David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

HSBC
"Life Cycle"
60s
8 July 2017
UK Banks

A child provides the voiceover as a man recalls his life through a series of bike rides in this film promoting an HSBC initiative. We first see him with a playing card positioned to generate the cool noise loved by Generation X in their youth before we leap forward a few decades and see who he has become.

This a prelude to a staged journey through his life, with costume designer Emma Savill and production designers Benedict Lack and Samuel Waters working overtime to conjure each of the depicted eras.

This perfectly-judged nostalgia feels certain to arouse memories of a bygone freedom among viewers of a certain age, and this may well persuade them to re-acquaint themselves with the joy of cycling, as the ad hopes.

We have long championed the overseas work of director Jesper Ericstam, so it's great to see he's now being given opportunities in London, and that he's doing such a fine job with them.

BT
"Fran and Tyrone"

Gary said:

Feels real and genuine. Love the simplicity.


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HSBC
"Life Cycle"
60s
8 Jul 2017
A child provides the voiceover as a man recalls his life through a series of bike rides in this film promoting an HSBC initiative. We first see him with a playing card positioned to generate the cool noise loved by Generation X in their youth before we leap forward a few decades and see who he has become.

HSBC
"Pride"
2 mins 53s
7 Jul 2017
This emotive film for HSBC explores the origins of the Pride march, tracing from its beginnings to where it is today. We're introduced to two men who have strong connections to the movement: Andrew, who was part of the first Pride march, and Jamie, a transgender man who carried the British flag during Pride London.

HSBC
"Swimmer"
60s
27 Mar 2017
A heart-warming tale of parental devotion is used to illustrate the support offered by HSBC when you need a mortgage in a hurry. The protagonists are a father and daughter who rise early each morning so the former can get the latter to the local swimming pool for her daily training session. It appears to be an eye-wateringly exhausting regime but they are each dedicated to it and they plough on despite the tiredness.

HSBC
"The Journey"
60s
22 Mar 2017
Willie Nelson's 'On the Road Again' scores this charming ad promoting the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. A rugby ball crosses all manner of terrain in order to reach the players' tunnel before kick-off. It's a neat way of reflecting the tournament's international reach, and Outsider's Jim Gilchrist ensures a bouncy treatment. Lovely ball work, too.

HSBC
"Date"
72s
16 Feb 2017
This ad for HSBC's Fast Balance service is sweet without being too sugary as we watch an elderly gent prove you're never too old for first date jitters. While the big band soundtrack and the sepia-tinged palette underline his age he's evidently not stuck in the past; at ease with texting and using HSBC's mobile banking app. Classy stuff.

HSBC
"Jade"
60s
11 Jan 2017
HSBC Premier launch their Jade membership scheme with this attractive-looking commercial. After delivering a mysterious box (the best kind of box), a young boy finds all doors open to him as he explores the high life. We're left unsure about what being a Jade member entails, but, then again, this is likely aimed at a very select portion of the bank's clientele.

HSBC
"Voice Password"
60s
4 Jan 2017
Everyone wants their voice to count; now HSBC are giving customers the chance to use their dulcet tones as a password. Even woodland dens like this one have changed with the times. It's a familiar conceit: take a product or concept and make it look like child's play - an especially popular approach in the banking sector.

HSBC
"Super Rare"
60s
24 Aug 2016
First Direct has been offering speedy mobile banking for a while now, so its parent company HSBC isn't giving its customers anything ground-breaking by providing the same. However, this spot is so charmingly memorable that you'd be forgiven for thinking it is; and indeed it leaves you almost wishing they were.

HSBC
"Hong Kong Sevens"
60s
4 Apr 2016
HSBC typically have some fireworks in store when it comes to promoting their sponsorship of the World Rugby Sevens Series, and this film maintains their form in eye-catching fashion. Blink Ink turn Hong Kong into a supercharged Arcadia as players summon all sorts of fantastical powers in their journey to the stadium.

HSBC
"Chung"
60s
10 Mar 2016
When Chung's dream of becoming a kung fu master receives a frosty reception from his father, he puts his hands to a different use by training to become a surgeon. While life didn't turn out the way he once hoped, he was able to embrace the changes it brought and enjoy the adventure... no doubt with a little help from the advertised bank.

HSBC
"Audrey"
60s
10 Mar 2016
No matter how many stories we consume, or how accustomed we become to plot twists, our lives have a knack of surprising us at every turn. This sentiment drives a new campaign from HSBC starting with Audrey, a young girl rewriting her own script as time goes on. After all, life would be rather dull without a few twists and turns in the road.

HSBC
"Sorted Food"
90s
10 Feb 2016
Back in 2009, a bunch of young guys decided to put their tales and tips about cooking online, which became the website Sorted Food and which has acquired more than a million contributing subscribers. This spot for HSBC has them encouraging others to put their dreams into practice and make them into actual ambitions to be realised.

HSBC
"Jamal Edwards"
90s
10 Feb 2016
While the majority of us won't have a clue who Jamal Edwards is, a vast swathe of young adults do. Edwards - now 25 - founded SBTV on YouTube ten years ago; uploading amateur clips of underground rap / grime artists; many of whom (including Ed Sheeran) are now huge names. He talks here about self-belief, and reminds us to listen to those closest to us.

HSBC
"Chelsea Howe"
90s
8 Feb 2016
Game designer Chelsea Howe is the focus of this HSBC commercial which charts her rise from player to Creative Director at EA Mobile. The connection to the advertised bank leans more on the tangential side, but Howe's story is told in an engaging visual fashion, and HSBC wants us to know that it encourages more people to pursue their ambitions from start to finish.

HSBC
"The Last Toy"
60s
15 Dec 2015
This sweet commercial for HSBC is yet another reminder from a financial institution that they are backing Apple Pay. The last minute gift for a young child proves to be a winner when she opens it on Christmas morning. When we're being encouraged to spend as much as possible on our children, it's nice to see a heartfelt was inexpensive soft toy meaning the world to a youngster.

HSBC
"Charged Up"
30s
8 Dec 2015
HSBC's association with 'rugby sevens' continues according to this vibrant piece which uses special effects to underline the so-called 'excitement' of the sport. Natural and unnatural forces of nature alike are evoked by the animation sitting atop the live action and manage to make rugby look a lot more dynamic than it actually is.

HSBC
"Museum of Procrastinaton"
60s
5 Nov 2015
This imaginative ad for HSBC is a visually appealing follow-up to their recent 'Invitation' commercial and one that builds on their image as a bank that opens possibilities. An avuncular museum guide takes a party on a tour through some of procrastination's finest achievements: accumulated gym memberships; mountains of manuscripts; and enough once-played instruments to supply a music festival.

HSBC
"The Invitation"
60s
31 Oct 2015
This lovely, low-key spot for HSBC focuses on its One Day Mortgage Approval offer. A small plot of land has been bought in a rural fishing village, and locals raise their eyebrows and smile wryly as a young girl hands out home-made flyers inviting them all to a house-warming that same night. But even as she delivers the invitations, the house is being built.

HSBC
"Apple Pay / Coffee Shop"
30s
22 Sep 2015
A lone runner on the dark, wet and deserted city streets takes a break from her circuit and nips into a coffee shop. Inside it's equally deserted... almost that is, for there is a school-age girl studying hard in a corner. The runner gazes at her, reminiscing, perhaps; and thanks to her Apple Pay card she can buy the girl good luck drink unobtrusively. As you do.

HSBC
"Lift"
90s
10 Jun 2015
The word 'journey' is so over-used these days that it may soon be time to pop it in a small suede box and let it have a rest for a hundred years or so but - before we reach that point - it's absolutely the best word to describe this extraordinary film which depicts a man's 'journey' through life via glimpses of pivotal moments, all set in a lift.

HSBC
"Housewarming"
60s
10 Apr 2015
The authentic depiction of a house move really comes to life in this 60" version. So much of the loving detail is lost in the 30" that you really have to wonder why it appears to be getting more airtime than this far superior edit (well, we know why... but why not run this version less frequently if the advertiser wants to rein in the media spend?).

HSBC
"House Warming"
30s
1 Apr 2015
Candles and improvised crockery remind us all of that exciting first day in a new house in this attractive-looking commercial for HSBC. Michael 'Jambon' Gambon was given a day off in the recording booth, and it's remarkable how much this shifts the mood. It may have lost that self-satisfied tone he provides but it's also lost some of its distinctiveness and this could - in truth - be an ad for any mortgage provider. It's just as well it looks as good as it does.

HSBC
"Pink Ladies"
60s
26 Dec 2014
This touching tale revolves around HSBC's Advance account; suggesting the bank understands that every young person's financial journey is in part dependent on factors they can't anticipate. These factors can be good, or they can be bad... the key thing is that HSBC want us to know they see their customers as human beings. Love the young woman's expression at the end.

HSBC
"Anyone's Game"
60s
2 Nov 2014
Golf's elitist image is unceremoniously stripped and shredded by this vibrant compendium of vignettes purporting to democratise the game on behalf of HSBC. If it feels busy then that's because it is... many of the most memorable images are on screen for little more than half a second. Indeed, there are more than eighty different shots in under a minute - and this contributes hugely to the impressive sense of dynamism created by director Scott Lyon (and editor Art Jones).

HSBC
"Acceptance Speech"
60s
11 Sep 2014
In this attractively filmed commercial for HSBC, a number of people rehearse acceptance speeches in a fashion which suggests that everything is going swimmingly for them. The bank is happy to play a background role and they're not expecting to be among those thanked when the speeches are delivered but - in a slightly passive-aggressive way - they're reminding us that none of it was possible without them.

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