David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Remember you're a Wallaby.The governing body of Australian rugby union aim to forge a united front in the face of adversity with this engaging film depicting one lad's race to catch a glimpse of the national team in transit.
    • Ain't what you do, it's that you do it.This strapping ad for online exercise community Strava tells us that being an athlete isn't about performing in front of packed stadiums, lucrative endorsements, or podium finishes.
    • A stellar ideaThis French ad for McDonald's features an astronaut flagging outside his spacecraft in the cold wastes of the void.
    • Poetry lesson With its natural rhythm and delightful delivery, this spot for George at Asda demonstrates that rhymes can sound inventive and charming rather than the last resort of the uninspired.
    • Hit the track, JackIn a new series of films by Samsung ahead of Rio 2016, Jack Whitehall now throws himself into various Olympic disciplines - and this sterling ad set in the velodrome sees him come face-to-face with Sir Bradley Wiggins.
    • A cinematic odyssey.A piece featured in Somerset House's 'Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick' exhibition, this short film uses both familiar Kubrick typography and imagery while telling a personal story against the vivid backdrop.
    • Home pride.Jessica Ennis-Hill shows she's back to the serious matter of defending her Olympic title at Rio 2016 in this earnest BP commercial.
    • Pop promoThis candyfloss-coloured confection for Pop, Stella McCartney's new fragrance, looks light and frothy but in fact is an immensely sophisticated piece of work.
    • Just say noThe lovely performance from the young woman in this Tesco Mobile ad - coupled with the quirky voiceover - makes this an absolutely cracking ad.
    • Just have a wee drop.This arresting film for Singleton malt whisky harnesses both the elements and Speyside's natural beauty for an intoxicating depiction of whisky production.

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Australian Rugby Union
"Fan"
45s
26 July 2016

The governing body of Australian rugby union aim to forge a united front in the face of adversity with this engaging film depicting one lad's race to catch a glimpse of the national team in transit. We see both boisterous fans and those content to give a nod of approval as the team bus navigates the city streets. By the time the protagonist declares his allegiance on the roof of a car park, the Wallabies know a nation is in their corner.

It's a warm portrayal of national pride, and following Australia's three-nil defeat to England in this summer's Test series Down Under, one which aims to foster an urgent sense of unity as the team looks for an upturn in fortunes. Taking care to feature supporters of all ages and backgrounds, the ad should resonate with any sports fan who has stuck with their team through thick and thin.

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Strava
"Strive"
1 min 40s
26 July 2016

This strapping ad for online exercise community Strava tells us that being an athlete isn't about performing in front of packed stadiums, lucrative endorsements, or podium finishes - it's about getting out there and giving your heart rate something to think about.

Whether it's a solo or a team effort, exercise works the muscles and stimulates the senses regardless of weather or location. With plenty of visual and audio zeal, the ad depicts cycling, running, swimming, and other physical workouts as athletic feats in their own right.

Helping things along is the film's impressive geographical scope. Arresting footage of outdoor pursuits in full flow (and the painful moments when gravity takes over) whisks the viewer from city streets to the wilderness via steep inclines and scenic vistas. It's an ambitious effort to depict exercise without boundaries and the constantly shifting imagery pays dividends.

The ad is also keen to emphasise the solidarity that drives us when our muscles are ready to give out. An encouraging pat on the back speaks volumes, while celebrating triumph with a round of beers or a cheer that echoes for miles underlines how the brand appreciates the individual approaches to exercise of its users.

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McDonald's
"Spacewalk"
60s
26 July 2016

An astronaut is flagging outside his spacecraft in the cold wastes of the void. His grasp on the cord connecting him is failing... even the thought of his wife and children can't quite galvanise him to make it back to the safety of the hatch. But his desperate colleague has an idea... and it just might work.

This is a terrific ad from France; well-paced and funny with a great pay-off. The fading hero rallies at the prospect of a McDonald's triple burger which his colleague suggests is on board, and it is très amusant to watch his eager little face light up as the description of the burger's deliciousness unfolds.

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Asda George
"First Day"
30s
25 July 2016

We at DAVID gripe and groan about ads with rhyming scripts - but every now and again, along comes one which we can hold up as an example of how it should be done. With its natural rhythm and delightful delivery, this spot for George at Asda demonstrates that rhymes can sound inventive and charming rather than the last resort of the uninspired.

A little girl is preparing for her first day at school, and as she gets out of bed and clambers into her uniform she appears to be reading a poem from her mummy encouraging her to go out and embrace the world.

It's beautifully filmed. A shaft of sunlight picks out the smudges on our tiny heroine's glasses; her dishevelled hair flutters as she sighs with concentration over her buttons. She manages to smear paint across her face. And throughout, her voice rises and falls, pauses to consider; is grave and confident and playful.

What a truly lovely commercial. If the Asda experience is a reflection of the care and attention that this spot has been made with, why would you go anywhere else to kit out your children this summer?

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Samsung
"Jack Tries Cycling"
90s
25 July 2016

Those who enjoyed Jack Whitehall's tragicomic attempts to mix it with the England rugby union team last year won't be surprised to learn the comedian has opted for alternative pursuits. In a new series of films by Samsung ahead of Rio 2016, Whitehall now throws himself into various Olympic disciplines - and this sterling ad set in the velodrome sees him come face-to-face with Sir Bradley Wiggins.

It's clear poor Jack's icebreaking abilities haven't improved a great deal since we last saw him with Messrs Dallaglio and Johnson. Fudged attempts at keeping Team GB's other cycling great out of the conversation and surmising Sir Bradley's streamlined physique as "shipwrecked" earn Whitehall a priceless awkward silence - just one of many lovely beats trackside.

Once he eventually gets on the saddle, Whitehall further irks his mentor with some polite indicating and threatening to launch into a comedy routine about cyclists at large. The sport is all about patience, Wiggins states - but years of relentless training hasn't prepared him for a funnyman in tight shorts.

The cringy banter between Whitehall and Wiggins is a treat, with the latter able to shut down the former's fumbling efforts with a cool stare. Despite his podium-evading performance on the circuit, the comedian once again provides good value for the brand with his petulant outbursts in the company of Olympic royalty. And "Sir Wiggy Smalls" does have a certain ring to it, eh?

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On This Day

Sky Sports
"Start Of The Season"
90s
27 Jul 2011
The new football season is almost upon us and this is a beautiful reminder of how much the sport means to the fans. We all know that football fans are inclined to invest rather too emotionally in the fortunes of their team but there's something immensely touching about how much they care and Ivan Bird has perfectly captured that involvement.

Skoda
"Czech Coast Customs"
60s
27 Jul 2013
It was an enterprising idea to spring rapper 'Pimp My Ride' Xzibit on us out of tax-evasion obscurity. Aptly, he is running a bodyshop where so-so cars get trashed and transformed into Skoda Yetis. It's a great notion, although the parts are possibly greater than the sum as there's too much disconnect between the scenes.

Life M6 Blades
"Mookie"
3 mins
27 Jul 2015
It's a testament to the strength of this Israeli ad that it doesn't feel anywhere near three minutes long... and as it's selling razors, that's nothing short of miraculous. Instead of the usual macho music, science-y animations of blades against stubble fuzz and virile men nodding at themselves in satisfaction, this shows real-life 'Mook' rediscovering a face even his own wife doesn't know.

Amazon Prime
"Nursery"
60s
27 Jul 2015
This spot for Amazon Prime drives home the advantages of next day delivery on orders without resorting to a bombardment of customer endorsements. Instead, we're offered a scenario many parents will recognise... a child's first day at nursery. How to balance your feelings of guilt and your child's potential sense of abandonment? There is an answer.

Walkers
"Motorhead"
20s
27 Jul 2005
Motorhead are buying bags of butch-flavoured walkers crisps when a man in leathers on a toy bike steals them. The band are set to pursue but crafty Gary Lineker (for it is he) has chained their bikes to a bollard. Lemmy may look the part but he sounds like a middle-aged accountant.

West Wing
"Mount Rushmore"
45s
27 Jul 2006
A trail for the very last episode of The West Wing depicts the fictional President Bartlett as a worthy addition to the four Presidents portrayed at Mount Rushmore. In fact, Gutzon Borglum - the sculptor of the monument - was a KKK sympathiser and would have been revolted by Bartlett's liberal sensibilities.

Dragons' Den
"Knight's Errand"
40s
27 Jul 2006
A knight tears across the medieval countryside as if on the kission of a lifetime. We are still pondering the heroic nature of his quest when it emerges that he is going to the dragons' den to pitch a crazy idea that will enable commuters to sleep on trains.

MFI
"Teenage Strop Revisited"
30s
27 Jul 2007
Interesting response to the furore kicked up by this campaign has it dubbed in Spanish with English subtitles to alter its tone to that of a comedy spoof. Is this an admission that the campaign has hit the wrong note or an extension of the original effort? You decide.

Argos
"Outer Space"
30s
27 Jul 2007
Argos's summer campaign is most notable for securing the services of David 'Doctor Who' Tennant. A pile of stuff so high it reaches into outer space is on offer but, luckily we don't have to get a flying saucer to see what's on offer... we can get the big book instead.

BBC Sport
"Journey To The East"
30s
27 Jul 2008
Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett were instrumental in the creation of this trail for the BBC's Olympics coverage. It lacks the pomposity that often permeates the Corporation's announcements of such events in favour of a fun film provoking memories of cult hit Monkey in the familiar animation style of Gorillaz.

McDonald's
"Little Tasters"
30s
27 Jul 2009
Words in a variety of graphical styles fly across the screen as an enthusiastic voiceover reads them aloud to create an eye-catching effect. Whenever this technique is used, it always seems to produce a decent outcome but it's still a good thing that it's used sparingly.

Scottish Government
"Gary Numan"
30s
27 Jul 2009
1980s pop legend Gary Numan climbs into his car and offers a rendition of his most famous hit for a good cause. Even if he does feel 'safest of all' when he's sat in his car, he ought to walk to the shops instead of generating unnecessary carbon by driving.

Sky
"The Shining"
40s
27 Jul 2009
Anthony Hopkins once again talks enthusiastically about one of his favourite films. Apparently, he's a big fan of The Shining, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of a Stephen King novel best remembered for Jack Nicholson's disturbingly insane performance.

Sky
"Rocky"
40s
27 Jul 2009
Anthony Hopkins recalls seeing Rocky for the first time and congratulating Sylvester Stallone on his achievement as writer and star of the film. Hopkins loved the moment when Stallone dances triumphantly at the top of the steps of a Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Robinsons Fruit Shoot
"Juice Crew"
60s
27 Jul 2010
A coach full of cool kids arrive to brighten the lives of children at a dull school in this ad for Robinsons Fruit Shoot. They then parade their skills to the amazement of their young audience who cheer enthusiastically.

Wall's Smokey Sizzler
"Granny Glider"
30s
27 Jul 2010
A 78 year old woman demonstrates her zest for life by flying in a glider while chomping on the advertised snack. Another addition to this engaging campaign which shows ordinary people doing extraordinary things while fuelled by food from Wall's.

E4 Udderbelly
"Coming Home"
30s
27 Jul 2010
A CGI version of the giant purple cow that forms one of the venues at the Edinburgh Fringe makes its way through the streets of Scotland's capital. People look on as it passes, suggesting that something amazing really was trafficked through the city.

Bold
"Hug Descriptions"
30s
27 Jul 2010
This is a perfectly charming ad but what's going on with the sound quality? Was this recorded in the lobby of the advertising agency to save money? It certainly sounds like it and it's quite a detraction from what is a perfectly lovely bit of interplay with children.

Swatch
"Colourful"
30s
27 Jul 2010
A bright and noisy commercial for the watch manufacturer featuring lots of young photogenic types sporting the colourful range. Swatch is one of the great survivors when it comes to fashionable brands and it's been achieved without re-invention.

Three
"Walk"
30s
27 Jul 2010
There is a very careful pronunciation of that brand name in this attractive Irish commercial for Three. The Irish accent can make the word 'three' sound like 'tree' and this would play havoc with the script. You can practically hear the concentration of the voice-over artist.

Red Cross
"Unconscious Friend"
30s
27 Jul 2011
This film tries to stress the importance of First Aid knowledge. When a woman passes out, the simple act of placing on her side before calling the ambulance can be enough to save her life. The split screen effect is a little muddled though and this reduces the film's impact.

Subway
"Smokin' BBQ"
20s
27 Jul 2011
This is quite a cute way of illustrating the Southerness of the advertised snack. The hillbillies play their sandwiches like harmonicas in a fashion which suggests the 'Smokin' BBQ' within offers an authentic taste of the cuisine of the Southern states of the USA. (Though, it doesn't, obviously.)

Amstel
"The Boxer"
2 mins
27 Jul 2012
Although this edges towards portentousness, it tells its tale well and manages to engage the viewer throughout its two minutes. It reveals the story of a boxer who made his first grab for fame and fortune before he was ready and had to start over. There's probably some metaphor or other about the length of advertised beer's brewing process but this isn't over-emphasised.

Whiskas
"One Sure Thing"
45s
27 Jul 2012
The ups and downs of cat ownership are presented as though it's all positive in this commercial for Whiskas made for the German market. It's been attractively filmed but the plinky-plonky music lets it down a bit – who decided that people who own animals are likely to respond to the most banal music imaginable?

Samsung
"A New Taste"
1 min 35s
27 Jul 2012
The advertised sound system promises a new flavour of sound and, by the looks of things, it might be chocolate. The protagonist organises his entire apartment around listening to some music and then settles down on a chair to give it all his attention. He then is impressively transformed into a pool of human-shaped liquidity.

On This Day

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