2017
IKEA follow their excellent Aussie ad focused on Ludde the rug with another anthropomorphic outing, this time concentrating on a pair of dancing aprons. There are some lovely subtle touches in the background as papa and baby apron boogie around in the kitchen (the drawings on the fridge, for example), and the upbeat soundtrack keeps things light in spite of the slightly murky grade.

Jemena Gas
"Instantly Better"
30s
28 Mar 2017
It's been a good year for dragons in advertising so far. First Dorito's introduced us to their animatronic beast; now Australian energy firm Jemena present their own tame-ish firebreather. Alas, there's a reason why household dragons haven't caught on. This couple describes some of the fiery mishaps sparked by their scaly pet.

IKEA
"Rug"
45s
15 Mar 2017
Jonny & Will have good form when it comes to Ikea ads. Having helped bring Dougal Wilson’s tale of migrating t-shirts to life, the pair assume directing duties in this charming Aussie commercial. When the alarm goes off, an especially hirsute hand reaches over. Turns out it’s a sheepskin rug - or Ludde, to give its proper Ikea delineation.

Seek
"Why Settle?"
3 mins 16s
15 Mar 2017
We’ve all moaned to friends and family about work on occasion, but Australian recruitment site Seek believe they can guide us to a better vocation. This engaging film introduces us to three employees stuck in a rut. With a little help from those who know them best, they’re each given a fresh start courtesy of the advertised jobs hub. An encouraging message for job hunters.

Aldi
"MiniRoos"
60s
9 Mar 2017
Aldi let us know they're proud to partner with MiniRoos - Australia's biggest football programme for kids - in this inspirational ad. The beat-heavy soundtrack and crisp visual editing come together to capture the energy and tenacity of the kids, who are determined to play against all the odds. No goal, no pitch, no team? No problem.

NBN
"New Generation"
60s
27 Feb 2017
Change is afoot, according to this optimistic National Broadband Network commercial. Constantly improving internet access means more and more Australians can achieve their goals - whether that’s at work, home, or even underwater. A convincing means of positing Australia as a scientific and technological powerhouse.

Toyota Kluger
"Desirable"
30s
22 Feb 2017
This trope-subverting Australian ad for Toyota manages to have everything a car commercial needs - slick shots of the new Kluger gliding through a city, the set-up to a traditional seduction narrative as Clooney-lite notices the attractive driver - and then swoops in with brilliantly-timed comedy at the last minute. Quite a feat, and all in a neat 30".

Momentum
"Hi"
60s
10 Feb 2017
Australian energy company Momentum aim to be more than just a faceless supplier with the launch of a campaign introducing two characters who fall in love. Both are cleaners in large office blocks, and the man uses lamplight to attract the attention of his would-be amour. It's very sweet, and viewers are sure to find the pair endearing.

Meat & Livestock Australia
"Boat People"
2 mins 36s
13 Jan 2017
The annual ad from Meat & Livestock Australia encouraging people to celebrate Australia Day with a lamb barbecue has become a cultural event Down Under, and has picked up its share of plaudits and controversies over the years (last year they released 'the most diverse ad ever'). This year's ad features a controversial sped-up re-colonisation of the country... all for the love of a barbie.

Road Safety (Australia)
"Rethink Speed"
60s
14 Dec 2016
There’s some haunting imagery in this well-crafted Australian road safety film. We see a car and a young cyclist frozen in time as a near-miss. As the camera pans round, we see the same scenario escalate in crunching detail. The boy disappears after the third ‘crash’, yet his absence only compounds the horror. If speed can cause this much damage to a vehicle, what chance does a human have?

Myer
"Santa's Star"
90s
14 Nov 2016
The diminutive stars of Myer's 2015 Christmas ad return for another entertaining outing. This time, the four tree decorations have an astronomical repair job on their hands. When the star crash lands in the back garden, the angel sums up the situation eloquently: "Nah, that's carked it". They decide to rebuild the star with the department store's extensive collection of goods. Oh, and plenty of duck tape.

Airtasker
"Cynthia & Derek"
45s
2 Nov 2016
This tongue-in-cheek ad for Australian oddjob app Airtasker features a woman embracing her love of ping pong. Cleverly, the ad gets the proposition out of the way nice and early: upload a task, pick a bidder, and relax. The rest of the action belongs to the woman and her chosen handyman, Derek. Not that she's going to give him any credit. If anyone asks, she did it all "solo".

The Avalanches
"Because I'm Me"
4 mins 44s
2 Nov 2016
The Avalanches drop their sample-tastic approach to go for the 1970s Big Apple sound on this latest track. 'Because I'm Me' is evocative of classics like Odyssey's 'Native New Yorker' and 'More Than A Woman' by the Tavares - in fact, you could almost pop it into the Saturday Night Fever OST without anyone even noticing.

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