David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

PPL
"Isn't This Life Enough?"
60s
20 January 2014
USA Power Utility Companies

Scottish band Admiral Fallow have adapted their own song Isn't This World Enough? for this feel-good ad for an American power company. It's a heart-warming collage of imagery and successfully conveys the idea that the reliable and easily-controlled energy provided by PPL is something that provides comfort to its customers.

Google Nexus
"Oven Woe"

Martin said:

indeed they do!


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The Sun
"Chessington"
30s
4 Feb 2016
A listless family are given a jolt when Dad comes crashing through the front wall. Normally this kind of improvised interior decoration would go down badly, but thanks to Dad having taken advantage of The Sun's Superdays promotion, two free tickets to Chessington World of Adventures sends everyone into a gangsta rap state of reverie.

Snickers
"Marilyn"
30s
4 Feb 2016
This may not reach the heights of last year's Super Bowl ad, but Snickers still manage to raise a smile thanks to the agreeable sight of Willem Dafoe in Marilyn Monroe's dress. Production on 'The Seven Year Itch' hits a snag when Dafoe gives some incredulous notes on the famous grate scene. As it turns out, a Snickers is all Marilyn needs to return to her glamorous self.

Cancer Research
"World Cancer Day"
30s
3 Feb 2016
The word cancer is gradually filled with the soundwaves of those describing their own experiences with the disease. It soon turns into a cacophony of voices each asserting that they can't do anything to help the fight against cancer. By buying a wristband to mark World Cancer Day, individuals can contribute help make the difference they previously thought beyond them.

Mountain Dew Kickstart
"Puppymonkeybaby"
30s
4 Feb 2016
"Well, that just happened." No doubt that will the popular reaction to this slice of genetically engineered madness from Mountain Dew. These three dudes are in need of an energy boost, and they receive it courtesy of - you guessed it - a puppy-monkey-baby hybrid. Freakish, but looking away is no mean feat.

Bud Light
"Campaign Launch"
60s
3 Feb 2016
Our friends across the pond have a big ol' decision to make come November: picking who gets the keys to the White House (or Trump House as it shall surely be known if Donald has anything to do with it). Presenting themselves as the 4.2% ABV candidates are Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan, and they're campaigning on behalf of the Bud Light Party.

Audi R8
"Commander"
90s
3 Feb 2016
Bowie's recent death gives this ad for the new Audi R8 a special resonance. Opening on the memorabilia of a retired astronaut's career, the narrative unfolds to reveal an old man - the astronaut himself, sitting in an armchair staring into, er, space as he grieves silently for a time that will never come back. Except that... in a way, it does - when his son hands him the keys to the car in question and the track 'Starman' kicks in.

Nissan Leaf
"Mother Nature"
35s
3 Feb 2016
Joe Wilkinson informs us that it's all well and good to pay a pittance for mileage in an electric car, but what's the benefit to Mother Nature? Who is, it turns out, himself, just decorated in ivy? Not that the driver version of Joe twigs: all he sees is some fit bearded bird in his passenger seat wearing a fetching green creation.

Nissan Leaf
"Car Wash"
40s
3 Feb 2016
Yes, it turns out is is safe to put an electric car through a car wash, like this Nissan Leaf here. But equally, as with any other type of car, you'd do well to close the windows before you embark on the process. Otherwise you'll end up like Joe Wilkinson and little John, which would be a tad awkward and leave you feeling more than a bit stupid.

eToro
"Barbershop"
40s
3 Feb 2016
A barbershop becomes a bull market in this eye-catching commercial for social trading platform eToro. Idle chatter doesn't interest this horned barber, but talk of stock market movers and shakers does. By asking others whether to buy or sell natural gas shares, the stylist ensures the man in the chair becomes the man in the know. A fun depiction of amateur trading with a nice anti-bantz line.

Volvo
"Winter Idents"
60s
5 Feb 2016
Not all of Volvo's UK advertising is very strong but their bumpers for Sky Atlantic - featured here - definitely have a big impact on brand perception. Sky reserve this channel for their best output and the continuous reminder that their strongest programming is supported by Volvo has an influence. The bumpers themselves hit just the right note too. They are quietly classy... just what you need when you're going to be seeing them eight times an hour.

Coors Light
"Whatever Your Mountain"
60s
3 Feb 2016
This new Coors Light ad may lack the absurd beauty of Jean-Claude Van Damme ice sculpting, but 72andSunny's debut ad does a solid job of taking the brand in a more profound direction. Various go-getters are shown tackling their own personal trials, just as Coors strive to improve their own brewing methods to ensure every victory sip is better than the last. It's a tried and tested angle, but it's competently done here.

Discordia
"The Calais Jungle"
3 mins 38s
4 Feb 2016
Esteemed cinematographer Dan Bronks visited a refugee camp in Northern France to see for himself the reality of life there, and - with a lot of support from people in our industry - he documented the squalid existence of those in 'the Calais Jungle'. What he has captured is beautifully hopeful despite the grimness, and he has provided us with a truth many will find uncomfortable.

Rocket Mortgages
"What We Were Thinking"
60s
3 Feb 2016
This dynamic advert for financial services company Rocket Mortgages promises to make it as easy to secure a loan to buy a house as it is to download music, and appears to be operating in a universe where the sub-prime mortgage disaster never happened. It's a brilliantly attractive commercial and highly persuasive to boot but - come on, America - try to remember what happened last time you made it possible to secure a mortgage without checks and balances!

SunTrust
"Hold Your Breath"
60s
3 Feb 2016
The fallout of the 2008 financial crisis made it impossible for countless victims of circumstances to breathe easy for a long, long time. And so, in a bold opening gambit, this ad for SunTrust asks us to hold our breath. It's fine at first - we feel in control, but as our oxygen supply dwindles panic sets in. This is how it felt for all those people, we're told; which is why SunTrust is determined to ensure its customers don't experience the same pain.

Carlsberg
"Shopping Trolley"
80s
2 Feb 2016
A fun addition to Carlsberg's ongoing campaign suggesting everything would be superior if only they made it, has candidly-filmed footage of a man's trip around Asda in a specially customised shopping trolley. Other shoppers look on with a mixture of puzzlement, awe and amusement as the fellow heads to the checkout to buy a crate of the Danish lager.

Guinness
"John Hammond"
65s
2 Feb 2016
This piece for Guinness celebrating the music producer and civil rights activist John Hammond for ignoring a ban on black musicians is too cautious by half. The problems Hammond confronted nearly a century ago remain with us, and that makes this appropriation of his advocacy of tolerance feel rather wishy-washy. It looks good but it's a missed opportunity.

Churchill
"Tyre"
30s
2 Feb 2016
More master puppetry from Blinkink's Joesph Mann as a tyre uses its last breath to draw a promise of vengeance from Churchill the dog. While the canine crusader isn't willing to go after the uninsured driver with a pack of hounds, he is able to promise that the insurance company he represents is willing to repair the damage without affecting the driver's no claims bonus.

Mini
"Labels"
30s
3 Feb 2016
Another teaser for Mini's arrival in America has soccer star Abby Wambach - among others - offering a pronouncement about the vehicle, which she anticipates will be: "This is a gay car". Others in the ad variously call it small, or a chick car, or slow, or cute. As we already know, it is in fact - as Harvey Keitel reminds us - a car that defies labels.

T-Mobile
"Restricted Bling"
30s
3 Feb 2016
Rap star Drake demonstrates extraordinary compliance no matter what's asked of him in this funny advert for T-Mobile which aims to suggest that the network's rivals 'ruin everything'. However, a longer version which has him actually incorporating the lines 'device eligible for upgrade after twenty-four months' and 'streaming music will incur data charges' into his song wouldn't go amiss.

Dolce & Gabbana
"Sophia Loren"
3 mins 10s
1 Feb 2016
81 year old Sophia Loren is joined by a quintet of strapping Italian stallions in this absurdly grandiose commercial for Dolce & Gabbana. They renovate a magnificent mansion, restoring it to its former glory in unlikely fashion (mainly, it appears, by destroying a single internal wall). Presumably, its recovery stands as some kind of metaphor for the way VFX has been used to restore the looks of its elderly star.

Apartments.com
"Movin' On Up"
60s
3 Feb 2016
Having teased us with Lil Wayne buzzing none other than George Washington up to his abode, Apartments.com present their feel-good Super Bowl ad. Americophiles will apparently find plenty of references to sitcom 'The Jeffersons' here; for everyone else, Jeff Goldblum putting his piano skills to good use as the brand's tech impresario Brad Bellflower can be taken at face value.

LG Televisions
"The Man From The Future"
60s
3 Feb 2016
LG's Super Bowl commercial is very much a family affair both on-screen and behind the scenes. For once, Liam Neeson leaves the action heroism to someone else as his mysterious stranger entrusts a man (played by his real-life son, Michael) with LG's 4K technology. Directed by Jake Scott, the ad conveys how the brand is raising the stakes in the high definition realm.

Churchill
"Scrapyard"
30s
1 Feb 2016
First rate puppetry and a neat gag combine to create a good outcome for the insurance company. A crushed vehicle tries in vain to laugh off the extent of its 'injuries' much like the Black Knight in 'Monty Python & the Holy Grail' - but Churchill the dog isn't fooled. He's pleased to hear about the options available to the company's punters if their car should suffer a similar mishap.

KFC
"Slow"
30s
2 Feb 2016
They may be a fast food restaurant, but KFC acknowledge the virtues of taking things slow with this attractive ad. In between languid shots of Kentucky around sundown, we're treated to appetising glimpses of bright chillies, spices, and viscid sauce coming together to create a pulled chicken burger. Considered pacing and good photography combine to present a KFC meal as one worth savouring.

McDonald's
"Bacon Clubhouse"
30s
2 Feb 2016
There's so much going on in this ad that we only caught 'bacon' and brioche' the first time around in this new McDonald's ad. But that made us pay attention more closely the second time, as the snappy editing and intriguing shots suggest a barrage of delicious ingredients assembled between the two halves of that soft, buttery roll. Nicely done.

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