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.

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Latest Work

Lacoste
"Life is a Beautiful Sport"
60s
3 Mar 2014
This visually stunning commercial for Lacoste demonstrates that it's possible to make a grandiose fashion ad that works. Illustrating the inner turmoil of making that first move with a leap from a tall building may be overstating it, but Seb Edwards has created a film of such artistry that you find yourself totally drawn in. Indeed, you practically stand up and cheer when she finally reciprocates.

Apple
"Stickers"
30s
22 Jul 2014
This is rather a lovely way for Apple to make the point that one of their MacBooks will be at the centre of your working and domestic life... if you choose to buy one. Animation and music combine for a ride through the different cultural influences that have an impact on the tech company's clientele and - despite the challenges they face from increasingly confident rivals - Apple's advertising always manages to stress the idea that it's the daddy in its sector.

LG
"The New Smart"
30s
21 Jul 2014
The LG G3 phone appears to have an excellent camera, and also comes with a removable battery - a feature which is likely to have increasing significance for anyone getting a new phone given the recent airport rulings requiring phones to be charged or dumped. However, the generic electronic musak and overall presentation of the ad detracts quite a bit, altering perception of the product from convincing and smart to a mere cheap wannabe.

ITV
"The Great War"
60s
20 Jul 2014
This trail is for The Great War: a programme that weaves together stories of ordinary people caught up in World War One via letters sent to and from the front. It's movingly done: voices fade in and out, reading excerpts from various missives; it's almost a shame that the programme will obviously use actors to dramatise scenarios because the words alone are more than enough to evoke the hope, uncertainty and heartache experienced during and beyond those years.

Anchor Butter
"Glorious Nothing Days"
30s
21 Jul 2014
Another glorious celebration of those days when nothing needs doing from a campaign of ongoing excellence. Once again, Peter Capaldi's VO perfectly complements a lovely montage and helps to invoke a sense of tremendous domestic warmth. Advertising is sometimes at its best when it reminds us of life's simplest pleasures... and cleverly associates a brand with them.

Google
"Ladybird Cake"
30s
21 Jul 2014
There's a nice twist on the idea that Google can help you do something practical in this ad for the tech giant. Instead of just using his device to find some handy instructions, the protagonist compares his, er, achievement with cakes made by others. He swiftly concludes that it's time to visit a cake shop. Nice.

The Times
"Times New Roman"
3 mins 25s
21 Jul 2014
Another helping from the excellent Unquiet series of online films for The Times takes a look at the typeface that owes its name to the newspaper. As before, it's a beautifully made documentary and engages from start to finish... mind you, it doesn't persuade DAVID of the typeface's majesty - especially the way The Times uses it in its stunted printed edition. Yuk.

National Trust
"50 Things To Do"
60s
21 Jul 2014
The compilation of boredom that opens this inspiring commercial for the National Trust will be recognised by many parents. The summer holidays are a wonderful opportunity that can too easily be wasted and scenes of children languishing in their homes in a state of listless ennui will be replicated in homes up and down the land.

KFC
"Rodeo"
90s
21 Jul 2014
The filming of this is excellent - the apprehension on the young man's face; the footage of the horse trying its damnedest to shake him off in the ring; the close-up of the father's face watching and following every nano-second that he stays on. There's an atmospheric documentary style going on here, and it's a bit of a surprise when you realise this is an ad for KFC.

The Fall
"Series Two"
50s
21 Jul 2014
A moody trail for the second series of The Fall sees Gillian Anderson's character Stella Gibson and Jamie Dornan's evil Paul Spector sharing a room together. That is, some clever editing makes it appear thus in order to show that they're closer to each other in other ways than either realise. Apparently, Dornan is "Soon to be featured in 50 shades of Grey". Make of that what you will.

Organ Donation Wales
"Ticking Clock"
30s
21 Jul 2014
Interesting idea - the body housing a countdown display as if it were a time bomb getting ready to detonate. A VO tells us to talk about organ donation with our loved ones because the way they choose to become donors in Wales is changing. But it should probably provide some information about the nature of that change.

Discovery Channel
"Robson Green: Extreme Fisherman"
45s
21 Jul 2014
This trail demonstrates that a simple idea can sell the right series far more effectively than a montage of clips. Here, Robson Green unexpectedly has a taste of his own medicine while he sits reading his paper and minding his own business... and the calibre of this spot suggests that a sterling effort may well have gone into making the whole thing.

Meteor
"Rocket Scientist"
40s
21 Jul 2014
Another wonderfully daft spot for Irish telecoms company Meteor, in which a mad professor tells us their pay-as-you-go tariffs aren't rocket science. With more than a little Sheldon (Big Bang Theory) prissiness, he tells us that there's nothing wrong with a grown man liking sci-fi; although his wife may beg to differ. Lovely throwaway gag at the end.

Birmingham Bullring
"Model Shopping Centre"
30s
18 Jul 2014
Although the models for this were created a couple of years ago, a new edit of the Aardman-animated spot for Birmingham's much derided Bull Ring Shopping Centre makes them look as fresh as they did first time around. We always worry about the wisdom of showing interpretations of destinations rather than the destinations themselves, but this has such charm it'll probably do the trick.

Renault Captur
"Fish"
40s
18 Jul 2014
This takes Finding Nemo and Levi's Swimmer and stirs them together to create a splash for Renault. A restless goldfish spies a car heading for the beach, and via a series of acrobatic moves manages to follow it all the way there. On arrival it boings its way into the surf and wibbles off to freedom - the same sense of which one gets, of course, with the aforementioned car.

Tile Mountain
"How It Used To Be"
30s
18 Jul 2014
The way "shopping for tiles used to be" in contrast with the experience of buying them at Tile Mountain online (who came up with that name?). It has the potential to be funnier but overall it's not a bad effort and the dystopian shopping experience they're hoping to save us from looks suitably dismal.

National Trust
"Hill Rolling"
20s
18 Jul 2014
Bored? Not quite twelve years old? Then go roll down a really big hill. A sweet and easy solution to being a kid with nothing to do... so long as you have a big hill nearby to roll down or a way of getting to one if you don't. What's effective about this spot is that it suggests to adults that children don't necessarily require daunting levels of effort to keep them entertained: sometimes the best things are the simplest.

Coca Cola
"Bobby"
50s
17 Jul 2014
Personalised Coca Cola is evidently enjoying a broader appeal these days. In this bouncy spot, a dog named Bobby goes looking for a can or bottle with his name on it, because, of course, dogs like carbonated drinks and are able to read. Overlooking that, however, it's rather sweet and aptly uses That's Not My Name by The Ting Tings to help get the message across.

Land Rover
"Richard E Grant"
40s
19 Jul 2014
"You're too weird-looking; your face is too long," Richard E Grant was told when he said he wanted to be an actor. But, like all the people in this Land Rover campaign, he wouldn't take no for an answer and went on to be one of the world's finest screen drunks. He may never have bettered that role, but his unpushy demeanor and quiet, nice-guy persona makes him a great choice for this.

Mattessons Sausage
"Stick or Twist"
30s
19 Jul 2014
We love this attention-grabbingly silly spot for Mattessons... not least because it puts the product proposition firmly at the forefront of the mind. A presenter in the old-school, severe manner asks us whether we think a mum should stick with her old recipe or give it a twist with the addition of some Mattessons sausage. Stick... or twist? You chose correctly. This should be one happy client.

Nissan X-Trail
"True Self"
40s
17 Jul 2014
A chap in the advertised vehicle spots another chap dashing out of his garage on a mountain bike, pedalling away furiously. A burglar, perchance? He reverses and follows him. The bike chappie is in one almighty hurry, it seems, and it turns out he just can't wait to chuck himself off a cliff - with a parachute, of course. Car man is dumbfounded to realise this is his own alter ego; his true self. Complete with gripping hands and eagle eyes, no doubt.

BT Sport
"José Mourinho"
60s
17 Jul 2014
Another powerfully energetic ad in the BT Sport campaign; this time not concentrating on one match (and breathe, Arsenal) but a whole raft of them. It very effectively demonstrates that the high-octane vibe surrounding premier-league games is a constant: who wouldn't want to be part of that vast crowd swept up in the emotions of the moment?

Stella Artois
"Sandman"
2 mins 01s
18 Jul 2014
This latest online spot for Stella focuses on the man responsible for the bunker designs at this year's British Open at Hoy Lake. We're informed that he's not someone you want to cross: his bunkers are hellish to negotiate. Likened at the start to beautiful but deadly traps in nature - such as the Venus fly trap - they inspire dread among golfers; and the man behind them remains shadowy throughout this until the end when a comment on the radio reveals him giving the subtlest of reactions.

Expedia
"Horse Whisperer"
40s
17 Jul 2014
Expedia ads seem to be improving in leaps and bounds, suggesting this campaign is really finding its feet. In this particular spot, a horse whisperer and his steed perform all manner of clever tricks... but no-one's watching because useless colleague Pedro is showing them his holiday snaps from New York. Very, very impressively shot.

Meteor
"Brain Surgeon"
40s
18 Jul 2014
One of three fab spots for Meteor in Ireland, which set out to demonstrate why everyone wants one of their mobile phone contracts. In this ad, brain surgeon and "international hair model" Jesús Ángel tells us that you don't have to do his job to figure out that Meteor's deals make complete sense. It's silly, snappy and off the wall - plus it's a sublime piece of casting.

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