David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • The long good getaway.Fans of 'The Wire' will notice something very familiar about this gang of ham-fisted bank robbers.
    • Can we take Sir Anthony Hopkins at his word?Sir Anthony Hopkins has too much integrity to ever consider shilling. Says the man sipping from a TurboTax-branded teacup!
    • Enjoy the Dark Knightlife of Gotham City.Batman's home town receives the slick promotional treatment courtesy of Turkish Airlines.
    • Wear it like Beckham.This H & M ad has Becks hitting the town while wearing items from his Modern Essentials range. Turns out the whole town has the same idea.
    • Small can, big temper.It's larger than life versus smaller than life as Bruce Banner's Hulk takes signature umbrage at Scott Lang's Ant-Man nicking his mini can of Coke.
    • Not every youngster goes off the rails.DSB - Denmark's largest rail company - see train journeys a little differently in this film brimming with youthful brio.
    • Making boundaries clear.The latest brand to get in on the CGI critter action is outdoor clothing name Marmot, and you can't blame them for looking close to home for mascot inspiration.
    • Cutting out the middle manMuch as we are loath to describe a chocolate ad as sweet, this commercial for Hershey's keeps the saccharine factor within palatable levels.
    • Examining a new branch of sofologyWe really like that sofaworks is not afraid to widen its horizons and get a bit adventurous. In fact, a lot adventurous compared with its rivals.
    • Baby food.It's the last year of Doritos annual competition to "crash the Super Bowl" and a moment to reflect on the commercials it has generated.

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Toyota Prius
"The Longest Chase"
90s
9 February 2016

Fans of 'The Wire' will notice something very familiar about this gang of ham-fisted bank robbers. In a pleasing nod to the drama's second season, Toyota have reunited three members of the Sobotka family (actors Chris Bauer, Pablo Schreiber, and James Ransone, plus one ringer) for some far more light-hearted criminal activity.

Boxset memories aside, it's an entertaining caper as director Lance Acord keeps the tone light and the action slick in equal measure. A getaway vehicle mishap prompts the four to commandeer a nearby Toyota Prius, showing honour among thieves by adequately compensating the previous owner.

Despite their initial misgivings, the electric car proves up to the task of evading the local constabulary. Its battery life even ensures there's enough time for this chase to become a worldwide phenomenon. What would Stan Valchek make of all this?

However, if the Prius becomes a regular star of police radio reports, Toyota will have some awkward questions to answer. Nice work.

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TurboTax
"Never a Sellout"
60s
8 February 2016

As is customary, many big name stars have embraced the almighty dollar during this year's Super Bowl ad bonanza. Sir Anthony Hopkins, on the other hand, has too much integrity to even consider it. In the course of this amusing interview, we're given a few reasons to believe otherwise.

After all, it's hard to overlook the TurboTax-branded fine china, slippers, and canine... plus Sir Anthony having the company's app ready to go on his phone just raises further questions. His Thespian wiles manage to keep his sceptical questioner at bay, and the audience is left with TurboTax on the brain. Not bad for an ad without a celebrity, ahem, selling the brand.

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Turkish Airlines
"Gotham City"
60s
8 February 2016

As the official airline partner of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice', Turkish Airlines have produced a clever tie-in campaign offering 'flights' to two of pop culture's most iconic locations: Gotham City and Metropolis.

In this execution, the Caped Crusader's home town receives the slick promotional treatment with some fan-pleasing touches. Rarely has the stomping ground of the Joker, Two Face, and the Riddler looked or sounded so inviting. Even the Bowery - normally the worst neighbourhood imaginable - becomes a hotbed for the hip. Being Turkish Airlines, however, star power is rarely in short supply to bring the message home.

Enter Ben Affleck in his big screen guise as billionaire philanthropist, Bruce Wayne. While keeping shtum about his nocturnal activities, he supports tourism in Gotham with practised slickness. Plus, he'll be glad to hear Batman described as a "local celebrity" rather than a reckless vigilante.

The ad kicks off the marketing rush ahead of one of the year's biggest releases in fine fashion, providing fans with a well-considered piece of world-building and reminding us that Turkish Airlines go to more places than you might expect. Well, within reason - don't make a fool of yourself trying to book a two week break in Gotham!

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H & M
"Trendsetter"
80s
8 February 2016

Having previously taken advantage of David Beckham's hitherto untapped comedic potential, H & M bring back the man in his capacity as someone - in the parlance of Derek Zoolander - really, really, ridiculously good looking. The ad has Becks hitting the town while wearing items from his Modern Essentials range. Turns out the whole town has the same idea.

It's a nice spin on Beckham's reputation as a man who can spark a style movement with the careful adjustment of a hair strand, and director Fredrik Bond instils a lovely rhythm to this crowded fashion parade with a cheeky twist at the end. A playful way of showing H & M makes fashion an accessible proposition for the style conscious punter.

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Coca Cola
"Hulk v Ant Man"
60s
8 February 2016

It's safe to say we haven't exactly been bowled over by Coca Cola's new ad campaign. However, the soft drink giants have done what anyone in trouble would do - they've called in the Avengers. It's larger than life versus smaller than life as Bruce Banner's Hulk takes signature umbrage at Scott Lang's Ant-Man nicking his mini can of Coke. Looks like Dr Banner will also be chasing a refund for that anger management book.

This is a satisfying amuse-bouche for superhero fans eagerly awaiting this year's cinematic onslaught of caped crusaders, mutants, and supervillains. Hulk duly smashes, while Ant-Man's miniaturized heist antics retain the cheeky charm of the big screen version. Plus, Marvel prove they are the masters of the Easter egg with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it nod to shawarma - the Marvel Cinematic Universe's ethnic food of choice.

Even having the Coke Mini as the ad's MacGuffin/plot device is an ideal fit, with its dinky size playing off the blockbuster spectacle nicely. Now the brand will be hoping this will spark more engagement with its new direction; otherwise, getting on the blower to Iron Man may be a pricey necessity.

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On This Day

Levi's
"Midsummer's Night Dream"
60s
11 Feb 2005
The dialogue is taken straight from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream as a tall Latino male walks proudly down the street even when challenged by a local gang. Meanwhile, an attractive Latino woman is much aroused on hearing his words. Very like Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet.

Old Spice
"The Man Your Man Could Smell Like"
30s
11 Feb 2010
In this superb commercial, a man explains to the female audience that their man is not as impressive a specimen as he. But he consoles them with the news that they can get their man to smell like him if they buy him the advertised product.

Britvic
"Transform Your Patch"
40s
11 Feb 2012
This rather charming ad explains that you can spark off an urban regeneration project in your area with support from Britvic. A woman holds up a picture frame to illustrate the transformation that can be brought about and it proves an excellent way of illustrating the claim.

Macmillan
"Support"
60s
11 Feb 2013
Macmillan is all about support and this piece provides an exquisite illustration of this. A man's world implodes when he hears dreaded news from the doctor, and as he quietly collapses in shock a few minutes later a nurse representing the advertised charity rushes to his rescue.

Pukka Pies
"It's A Pukka Pie Day"
30s
11 Feb 2013
It's hard to know where to start with this ad, so deeply does it plumb the depths of dreadfulness. Why announce your engagement in what looks like a chippy, or sit down to a special meal complete with wine... only to see a Pukka Pie squatting on your plate like some food-related succubus?

Nurofen
"For Lives Bigger Than Pain"
60s
11 Feb 2013
Three tough-sounding people whose work requires varying degrees of physical daring talk about their respective jobs. At the end of an interminable 60 seconds we hear they take Nurofen to help them cope with pain; which in the context suggests the analgesic must have almost illegal levels of efficiency.

Oreo
"Whisper Fight"
30s
11 Feb 2013
A delicious piece of work from Oreo sees a small disagreement about the best part of the cookie escalate to epic proportions in a library. Bookshelves fall like rows of dominoes, people wrestle each other off walkways and the police eventually arrive... while throughout, no-one raises their voice above a whisper.

Blue Dragon
"Wok God"
30s
11 Feb 2013
Charlie becomes a 'Wok God' after making a stir fry using the advertised product. In true rock star fashion, fans camp outside his home as his fame spreads and the nonplussed chap is interviewed about his rapid rise to success. There are some lovely touches in this, not least the expression on his limpet-like girlfriend's face.

Haribo
"Inner Child"
30s
11 Feb 2014
Because it advertises a pretty unfashionable brand and - let's face it - has the world's most annoying jingle, it would be easy to overlook this commercial. But that would be a shame as it's a little gem. Getting sensible-looking adults to mouth the words of babes proves a perfect comedy vehicle and makes the silly things children say sound even more charming.

Nissan Infinity
"Follow That Instinct"
1 min 40s
11 Feb 2014
More heat than light, as they say, but when the heat is as hot as this, who cares? There's a man making his way across a high wire, while another is willing to risk being consumed by flames as he conducts a daring rescue amidst disconnected moments of high drama. It suggests that this is no car for the faint-hearted.

Meat & Livestock Australia
"Richie's BBQ"
1 min 40s
11 Feb 2015
The broadcasting legend that is Richie Benaud may be looking a little frail these days but he demonstrates a perfect instinct for timing and comedy in this hilarious Australian commercial for lamb. It opens with Captain Cook peering at the Aussie coast when he's interrupted by a strange noise... Richie Benaud ringing on his mobile. This triggers a ridiculous round robin of silliness as a number of luminaries from Australian history join a conference call about the forthcoming barbecue being organised by the veteran broadcaster.

Meningitis Now
"Fastest Hour"
60s
11 Feb 2015
This brutal film has real impact. Warnings of this kind often have a reassuring tone designed to remind people that if their actions are equal to the emergency, everything will be all right. Here, the need to alert people to the viciousness of meningitis supersedes any consideration for our feelings... and rightly so. Anyone who has ever been touched by the sheer, unbelievable, undiscriminating awfulness of this disease will know how important it is to move fast if there is even the slightest possibility of its presence in a person who is unwell.

Foot Locker
"Pristine Nikes"
20s
11 Feb 2005
Owners of new pairs of Nike trainers go to extraordinary lengths to avoid making contact with the ground as they wear their new shoes. These include clinging to the banister on an escalator; being carried from the shop and using the hanging grips on a tube train to suspend above the floor.

KFC
"Makeover"
30s
11 Feb 2008
Two girls dress their father as a woman so their Mum can enjoy a night off... at least, that's what this family told social services when they turned up unexpectedly. Do you think the missing apostrophe in 'mums night off' is BBH's error or that they were obliged to stay consistent with an error by KFC?

Trident Gum
"Photocopier Journey"
40s
11 Feb 2008
An unforeseen benefit of the awfulness of last year's Trident campaign is that, by comparison, anything else looks good. But to be fair... this actually is good. A man is taken on a surreal journey with overtones of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland by the softness of the product.

Peugeot
"Festival Of Style"
20s
11 Feb 2008
An earlier approach to advertising is brought to life in this attractive new commercial advertising a Peugeot sale. Posters from the 1950s appeared to provide the inspiration and a cheesy voiceover with a deliberately scratchy sound adds to the vintage effect.

Vision Express
"Eye Exam"
30s
11 Feb 2009
The eyes are given a medical in the latest instalment in this series which represents our seeing organs as a pair of men with a ball on each of their heads. They tumble about in a manner which suggests an eye examination is much more fun than you might think.

VW Jetta
"Car Battle"
40s
11 Feb 2010
This understated Canadian ad for the VW Jetta shows the car drawing up alongside an impossibly brash motor which has been adulterated by a boy racer. Just as the traffic lights change, it becomes obvious that the VW has made the other car feel inadequate.

The Sun on Sunday
"Wrighty's XI"
30s
11 Feb 2010
The Sun newspaper is holding a competition with a mightily impressive prize... a chance to travel to South Africa for the World Cup. There is a downside however... you may be the poor sod among the eleven winners who has to sit next to Ian Wright on the plane.

Daily Record
"Marvel Villains"
30s
11 Feb 2010
Lordy lord, a half-decent ad for The Daily Record. No-one foresaw this in the Book of Revelations. Mum joins in the fun when her children dress as their favourite villains from the Marvel Comic series.

The Asian Cup 2011
"Sandman Vs Waterman"
1 min 50s
11 Feb 2011
This spectacular piece of film is reminiscent of the kind of thing Nike was doing during the Eric Cantona years... albeit without the redeeming sense of humour provided by the Frenchman's hint of self-deprecation. It's further evidence that Asia is ever more keen to match more established markets when it comes to grandeur.

Laterooms.com
"Number Of Nights"
30s
11 Feb 2012
The tale of a romance is told through a series of meetings in a hotel. Each encounter is accompanied by a super revealing how many nights have been booked and it proves a neat device for telling the story and illustrating the advertised service's flexibility and for an amusing gag at the end.

Walkers
"Mystery Flavours"
30s
11 Feb 2012
A number of people try to work out what the mystery flavours can be in this ad introducing a competition. Gary Lineker's in there of course and the clips of people guessing have been given a slightly odd treatment to introduce a bit of dynamism.

Monster
"Moose"
20s
11 Feb 2013
If you find you're at the business end of a moose in terms of your career, here's your chance to bag a better opportunity. At least, that's what this 20 second spot suggests for the recruitment company. It's an arresting visual pun, and quite astute given that there's not much time to elaborate on the service.

Yorkshire Building Society
"Trust"
30s
11 Feb 2013
In a world still dealing with the fall-out of the banking crisis we've become used to ads for banks and building societies declaring that they've either never been corrupt or they've mended their ways. Financial institutions seem to think that endless use of the word 'trust' will reflect well on them but surely more is required than that.

On This Day

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