David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • The game of loveLola Madrid's delightful work of wordplay aims to make a whole new audience fall in love with the ever-reliable game of Scrabble.
    • Impossible to failGiving hope to inept learner drivers everywhere is this fun Canadian ad for Volkswagen.
    • World on fireGreenpeace want to hammer home that certain organisations risk bringing this about for real in search of oil. It's an idea powerfully brought to life by director Martin Stirling.
    • Man's new best friendThis sweet ad for Vodafone New Zealand tells the simple tale of a man and his pig.
    • Child's playA heartwarming film from LG offers a childish spin on their range of vacuum cleaners in the best possible way
    • All together nowAs official smartphone partners of Arsenal, Huawei have come up with a great way of introducing their own hard-to-pronounce moniker to the general population.
    • irn Bru gets a gripThis is the funniest Irn Bru commercial we've seen for quite a while and everyone involved deserves huge credit for pushing at the boundaries of what is and isn't permissible.
    • Dreams can come trueSwedish punters are reminded of the good that results from buying a lottery ticket.
    • Get ready to be Tangoed... againThis lovely commercial appears to indicate that Tango and TV advertising are renewing their vows.
    • All by himselfIn this delightful film made for Three in Ireland from a script by Boys and Girls in Dublin and directed by Park Pictures's Tom Tagholm, we learn about a whale whose song can't be heard by others of his species.

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Scrabble
"Anagram Lovers"
80s
28 May 2015

The ever-reliable game of Scrabble has been in the news recently over its inclusion of modern words such as 'newb', 'emoji', and the 28 point powerhouse 'checkbox'. The game's publishers claim its all part of keeping the game relevant. Controversial for some, but there's nothing contentious about this terrific work of wordplay from Lola Madrid.

It's a love story in anagram form. For Agostina and Santiago, everything about them - including their names - can be reordered to describe what's happening to the other. Thanks to a serendipitous chain of events, our lonely duo find each other like a player finding the perfect word to place on the board.

Credit goes to the creative individuals who must have gone through every possible anagram to make a coherent story. The resulting scenarios that the two find themselves in are endearingly quirky, from "burning ants" to talking to a man who "negotiates moths".

Notably, the board game itself doesn't make an appearance. The film's all about a love of words and the possibilities nestled inside them, yet wrapped up in a familiar quest for love. For those who share this affinity for language, Scrabble's values remain the same, no matter what gets added to the word list.

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VW Passat
"Driving Test"
55s
28 May 2015

Giving hope to inept learner drivers everywhere is this fun Canadian ad for Volkswagen. A downhearted driving instructor suddenly sees his day improve tenfold when he slides into the new VW Passat. He's so taken by the model's luxuriant interior and responsive features, he fails to notice that his student is perhaps best sticking to being a pedestrian. The car may have passed the test... it's driver most certainly shouldn't.

There are some nice touches here: the instructor's face lighting up as he explores the car is lovely, while the young driver's outstanding incompetence is equally enjoyable - he can't even use the handy rear view camera to park properly.

It falls a bit short and the music is woeful but it makes its point about the care very cleverly.

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Greenpeace
"A Song of Oil, Ice, and Fire"
1 min 45s
27 May 2015

The post-apocalypse is prevalent in the minds of many following the recent release of Mad Max: Fury Road and other conceits based on the end of the world as we know it. Greenpeace want to hammer home that certain organisations risk bringing this about for real in search of oil.

Through paintings and collages, we're given a snapshot of how mankind has gradually made its mark on nature - from agriculture to the discovery of new lands, from treading into the unknown to signposting what's ahead.

The warm music then morphs into something warped and abrasive to the ear as fire ravages the pristine works of art. What remains is the stuff of nightmares: charred terrain, toxic skies, and lands turned into no-go zones.

Placing a still from the cinematic adaptation of The Road into the transformed collage, Greenpeace urge the public to consider the potential human and natural catastrophes that could follow Shell drilling for oil in the Arctic.

It's an idea powerfully brought to life by director Martin Stirling, while the presence of the polar bear also creates an effective continuity with Greenpeace's previous output. Action by the relevant powers remains uncertain, but this film's stirring representation of a scorched Earth may well persuade hitherto undecided parties to join the fight.

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Vodafone
"Piggy Sue"
90s
27 May 2015

This sweet ad for Vodafone New Zealand tells the simple tale of a man and his pig. After chancing upon a lost swine on his travels, the kind-hearted protagonist tries every means of reuniting "Sue" with her owner. Once he finds out where she came from, though, he can't bear to part with her.

It's a charming depiction of a genuine bond developing between the two and all in the space of just ninety seconds. Curmudgeonly frustration at being unable to shift his unexpected passenger soon gives way to him offering it a place in his home. Before long, he's sharing his lunch with his new friend.

Without tugging too hard on the heartstrings, we easily warm to the two main performances. Keith comes across kind of bloke you can always rely on, while the adorable piglet gives the best on-screen performance since Babe.

Furthermore, the film nicely conveys the means we have at our disposal nowadays to get our message across. When phone calls and text messages fail to solve the mystery, he goes online to widen the search. When people like Keith want to perform a good deed, Vodafone are the provider to help.

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LG
"The Best Gift Ever"
75s
26 May 2015

A heartwarming film from LG offers a childish spin on their range of vacuum cleaners in the best possible way. Filled with cake and excitement, children at different parties eagerly await the opening of the big present.

After carefully unwrapping their giant gifts, they don't seem too thrilled with what they've received - an LG vacuum cleaner. With a little exploration, however, they find endless enjoyment out its array of buttons and nozzles. And what do you know - they have fun cleaning the mess from the party!

It's charming how we see a humble vacuum cleaner through a child's eyes. The way in which the expressions on the children's faces change from disappointment to glee is sweet, while their imaginative approaches to cleaning present the product in a fun light.

Parents across the land may end up hoping they can elicit a similar response by buying their offspring a cleaning utensil. It's a pretty long shot, but if this manages to persuade youngsters that housework can be something to enjoy rather than avoid, there'll be plenty more harmonious households.

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On This Day

Ladbrokes
"It's Showtime"
40s
30 May 2010
Forget your Nikes and your Pepsis with their multi-million pound budgets and their access to the hottest football talent on the planet... this is the best World Cup ad so far this season. Chris Kamara and Ian Wright camp it up brilliantly in an Italian Job themed ad.

DHL
"Speed Of Yellow"
60s
30 May 2012
Alex Ferguson urges a DHL delivery man to get a move on at the start of this ad that underlines the courier company's association with Manchester United. A variety of players then show off their skills in a number of different situations... often jumping from electronic devices.

Ford
"Cane Toad Road"
90s
30 May 2012
This hilarious Australian commercial features a conversation between two cane toads sat on a highway. One of them is extremely knowledgeable about many things but he doesn't know quite as much about cars as he thinks he does and this has pretty serious consequences. Excellent lip synching.

Pizza Capers Gourmet Kitchen
"Pizza Capers"
30s
30 May 2013
Pizzas so delicious they reduce you to a drooling wreck: that's the proposition for the advertised fast food outlet. And how well done this is, too - with a bunch of very strange looking people staring slack-jawed and gurgling at a pizza box held by an oddball on a park bench. Even someone's banana is appreciative, and that's not a euphemism.

Pot Noodle
"Italy"
30s
30 May 2006
The miners introduced in the previous ads explain earnestly that Wales used to be physically connected to Italy until some seismic geological event separated the two many years ago. It's rare for a successful campaign to be replaced by another but that appears to have been achieved by Mother in this case.

Marmite
"Mother"
40s
30 May 2007
Further proof that the edgiest ads are available in unregulated cyberspace is provided by this Marmite film which shows what happens when a woman scoffs some Marmite on toast while breast-feeding her baby. The child is plainly in the 'hate it' camp if the quantity of vomit is anything to go by.

The Sopranos
"Across America"
40s
30 May 2007
The broadcast of The Sopranos on A & E provides an excuse to illustrate the effect the Mafia-based drama might have on small-town America as it is rolled out across the network. All seems well with the small farming community until we see growing evidence that the mob is in town.

Channel 4
"Cars (Twisted Ending)"
30s
30 May 2007
One of several fun additions to the Questions series resembles the original with Channel 4 personalities talking affectionately about the cars they have owned when Dermot O'Leary is forced to tear across a field to tackle some vandals giving it some unauthorised modifications.

Sainsbury's
"British Food"
40s
30 May 2007
An increasingly chunky Jamie Oliver waves the flag for Britain as well as Sainsbury's as he takes the trouble to let us know of all the wonderful food from these islands available at his favourite supermarket. Various animations illustrate the point he is making about local produce.

Channel 4
"Relax (Twisted Ending)"
35s
30 May 2007
Another of the new takes on the Channel 4 Questions series has DAVID begrudgingly admitting that bullying superego Gordon Ramsay must be a good sport for agreeing to suggest that he likes playing strip poker with Keith Harris, Timmy Mallet et al. He's a terrible actor though.

Channel 4
"Drinks (Twisted Ending)"
25s
30 May 2007
Another in the new series of idents with a novelty ending sewn on has Charlotte Church being stalled as she attempts to tell us about her favourite drink. Anyone who's ever thought the buxom former child star is too good to be true may have their suspicions confirmed by this.

Sainsbury's
"Welsh Lamb"
20s
30 May 2007
An increasingly chunky Jamie Oliver waves the flag for Britain as well as Sainsbury's as he takes the trouble to let us know of all the wonderful food from these islands available at his favourite supermarket. Specifically he promotes Welsh lamb and seems to recommend the dragon-based barbecue.

Seabrook
"Dive"
30s
30 May 2007
Another tribute to righteous intolerance on behalf of Seabrook crisps has a football fan expressing his disapproval of a blatant dive by a footballer and using the power of 'blah, blah, blah' to despatch the perpetrator from the ground. As the last scene illustrates, a little indignation will go a long way.

Apple iTunes
"Coldplay"
30s
30 May 2008
Is it just DAVID or is Chris Martin starting to sound like a low calorie version of Bono? Anyway, the favourite band of the middle classes is being used to advertise the same demographic's favourite gadget. Frankly, we're surprised they don't round the whole thing off by suggesting we buy it at Waitrose.

WKD
"Man Flu"
20s
30 May 2008
Only the creatives behind WKD would try to depict man flu as somehow heroic. A man moans pitifully to his girlfriend as he lies in bed suffering from a cold When she is understandably dismissive, he reaches his Playstation and demands some chicken soup. They'll be bringing back Love thy Neighbour soon.

National Lottery / Lotto
"Stadium"
30s
30 May 2009
Three men jump over a wall to gain access to a football ground at night so they can have a kick about on the pitch. Security guards watching them seem to think it's sweet. Perhaps teenagers will write to the ASA complaining that this ad encourages oldies to misbehave.

B & Q
"Horror - The Shining"
30s
30 May 2011
This amusing spoof of a classic Stanley Kubrick moment has a character axing his way through a door with DIY rather than murder in mind. The scene has been carefully constructed to underline its resemblance to the original. A welcome burst of creativity for a conservative client.

B & Q
"Horror - Psycho"
30s
30 May 2011
Another horror movie is used as the basis of an ad for the DIY store. This time is the turn of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. The famous shower scene (memorably sent up by Mel Brooks in High Anxiety) is faithfully reconstructed right up to the point when a woman is hacked to death. Wisely, this was thought to be a bit over the top.

B & Q
"Horror - Poltergeist"
30s
30 May 2011
The American film Poltergeist forms the basis of this ad for B & Q with the little girl who revealed that "they're here" offering her famous line when her mum manages to correct the TV signal. It's one of a new series of ads that each uses an iconic moment from a horror movie to make a point about DIY.

Tesco
"Diamond Jubilee"
30s
30 May 2012
Blue supermarket's Diamond Jubilee advertising reminds us of the event being celebrated by taking us back to 1952. Even though the idea of recreating promotional films from the 1950s is a well trodden path, it's one that always raises a smile when done well and this is great fun.

Kellogg's Squares
"The First 3D Cinema Ad You Can Taste"
60s
30 May 2012
This amusing commercial purports to be the first 3D cinema ad that you can taste. A female voice-over explains how the process works before the various ingredients float towards those wearing the appropriate eyewear and they are invited to open their mouths to taste them.

Hit & Miss
"Promo"
90s
30 May 2012
There's something surprising about the 'hitman' whose activities we witness in this trail for a new series on Sky. If you haven't heard what it is the the the title of the show kind of gives it away but it's a trailer that arouses a lot of intrigue nonetheless.

Prodlisex
"Legend"
90s
30 May 2012
This innuendo laden commercial out of Russia advertises a pharmaceutical product called Prodlisex appears to imply that using it will give you two penises. Whatever the protagonists may imagine, DAVID suspects that this wouldn't work out as well as they might think.

Nike
"Be Great"
60s
30 May 2013
To an apocalyptic soundtrack, tattooed young guys train in gritty environments, grim and focused, like avenging urban angels. There's a feeling that this is building to something huge, but when nothing happens it's not a let-down. This is about people making themselves powerful, and it's a smart approach by the sports brand.

Go Outdoors
"Stampede"
30s
30 May 2013
Insanely daft and wonderfully simple ad for the outdoors retailer. A chap emerges from his tent and as he admires the isolated spot where he's pitched it, a herd of buffalo stampede into view and trash all his gear. "What the..." he protests, and strides offscreen as the last item standing collapses forlornly.

On This Day

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