David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Pensions in ParadiseSwedish insurance providers AMF take a surreal approach in this entertaining ad for their pension plan.
    • (Un)dead useful advice.It’s a modern conversation staple: “What would you do in a zombie apocalypse”? Well, Joe Wilkinson has got us covered.
    • City of stars.With ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ on the horizon, this Broadway-inspired commercial urges us to “do the Odyssey”.
    • Follow The LeaderMars have released a series of short horror films to coincide with the spookiest month of the year.
    • By 'eck, it's Melanie Sykes!Here's a blast from the past. Boddingtons is back on the telly and they've brought Melanie Sykes along en'all.
    • Howlin' for you.Green & Black’s launch their Velvet Editions collection with a Red Riding reboot.
    • The Seeds of ChangeThis atmospheric film for Prudential explores the work of Jadav Payeng - dubbed the 'Forest Man of India'.
    • If Music Be The Food of LoveThis charming ad from IKEA's French arm depicts a budding romance... impeded by awkwardness, loud music, and fluffy socks.
    • Bennett Johnson joins Park Village.Park Village have bolstered their roster with the signing of filmmaker Bennett Johnson.
    • First blood.AMV BBDO have struck another fierce blow against the orthodoxical coyness used to advertise sanitary protection products with a brilliant commercial for Libresse.
    • Gallivanting Grannies McDonald's reckon their chicken tenders are as good as Grandma's... and Grandma's okay with that.


Wednesday, 11th October.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

The LSE, Sheffield Street, Holborn, London, WC2.

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How we made... BT Sport.

● Ian Derry.

● The Bake-Off Challenge.

● Believe's Michel & Nico.

● The Dambusters Renuion.


19 October 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.

The bloke catches the bus home on a rainy night, feeling sorry for himself as he goes over his to-do list with quiet resignation. The combination of voiceover and performance here is great, as the protagonist radiates reluctance at the prospect of changing tyres and attending parents evening.

The tone shifts when a unicorn backpack charm catches his eye and transports him to his happy place. It's all frolicking and sunshine from then on in... and all for a reason we might not expect. This is funny, astute work which doesn't take itself too seriously.

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Now TV
"Walker Survival Guide"
2 mins 30s
19 October 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. No tips on how to survive a barbed wire baseball bat to the head, either.

Still, Wilkinson’s short fuse and the production designed to evoke the apocalypse combine to provide comedy which will chime with zombie fans everywhere. It also taps into the shared frustration felt by audiences of these programmes when one of the characters does something that's plainly idiotic.

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Super Mario Odyssey
"Jump Up, Super Star!"
1 min 40s
19 October 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. Promo specialist Fu handles a sizable cast - he even coaxes a sprightly performance from the venerable plumber.

The game’s theme song delivers, too. ‘Jump Up, Super Star!’ conveys the title’s sandbox freedom with toe-tapping charm. Amidst autumn’s glut of first-person shooters and adults-only fare, Nintendo’s flagship platformer offers pure escapism.

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"Floor 9.5"
2 mins
13 October 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. A woman trying to leave work gets stuck between floors on the lift, only for the doors to open on something she doesn't expect...

It's an unusual take on a familiar concept, with sparse visuals and a minimal soundtrack contributing to the psychological terror. We won't spoil the twist, but needless to say we'll be taking the stairs from now on.

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"Tour de Formby"
18 October 2017

Here's a blast from the past. Boddingtons is back on the telly and they've brought Melanie Sykes along en'all. Older viewers and students of advertising will probably recall a series of classic commercials featuring the model-turned-TV presenter. In each - as here - the viewer was fooled into thinking they were watching something earnest before the rug was pulled from beneath their feet by Sykes's broad northern vowels.

Danny Kleinman - who directed some of the original ads twenty years ago - brings a few modern flourishes to the campaign but essentially the formula is the same as ever... and that's a good shout. The reunion has already sparked national press coverage and seems sure to prove a winner for the Manchester-based beer.

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On This Day

Apple iPod
20 Oct 2005
US rap star Eminem struts his stuff on behalf of corporate rebel brand Apple and, more specifically, the iPod. Thanks to the goody two shoes image of the average Apple user, over-rich musical superstars like to kid themselves that the music will be legally downloaded. Yeah right. Neat animation.

20 Oct 2006
Beautiful piece of physical comedy here in an very amusing commercial lasting just ten seconds. Hearing she's won £99 in a competition, a woman slams down the box of washing powder in celebration. Unfortunately, its contact with her bloke's doughnut sees him squirted with a dramatic quantity of jam.

"At The Stroke Of Midnight"
2 mins 40s
20 Oct 2010
This sumptuous updating of the Cinderella story is set to occupy an entire ad break during this Saturday's broadcast of The X Factor. It's an epic film with a winning new take on the tale. Further proof that advertisers are keeping faith with television advertising in these straitened times.

Sky Bet
"What If..."
20 Oct 2011
This excellent commercial for Sky Bet asks a series of questions about the likely outcome of a sporting contest. It includes some fairly random imagery but it's all to good effect and this appears destined to capture the imagination of those who enjoy a flutter from time to time.

"Playin' With My Friends"
20 Oct 2012
In this utterly charming commercial for Ikea, a number of children are joined by outsized imaginary friends as they put together a tea party. It's been made to look as though it was filmed in a single continuous shot which gives it that extra dose of dynamism that this impression always delivers (whether it's real or not).

20 Oct 2013
The tantalising promise of a trip across the English Channel is used to entice punters onto the trains of Eurostar in this lovely compendium of images created by HLA's Simon Ratigan. It was brave to imply that not everything we'll find on the continent will be entirely to our taste (these, after all, are countries where you don't have to commit fraud to persuade people to eat horse meat).

Road Safety (Scotland)
20 Oct 2015
Road safety films - as we've said before - offer only a limited number of ways to communicate their message. Some manage to hit the mark, others don't... usually because they're too heavy-handed. What makes this one stand out is the way it brings home the way friends and family can be oblivious to the unfolding tragedy of a fatal accident.

Halo 5: Guardians
"The Hunt Begins"
20 Oct 2015
‘Halo’ may come across as sci-fi hooey to the uninitiated, but considering the series boasts two of the biggest entertainment launches in history, it possesses a cultural cachet envied by other forms of media. To mark the launch of ‘Halo 5: Guardians’, twofifteenmccann treat us to a campaign finale that brings the game’s universe-shattering conflict to life.

20 Oct 2016
Duracell do some good for the holiday season and tug at the heartstrings in this action-packed film all about the power of imagination to get us through tough times. Set in a children's hospital that transforms into a starship and a rebel base, kids on the ward make-believe their way across the universe to deliver an important droid to their friend who can't get out of bed.

Saint Vincent De Paul
5 mins 17s
20 Oct 2016
This absorbing short film from the Society of St Vincent de Paul reminds us of what technology has achieved... and what remains beyond its grasp. To the strains of Bonnie Dobson's 'Morning Dew', a woman and her robot caregiver enjoy a gentle dance in the living room. It's a beguiling yet peaceful image, though we slowly learn the sad reality of Claudine's living arrangements.

Ryvita Minis
"Fern Britton's New Body"
20 Oct 2004
In an ad sure to draw complaints, full-figured TV Presenter Fern Britton is given a new body with a bit of post-production wizardry. The suggestion that this product can contribute to stunning weight loss will not go down well.

Sky Sports
"A1 Grand Prix"
20 Oct 2005
A number of racing sports fans do their vocal impersonations of a speeding Grand Prix car in this ad for Sky Sports's coverage of the alternative series to the endlessly dull yet, strangely popular, phenomenon that is Formula One.

"Seconds From Greatness"
20 Oct 2007
The longest ad in this series linking Guinness with the rugby World Cup works better for the absence of the portentous voiceover as it allows Marc Craste's marvellous animation to dominate proceedings. They saved the best until last, just a shame England didn't manage to do the same.

Renault Laguna
"Everything In One Car"
20 Oct 2007
Otis Redding's Dock Of The Bay plays as we see people moving along in the inside cage of a car illustrating that different people have different priorities when it comes to their motoring choices. The Renault Laguna apparently enables you to have the best of all worlds.

B & Q
20 Oct 2008
A man sits in a park rehearsing his lines for a new TV ad for B & Q. An onlooker is unsurprisingly perturbed by this and shifts uncomfortably towards the end of the bench. This is a neat way of emphasising the offer while bringing a little humanity to the brand.

20 Oct 2008
Some kind of denouement is coming in the gloomy BBC soap opera and this intriguing trail suggests it may not end well for Max. To the accompaniment of a suitably fateful track from Johnny Cash, the actor who plays him is led into a morgue and even shown the tag that may soon be tied around his toe. Eek.

Sky Two
"Twister 2"
20 Oct 2008
Another impressive demonstration of High Definition in the new idents for Sky television. This time objects being flung around by a 'twister' collide with the giant numeral and shatter it impressively.

Sky Two
"Whack 2"
20 Oct 2008
In a fairground, teenagers play 'Whack A Mole' with numerals replacing the part of the small mammals who normally pop their heads up to be smashed. This is the latest of the new series of visually impressive idents being used by Sky to promote their main entertainment channels.

Sky Two
"Boxes 2"
20 Oct 2008
A series of green crystal objects flow from one cardboard box to another until the second moves aside and the objects form a numeral. This is the latest in the new series of idents which convincingly gets across the idea of high definition output on the satellite broadcaster's main entertainment stations.

Sony Ericsson
"Spark Something"
20 Oct 2009
A couple climb aboard a pair of space hoppers and, because they send images of themselves bouncing on them around the world, soon everybody in the city is using one to have fun. And none of this would be possible without the advertised camera... actually, that's not true.

"Snack Swapper"
20 Oct 2009
Another initiative designed to promote healthy living being funded by the NHS. A plasticine Mum and her young child decide to use something called the 'snack swapper' to avoid unhealthy food in favour of better alternatives.

Betty Crocker
20 Oct 2009
A little boy cutely explains how he enjoys baking with his mother and his sister. There's lots of loving close-ups of children's faces as the young lad licks the "patchula", sits in front of the oven and generally behaves adorably to sell cake mix.

The F Word
"Food Testing"
20 Oct 2009
Craggy-faced anger-management candidate Gordon Ramsay is back for another series of The F Word and this attractively filmed trail shows a series of chefs queuing up to stuff a morsel of their food into his over-active gob. DAVID would proffer his Cyanide Prawns.

20 Oct 2010
Another series of "nom-nom-nom"s emanate from the mouths of those enjoying the advertised dairy products. Like the preceding ad, it cleverly succeeds in getting across the idea that that this is a delicious product that people will enjoy eating and it seems to be a perfect approach for a television advertising launch.

Epson Printers
"World's Fastest Inkjet"
2 mins 18s
20 Oct 2010
This attempt to demonstrate the speed of the advertised inkjet printer doesn't really come off. The exercise has been filmed impressively with as much drama as possible injected into the action but this cannot disguise the fact that the test is completely contrived and appears nonsensical.

On This Day

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