David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

    • Vigilance and vitality.Diabetes UK draw attention to the unseen realities of the condition in this absorbing ad.
    • The (w)hole story.TikTok explore what viral stories mean offline in their latest commercial.
    • Living history.This intriguing look behind the scenes of Google's doodle celebrating Rodolfo 'Corky' Gonzales offers insight into a complex and influential historical figure.
    • Captive audience.Henry Miller (who some may recognise as Santander’s origami bills man) delivers an engrossing performance in this measured short film.
    • Unboxing video.Self-help bigwig Deepak Chopra narrates this tactile piece of work for Audible.
    • Four new faces at Who Wot Why.Senior creatives Alex Bingham and Conrad Swanson and creatives Josh Fidell and Bella Owen have joined Who Wot Why.
    • Oedipus wrecksIf you were among those who thought that the recent John Lewis insurance commercial set a bad example and over-claimed for the advertised service, get a load of this American ad for Ladder.
    • Spice up your crispsIt's easy to underestimate a piece of advertising like this ad for Kettle Chips.
    • Men need to do betterSo much of the messaging which followed the murder of Sarah Everard has concerned itself with the measures that women should take to protect themselves from men.
    • The charms of the British autumnYes, yes... we know what you're thinking. This Sports Direct ad reminds you of Nike 'Londoner'... as every half-decent ad in this sector has for the past four years.

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Diabetes UK
"#ThisIsDiabetes"
60s
19 October 2021

Diabetes UK draw attention to the unseen realities of the condition in this absorbing ad. With people from all walks of life affected by the need to be constantly vigilant about their health - monitoring every scrap of food and drop of insulin - the film reminds those struggling with the daily grind that they are not alone.

It also reminds viewers what all the effort is for, as children play, personal bests are smashed, and families come together in spite of the struggle. Director Chris Fowles does a nice job of balancing the poignant with the uplifting here, ensuring viewers are left with a hopeful outlook by the sixty-second commercial's end.


TikTok
"Secret Apartment"
60s
19 October 2021

In an age where it seems like everyone is desperate to go viral, social media micro-movie app TikTok explore what the phenomenon means offline in their latest commercial. The film taps into a story from earlier this year, in which a New York woman found a whole apartment hidden behind her bathroom mirror.

A diverse bunch of raconteurs relay the tale, with beauty spa gossip and tooth-brushing chit-chat sat neatly alongside office conversations and Uber driver ramblings. The different styles of storytelling make the ad, with one comment from the factory floor ("This is freaking me out, Tony!") providing an undoubted highlight. Will other memes receive the same treatment in future?


Google
"Celebrating Rodolfo Corky Gonzales"
4 mins 09s
19 October 2021

This intriguing look behind the scenes of Google's doodle celebrating Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales offers insight into a complex and influential historical figure. A leader of the Chicano cultural movement in the 1960s, Gonzales was a Mexican-American boxer, poet, and activist whose spirited public speaking and nuanced understanding of identity shine through this film.

A mixture of interviews and historical footage sucks viewers into the four-minute piece, as the unique challenges faced by indigenous Mexican people are explored alongside Gonzales's impact. It's a fascinating look into what goes into creating a piece of art for such a global audience, with artist Roxie Vizcarra's process threaded throughout the film.


Short Films
"One Shot"
14 mins 08s
19 October 2021

Henry Miller (who some may recognise as Santander’s origami bills man) delivers an engrossing performance in this low-key short film. Miller plays Richard, a man who dreams of singing on stage after one too many false starts. His family may be indifferent ("My son used to visit me, but he's gone now. Colchester."), but a sympathetic ear is never too far away.

Pathetic and endearing in equal measure, Richard is a creature of habit ready for a fresh start; it's just that his methods are less Paul Potts and more Arthur Fleck/Joker. Yet thanks to Miller's thoughtful performance and writer-director Robin Mason's command of tone, it's hard to resist Richard's hospitality - not sure about the biscuits though.


Audible
"Unboxing Mind Body Zone"
30s
17 October 2021

Self-help bigwig Deepak Chopra narrates this tactile piece of work for Audible, who carry his new podcast 'Mind Body Zone: Living Outside the Box'. The title is a mouthful, but the brand compensate with clean, colourful set design and expressive performances to convey Chopra's escape plan (sans Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone).

He and director Sophy Holland are more concerned with "the boxes we put ourselves in" - psychological hurdles represented here by floating bars, endless stairs, and skin-tight garments. It's a commendable effort to make abstract notions tangible, and may provide a useful 'in' for those keen to break free once and for all.


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On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Apple iPod
"Eminem"
30s
20 Oct 2005
US rap star Eminem struts his stuff on behalf of corporate rebel brand Apple and, more specifically, the iPod. Thanks to the goody two shoes image of the average Apple user, over-rich musical superstars like to kid themselves that the music will be legally downloaded. Yeah right. Neat animation.

Surf
"Doughnut"
10s
20 Oct 2006
Beautiful piece of physical comedy here in an very amusing commercial lasting just ten seconds. Hearing she's won £99 in a competition, a woman slams down the box of washing powder in celebration. Unfortunately, its contact with her bloke's doughnut sees him squirted with a dramatic quantity of jam.

GHD
"At The Stroke Of Midnight"
2 mins 40s
20 Oct 2010
This sumptuous updating of the Cinderella story is set to occupy an entire ad break during this Saturday's broadcast of The X Factor. It's an epic film with a winning new take on the tale. Further proof that advertisers are keeping faith with television advertising in these straitened times.

Sky Bet
"What If..."
60s
20 Oct 2011
This excellent commercial for Sky Bet asks a series of questions about the likely outcome of a sporting contest. It includes some fairly random imagery but it's all to good effect and this appears destined to capture the imagination of those who enjoy a flutter from time to time.

IKEA
"Playin' With My Friends"
60s
20 Oct 2012
In this utterly charming commercial for Ikea, a number of children are joined by outsized imaginary friends as they put together a tea party. It's been made to look as though it was filmed in a single continuous shot which gives it that extra dose of dynamism that this impression always delivers (whether it's real or not).

Eurostar
"Maybe"
90s
20 Oct 2013
The tantalising promise of a trip across the English Channel is used to entice punters onto the trains of Eurostar in this lovely compendium of images created by HLA's Simon Ratigan. It was brave to imply that not everything we'll find on the continent will be entirely to our taste (these, after all, are countries where you don't have to commit fraud to persuade people to eat horse meat).

Road Safety (Scotland)
"Alerts"
60s
20 Oct 2015
Road safety films - as we've said before - offer only a limited number of ways to communicate their message. Some manage to hit the mark, others don't... usually because they're too heavy-handed. What makes this one stand out is the way it brings home the way friends and family can be oblivious to the unfolding tragedy of a fatal accident.

Halo 5: Guardians
"The Hunt Begins"
90s
20 Oct 2015
‘Halo' may come across as sci-fi hooey to the uninitiated, but considering the series boasts two of the biggest entertainment launches in history, it possesses a cultural cachet envied by other forms of media. To mark the launch of ‘Halo 5: Guardians', twofifteenmccann treat us to a campaign finale that brings the game's universe-shattering conflict to life.

Saint Vincent De Paul
"B.E.N."
5 mins 17s
20 Oct 2016
This absorbing short film from the Society of St Vincent de Paul reminds us of what technology has achieved... and what remains beyond its grasp. To the strains of Bonnie Dobson's 'Morning Dew', a woman and her robot caregiver enjoy a gentle dance in the living room. It's a beguiling yet peaceful image, though we slowly learn the sad reality of Claudine's living arrangements.

Duracell
"Rebels"
60s
20 Oct 2016
Duracell do some good for the holiday season and tug at the heartstrings in this action-packed film all about the power of imagination to get us through tough times. Set in a children's hospital that transforms into a starship and a rebel base, kids on the ward make-believe their way across the universe to deliver an important droid to their friend who can't get out of bed.

giffgaff
"2am"
60s
20 Oct 2017
As we've said before, giffgaff is to Halloween as John Lewis is to Christmas. Each year they put themselves under pressure to create something even more spectacular and in 2017, they've once again succeeded. To understand this film and giffgaff's whole preoccupation with Halloween, you have to first of all examine the telecom company's relationship with its punters.

Assassin's Creed Origins
"I Am... "
90s
20 Oct 2017
The unstoppable Daniel Wolfe offers a live action take on the world of Assassin's Creed Origins in this dramatic ad. Origins explores the roots of the game's mythos, and this film offers a gritty snapshot of its Ancient Egyptian setting. We see the ancient world in all its brutality here, with a level of detail which communicates the dust and dirt among the pyramids and pharaohs.

Nissan
"Lazy Ponies"
90s
20 Oct 2017
This Nissan ad offers a zany spin on horsepower. When this bloke's truck conks out, he struggles to motivate the equine workforce under the bonnet. Perhaps a blast of "Pretty Pretty Ponies" will do the trick. Obnoxious and buck-toothed, these feckless ponies have their owner licked. Fortunately, Nissan's TITAN fleet gets the job done - no song and dance required.

Device Free Dinner
"Something You Did Today"
60s
20 Oct 2017
Will Ferrell stars in this film encouraging all of us to spend less time staring at our mobile phones when we should be communing with our families. By making dad the focal point and by being so darkly funny, the film slips past the defensiveness of younger viewers and stands a chance of making them rethink their own tendency to allow their phones to dominate their inter-actions with the rest of the world.

Ford
"The Future is Built"
60s
20 Oct 2018
Wieden + Kennedy have employed some blue sky thinking for their Ford debut… namely by drafting in ‘Breaking Bad' star Bryan Cranston as the marque's new spokesman. Keen to stretch what we imagine to be Cranston's healthy pay cheque, the ad casts him in a variety of guises, including Steve Jobs-esque tech guru, a G-man, and even an android version of himself.

Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice
"Pink Cranberries"
30s
20 Oct 2018
There's a lovely performance at the centre of this Ocean Spray film, as the brand introduce their new pink cranberry incarnation by wrong-footing the chairperson of Cranberryburgh Museum and Town Archive. The polished set-up only enhances the climax of the film, marking a wry - if crude - shift in tone for the brand.

Hope and Homes
"She Always Comes Back"
50s
20 Oct 2020
Poverty is one of the greatest threats to families across the globe, and this touching film highlights the plight of those on the breadline in Romania. Comprised of a series of scenes which pan slowly back from the child at the centre of the story, it details how families become separated slowly - then all at once - by not having enough.

Ryvita Minis
"Fern Britton's New Body"
30s
20 Oct 2004
In an ad sure to draw complaints, full-figured TV Presenter Fern Britton is given a new body with a bit of post-production wizardry. The suggestion that this product can contribute to stunning weight loss will not go down well.

Sky Sports
"A1 Grand Prix"
30s
20 Oct 2005
A number of racing sports fans do their vocal impersonations of a speeding Grand Prix car in this ad for Sky Sports's coverage of the alternative series to the endlessly dull yet, strangely popular, phenomenon that is Formula One.

Renault Laguna
"Everything In One Car"
40s
20 Oct 2007
Otis Redding's Dock Of The Bay plays as we see people moving along in the inside cage of a car illustrating that different people have different priorities when it comes to their motoring choices. The Renault Laguna apparently enables you to have the best of all worlds.

Guinness
"Seconds From Greatness"
60s
20 Oct 2007
The longest ad in this series linking Guinness with the rugby World Cup works better for the absence of the portentous voiceover as it allows Marc Craste's marvellous animation to dominate proceedings. They saved the best until last, just a shame England didn't manage to do the same.

Sky Two
"Twister 2"
30s
20 Oct 2008
Another impressive demonstration of High Definition in the new idents for Sky television. This time objects being flung around by a 'twister' collide with the giant numeral and shatter it impressively.

Sky Two
"Whack 2"
30s
20 Oct 2008
In a fairground, teenagers play 'Whack A Mole' with numerals replacing the part of the small mammals who normally pop their heads up to be smashed. This is the latest of the new series of visually impressive idents being used by Sky to promote their main entertainment channels.

Sky Two
"Boxes 2"
30s
20 Oct 2008
A series of green crystal objects flow from one cardboard box to another until the second moves aside and the objects form a numeral. This is the latest in the new series of idents which convincingly gets across the idea of high definition output on the satellite broadcaster's main entertainment stations.

Eastenders
"Max"
50s
20 Oct 2008
Some kind of denouement is coming in the gloomy BBC soap opera and this intriguing trail suggests it may not end well for Max. To the accompaniment of a suitably fateful track from Johnny Cash, the actor who plays him is led into a morgue and even shown the tag that may soon be tied around his toe. Eek.

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