David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Kitchen carouselYou may want to sit down before watching this commercial for IKEA which has kitchen spinning within kitchen to remind us that the room is the centre of every house.
    • Agreeing to disagreePeople don't agree on much in this commercials for Hellmann's mayonnaise but one thing they do agree on is their choice of condiment.
    • A series of unfortunate eventsA tried and trusted method of focusing attention on what your product or service can do is by highlighting what it cannot do and this idea has been used to excellent effect in the latest film for thetrainline.com.
    • Brownian motion creates Dark EnergyHighly-esteemed producer Matt Brown has launched start-up film production company Dark Energy.
    • Penalty sickThis neat for Doritos advertises the opportunity for one or more lucky punters to see if they can put a penalty kick past Joe Hart.
    • Party time for SmirnoffThe considerable comedy talents of Adam Scott and Alison Brie are upstaged by a lovely performance from DC Pierson as an enthusiastic barman.
    • Lo! Spring chicken!Asda's pricing message is given a bit more oomph in a commercial featuring a funky dancing chick designed to draw attention to their Easter offerings.
    • Swan takeWhen you watch this commercial for citizenM by PES, you're already aware that you're witnessing something pretty special before the twist comes along... and then you know are.
    • Jaguar roarMark Jenkinson's follow up to the Super Bowl ad highlighting the Britishness of villains in Hollywood movies is more than a match for its big budget prequel.
    • How good is Dougal Wilson?W+K's extraordinary run of commercials for Lurpak has
    • Viral masterclassThis five-minute film for Hyundai demonstrates the value of skilled performances.
    • The acceptable face of capitalismWaitrose's new ad is a heart-warming tale designed to remind us that we care more when we're invested.
    • A poisoned chalice?WCRS's opening salvo for B & Q is excellent... but then so was Dare's, McCann's and Karmarama's.
    • Take TwoGary Oldman is silent in the second half of this HTC ad as he urges us to investigate it online.
    • Teddy's big adventureThe Corner's début work for Flybe manages to suggest the airline provides a convenient and inexpensive service while telling a heart-warming tale of fatherly devotion.
    • Under the SpinJonathan Glazer's Nike spot whets the appetite for this summer's World Cup in Brazil
    • Breaking Bad director available for UK adsExperienced drama director Terry McDonough is available for UK commercials.

THE BLACK BOX

ALICE:

So did BT get the broadband going?

JASON:

No. They sent a wan-faced youth with the people skills of dead crab who couldn't do anything because of a problem with the line.

If BT weren't institutionally fuck-witted, it might have occurred to them to do a recce in the fortnight since the order was placed instead of offering a display of synchronised shrugging.

Aaarggh!


Ikea
"Revolving Designs"
60s
17 April 2014

You may want to sit down before watching this commercial for IKEA which has kitchens spinning within kitchens to remind us that the room is the centre of every house.

It's an extremely smart piece of work. It's visually captivating and creates a thrilling sense of motion - so much so that it seems impossible that those filmed on this amazing set can seem so unperturbed by the movement that swirls around them and you can barely take your eyes off them.

IKEA are one of the great retailing success stories with sales of £1.268 billion to the end of August 2013 (which represented a 3.1% increase on 2011-12). Mother's excellent advertising work consistently positions IKEA as an essential yet edgy brand... which is a neat trick which must contribute to their enduring success.

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Hellmann's Mayonnaise
"Disagreements"
30s
14 April 2014

People don't agree on much in this commercials for Hellmann's mayonnaise but one thing they do agree on is their choice of condiment... and you may not be shocked to learn that it's the advertised product which earns the thumbs up.

It's a neat piece of work and it does a grand job of underlining the idea that Hellmann's is the choice of the aficionados regardless of their other decisions.

Unless there are some celebrity faces we're not recognising, there's an interesting mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar among the participants with some pretty odd couples pairing up to argue about sandwich contents... Sue Barker isn't really the first person who springs to mind when wondering who might be a good foil for anarchic comedian Joe Wilkinson but that's who's alongside the bearded bundle of mischievousness in this ad.

And speaking of strange men with beards, there's an opportunity for 77-year old Brian Blessed to do his odd shouty thing in protest at the idea of plums being used as an ingredient and he's also given the job of reading the clever line of copy at the end... "you create the sandwich, Hellmann's make's it."

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thetrainline.com
"What It Can't Do"
30s
13 April 2014

A tried and trusted method of focusing attention on what your product or service can do is by highlighting what it cannot do and this idea has been used to excellent effect in the latest film for thetrainline.com.

Simon Bird of The Inbetweeners uses his nebish intonation to narrate a series of catastrophes that befall the hapless protagonist. Not one of these situations would have been improved by use of the advertised service but when he wants to secure a discounted rail ticket then he knows where to turn.

As much as we like this ad - and we do - we have to confess to a sinking feeling when we saw it had invoked the tired canard about misbehaving IT but it more than redeems itself with a terrific piece of hyperbole that has the computer dramatically going up in flames. And the parachute scenario that follows has a darkness that will offend some and delight many... always a good combination as far as we're concerned.

Often a commercial like this will concentrate so heavily on the comedy that it fails to implant the advertised service in the minds of the viewers... but that's not the case here. Not only do we see our man sitting smugly in his discounted seat at both ends of the ad, he's clutching his mobile device throughout and this helps to reinforce the idea that a swipe or two on a smart phone will quickly and simply secure a cheap rail ticket.

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Brownian motion creates Dark Energy

As we reveal that a new company called Dark Energy has launched with a big bang, you could be forgiven for thinking that we're telling you the plot of the next Dan Brown novel.

But you'd be wrong... the Brown behind this venture is not a inexplicably successful American author with an inconsiderable vocabulary but a much-admired commercials producer possessed of a dazzling way with words (and the ability to fit more of them into a minute than the average human can hope to comprehend)... we refer, of course, to Matt Brown.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Doritos
"Penalties"
30s
11 April 2014

What don't England do well? The correct answer to this question is 'football' but owing to a collective paralysis of reasoning, we like to pretend that our real problem is the penalty shoot-outs that come about because of the aforementioned paucity of appropriate skill.

Nonetheless, England's inability to score more penalties than the opposition when the opportunity arises is a well established meme and advertisers are quite right to exploit it.

And this ad for Doritos is a particularly good addition to this canon. It advertises the opportunity for one or more lucky punters to see if they can put a penalty kick past Joe Hart but keeps the ad's tone within the vernacular of the existing campaign by having the karaoke Mariachi band from previous ads demonstrating their own ability to put a football into the back of the onion bag.

It's been delivered with delightful élan... the post-production jiggery pokery enabling the Mexicans to look skilful is just the right side of implausible and this gives it a lovely light touch... hats off to director JJ Keith for pulling off this neat balancing act.

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Five Star Work

Ikea
"Revolving Designs"
60s
17 Apr 2014
You may want to sit down before watching this commercial for IKEA which has kitchens spinning within kitchens to remind us that the room is the centre of every house. It's visually captivating and creates a thrilling sense of motion - so much so that it seems impossible that those filmed on this amazing set can seem so unperturbed by the movement that swirls around them and you can barely take your eyes off them.

Hellmann's Mayonnaise
"Disagreements"
30s
14 Apr 2014
People don't agree on much in this commercials for Hellmann's mayonnaise but one thing they do agree on is their choice of condiment... and you may not be shocked to learn that it's the advertised product which earns the thumbs up. It's a neat piece of work and it does a grand job of underlining the idea that Hellmann's is the choice of the aficionados regardless of their other decisions.

thetrainline.com
"What It Can't Do"
30s
13 Apr 2014
A tried and trusted method of focusing attention on what your product or service can do is by highlighting what it cannot do and this idea has been used to excellent effect in the latest film for thetrainline.com. Simon Bird of The Inbetweeners uses his nebish intonation to narrate a series of catastrophes that befall the hapless protagonist. Not one of these situations would have been improved by use of the advertised service but when he wants to secure a discounted rail ticket then he knows where to turn.

Weetabix
"I Am the Monkey"
20s
9 Apr 2014
Children behave like monkeys in this charming short for Weetabix directed by MJ Delaney. The choice of music, combined with lovely shots of children monkeying around make this a perfect recipe for the breakfast cereal company. Given her superb track record, it's unsurprising that so many of Delaney's TVCs projects involve children but as she demonstrated with her debut feature The Powder Room she has a lot more to offer than that.

Doritos
"Penalties"
30s
11 Apr 2014
This neat for Doritos advertises the opportunity for one or more lucky punters to see if they can put a penalty kick past Joe Hart but it keeps it within the vernacular of the existing campaign by having the karaoke Mariachi band from previous ads demonstrating their own ability to put a football into the back of the onion bag.

Asda
"Funky Dancing Chick"
30s
8 Apr 2014
Asda's pricing message is given a bit more oomph in a commercial featuring a funky dancing chick designed to draw attention to their Easter offerings. Mel Giedroyc once again provides a voiceover infused with warmth and wit but - this time - she's completely upstaged by her groovy yellow co-star. Like 3's pony, this is an animal that can't help moving to the beat but this is more than mere entertainment.

citizenM
"Swan Song"
40s
6 Apr 2014
When you watch this commercial for citizenM by PES, you're already aware that you're witnessing something pretty special before the twist comes along... and then you know are. The sexy performance by two swan-shaped towels on the bed combined with the innuendo of the champagne cork popping out of the bottle appears to be a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the heart-warming effect of a romantic night in a hotel. What happens next... well, judge for yourselves.

Jaguar
"The Art of Villainy"
2 mins 10s
6 Apr 2014
Mark Jenkinson's follow up to the Super Bowl ad highlighting the Britishness of villains in Hollywood movies is more than a match for its big budget prequel. Tom Hiddlestone - who also appeared in Tom Hooper's film - pulls out all the stops as he offers a step-by-step guide to villainy that incorporates a Shakespeare recital and a lot of smouldering.

Lurpak
"Adventure Awaits"
60s
6 Apr 2014
How good is Dougal Wilson? It isn't really a fair question, is it? It should be noted that every single execution in this campaign for Lurpak has been superb and everyone at W+K responsible for creating these commercials is operating at the summit of their powers. But this ad is a bit special and it's hard to avoid the conclusion that this is down to Wilson's phenomenal skill.

Hyundai
"Let's Tussle"
5 mins 10s
5 Apr 2014
Director Oliver Parsons (who also wrote this viral for Hyundai) has coaxed first class performances from the actors and - by establishing an intriguing notion in the first few seconds of the film - he ensures our attention is held throughout. This makes this viral stand out from other films of this ilk which often fail to achieve their core objectives.

Waitrose
"Very Small Holding"
90s
4 Apr 2014
This delightful commercial for Waitrose by BBH underlines the difference that a sense of ownership can make as we see a boy painstakingly transforming a small space in the garden into an allotment. The whole family then celebrates his modest success by taking a bite each of the tiny carrot he manages to grow.

B & Q
"Unleash"
60s
4 Apr 2014
WCRS debut work for B & Q has ordinary people being empowered by the DIY chain as they suddenly recognise that they "have the power" to get things done. Good as it is - and it is good - we have to question whether it has any more potential than the excellent work by other agencies that ultimately wasn't good enough as far as someone at B & Q was concerned.

HTC
"Gary Oldman"
60s
4 Apr 2014
Gary Oldman seems a bit uncertain at first as he tells us about the advertised gadget but it's all a means to an end and he's completely silent in the second half of the ad after he's urged us to investigate it for ourselves. It's a clever way to assert HTC's confidence in their phone and we were enormously tempted to do as he suggests.

Nike
"Risk Everything"
60s
2 Apr 2014
Jonathan Glazer may be a man of many talents but he's also a director of very few commercials and it's a cause for celebration each time he adds to his impressive canon. This isn't as showy as you might expect from a collaboration between Nike and Glazer but it doesn't half whet the appetite for this summer's tournament and it positions Nike exactly where they want to be... attached to some of football's most intriguing characters.

Nike
"Make Every Yard Count"
80s
1 Apr 2014
You have to love the way brilliant creativity arrives from every part of the world these days. This superb Nike commercial was made by JWT Bangalore and it's an addition to the brand's canon of work that deserves to sit alongside anything made by W+K. This film was apparently put together from crowd-sourced footage and it's a masterclass in editing and sound design.

Spies
"Do It For Denmark"
2 mins
30 Mar 2014
This commercial for a Danish travel agency has garnered a lot of press attention and little wonder. It suggests to Danes that they should take foreign holidays because it increases the chance that they'll conceive a baby... something that will apparently help to reverse Denmark's population decline. Some dubious statistics are bandied about as evidence but it's all good natured fun.

Grief Encounter
"Mother's Day"
60s
30 Mar 2014
This impressive film supporting the work of the charity Grief Encounter offers a timely reminder that Mother's Day is a difficult time for young families who've suffered a bereavement. An apparently self-sufficient yet lonely little boy represents children who've had to get by without the support of a mother.

Batchelors Deli Box
"Awesome Mums"
60s
30 Mar 2014
Multi-tasking mums march down a suburban street in this amusing ad suggesting that the advertised snack is perfect for women who need to be able to take food in their stride... literally. They solve problems for their less mentally-able menfolk as they move through the streets looking like The Spice Girls on their way to a 25th anniversary gig.

Vodafone
"The Call"
60s
27 Mar 2014
This powerful spot shows fire fighters at the scene of a car crash, fighting a blaze that threatens to get worse before it can be brought under control. As we watch, the wife of the main fireman talks in VO about life with someone whose job is so dangerous, and how you always wait for a call or a text to say everything's okay. It transpires 77% of the emergency services are with Vodafone, and this is a highly memorable way to impress on us that if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us.

Weetabix Breakfast Drink
"Egg"
30s
25 Mar 2014
Peter Serafinowicz's slightly nasal yet deadpan delivery of an excellent script makes this ad a memorable treat. A chap who has chosen to boil an egg for his breakfast stands by the pan waiting for it to cook as the VO addresses him. "Greg... with the egg" remains anonymous to all intents and purposes as we only see his torso in shot, and he never speaks - but we soon learn that he realises there's a better breakfast option available to him.

Snickers
"Builders"
70s
25 Mar 2014
You've got to hand it to the Aussies; they do like political correctness in their ads. You won't even find that stalwart exemplar of unreconstructedly sexist attitudes to women - the builder - putting a foot wrong. Or will you? This superb ad for Snickers takes the current campaign theme: "You're not you when you're hungry" and uses it to brilliant effect in this spot which is as much an acknowledgement of how things haven't changed as is, nonetheless, a delight.

Sky Broadband
"Shield"
50s
24 Mar 2014
Good old Samuel L Jackson. He does know how to put on a good show of righteous, justified dudeness. In this spot for Sky Broadband, which is a tie-in with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he gets into character as Nick Fury and urges the crew to sign up for Sky Broadband Shield when it's discovered that online details of the soldier in question have been hacked and in their place is a website of dubious moral quality.

Google
"Play Your Heart Out"
60s
22 Mar 2014
Google's really going for it in this spot, in which it unites books, apps, music and more with the heart as its common bond. The script is well done, and for every heart-related description - soaring hearts, sinking hearts; hearts that race and hearts that pine - there is an image to match, which you can find on one or other of Google's devices and apps.

Lidl
"What Did You Say?"
30s
20 Mar 2014
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em... and that's what Lidl appear to have done in their new campaign which feels influenced by the work done for Aldi at McCann Manchester. Not that this is criticism: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and done well, it has merit in its own right. While the structure of the joke isn't new, the spot is made with real relish and the casting's a joy.

Crabbie's Grand National
"O'Callaghan and Blake"
90s
24 Mar 2014
If this doesn't tickle your fetlocks, we suggest you hook up to the nearest defibrillator post-haste. This big, loud, ballsy ad (appropriately soundtracked by speedpunk band Cerebral Ballzy) presents us with the first steeplechase event ever recorded back in 1752, which apparently came about as a result of a wager between two fiery chaps named Cornelius O'Callaghan and Edmund Blake.

Five Star Work

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 10 Regent Square, Lenzie, Glasgow G66 5AE. Telephone: +44 141 573 5613. Editor: Jason Stone.