David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • The Quarterly looks at Guinness's Sapeurs At 6.30pm next Thursday (27th) DAVID editor Jason Stone will host The Quarterly at Cut+Run in Wardour Street. Come if you can.
    • The spear is mightier than the swordThis wonderfully cast ad has a shrieking French revolutionary running away from the scene of an ambush towards an officer on horseback, who asks in alarm what has happened.
    • Raise a glass to Bill McClarenAnother in the excellent series from Guinness, this spot revolves around Bill McClaren - the legendary rugby commentator whose career was cut short by tuberculosis.
    • No loose threads for Crédit MutuelA beautifully crafted ad for Crédit Mutuel which features a young man slumped in front of the telly at home who suddenly notices something has started happening to him.
    • A cheeky shot from Adnams LongshoreThis delightfully silly ad shows vodka makers around the world tasting the offering from a new kid on the global block... and expressing apoplectic rage at its superior quality.
    • A shot in the darkYoung women around the world are shown dressed up and heading off into their respective cities in this slick ad for Baileys, which demonstrates that a night out is pretty much the same the globe over.
    • Dreaming of an orange ChristmasB&Q storms into the festive fray with its own take on Christmas - a big, bold, boisterous affair that's beautifully assembled.
    • Hot stuff from FedEx This lovely ad for Federal Express focuses on the story of Llewellyn, who wants his own take on the fiery condiment to be enjoyed all over the world.
    • Get me to the bank on timeAn office worker sees that it's nearly 5pm, and realises she must make a sharp exit in this latest ad for BNP Paribas.
    • Getting priorities rightThis excellent ad features Ed Sheeran, portraying his rise to fame from his bedroom at the family's home, through to busking on the underground and ending with an appearance at Wembley Stadium.
    • Two Christmas stars shine brightThis ad for Westfield Australia features the irrepressible young stars of YouTube and Ellen, Sophia Grace and Rosie.


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The Quarterly looks at Guinness's Sapeurs

At 6.30pm next Thursday evening (27th) DAVID editor Jason Stone will host The Quarterly at Cut+Run in Wardour Street.

Under the spotlight will be Guinness's award-winning 'Sapeurs' commercial, and we have a fantastic line-up of people to tell you all about it including Stephen O'Kelly from Diageo; Nicholas Hulley and Nadja Lossgott of AMV/BBDO who created the film; Héctor Mediavilla whose photography inspired the project; Mr Gammon who provided costumes; and John Murrell and Chris Phelps of Finger who were responsible for the music.

To get yourself on the guest list, send an email to sophia.melvin@cutandrun.com and she'll sort you out.


20 November 2014

This wonderfully cast ad has a shrieking French revolutionary running away from the scene of an ambush towards an officer on horseback, who asks in alarm what has happened. "An assassin with a spear - akakak!" wails the revolutionary, jabbing with his hand to demonstrate the lethal quality of said spear, which, it is revealed, gamers get free when they pre-order Assassin's Creed: Unity from GameStop.

We discover quite how lethal the weapon is when our poor chap takes some refreshment. Both his jibbering frenzy and the officer's "About that" expression are an absolute joy. The only thing that would make this better is more of it.

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20 November 2014

Another in the excellent series from Guinness, this particular spot revolves around Bill McClaren - the legendary rugby commentator whose own career was cut short by a diagnosis of tuberculosis the day before he was due to play for his country.

While that might break lesser men, McClaren merely found the closest thing to sport that he could while incarcerated in a sanitorium: he began commentating on the hospital's ping pong matches over the radio.

This paved the way for his return to rugby in the commentary box, and the footage here is full of the sense of how much he was loved and revered.

It's inspiring as a tale of overcoming the odds and making the hand you're dealt with work to your utmost advantage - we could all learn a lesson or two from this. A toast to you, Bill.

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Crédit Mutuel
20 November 2014

A beautifully crafted ad for Crédit Mutuel which features a young man slumped in front of the telly at home who suddenly notices something has started happening to him.

As he stares at the screen, hair askew and beard creeping across his face, he discovers that his T-shirt is being replaced by a crisp white shirt that covers his tattooed forearms, while the facial hair he sports is being magically erased.

Meanwhile, his living room is undergoing a transformation too, from home to smart, minimal office. The way all this takes place is imaginatively conceived. Walls slide back, furniture discreetly changes its purpose, the very weave of the young man's shirt appears to be threading itself together as it materialises.

The message becomes clear at the end: this is a bank whose eminently capable staff are nonetheless still people like ourselves and understand that each customer's circumstances are unique and must be treated as such.

It's so elegant and intriguing that we feel we'd be perfectly happy switching our loyalties to Crédit Mutuel if only it were a practical option.

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Adnams Longshore
"Unhappy Rivals"
1 min 42s
20 November 2014

This delightfully silly ad shows vodka makers around the world tasting the offering from a new kid on the global block... and expressing apoplectic rage at its superior quality.

The little-known Adnams Longshore brand won Gold Medal at the 2014 International Wine & Spirit Awards, and the ad takes a playful pop at its rivals' predicted fury as they check for themselves whether or not the English spirit is worthy of the title.

All sort of cultural stereotypes are summoned as Russian, Finnish and - yes - French premium distillers vent their wrath at the bringers of such bad tidings... and we cannot lie; the sight of four flamboyant Frenchmen sobbing dramatically into their mouchoirs is very funny indeed, however wrong it may be.

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On This Day

Blood Donation
"I Want"
21 Nov 2013
So often, spots for good causes can be mired in sentimentality and button-pressing. Here, then, is a salutary lesson in how to fire home a message without any of the guilt-inducing gubbins getting in the way. The children are a delight; and the revelation at the end is delivered with just the right balance of brevity and feeling. Lovely.

"Under The Tree"
21 Nov 2005
A number of ordinary folk and luminaries gather under a tree in the snow and then hold their phones aloft as if listening to a soppy song at a heavy metal concert. Michael Schumacher and Ruud van Nistelrooy are amongst those showing up... interestingly (and perhaps to ensure we recognise them) they are wearing their work clothes.

Kellogg's Corn Flakes
"Clocking In"
21 Nov 2006
Charming ad for Kellogg's depicts bees on their way to work at the Kellogg's factory which, according to this film, is situated in some kind of rural paradise. The bees are needed because a new variant of the popular cereal contains honey. The music is a re-record of an old Ella Fitzgerald track... a perfect fit.

John West
"Cuddly Bear"
21 Nov 2007
John West seem extremely chuffed about the popularity of their vintage ad with the You Tube generation and to celebrate its success they have 're-made' the ad using a cuddly toy which is available with the product. We want to know why they are not also giving away the fisherman doll so we can recreate the fight ourselves.

21 Nov 2008
The subversive Santa idea has been done before but it's been carried off especially impressively here. The disgruntled gift distributor moans about his workload and complains that Staples's claim that Christmas has been made easy doesn't apply to him.

"Remember When?"
21 Nov 2008
This ad asks us to remember various things we might have said in our pasts... apparently, they might include having said: "I'll never get a Renault". Er, actually, we think they overestimate our indifference... we never said "I'll never get a Renault"... we never gave them a second thought.

Pepsi Max
"Octopus Attack"
21 Nov 2009
A man's attempt to chat up a woman on a tropical island isn't going well until he rescues a swimmer from the clutches of a killer octopus. It's all a cunning stunt, of course. Perhaps the end copy should be: "Pepsi Max... because Rohypnol's illegal"

Home Office - The Policing Pledge
21 Nov 2009
This film puts something called 'The Policing Pledge' at the forefront of its message. A thief climbs the words to steal the crown on top of the police's logo which inadvertently suggests that 'The Policing Pledge' makes theft easier. Though, to be fair, he is caught.

Energy Saving Trust
"Ask The Right People"
21 Nov 2009
This amusing ad takes a familiar scenario and gives it a twist. A young man nervously steps to the counter in a pharmacy and it's clear we're supposed to think he has an embarrassing question. But he's not after condoms or advice about a rash on his penis.

Fire Safety
"Get Round to It"
21 Nov 2009
This ad reminds people who live in shared households that it's vital that they get around to fitting a smoke alarm rather than allowing it to become one of those tasks that they leave to someone else. It's a clever way to get this message across.

Dolce & Gabbana
21 Nov 2010
This is a bit different. Although there's the pre-requisite number of beautiful young people in this film... for once, they're not behaving like dicks in a mansion. It's visually arresting and generates a beguiling energy with carefully crafted movement. Shame about the music though.

"Fan Zone"
21 Nov 2011
This series of bumpers advertising Budweiser's involvement with something called Fan Films has a number of football supporters getting the opportunity to handle the FA Cup. It's probably hard for those who aren't aficionados to understand the appeal of the iconic trophy but if you don't get it then you probably never will.

Compare The Market
21 Nov 2011
Barry Greendale is a little surprised when he discovers a meerkat on the conveyor belt as he cheerfully passes shopping through his checkout at the supermarket where he works. It turns out that he's being presented with a soft toy after using the advertised price comparison site.

Coca Cola
"Giant Santa"
21 Nov 2012
DAVID will never understand why the annual return of the shit Coca Cola ad with all the lorries generates such excitement year after year but after watching this amazingly creepy new film for the soft drinks giant, we're starting to understand why they have such faith in the older work... at least it isn't scary.

"Winter Tale"
1 min 45s
21 Nov 2012
If you're going for the whole 'magic of Christmas' angle then you might as well go for it with all your might. That appears to be the thinking behind this garish ad out of America which charts the progress of a couple of animated panthers exploring a winter wonderland. Could do with being shortened... a lot.

21 Nov 2012
This extraordinary film has two daredevils skiing over the edge of a cliff... and being followed by a car. All three fall freely for a while before parachutes open to assist a safe landing. It's been filmed with an intimacy that makes it all seem very real and we have a feeling in the pit of our collective tummies that these folk more or less did what we see on screen.

"The Honeymoon's Over"
21 Nov 2012
This dramatic trail suggests that the soap is continuing to treat its viewers to edgier storylines... quite literally here as one of the characters teeters on the edge of catastrophe. From the look of some of this footage, we're guessing that this is a specially filmed trail rather than mere excerpts.

"Ice Queen"
21 Nov 2012
A woman's cold symptoms are represented as ice all about her person as she walks into a freezing home. Only the advertised product can make her feel comfortable and happy again and it starts putting the colour in her cheeks from the very first sip. Not, strictly speaking, how a cold feels but the analogy works nonetheless.

Balance North East
21 Nov 2013
There are so many things we're advised not to do that it can be hard to keep track of all the reasons not to do them. But that makes it more important than ever that we find the right mechanism for conveying information and it turns out that it's still possible to be surprised.

21 Nov 2005
Much whispering as two women achieve vastly different hair styles with their Remington products. The secret lies in the DVD that comes with it apparently. Shot quite artfully in black and white but pretty standard stuff.

"Flouncy Fit"
21 Nov 2005
Ricardo, the young cross-dresser who made his name through various acts of bad behaviour on Channel 4's The Salon once again appears as a stylist most unhappy to discover that Tresemmé's products are available to the general public.

"Racing Effects"
21 Nov 2005
In this Nintendo ad, people playing a new racing game act as through they are sitting in a real car and even those around them are affected by the slipstream of the imaginary cars. Apparently thanks to wi-fi technology they are all competing against one another... or so we are led to believe.

"Christmas Presents"
21 Nov 2005
A bunch of children are playing with Christmas toys purchased at Tesco and appear limitless in their energy as they "dash", "bash", "race" and "chase" around the house. The voiceover assures us that they'll soon run out of batteries as we see the children asleep on a sofa.

Exxon Mobil
"Roman Moped"
21 Nov 2006
Another Exxon Mobil employee explains how the company is doing what it can to create a green future for us all as she nips through Rome on her moped taking in a ride past the coliseum. That's a guy on a bus and a woman on a moped we've seen - where's the executive in his gas-guzzling limo?

Kellogg's All-Bran Crunchy Oatbakes
"Out Takes"
21 Nov 2006
Curio from Kellogg's seems to comprise of out-takes from the last commercial featuring William Shatner visiting a country fair. Here the rotund former Star Trek actor is seen goofing around... standing on the bouncy castle (or vice versa) and chucking bits of cereal into his mouth.

On This Day

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