David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • GOT ya!Charles Dance gives an inspiring team talk in this film promoting the forthcoming rugby World Cup.
    • Veni vidi viciThe grunts of extreme physical exertion provide the soundtrack to this ad promoting the Invictus Games; the sports challenge for soldiers wounded in the line of duty.
    • Remembering the fallenThis film for the Royal British legion reveals how we can pay tribute to those who died in the First World War.
    • Teenage KicksGerman DIY chain Hornbach wants us to know they can cater to our tastes without prejudice.
    • Insurance with all the fixingsThis spot decisively severs all ties with the phone line graphic so familiar to Direct Line and puts Harvey Keitel somewhat unexpectedly in its place.
    • Black is the new blackBadass, hi-octane, supercharged - this pan-African ad for Guinness is nothing if not rammed to the gills with attitude.
    • The answer's in the skySky teams up with Disneymedia+ and Pixar again for the second Toy Story spot promoting broadband.
    • Run for your lifeThis remarkably touching ad for CICB is filmed entirely from the POV of a wife and mother from the morning before her breast cancer diagnosis to her return home after surgery.
    • NaysayersThe Scottish Better Together campaign unleashes the Woman Who Made Up Her Mind on an unsuspecting electorate.
    • ElephantasyIn this CGI-riven film for Mr Kipling, a young boy is joined by a pink elephant he's just drawn and they have a little dance in the park.

THE BLACK BOX

JASON:

That film urging people to vote 'No' in the Independence Referendum is unbelievable.

ALICE:

It really is.

JASON:

I can't believe how patronising it is.

ALICE:

Absolutely shocking.

JASON:

It makes women look like they haven't got a clue.

ALICE:

I know. One question though.

JASON:

What's that?

ALICE:

Is the 'No' campaign asking us to say 'no' to independence or 'no' to the union with England?


Rugby World Cup
"Team Talk"
2 mins 40s
1 September 2014

There are certain entertainment franchises that have a tendency to overshadow the other achievements of their participants. So it's with a heavy heart that DAVID's obliged to report that it's Charles Dance - from Game of Thrones - who gives an amazing team talk in this film promoting the forthcoming rugby World Cup.

Dance originally made his name in an ITV drama series about the British Raj and for years he was known as Jewel In The Crown's Charles Dance so - at the very least - he's used to it.

He gives such a great performance in this tongue-in-cheek ad that he really ought to become known as the rugby World Cup's Charles Dance but we doubt the obsessive Game of Thrones audience is quite ready to relinquish their grasp yet.

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Invictus Games
"I Am Invictus"
60s
1 September 2014

The grunts of extreme physical exertion provide the soundtrack to this ad promoting the Invictus Games; the sports challenge for soldiers wounded in the line of duty. This simple but intelligent communication lets it dawn slowly on us what we're witnessing and gives a sense of the single-minded determination it must take to compete.

There's no posturing, no bombastic triumphal music and no booming narrator trying to inject a buzz of drama. Instead, we're given the POV of one of the competitors and a hint of the sacrifice he's made. Combined with the kind of stoicism that makes steel look like balsa wood, he's already shaping up as a formidable figure... impressive stuff.

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Royal British Legion
"Every Man Remembered"
60s
1 September 2014

Is DAVID alone in thinking the anniversary of the start of World War I has been badly mishandled? Perhaps it's because the events marking the centenary began in January - but there doesn't seem to have been the right level of gravitas in most of the coverage.

This film for the Royal British legion offers a glimpse of how it ought to have been done. Infused with a dignified sombreness, it reminds us of the human tragedy that started to unfold a hundred years ago.

It appears to be allied with a project that's made it possible to use a facility at local newspaper websites to search the streets where we live for the names of those who died in the conflict.

The website reveals that our nation is covered by a patchwork of the ghostly remnants of this terrible war. It's oddly moving to discover - as DAVID did - that Thomas Russell, just 26 years old when he died, once lived next door.

The featured ad is part of project that's seeking an individual commemoration for every soldier who died. This ambitious idea was inspired by a 14 year old schoolgirl who visited the war graves and felt "it was a shame for some people to have dozens of poppies and crosses while others had no one left to remember them."

It's in its early stages and so far around 40,000 tributes have been made with well over a million men awaiting commemoration.

The film - directed by Stevie Russell from a script by RKCR/Y&R - demonstrates how any of us can forge a connection to someone who died.

It's a great initiative and a brilliant way of exploiting our ability to use social networking to spread the word and do something positive. DAVID has created a tribute for Captain Russell... is there someone whom you'd like to commemorate?

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Hornbach
"Goth"
45s
1 September 2014

Teenage alienation is a common enough theme in television advertising but you might not have seen it being dealt with quite as sympathetically as it is in this splendid German commercial for Hornbach.

All the tropes are on show in the first half of the ad with the main protagonist enduring a great deal of mockery during a day at school because of the Goth styling she's adopted. Her contemporaries snigger as a toad is sent her way in the classroom while she doodles darkly in her notepad, and emphatic production design makes it clear how out of place she is in the school gym.

Her journey home doesn't improve anything as fellow pedestrians give her dirty looks and a startled flock of birds take off as she passes to bring home her other-worldliness.

The pay-off is genuinely unexpected and cleverly makes the point that family is the most important thing with Hornbach providing punters with whatever they need to make their own statements.

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Ultimate ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Chris Thomas - an up and coming director at Smuggler Films - apparently walked out of the company's Great Portland Street office the other day while muttering about the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.

He'd been nominated to take part and didn't want to be just another Facebook goon with a bucket.

So he got inventive and this morning he returned to the office having spent the day messing around on the canal near Warwick Avenue.


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On This Day

Lynx
"You Never Know When"
40s
3 Sep 2004
One of our absolute favourite ads of all time shows the aftermath of a romantic encounter prompted by the advertised smelly stuff. A great choice of soundtrack and terrific casting ensure that the very best is made of a lovely conceit.

Vodafone
"Time Theft"
90s
3 Sep 2007
A man's attempts to meet his girlfriend at lunchtime are frustratingly thwarted by the demands of his job in this dramatic ad. This is illustrated via a depiction which has him appear to arrive at their rendezvous only to find himself back in the office. His despair can be brought to an end by Vodafone.

Re:member Card
"Impulses"
60s
3 Sep 2007
Compelling and dark, this film urging financial responsibility describes the dangerous impulses we all sometimes have to fight to resist. Each of the scenarios depicts someone appearing to capitulate to their inner demons and serves as a stark, yet humorous, warning.

Surf
"Duvet"
40s
3 Sep 2008
Surprisingly, it turns out that claiming you can get carried away by the fragrance of your laundry product isn't an inherently bad idea... it just hadn't been done right before. A woman crawls inside her duvet cover and discovers a whole soft world inside complete with Mediterranean lemon groves. Lovely.

HSBC
"Lumberjack"
90s
3 Sep 2008
A lovely tale showing the impact of differences of opinion and how they can then be resolved. The connection with HSBC may be a little spurious but set that aside and enjoy the gentle manner in which the story unfolds. Hats off to JWT and Vince Squibb at Gorgeous for a damn fine piece of work.

Betsafe
"Baby Duel"
30s
3 Sep 2009
Another bizarre bet is won in this surreal series of commercial from Sweden. A pair of Mums appear to have had a wager on which of them will be the first to have their faces bedecked with baby wee after they've fed a bottle of milk to their young children.

Samsung
"Everyone Can Take Part"
90s
3 Sep 2012
There are displays of astonishing positivity in this commercial drawing attention to Samsung's sponsorship of the Paralympic Games. The lack of squeamishness and the extraordinary celebration of the extraordinary exhibited by this and the excellent Channel 4 trails have really helped to shift attitudes. Advertising at its best.

Nissan Juke
"City of Stormtroopers"
50s
3 Sep 2013
This exquisitely-made spot for the Japanese market is tuned to resonate with a generation of men for whom Star Wars was as much a way of life when they were boys as Harry Potter has been for this generation of children. One storm trooper - a mere ant in the colony - wants more from his lot... and when he sees the Juke glide past, he knows just what to do.

Waitrose
"Wildlife"
30s
3 Sep 2006
Fluffy animals are looked after by Waitrose's suppliers, according to this ad that looks at our furry and feathered friends before a tractor passes by inflicting as little as damage as possible to their habitat.

Motorola
"Competitors Despair"
30s
3 Sep 2007
According to this ad, the advent of a new model from Motorola has the competition in despair. This includes a pair of designer types who are speaking a language that sounds like it is probably Finnish. Now, who could they have in mind? Hmmm... tough one.

Ant N Dec
"Fiting it All In"
30s
3 Sep 2007
Excellent trail for the new series of the likeable Geordies' Saturday night programme has the two talking very fast as they discuss the amount of stuff they need to squeeze into their show and how they will need to get used to going at that speed to fit it all in.

Motorola
"Competitors Despair"
60s
3 Sep 2007
According to this ad, the advent of a new model from Motorola has the competition in despair. This includes a pair of designer types who are speaking a language that sounds like it is probably Finnish. Now, who could they have in mind? Hmmm... tough one.

Sony Ericsson
"Sania"
30s
3 Sep 2007
Really neat depiction of the manner in which Sony Ericsson's phones integrate into your life. The way aspects of the phone become lit images from real life works particularly well here, especially the sequence where the keypad becomes the windows of a moving train.

Birds Eye
"Mortgage Competition"
20s
3 Sep 2007
Veteran songster Suggs is sat at the dining table in a lively household when the action suddenly freezes and he is able to tell us about a competition where the winners will get their mortgages paid off by the food company. A stunningly good exhibition of this particular special effect.

Asda
"Ian Wright"
40s
3 Sep 2007
DAVID's going to start to sound sexist about the Fallon's campaign but haven't Paul Whitehouse and, now, Ian Wright seemed so much more at ease than Victoria Wood and Liza Tarbuck? Wright, who often seems uncomfortable in front of a camera, is in his element here in the best ad yet in this series.

Peperami
"School Box"
10s
3 Sep 2007
An addition to this excellent long-running campaign has the main character getting 'junior' ready for his first day at school. What the youngster doesn't realise is that it will also be his last as it gets chucked into a waiting lunchbox.

Saab
"Scandinavian Design"
30s
3 Sep 2007
Saab takes advantage of our fondness for Scandinavian design in their latest salvo which juxtaposes instances of their celebrated innovations with objects we wouldn't generally think worthy of them. The effect is surreal but isn't the underlying message that they dress things up unnecessarily?

Asda
"Cooking Fish"
40s
3 Sep 2007
Anyone who has had the dubious pleasure of having children assist while cooking will recognise Ian Wright's behaviour in the kitchen. He is like a hyperactive toddler unable to add a dash more of an ingredient without being invited to do so, explaining, "that's what chefs do".

NHS
"Arm Against"
30s
3 Sep 2008
Teenage girls are to be given an injection immunising them against HPV and thus protecting them, to some degree, from cervical cancer. This low-key film is clearly designed to both remind and reassure as the programme is unrolled. Expect opposition from elements of the right who can't understand that teenagers have sex.

Virgin Media
"Mel B"
60s
3 Sep 2008
Mel B from The Spice Girls turns up at the Swiss clinic previously occupied by Mick Hucknall. She's after a bit of breast enhancement because she wants to get into the movies but the doctor suggests Virgin Media where she can watch films instead of appearing in them. This campaign is like an animated version of Bo Selecta.

New Zealand Tourist Board
"Forever Young"
60s
3 Sep 2008
Mountains rose from the sea and the country of New Zealand was born, according to this appealing ad trying to persuade us to commit to the time and money required to reach a country on the other side of the world. The soundtrack emphasises the idea that this is a young country for young people.

Nokia N-Gage
"Apple"
30s
3 Sep 2008
Filmed to look like it was shot incognito, this ad has a man playing with the advertised product while aboard an underground train. He asks the man sat next to him to fetch him an apple from the bag in front of him so he doesn't have to stop concentrating on the game.

Kellogg's Rice Krispies
"Mother & Daughter"
20s
3 Sep 2009
Another charming commercial for the popular breakfast cereal shows a Mum having fun at the dining table with her young daughter. The idea here is that the food is 'wonderfully simple' and this campaign follows the same principle too good effect.

Vaseline Essential Moisture
"40 Years"
20s
3 Sep 2009
Apparently, Vaseline has been keeping skin amazing for forty years and this jaunty piece seeks to demonstrate that it's been doing a cracking job all that time. Well, not a 'cracking job' obviously... that wouldn't be a very good job at all, if you think about it.

British Airways
"Mumbai"
30s
3 Sep 2009
Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai is one of the many destinations you could choose if you opted to allow British Airways to further your business opportunities. Was the airline tempted to draw our attention to this because of their long-running devotion to Delibes Lakmé?

On This Day

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