David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Tesco goes toy-tasticOne of the best ads we've seen for toys this Christmas - the genuine amazement and delight on the faces of these children says more than any VO can.
    • Sniff sniffThis daft ad for Old Spice plays on the parental stereotypes of mothers who can't cut the apron strings.
    • Clare Smith bolsters the team at tantrumProducer Clare Smith has joined the team at tantrum films.
    • Father's DayAn immensely sweet ad for a Finnish department store Stockmann in which a young boy an old letter while looking for Christmas decorations.
    • Team playersThis stirring piece for Nike has basketball player LeBron James back in the fold with the Cavaliers.
    • A sweet, sweet gameThis big, bountiful launch ad for the spin-off sister game to Candy Crush is arresting to say the least.
    • A dose of realismTimes newspapers provided a sobering note of realism during last night's broadcast of Homeland.
    • Crafty stuffIt's fitting that we should be hoisting this Freeview commercial on the day of the British Arrows Craft Awards.
    • Read all about itThis impressive spot for the BBC highlights the significance of local journalism to each and every one of us.
    • Here's Johnny!Director Johnny Green has joined Biscuit Filmworks for UK representation.
    • Caviar signs Dent de CuirCaviar has signed Paris and Montreal-based directing duo Dent de Cuir for UK representation, which should cause some murmurs of intrigue.
    • Trust Googlebox to put things in perspectiveGogglebox offers its verdict of Ringan Ledwidge's sublime Christmas film for Sainsbury's.
    • The Quarterly looks at Guinness's Sapeurs At 6.30pm next Thursday (27th) DAVID editor Jason Stone will host The Quarterly at Cut+Run in Wardour Street. Come if you can.
    • The spear is mightier than the swordThis wonderfully cast ad has a shrieking French revolutionary running away from the scene of an ambush towards an officer on horseback, who asks in alarm what has happened.

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Tesco
"Toys"
30s
22 November 2014

One of the best ads we've seen for toys this Christmas - the genuine amazement and delight on the faces of these children says more than any VO can about range size or the latest fad to hit the shelves. Some of the toys don't look even especially impressive... but what you see is the wonder they invoke and the imaginations running riot as robot dogs do backflips and fairies hover.

What's truly clever, though, is the fact that this ad gives the green light to anyone shopping for kiddies' gifts to buy them at Tesco without feeling like cheapskates. You'd be hard pressed to pick out anything from Hamleys or other exclusive store which would produce a happier response.

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Old Spice
"Dadsong"
60s
24 November 2014

This daft ad for Old Spice plays on the parental stereotypes of sobbing mothers who can't cut the apron strings and fathers who are all too happy to let the fruit of their loins strike out into the great wide world.

Unknown to the young men out on romantic dates, their mothers are with them in spirit; clutching favourite toys from childhood and lurking crazily under the ice of skating rinks.

It's filled with one visual gag after another - there are echoes of Leslie Nielsen movies in the humour - and it's made all the funnier by the lack of awareness in the men being lamented. Great stuff.

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Clare Smith bolsters the team at tantrum

Clare Smith - whose youthful photograph belies her experience as a producer - has joined tantrum films who see her as a "perfect match for a forward thinking team focussed on producing quality films".

Smith's arrival is part of an expansion of the production team to cater for its UK roster of six directors and she aims "to help continue tantrum’s journey making strong, creative and highly crafted work."


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Stockmann
"The Letter"
60s
24 November 2014

There are shades of John Lewis's 'The Long Wait' in this immensely sweet commercial from Finland which has a young boy discovering an old letter while looking for Christmas decorations. It gives him pause for thought, and provides the spur for the gift we see him inexpertly wrapping. This gift is handed to his father on Christmas Day... and it's evidently something with massive resonance.

With so much attention understandably focused on finding the perfect gifts for children at this time of year, it's wonderful to see the equation turned on its head and witness youngsters displaying their selfless side instead. As anyone who has ever been the recipient of a gift from a young child will testify, the giddy excitement of the giver has absolutely no parallel and this gorgeous film captures the moment as perfectly as Dougal Wilson's famous commercial for John Lewis.

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Nike
"The Huddle"
2 mins
24 November 2014

This stirring piece for Nike has basketball player LeBron James back in the fold with the Cavaliers. The spot was made to mark the season opener between his team and the New York Knicks, and it's a call to arms as he gathers not only his team but all Cleveland - to unite, to work hard and to show an indomitable spirit that will see them through.

It's beautifully filmed. The quality of this black and white footage is superb, simultaneously silky soft and full of contrast. You can feel the physicality of the scene because there is such a strong impression of depth.

The wide, aerial street shots and the jostling closeness in narrow alleyways. The multitude of angles, the inkiness of shadows, the whites of eyes in faces with set jaws; you can almost extend your fingers and expect to touch a cheek or a collar; or to feel the collective heat and energy of everyone around you prickling your skin. It all comes together, greater than the sum of its parts, as the music expands and James's voice, rich in all that is good, guides the mood of the ever-growing crowd.

Life-affirming and lovely, this is the kind of work that makes you wonder what we could achieve if we could only put aside our differences.

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QUICK SEARCH

Five Star Work

Tesco
"Toys"
30s
22 Nov 2014
One of the best ads we've seen for toys this Christmas - the genuine amazement and delight on the faces of these children says more than any VO can about range size or the latest fad to hit the shelves. Some of the toys don't look even especially impressive... but what you see is the wonder they invoke and the imaginations running riot as robot dogs do backflips and fairies hover.

Old Spice
"Dadsong"
60s
24 Nov 2014
This daft ad for Old Spice plays on the parental stereotypes of mothers who can't cut the apron strings and fathers who are all too happy to let the fruit of their loins strike out into the great wide world. Unknown to the young men out on romantic dates, their mothers are with them in spirit; clutching favourite of toys from childhood and lurking crazily under the ice of skating rinks.

Stockmann
"The Letter"
60s
24 Nov 2014
There are shades of John Lewis's 'The Long Wait' in this immensely sweet commercial from Finland which has a young boy discovering an old letter while looking for Christmas decorations. It gives him pause for thought, and provides the spur for the gift we see him inexpertly wrapping. This gift is handed to his father on Christmas Day... and it's evidently something with massive resonance.

Nike
"The Huddle"
2 mins
24 Nov 2014
This stirring piece for Nike has basketball player LeBron James back in the fold with the Cavaliers. The spot was made to mark the season opener between his team and the New York Knicks, and it's a call to arms as he gathers not only his team but all Cleveland to unite, to work hard and show an indomitable spirit that will see them through.

The Times
"Unquiet: Bearing Witness"
3 mins 20s
23 Nov 2014
There was an incredibly realistic sequence during last night's broadcast of Homeland on Channel 4 but it had nothing to do with the trials and tribulations of Carrie Mathison. Rather than a scene from the programme itself, it was a mesmerising version of the 'Bearing Witness' film from the excellent Unquiet series for Times newspapers that caught viewers' attention with a real-life story of imperilled journalists.

Freeview
"Left Behinds"
60s
23 Nov 2014
It's fitting that we should be hoisting this in front of you on the day of the British Arrows Craft Awards as it's a perfect illustration of the wonderfully collaborative world of TVC production. A collection of unwanted items left behind at the end of a church hall sale offers a rendition of a familiar song, leaving us in no doubt that entertainment is best when it's free.

BBC News
"Local Journalism"
60s
23 Nov 2014
This impressive spot for the BBC highlights the significance of local journalism to each and every one of us. What's so striking about it is that it doesn't take the hard-edged 'breaking news' approach that we tend to expect from this sort of ad - there's no self-important VO telling us about the dangerous job roving reporters have in Timperly, for example - instead, there's a genuine understanding of what news might mean to us in the area where we live.

Gogglebox
"Sainsbury's"
5 mins 50s
21 Nov 2014
Following last week's opportunity to boost our love for Monty the Penguin by watching the John Lewis Christmas commercial through the eyes of the Goggleboxers, the Channel 4 programme offered us the chance to see what its charismatic regulars made of Sainsbury's Christmas ad. The result was electrifying and offers a perfect counterweight to some of the criticism levelled at this superb piece of work.

GameStop
"Revolutionary"
30s
20 Nov 2014
This wonderfully cast ad has a shrieking French revolutionary running away from the scene of an ambush towards an officer on horseback, who asks in alarm what has happened. "An assassin with a spear - akakak!" wails the revolutionary, jabbing with his hand to demonstrate the lethal quality of said spear, which, it is revealed, gamers get free when they pre-order Assassin's Creed: Unity from GameStop.

Guinness
"Bill"
65s
20 Nov 2014
Another in the excellent series from Guinness, this particular spot revolves around Bill McClaren - the legendary rugby commentator whose own playing career was cut short by a diagnosis of tuberculosis the day before he was due to play for his country. While that might break lesser men, McClaren merely found the closest thing to sport that he could in those circumstances.

Crédit Mutuel
"Transformation"
45s
20 Nov 2014
A beautifully crafted ad for Crédit Mutuel which features a young man slumped in front of the telly at home who suddenly notices something has started happening to him. As he stares at the screen, hair askew and beard creeping across his face, he discovers that his T-shirt is being replaced by a crisp white shirt that covers his tattooed forearms while the facial hair he sports is being magically erased.

Adnams Longshore
"Unhappy Rivals"
1 min 42s
20 Nov 2014
This delightfully silly ad shows vodka makers around the world tasting the offering from a new kid on the global block... and expressing apoplectic rage at its superior quality. All sort of cultural stereotypes are summoned as Russian, Finnish and - yes - French premium distillers vent their wrath at the bringers of such bad tidings.

B & Q
"Christmas Power"
40s
19 Nov 2014
B&Q storms into the festive fray with its own take on Christmas - a big, bold, boisterous affair that's beautifully assembled. It very effectively shows the DIY retailer as a terrific source of seasonal goodies and decorations with which to turn your home into celebration central. Great casting, too - we love the woman at the start with her head framed by the clock like a flaming halo.

Federal Express
"Show the World"
2 mins 18s
18 Nov 2014
Pepper sauce that ages like wine? We'll have some of that, thanks. This lovely ad for FedEx focuses on the story of Llewellyn, who wants his own take on the fiery condiment to be enjoyed all over the world. As such, we see him using the courier service to convey his sauce from the Jamaican island of Nevis where he lives to far-flung climes... and the reactions of the people who sample it.

BNP Paribas
"Impossible"
60s
18 Nov 2014
An office worker sees that it's nearly 5pm, and realises she must make a sharp exit in this latest ad for BNP Paribas. However, fate is conspiring against her - it's only her Herculean efforts that ensure she even gets in the lift. Not deterred when it breaks down, she does everything she can in order to pick up her little boy on time and get to the bank.

O2
"Ed Sheeran"
60s
18 Nov 2014
This excellent ad features Ed Sheeran, portraying his rise to fame from his bedroom at the family's home, through to busking on the underground and ending with an appearance at Wembley Stadium. The whole commercial was filmed in a single shot which gives it a lovely dynamism and proves Sheeran must be good at hitting his marks.

Kmart
"Ship My Pants"
30s
18 Nov 2014
This terrific spot from the US for KMart tells us that if we can't find what we want instore, we can find it online and KMart will ship it to us for free. The twist is that 'ship my pants / nightie / bed' sounds very much like something else, and this is played on to the hilt as various customers young and old proudly announce what they've done in public.

Westfield Australia
"Sophia Grace and Rosie"
1 min 51s
18 Nov 2014
This ad for Westfield Australia features the irrepressible young stars of YouTube and Ellen, Sophia Grace and Rosie. The girls became a sensation a few years ago when a video of them rapping to Super Bass by Nicki Minaj was posted on YouTube, and their big personalities have ensured their fame has continued to grow.

Aldi
"Aussie Christmas"
2 mins
18 Nov 2014
It's always interesting to see how a brand's personality shifts from one country to another, and this epic from Australia does a cracking job for Aldi. A young man from a small Nordic village comes back from Oz full of tales about the way they celebrate Christmas down under, and incurs the wrath of his elders... until one tastes an Aldi prawn and is converted.

Post Office
"Get Christmas All Wrapped Up"
60s
16 Nov 2014
The Post Office is a strange beast - no-one quite knows what its purpose is beyond taking parcels these days. So it's sensibly concentrated on that very thing, with the help of the ever-delightful Robert Webb. In this 60" spot, he appears to have wandered out of a Compare the Market ad and into a branch of the Post Office.

Gogglebox
"Monty the Penguin"
3 mins 22s
15 Nov 2014
Is this a commercial? Well, no... it's much better than that. As last year, the denizens of Gogglebox have been asked to assess the John Lewis Christmas commercial and - once again - their responses are as delightful as the ad itself. And when their wry comments are intercut with the ad itself, you end up with a supercharged version of the original film that intensifies its impact and takes it to a whole other level.

Road Safety
"50th Anniversary"
60s
14 Nov 2014
It's astonishing to learn that fifty years ago - when there were far fewer cars on the road - deaths caused by drink driving were over seven times higher than they are today. The Road Safety campaign has been largely instrumental in this, and so they have good reason to celebrate this startling reduction. But that's not going to be of any help to the 230 each year who die, as this brave and sensitive film tells us.

Sainsbury's
"Christmas is for Sharing"
3 mins 20s
12 Nov 2014
There has long been a rumour that Sainsbury's Christmas commercial was going to be a bit special... and when it was shown for the first time - halfway through Coronation Street last night - it didn't disappoint. The supermarket backed AMV to the hilt and they, in turn, provided director Ringan Ledwidge with the canvas and the tools to create a masterpiece and he has rewarded their faith with a truly stupendous piece of work.

Canal Digital
"The Silver Hand"
70s
11 Nov 2014
Let this ad be a lesson to us all about the dangers of missing out on essential TV series. No-one wants to be a social outcast unable to join in with the catchphrases that bond people together. Think how you feel about anyone who doesn't know who Heisenberg is, or why The Wire can be likened to the works of Tolstoy. Will you care if their leg gets bitten off by a shark as a consequence of their ignorance? Of course not.

Sony Playstation
"The Vikings"
60s
11 Nov 2014
Two villagers trying to save themselves in a Viking attack weigh up their options. Do they: a) consult YouTube for advice on survival b) ask someone to share their own successful approach c) enlist a third party to come and join them? This deliciously crafted ad is not just very entertaining, it manages to be very informative.

Five Star Work

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