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.

CRAFTWORKS

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.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


Call of Duty: WWII
"Reassemble!"
90s
16 October 2017

Call of Duty’s roots lie in World War II. Having depicted contemporary and futuristic conflicts in recent times, the first-person shooter returns to the European theatre. This 90” commercial now urges lapsed gamers to re-enlist… like this lot.

Dave, ‘The Animal’, and co. may have drifted apart, but they’re soon united by one line: “Call of Duty is going back to World War II”. Forget careers, court cases, and coffee duties - this lot have their priorities in order.

Developers Sledgehammer have insisted their title will pay due reverence to World War II, though this ad projects a more breezy tone. It’s a tricky balance: can historical poignancy and mulitplayer bedlam coexist? We’ll find out on November 3rd.

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Federal Express
"Conspiracy Bookstore"
30s
16 October 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...

The design work in this film is truly impressive, and we recommend multiple viewings to take in all the background details. 'Did The 15th Century Happen?' and 'How Dinosaurs Built The Pyramids', in particular, are inspired titles. The comic beats are nicely timed too, particularly the delivery man's 'fake name' revelation. Director Randy Krallman does an awful lot here in just 30" - great work.

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CoppaFeel!
"Touch"
40s
16 October 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.

There’s more to this than shock value. The film also uses fun prop work to convey a simple message: get touchy-feely with your breasts. You never know - it could save your life.

Bold visuals are matched by an entertaining script. Whether you’re a rubber, a squeezer, or a tickler, the charity urges women to embrace their sense of touch. Cheeky, irreverent, and brave.

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CoverGirl
"Made in the Mirror"
1 min 40s
13 October 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.

Fittingly, each vignette has its own visual style: actress Issa Rae is lit by blue and purple hues; fitness instructor Massy Arias lifts weights in steely surroundings; while Shelina Moreda is a racetrack blur.

Contrasted with the modish cast and cinematography, the soundtrack provides old-school satisfaction. With Katy Perry busy backstage, Jefferson Airplane’s ‘And I Like It’ chimes well with the brand’s new, assertive ethos. A welcome addition to a rapidly maturing sector.

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Smyths
"Snot"
60s
13 October 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. Simply looking for somewhere to belong, the little green guy wanders the streets until he comes across a Smyths store... and manages to save Christmas via his, uh, unique properties.

A successful rhyming script is hard to pull off, and this one smartly embraces the surreal... though a touch more work might have ensured it scanned from start to finish. The script's ending is particularly satisfying, delivering the punchline we've been anticipating from the get go.

Snot, the sticky rascal, is set to appear in a range of plush toys and books for the brand - the profits of which go to Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Temple Street Foundation. This is lovingly crafted work from McCann Manchester, and the fact it's for a good cause is a nice bonus. Imaginative, thoroughly enjoyable stuff.

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On This Day

The Conran Shop
"Free Range"
2 mins
22 Oct 2010
This ad takes the idea that The Conran Shop is a provider of 'free-range furniture' and has a lot of fun with it. It opens with a sequence designed to remind us of break-ins at animal research labs but instead of nicotine-addicted beagles or monkeys with half their skulls missing, we are shown neglected office furniture in appalling conditions.

Thomson Holidays
"Quality Time"
90s
22 Oct 2011
A beautiful reminder of the importance of holidays from one of the country's leading providers of trips abroad. The decision to have the script narrated by a child proves inspired and his performance perfectly complements the understated sense of relaxation generated by the imagery.

Honda
"Do More New"
40s
22 Oct 2012
This impressive-looking new commercial for Honda is the first TV work for the car made by mcgarrybowen. A portal inside a house opens up and the car driver decides to accelerate towards it in the spirit of "do more new". The new he's doing isn't explicit (or even implicit) but that's one cool garage door.

Doctor Who
"The History of Who"
60s
22 Oct 2013
One of the most noticeable attributes of Doctor Who when it was revived by Russell T Davies was the respect the showrunner had for the programme's origins. As we approach next month's fiftieth anniversary and with a new incarnation in the offing, Red Bee Media have demonstrated that they too understand the fans' relationship with the long running science fiction programme by creating a fantastic trail which uses imagery from five decades of Doctor Who.

Google Glass
"FKA Twigs"
2 mins 12s
22 Oct 2014
FKA twigs has pretty much defined the blurry boundary between promo and commercial with this collaboration between herself and Glass from Google. Despite the meltdown of the traditional business model in the music industry, we've still tended to perceive the idea of an artist receiving money in exchange for the use of their work in advertising as a sell-out.

Direc TV
"Creepy Rob Lowe"
30s
22 Oct 2014
Direc TV keeps nailing it... once again, they've served up a delicious feast of an ad rather than a nuked TV meal. Rob Lowe is in fine form as his mature, respectable self with a Direc TV subscription - and the self he could have been if he were a cable TV viewer. While the first Rob is a clean cut, suit-wearing coffee drinker, the second is a supercreep who probably makes his own moonshine in hubcaps. Excellent.

Googlemaps
"Jane Goodall's Footsteps"
2 mins 40s
22 Oct 2014
Google's ambition knows no bounds and one of their recent projects enables us to take a 'street view' of the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. This bewitching film by James W Griffiths illustrates the beauty of the place. The words of Jane Goodall lend a certain gravity to Griffith's marvellous pictures and - together with a suitably stirring score - they create an immensely moving piece of film.

Coors Light
"Frozen Pint"
30s
22 Oct 2014
Having built his Ice Bar in the previous - and fantastic - ad, Jean-Claude Van Damme continues his search for something that matches the refreshment offered by a Coors Light. So we see him inside the bar itself, lovingly tending its surfaces and shimmying to a track on the ice jukebox. Satisfied with his moves, he goes to fetch his glass of the beer in question - only to find it's frozen solid.

Amazon Fire
"Fast and Furious 6"
30s
22 Oct 2014
This ad for Amazon Fire not only entertains but has its message firmly at the heart of the aspect that's most amusing. It focuses on the fact that the service responds to voice commands, and so has an array of unlikely people requesting Fast and Furious 6 as authoritatively as they can. Astutely, it acknowledges the novelty of this feature by showing the self-consciousness some have in behaving this way - if everyone onscreen were comfortable with it, we'd merely find it immensely irritating.

Boots No 7
"Makeup Doesn't Mean Anything"
60s
22 Oct 2016
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author and celebrated feminist speaker, is the new face of Boots No. 7 range of cosmetics. In between featuring on Beyoncé albums and writing thank-you notes to Michelle Obama, the woman often identified as the most influential in Africa finds time to give us her thoughts on cosmetics and their function in the world: 'Make-up is just make-up, it's how you feel wearing it that matters.'

Swatch
"Splash Mobile"
60s
22 Oct 2006
A boy splashing in a puddle on a dark, wet street seems to trigger the Blue Man Group to start some splashing of their own in a shop window. Hitting what appear to be liquid drums the trio soon attract a large crowd who are fascinated by the impromptu show.

BBC One
"Hippos"
30s
22 Oct 2006
One of eight new idents introducing a new look for the BBC features hippos who form the circle (a reference to the globe icon of yesteryear) which is the basis of BBC One's new identity. Hippos are an excellent choice as they also remind of the natural history programmes the BBC still does best.

Adidas
"Basketball Is A Brotherhood"
1 min 40s
22 Oct 2007
Part of an integrated campaign between TV and online that's running in the US, this ad takes a group of youngsters who have been selected to attend a camp for aspiring basketball players. What they don't know, until they get there, is that they are to be taught and mentored by established NBA stars.

Green Thing
"Walking"
30s
22 Oct 2007
Clever piece for a campaign which aims to persuade people to do their bit for the environment by walking when they might otherwise journey in a car. People are represented by a pair of fingers 'walking' their way through a series of landscapes which enable references to The Simpsons, James Bond and much, much more.

Gala Bingo
"Gadgets"
30s
22 Oct 2007
Another outing for the stay-at-home husband and his fully occupied wife. This time he is doing an inventory of all the gadgets she has abandoned in the garage and ponders all the money she must have spent on them. He compares it with all the fun he's had playing bingo for free.

Boots
"Multi-Tasking"
20s
22 Oct 2008
Women would rather have chocolate than sex. Men collapse into a pile of snotty uselessness when they have a cold. Women can multi-task while men cannot. There may come a time in the near future when every single TV commercial is built on one of these three notions.

Westfield London
"Shopping In A New Light"
60s
22 Oct 2008
A beautifully-made commercial shows shoppers being transformed into fairy like creatures as they are drawn to the light of the new shopping centre in west London. If this is the structure DAVID saw last time he was in the vicinity then he suspects shoppers are being sold a pup... but it's a gorgeously-filmed pup.

5 Seeds Extra Dry
"Birds v Humans"
60s
22 Oct 2009
This strange Australian cider ad shows how a collection of prehistoric humans battling for an apple core dropped by a crow prompts a woman to climb up a tree to nab an apple before the birds can get it. Silly nonsense.

Vodafone
"Eva Mendes"
60s
22 Oct 2009
This amusing Argentine ad is a stalker's guide to meeting your favourite celebrity. The protagonist describes the extraordinary lengths to which he goes in order to track down the mobile phone number of Eva Mendes. But is he brave enough to use it?

Restaurant
"Strange Combinations"
40s
22 Oct 2009
French chef Raymond Blanc inspects a series of dishes made from strange combinations in this trailer for the virtual TV in which couples attempt to demonstrate that they have what it takes to run a successful restaurant. The music is the theme from The Odd Couple.

Peugeot
"Gramophone"
30s
22 Oct 2009
Although the photography is very striking, it's actually the sound design that grabs the imagination in this commercial for Peugeot which appears to demonstrate that any day can be a beautiful day from the comforting innards of the advertised vehicle.

Clover
"Can I Kick It?"
60s
22 Oct 2011
A geriatric choir knocks a version of the rap classic "Can I Kick It?" (once used to brilliant effect in a Nike ad). The idea is to underline the product's position as a healthy alternative to butter generating a positive response to the answer to the question: "can I have it?"

British Airways
"The Happy Jumper"
30s
22 Oct 2012
Oh British Airways, why did you choose today of all days to have your new commercials ready to be reviewed on here? On any other day DAVID would be prepared to compliment the simplicity of this ad showing a woolly jumper falling slowly into a suitcase but after the airline's incompetence buggered up a trip to London this morning, we can only do so through gritted teeth.

British Airways
"The Friendly Lemon"
30s
22 Oct 2012
Now that Easyjet have begun assigning seats, British Airways is limited in its points of difference with the budget airline and the decision to focus on those that remain serves only to remind the public that there aren't many reasons for choosing them. Here, it's suggested we should fly BA for a free gin and tonic with a slice of lemon... hmmmm.

Red Cross
"Will"
60s
22 Oct 2012
There's a great performance at the heart of this film for the British Red Cross from an actor playing a man compiling his will. After leaving family members with the lion's share of his estate, he thinks of the advertised charity and speaks of their good works with impeccable clarity and passion.

On This Day

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