David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

The Fableists
"Finn"
2 mins 05s
7 May 2014
Loading the player ...
UK Fashion Labels

This terrific little film promoting an ethical clothing label for kids features a fearless - and skilled - young skateboarder learning his craft. As a brand, The Fableists is described in its press release as "a mix of timeless, unisex and ultra-stylish clothes... which represents a move away from mass-produced fashion manufactured under sinister conditions and laden with chemicals".

In showing Finn wearing Fableist gear we're made aware a) of its durability and b) that we all have a responsibility to children, wherever they are.

It's poignant and beautifully made, and the track Hope / Grace by Edinburgh band Delta Mainline is an apt choice. The boy executes feats that would have most of us, as parents, running to stop him; but as passive viewers we're made instead to marvel at his spatial awareness, his motor control and his balance as he sails off concrete cliffs and judges slopes.

There's something of the intensity of Aoife McArdle's promo for Open Eye Signal by Jon Hopkins, which also features a lone young skateboarder. Finn is like his younger self; and the degree of single-minded concentration and self-containment he displays is utterly commanding.

Apparently this is the first in a series of clips which documents "kids around the world - kids with a gift, kids with drive, kids with ambition, kids who have overcome adversity" and who embody the brand's rebellious yet positive attitude.

The label has come about as a collaboration among top London talent in the realms of advertising, film and design - so that the agencies involved are as much brand owners as they are suppliers. Full credit, then, to Brothers & Sisters, Great Guns, Jungle and director Olivier Venturini along with Electric Theatre Collective and indeed Finn himself for getting this project off the ground.

QUICK SEARCH

Latest Additions

IBM
"Smarter Cities"
70s
17 Aug 2014
It doesn't matter how lovely a commercial for IBM may look (and this one does look lovely with some smashing special effects from The Mill) and how persuasive they are about the values they espouse, we still struggle to comprehend exactly how they're hoping we'll respond. Or is this going out over our heads to people who install computer infra-structure on a different scale?

Asda
"Apron"
20s
18 Aug 2014
Gavin the Asda Gnome has gone and got himself a six-pack. No - not of beer; he's a cocktail drinker, remember? We're talking about his abs. That's right; he's got a lovely set of them plastered all over the front of his barbecuing apron and it's scandalising the other gnomes. Or are they scandalised by his cheapness, because he's, er, packing 10% more than they are, the slut?

Cancer Research
"Halfway There"
40s
19 Aug 2014
"This is it... the moment we can say as many people now survive cancer as die from cancer." That's a strong opening gambit. Immediately you're confronted with the idea that "the fight against" the disease is making a difference; that we've reached a tipping point and all we need to do now is breath in, gird our loins and keep going. Lovely - from script to direction to editing, this is a piece full of coiled energy and determination.

Vanarama
"Song"
30s
16 Aug 2014
The best you can say about this ad is that it gets the name across. We'd like to leave it there, but we're duty bound to provide more. So: a bunch of burly tradespeople sing about where to buy a new van from when no wheels means no work. The lyrics are set to the hymn Give me Joy In My Heart. This description is designed to prevent you from having to watch the ad... don't say we haven't warned you.

CB12
"Extra Freshness Convenience"
20s
18 Aug 2014
Why would you choose this chewing gum over better-known brands? Even the Ebola treatment Z-Mapp sounds more charismatic than CB12. But maybe they're hoping the vagueness will work in their favour, as the last ad implied this is gum meant for industrial-strength bad breath. And after all, who wants to broadcast the fact they can wilt triffids at fifty paces?

Dolmio
"Sofia"
30s
18 Aug 2014
Not only are women frequently stereotyped as the family cook in ads (but never cast as chefs, mind); they're also frequently unable to do more than assemble meals with the help of pre-prepared sauces and the like. In this turgid nonsense, the puppet signifying the pretty, young-and-still-clueless wife is assisted by the mother in law into making the men think she can produce tasty food. Sigh.

Dove
"Purely Pampering Body Oil"
30s
18 Aug 2014
Like rather a lot of ads around at the moment, this relies on nice photography and decent production to prop up a dull script. This is about non-oily oil, and - to jaunty incidental music befitting a movie about a cute puppy - the VO veers from third to second to first person at random and includes such gems as "Wow. It's dry - and nothing on my sleeve." That's us sold, then.

Kids Company
"See The Child"
75s
19 Aug 2014
This spot for charity Kids Company is stark, grim and relentless... yet compels you to watch despite yourself. A small girl - unseen - tells us to witness the existence she led, and how its direction was shaped. The repetition of language, the monotony, the bleak ambiance created by the sound design create layers

Marks & Spencer
"Growth Spurts"
20s
18 Aug 2014
Another helping from this charming campaign which advertises the M & S range of schoolwear. In this execution, a boy tries to intimidate his young friend by telling how he plans to be bigger than him one day. When pushed for reasons, he falls back on "I just do", because sometimes we just can't explain our innermost desires.

Danone Activia
"Fruit Fusion"
30s
18 Aug 2014
"Okay, girls... time for something exciting," Gok honks heartily as if he's willing himself to be convinced. While he's a great spokeschappie for the brand, and while the ad itself does a good job of conveying the idea of flavour combinations, it feels like the Activia brand has taken a step backwards. Gok Wan's strength is addressing real women, not ciphers representing limp stereotypes.

Go Compare
"The House Whisperer Returns"
20s
18 Aug 2014
We finally get to meet Go Compare's house whisperer, who in turn is approached in a whisper in case he startles and bolts. The cautious couple who have come for his advice want to know what sort of insurance will make their house happy, which is a novel idea in itself. Soothingly he reassures them he's up to the task of finding out... and keeps his composure when he sees they've brought it with them.

Nike
"Mirrors"
60s
17 Aug 2014
This stylish spot for Nike shows how it might feel to play against Barcelona striker Neymar when he's wearing their new boots. He appears replicated over and over in an infinity mirror; everywhere and nowhere all at once. The suggestion is that his ability to dazzle and disorientate his rivals will be even greater thanks to his footwear; as demonstrated with, erm, shattering results.

Lynx
"Monday"
50s
19 Aug 2014
You'd expect any ad that opened with "You have over 4,000 Mondays in your life" would put an instant dampener on your mood, but far from it with this powerhouse of a commercial from Lynx. Wanna be the man? No - make him want to be you. With a range of fine fragrances at your disposal, you can be a winner every day of the week; a playa tough enough to eat tofu and not gag.

Open Table
"Mobile Phone"
30s
14 Aug 2014
While we accept that Irish agency Rothco probably weren't given much budget by this online client, this is, nonetheless, a launch ad - and launch ads need to make more of an impression than this. A launch ad for a service you don't know needs (at the very least) to provide enough intrigue to generate a little curiosity.

Peace
"Lost on Me"
3 mins 49s
19 Aug 2014
We rather like the way this appears to be having a dig at the mindlessness of boy bands. The group are rehearsing a routine with the aid of cue cards, and when an accident on set distracts their choreographer it doesn't occur to them to stop practising. They veer out of the studio with their click-and-walk moves, and slowly head towards their doom. Just wish this came from a more subversive outfit than Peace - it has the potential to be a very cool idea indeed.

Adidas
"Unleash Your Best"
65s
18 Aug 2014
Forget just doing it - that, it would seem, is for unfocused losers. You need a plan. You need incentives and goals and feedback. You need your best self standing just out of reach, urging you on to catch up. This is the message Adidas are giving us - and it would suggest there's no compromise. So get yourself fixed up with the tools to help every last muscle fibre and brain cell work with maximum efficiency: if you don't, you're just an also-ran.

Euromillions
"Your Lucky Numbers"
1 min 45s
17 Aug 2014
This lovely little spot gathers all manner of dusty archetypal mathematicians for a lecture by one of their own about 'good' numbers and 'bad' numbers. There is a way, they are told, to transform the bad numbers - like the number of hairs lost from your pate each day - into good numbers, which have the power to free you. And if you haven't had that eureka moment yet, here's a clue: Euromillions.

Lidl
"Approved By You"
6 mins 40s
17 Aug 2014
According to the largest blind test (no quips at the back, there) ever undertaken by Lidl, the people of Ireland have approved the supermarket's products as being as good or better than "their more expensive rivals". To demonstrate this, a family "approves" various goods, including Mr Flopsy the bunny rabbit, who gets a thorough sudsing in the washing machine.

The Times
"Cultural Impact"
3 mins
17 Aug 2014
One of the impressive films in the Unquiet series promoting different aspects of The Times. This particular film describes how reportage about specific events has inspired iconic cultural responses, from Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade to Picasso's and, more recently, Ben Okri's elegy to Mandela.

Digby Brown
"All The Way"
30s
17 Aug 2014
Much as we despise ambulance chasers, we have to say this commercial has been well done. Not only does it eschew the usual barking VO urging you to get your mitts on whatever cash you can, it also suggests a different reason for pursuing a case - that maybe all you're after is answers. Clever indeed... but is this genuine solicitude or cynicism cloaked in concern?

Dell
"Selfie Improvement"
60s
17 Aug 2014
Dell presses home the case for it to be regarded as a provider of fun in its latest US ad. The protagonist is an advocate for selfies and she helps others fulfil their potential in this vital realm of self-expression. It's a beautifully dry piece with the contribution from the central character's grandmother proving an especially neat addition.

AAMI Flexi-Premiums
"Don't Share the Bath Water"
30s
17 Aug 2014
Sharing bath water isn't edifying at the best of times and these look anything but the 'best of times'. With his bath-time sandwiched between his dad's and his mum's, the bearded protagonist can't be blamed for coming to the conclusion that there have to be better ways of saving money. It's an old advertising trope, to say the least, but clearly it has legs.

Bose
"Scene Unseen"
5 mins 45s
17 Aug 2014
This short film takes its time to get around to the product it advertises but at least it should have the full attention of anyone who's managed to hang in there that long. It's a general criticism of this type of media rather than a specific criticism of the film itself (which looks to be a well-made example of this kind of thing) but has anyone considered the likelihood of potential punters watching this to the end?

Jaeger
"Character"
75s
17 Aug 2014
Models and their mothers are interviewed in this gentle viral for Jaeger. It's a winning formula when done well (as it has been here), and those involved seem a perfect choice. That's because the typical Jaegerite aspires to be the daughter while being more likely to resemble the mother.

Apple iPad
"Jason Hall"
60s
16 Aug 2014
Jason Hall is a community activist and appears to be exactly the kind of counter-culture wonk who'd oppose Apple and everything it stands for if it didn't make such darned useful bits of equipment. Instead, he uses his iPad to organise his fellow militants and show his city how it can be improved for the better.


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