David Reviews

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

    • Carry on and keep nursingInto a clusterfuck of related crises steps this rather beautiful recruitment film for the NHS.
    • Lost in translation.Taskmaster’s Alex Horne, Desiree Burch, and Al Murray star in the latest Channel 4 ad break takeover: a four-minute plug for Google Translate.
    • Kiss and yell.Marmite tap into the remake craze with a new take on 2001's 'Kiss' ad.
    • People try to put us d-down.This sharp piece of work for the British Stammering Association (aka STAMMA)
    • Zero sum game.As COP26 looms large on the horizon, Scotland prepares for the world's attention with this curious ad.
    • Boiler room anticsFor Glow-worm's first UK ad in ten years, they've struck a decidedly discordant note... but we've a feeling they know what they're doing.
    • Bear hugs.This touching ad for the East of England Co-operative Society's funeral service sketches a tender father-daughter relationship throughout the years.
    • Ich bin ein Berliner.This inspiring film was released in the run-up to a referendum on socialised housing in Berlin.
    • Rube awakening.This well-designed commercial for Gallio turkey bacon takes innovation in the kitchen to a whole new level.
    • Coop final winner.This energetic Nike commercial profiles footballer and pigeon lover Richarlison.

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NHS Recruitment
"Live 1000 Lives"
60s
22 October 2021

An almost unbearable burden has been placed upon the NHS in the last twenty months, with nurses often bearing the brunt. Our inept government's abject failure to respond responsibly to the pandemic, placed medical staff – especially nurses – in the frontline, and many of them died as a consequence.

The shortfall of PPE, and the absence of a coherent plan represented criminal negligence, and the weekly rounds of applause and saucepan banging were scant consolation for the brave stoicism with which these perils were bourne.

Now, medical staff – again, especially nurses – have new dangers to face. Idiot conspiracy theorists have taken to verbally assaulting medics in public, and as the recent murder of Conservative MP David Amess demonstrates, it doesn't take much to turn an ugly confrontation into a violent one.

And, as if that isn't bad enough, Brexit has created a desperate shortage of staff, a situation which will only get worse.

Into this clusterfuck of related crises steps this rather beautiful recruitment film for the NHS. Centred on nurses, it reminds the audience of the critical role that they play within our healthcare infrastructure. When the aim is authenticity, it's difficult to avoid representations which have been seen before, so the energy has to come from the way in which they're compiled, and it's in this regard that this commercial is particularly successful. The mood accumulates during the film's sixty seconds, with a growing sense of awesomeness forming around those who are willing to take on a task which is not exactly thankless, but certainly isn't offered the kind of remunerative gratitude which it deserves.


Google
"Origami Boat"
4 mins 05s
21 October 2021

Taskmaster’s Alex Horne, Desiree Burch, and Al Murray star in the latest Channel 4 ad break takeover: a four-minute plug for Google Translate. Despite the absence of Greg Davies (perhaps Google were too tantalizing a target for him), there's still plenty to enjoy in this blend of voice recognition technology and origami.

Burch and Murray’s objective is to teach the correct non-English speaker to make an origami boat - working from instructions written in Welsh. Horne is at his diffuse best here ("So, that is Welsh, but why do you think they're Welsh?"), but the advertised app also proves its worth.

The best Taskmaster tasks unfold in a haze of stressful lunacy, and so does this standalone effort. We doubt it will lead to more smart devices in the show proper, but stranger things have happened.


Camden Town Brewery
"Marmite Kiss"
30s
21 October 2021

Marmite tap into the remake craze with a new version of 1999's memorable 'Kiss' ad. The original - directed by Paul Goldman and created by BMP DDB - showed how yeast extract can make or break a relationship. The 2021 vintage follows a similar path, though the product itself has received a 4.8% ABV makeover thanks to Camden Town Brewery.

Those unfamiliar with the original still get a kick from the bloke's reaction, as well as the closing burst of WAR's 'Low Rider'. We can see a few adventurous/reckless purchases being made a result of this, which is bad news for anyone who thought Lynx Africa & Marmite was a one-off. Who knows where this love-hate relationship will go next. A joint marketing campaign with Durex resulting in Marmite flavoured condoms?


Stamma
"Help Put Us on Bloody TV"
90s
22 October 2021

This sharp piece of work for the British Stammering Association (aka STAMMA) boasts one of the best opening lines in recent memory. "How is signing my name on a petition gonna change anything?” asks the narrator. "It won't stop billionaires flying into space in giant metal penises." The intergalactic sausage fest continues.

Nor will it prevent fantasy football addiction, overfishing, conspiracy theories about lizard people, or any number of modern defects portrayed by director Daniel Liakh. However, it will raise awareness about the dearth of stuttering voices on television, radio, and film.

The ad even sets fire to International Stuttering Awareness Day on October 22nd - a striking reminder that the issue needs more than twenty-four hours' worth of engagement. Coupled with Ed Sheeran's upcoming CBeebies Bedtime Story, the volume is rising at a good clip.


Scottish Government
"Your Zero"
40s
21 October 2021

As COP26 looms large on the horizon, Scotland prepares for the world's attention with this curious ad. People are confronted by mysterious glowing rings while carrying out various climate friendly tasks - mending clothes, insulating lofts, gardening - symbolising the strive to reduce national emissions to a net zero. Of course, things on the ground aren't that simple.

The language and messaging around climate change still puts far too much onus on personal responsibility, focusing on darning jeans and recycling tins rather than the grim and powerful corporate realities at work. Planting a vegetable patch may be a good place to start, but more urgent and targeted work is needed to make such efforts more than a futile drop in the ocean.


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On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Currys
"Star Wars"
70s
25 Oct 2010
If you're going to use icons as well loved as R2-D2 and C-3PO in a television commercial, you'd better make damned sure you don't do it in a fashion that annoys Star Wars fans. That's what's been achieved in this version of an ad that ran during The X Factor on Saturday night in which the robotic heroes rifle through an empty branch of the electrical goods retailer.

Kronenbourg 1664
"Slow The Pace"
60s
25 Oct 2010
This is a wonderful little confection. Lemmy and the boys have reworked their iconic hit Ace Of Spades to illustrate the idea that it's beneficial to slow the pace occasionally. It's not an idea that attaches itself to the product with instant certainty but let's give it time... and, er, slow the pace on our judgement, as it were.

Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario
"The Undeading"
2 mins 55s
25 Oct 2012
This striking film from Canada offers a humorous reminder of the correct procedure if someone has a cardiac arrest. You could argue that - in a coded way - it is rather too candid about the futility of attempting CPR but this is entirely unintentional and worth overlooking in favour of the importance of its overarching message.

Sony PlayStation
"For the Players Since 1995"
3 mins 20s
25 Oct 2013
It's only when you realise that 1995 was eighteen years ago (seriously, it was!) that you recognise the Sony Playstation has a hugely powerful legacy and this wonderful flowing piece of film by Will & Adam obviously means a lot to anyone who grew up with the games console as part of their lives.

Smirnoff
"Arrival"
60s
25 Oct 2013
Garth Davis has had a good year. He was responsible for directing most episodes of Jane Campion's modern noir masterpiece Top of the Lake and it's a huge compliment to the Australian director that a film-maker as accomplished as Campion trusted him to do so. Despite his success in the drama realm, he continues to make commercials and he brings a huge amount of photographic skill to this Australian ad for Smirnoff.

Specsavers
"Workout"
40s
25 Oct 2013
This is one of those commercials that has such a perfect moment of unexpected comedy that you enjoy it each time you watch it. We're talking - of course - of the moment when the elderly residents of a care home resign themselves to the mistake unfolding in front of them and gamely attempt to follow the energetic moves of the myopic fitness instructor.

giffgaff
"The Music Box"
2 mins
25 Oct 2016
giffgaff's grip on Halloween tightens with another fitting tribute to the spookiest time of the year. It's been a shrewd investment by the mobile phone service provider as it's enabled them to establish a degree of ownership of an event which has increasing importance to their target market.

Stand Up To Cancer
"Check Your Balls"
2 mins 20s
25 Oct 2016
Stand Up to Cancer encourages men to cop a feel in the best way possible with this lovely short film. David Mitchell's well-meaning dad tries to give his teenage son some essential health advice, but he just can't find the words. Checking "down there" doesn't do the trick, nor does the "naughty zone". Sometimes, it's best to just be frank about such matters.

Skybingo.com
"Lucky Number Seven"
45s
25 Oct 2016
This arresting ad for Sky Bingo gives the game of chance a fresh lick of paint. The Who's 'Baba O'Riley' shimmers away in the background as the number seven appears in a variety of guises. Whether it's on a swimming cap, the back of a jacket, or in handstand form, it's the digit that secures "full house heaven".

Think!
"Pink Kittens"
90s
25 Oct 2017
This is an intriguing approach to road safety. Think! challenge viewers to spot an elusive pink kitten. Our first try is over in a flash - two-point-three seconds, to be precise. Slowed down, however, we realise there's a whole litter's worth. However, there's only one pink kitten that matters.... and it's not the one on the driver's smartphone screen.

Samsung
"Don't You Die On Me"
60s
25 Oct 2017
Samsung take a dramatic approach to battery life in this effective ad for their wireless charging function. A series of vignettes introduce dramatic scenes of rescue, but all is not what it seems... The beauty of this ad is that it builds up the expectation of melodrama, before subverting tropes with beautifully understated performances. Great work.

Sport England
"Fit Got Real"
60s
26 Oct 2018
Sport England's latest kick up the nation's collective backside comes courtesy of director Georgi Banks-Davies, and what follows is another sweaty, relatable rallying cry to women ready to bid the sofa adieu. Keen to make an extra song and dance about their 2018 fitness drive, Barbra Streisand's ‘Don't Rain On My Parade' accompanies a well-judged montage of activity.

AT & T
"The Codes We Live By"
30s
25 Oct 2019
One typically associates AT&T with hard-hitting road safety films or movie parodies, but this 30" tie-in with the National Basketball Association suggests the brand have game, too. Brash and in-your-face, director Sara Dunlop's film turns telephone area codes including New York's 212 and Los Angeles County's 310 into badges of honour.

Miller Beer
"Followers"
90s
25 Oct 2019
Social media takes on a life of its own in this artistic commercial for Miller Beer. The film opens in black and white, as a guy hesitates on leaving his apartment due to the shambling horde waiting outside. But this isn't The Walking Dead, oh no... this is Instagram come to life. Director Ringan Ledwidge balances the action nicely here, as looming terror meets slapstick humour.

Sony Wega
"Close Ups"
60s
25 Oct 2004
Splendid long version of excellent ad which features a whole load of extreme close-ups on eyes, skin and switches coming on as well as bubble gum beling blown from a mouth and, of course, television sets and audio hi-fi equipment.

Virgin Radio
"DJ Banter"
40s
25 Oct 2004
Wry ad featuring unusual animation features a conversation between two DJs discussing the signs people have outside their homes warning of the presence of a guard dog. The disc jockeys look like they have been made by using a black felt-tip on eggs.

Birds Eye
"A New Age Of Steam"
30s
25 Oct 2004
Birds Eye promise a new age of steam in the latest salvo from their new agency BBH. Apparently, the new ready meals are steam cooked in your microwave with nothing artificial added. A visual and audio metaphor is provided by food cut to look like parts of a railway journey and the sounds of an old-fashioned steam train.

Boots
"Five Hundred Million Presents"
30s
25 Oct 2005
According to this ad we will give each other five hundred million presents this Christmas and Boots are hoping a fair percentage of them will be bought there because they say giving is better than receiving... which is true if your wife buys you a lawnmower and you buy her a snooker table.

Channel 4
"Rocks"
35s
25 Oct 2006
Another beautifully crafted ident for Channel 4 zooms in a small rocky island just off the coast. As the camera comes around the perspective of the rock formations changes until a '4' is visible. Bet there are some who imagine Channel 4 has the most amazing location scouts in the World.

BBC One
"Ring A Roses"
30s
25 Oct 2006
Another of BBC One's new idents charmingly has a group of children in a flowery meadow playing and ultimately forming the circle that has become the new motif for the BBC's premier channel.

Orange
"Share"
30s
25 Oct 2006
Broadcast in Romania, this ad for Orange was made by Smith & Foulkes of Nexus in London and features two specially created animated characters: Millidge (the short stumpy one) and Doig (the one with the long neck... who is not short or stumpy, obviously).

Domino's Pizza
"Genie"
30s
25 Oct 2007
Be careful what you wish for, as the old expression goes. The Domino pizza regulars manage to conjure a genie from a teapot and both make pizza-related wishes before one foolishly asks that the other be turned into a 'gorgeous blonde' without specifying a change of sex.

Toyota
"Race"
90s
25 Oct 2007
The ability of the car to make its way up mountainous terrain is ably illustrated in this ad for Japanese marque. It takes on a horse in a race up a rugged path and manages an unlikely triumph. We're guessing, it's probably better than it's equine rival when it comes to a shopping trip to Tesco as well.

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
"The Knives Are Out"
40s
25 Oct 2007
A clever way of highlighting that the real reason for tuning in to Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmare is to watch the chef lose it as he finds that not everyone to whom he offers his condescending advice is listening rapturously. Here his various foul mouthed epithets are illustrated with suitable bits of animation.

Philips Aurea
"Simplicity Is A Light"
30s
25 Oct 2007
Attractively made film for the Philips Aurea looks like a dream sequence from a Swinging Sixties movie as a woman demonstrates her appreciation for the advertised product in such a fashion that you could almost think that the technology on offer was a Rampant Rabbit.

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.