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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Coastguard
"Fraserburgh Beach"
57s
23 Oct 2014
This excellent public information film very effectively brings home the fact that weather conditions on our coastlines can change rapidly - indeed, in seconds. Contrasting imagery of a calm, sunny day on Fraserburgh Beach with a frantic recorded call from the same location days earlier, it really does make us think twice about paying better heed to the nature of the sea.

Lenevo
"Ashton's Goat"
30s
22 Oct 2014
Very nice indeed - simple, silly, and single-minded. This spot for Lenovo has Mr Kutcher listening to lite classical and checking his stocks and shares while eating his breakfast cereal. All very grown-up and middle class, we're led to believe... until the camera pulls back and we see he's milking a goat straight into his bowl. That's obviously just what he likes to do; and thanks to the notebook's ergonomics, he can milk and read simultaneously.

Land Rover
"Into the World"
80s
22 Oct 2014
This thoughtfully-crafted piece for Land Rover is narrated by a VO who talks about the car as if it were a newborn; a fresh-faced innocent set forth in the world to be forged and honed into a shape all its own. We like the camerawork - clues about the identity of this being are given via reflections and POV angles at headlight height among other things... subtle.

JBL
"Epic Fail"
30s
22 Oct 2014
A beautifully filmed spot for cordless headphones JBL, which features people in an assortment of situations that turn into disasters thanks to unwitting entanglement. Each little catastrophe is impeccably executed - you can feel the pain and humiliation of Treadmill Woman and Coffee Man as if it were your own. Terrific ending, too... his face is a picture.

Freesat
"Sheldon"
40s
22 Oct 2014
Poor Sheldon the snail... no matter how he tries, he just can't manoeuvre himself into the right position to watch Corrie through the window of the house whose garden he lives in. That is, until the family gets Freesat, which means any programme broadcast over the last seven days can be watched at any time, so Sheldon has a better chance of keeping up with the latest events.

Felix Schoeller
"The Power of Paper"
90s
22 Oct 2014
A lavish piece from Germany for the paper brand Felix Schoeller, which refers to the power paper has wielded over the centuries. It's perhaps a tad on the long side and loses a little in translation but it's interesting, and lovingly shot into the bargain. The action weaves back and forth through time and events rather like memory does, presumably capturing all that happens with marks made by a humble pen.

Ikea
"Halloween"
80s
22 Oct 2014
It had to happen eventually - someone had to make a Halloween ad based on The Shining. We're just glad it was Ikea. This pan-Asian spot features a little Singaporean Danny riding his bike up and down the aisles of the store, which is eerily-lit and strangely menacing. Things come to a head when he's confronted by the twins... and less likely-looking twins you'd be hard-pressed to find.

Google Glass
"FKA Twigs"
2 mins 12s
22 Oct 2014
FKA twigs has pretty much defined the blurry boundary between promo and commercial with this collaboration between herself and Glass from Google. Despite the meltdown of the traditional business model in the music industry, we've still tended to perceive the idea of an artist receiving money in exchange for the use of their work in advertising as a sell-out.

ASR
"The Other Games"
90s
22 Oct 2014
A wonderful array of unusual sports appears in this Dutch commercial for The Other Games - supported by ASR. And there's a sheepish cameo from a pair of footballers from the Dutch World Cup squad, which lit up this summer's tournament with a thrashing of Spain only to slink out of the competition after a penalty shoot-out in the semi-finals.

Replay Jeans
"The Hyerflex Tests"
1 min 35s
22 Oct 2014
For once in a fashion ad, there's actually some purpose to the lust-inducing choreography... these young men and women are perfectly demonstrating the jeans' stretchability through their impressive flexibility. And if that means Europe's youth can frolic in them without fear of a badly-timed rip earning them the ridicule of their friends, then this is a product many will get behind... as it were.

Coors Light
"Frozen Pint"
30s
22 Oct 2014
Having built his Ice Bar in the previous - and fantastic - ad, Jean-Claude Van Damme continues his search for something that matches the refreshment offered by a Coors Light. So we see him inside the bar itself, lovingly tending its surfaces and shimmying to a track on the ice jukebox. Satisfied with his moves, he goes to fetch his glass of the beer in question - only to find it's frozen solid.

Carte D'Or
"Gelateria"
30s
22 Oct 2014
Eton Mess... while not the most challenging or imaginative desserts to make, if done properly it can be sublime. The difficulty is that this means it can't be mass produced. This spot for Carte D'Or does its best to make an appetising connection between the real thing and the branded ice cream, but it's a stretch to compare convincingly and it shows.

Carnation Milk
"Food Network Sponsorship"
80s
22 Oct 2014
A tasty set of bumpers for Carnation features a sped-up stop frame technique filmed from overhead, demonstrating a variety of meals and desserts being made using Carnation products. While the look remains consistent and the brand features prominently, the music for each differs enormously; setting a distinct mood for each culinary creation.

Birell Turbo
"The Lab"
45s
22 Oct 2014
The poor slobby specimen that is the human male gets the chance to transcend his limitations for a few hours in lab conditions, thanks to energy drink Birell Turbo. This endows him with exceptional qualities from the rest of the animal kingdom, such as "the ferocity of the gorilla... the reflexes of the kangaroo... and the reasoning of the bear". Who wouldn't want to have the reasoning of the bear? Exactly. Great stuff.

Amazon Fire
"Fast and Furious 6"
30s
22 Oct 2014
This ad for Amazon Fire not only entertains but has its message firmly at the heart of the aspect that's most amusing. It focuses on the fact that the service responds to voice commands, and so has an array of unlikely people requesting Fast and Furious 6 as authoritatively as they can. Astutely, it acknowledges the novelty of this feature by showing the self-consciousness some have in behaving this way - if everyone onscreen were comfortable with it, we'd merely find it immensely irritating.

Direc TV
"Creepy Rob Lowe"
30s
22 Oct 2014
Direc TV keeps nailing it... once again, they've served up a delicious feast of an ad rather than a nuked TV meal. Rob Lowe is in fine form as his mature, respectable self with a Direc TV subscription - and the self he could have been if he were a cable TV viewer. While the first Rob is a clean cut, suit-wearing coffee drinker, the second is a supercreep who probably makes his own moonshine in hubcaps. Excellent.

Renault
"Jonathan Ross Bumpers"
45s
18 Oct 2014
These bumpers for Renault sponsoring Jonathan Ross may have been done on a shoestring budget but as a result they're rather good because of their distinctive feel. Kudos to the director. Highlighting the idea that the car offers a more "interesting" ride, they humorously feature rudimentary visual cues that it will take you into uncharted territory, such as the cold wastes of space or the depths of the ocean floor.

Morrisons
"Match & More Card"
30s
20 Oct 2014
Now this is interesting: Morrisons has introduced a card which price matches not only its rivals Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's - it price matches Aldi and Lidl too. The precise mechanics of this aren't explained, but we imagine we're supposed to infer that if it's simple enough for Ant and Dec to understand, it's definitely simple enough for us to understand. Which supermarket will react first, we wonder?

TransferWise
"Party's Over"
30s
20 Oct 2014
This strange beast is a tad confused but feels promisingly entertaining. A young city sharp steps out of a lift and strides briskly through an office bash in its final throes of decadence paid for with customer charges for overseas transfers. Befuddlingly, he is one of the bankers - but then tells us the party's over thanks to the low charges offered by TransferWise. It's quite hard to follow - like a 60" idea squeezed into half that time - but it still kind of works. Be interesting to see how it's followed up.

Cirque Du Soleil
"Kooz"
60s
20 Oct 2014
Cirque Du Soleil is such a powerful brand that all it has to do is show snippets of the performers doing their thing to get people to book their tickets in droves. What we like is that this hasn't been filmed and edited just any old how, though - as much care and craft has gone into the making of this as goes into the show itself.

Google
"Motorbike Trip"
30s
18 Oct 2014
Lovely ad, this. Focusing on just one aspect of Google Talk, it has a young guy planning a trip to the coast on his motorbike. Land's End sounds like a cool place to go, and Google tells him the weather's clement. So what's to stop him? He asks for the route. Google informs him. There's a lovely truthiness about this because being able to ask for details rather than stopping to type questions is really convenient in certain situations... even if the info you get back isn't.

Galaxy
"Not a Screen"
30s
18 Oct 2014
This isn't just a touch-screen phone, you know. It's a camera, a movie player, a light in the dark, a window. Pretty much any other phone that isn't just a phone, then. Except you can scribble notes on this one. Hang on - if that's its USP, why doesn't the ad concentrate on it and tell us the benefits of being able to scrawl something indecipherable on the screen instead of tidily typing? Oh.

Argos
"Ode to Joy"
30s
21 Oct 2014
A pyroclastic flow of colourful toys erupts in a sterile, all-white bedroom, defying gravity as Ode to Joy rings out. Dolls, Lego bricks and crayons hurtle through the air with slow-motion grace and a large yet elegant super informs us there's up to a third off Barbie, Hot Wheels and Monster High, whatever that is. A visually impressive homage to the annual onset of Christmas Fever.

118 118 Money
"When Banks Say No"
30s
20 Oct 2014
With the need for dial-up directories petering out, you'd expect 118 118's advertising to have disappeared completely. But you'd be wrong. It's merely morphed into something else: loans. Don't need a phone number but could do with some dosh? 118 118 Money's your man. Or men, should we say, as the duo speed round in tiny go-karts offering cash to people whose banks have said no. Astonishing.

5 On Demand
"Summer 2014"
60s
21 Oct 2014
This spot telling us what's available to view on Five does so with the assistance of some nifty origami in the channel's colours. Thus there's everything from a paper pistol to a pink and purple planet as the VO reminds us of crime dramas, reality shows and more. We can imagine it being quite a challenge to come up with all the different visual cues, let alone actually fashion them.

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