David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Eagle-eyed observationsThis brilliantly realised spoof of an ad for Action Man stuns you with dark comedy before allowing you to see that it has a deadly serious message.
    • Dogged funThe people who've taken advantage of their connection to O2 to secure special deals and priority tickets are easily spotted because their tails are wagging.
    • Seriously, who is Steve?The awkwardness of a blind date is perfectly captured in this typically lovely piece for McDonald's as a couple who seem to have literally nothing in common finally discover a connection at the eleventh hour.
    • Getting shirtyRather like the recent Weedol ad, the protagonist in this ad for a new App-based service is shifted into a number of different situations.
    • Stand by for the Rattling TraktorIllustrious directing collective Traktor has joined Rattling Stick for representation.
    • The sweet smell of successWonderfully fun and cheesy, this spot for One Direction's new, ah, fragrance also has lashings of style.
    • Jon Leese-Pomfret joins Four WallsJon Leese-Pomfret has joined Four Walls as a Colourist in their new Baselight grading suite.
    • A cut above the restCarlsberg's make-believe business empire continues to grow unabated as they take a short back and sides to a whole new level of luxury.
    • It's 2AM again for Niall DowningDirector Niall Downing returns to his favourite 2AM haunt
    • Extreme bleatingThe goat at the centre of this high octane TomTom ad isn't content to stand around on a mountain all day like the rest of his flock.
    • Some Ways to DieTo raise awareness about organ donation, this French PSA introduces us to Robert Cronejager: the most prolific victim in movie history.
    • Cider on iceIf anything were to ever tempt DAVID back to a pint of cider it would be this marvellous ad for Swedish premium brand Rekorderlig.
    • Biscuit basedThis richly visual and eloquent ad for Digital Biscuit cleverly demonstrates the company's capabilities as a collaborator in film-making of all kinds.

A REMINDER

Please don't use other people's LOG IN details.

If you have a paid subscription then use your own email address to REGISTER. If your company has a subscription, there is no limit on the number of LOG-INs your company can have.

We know other companies limit the number of LOG INs and that means you're used to sharing them but we don't.


Veterans For Peace
"Battlefield Casualties"
2 mins 55s
27 June 2015

It's rare these days to be wrong-footed by any of the work we review because of a tendency to find everything where we expect it to be. Most commercials are spotted during the ad breaks or they arrive in our in-box attached to unnecessary explanations composed by emotionally detached PR wonks (not you, obviously; you are an exception to this scurrilous generalisation).

But every now and again, even DAVID can be caught unaware and so it was this morning when a tweeted link sent by actor Matt Berry passed across our social media horizon.

At first, we took it to be a piece of comedy. Edgy, for sure, but not out of step with the Toast co-creator's canon of work. However, this brilliantly realised spoof of an ad for Action Man actually has a deadly serious message about the age of many of those who join the British Army.

That message - clothed, as we said, in comedy - gets darker and darker. While still unsure what we were looking at, we started to worry that Berry and his collaborators had gone too far. But we'd been lured into the authors' cunning trap. Writer Darren Cullen and director Price James wanted get our attention, and by presenting the scenarios as the callow, careless cruelty of juvenile fantasy the shock of this perspective hit home.

With only a handful of countries around the world still allowing children of 16 to become soldiers, it's a matter of national shame that we are among them.

Loading the player ...

O2
"Wagging Tails"
60s
27 June 2015

This creates the impression that the whole thing is one continuous shot, and even though some of the joins are easy to spot it's still impressively done - the fluidity of movement really captures and keeps the attention.

The people who've taken advantage of their connection to O2 to secure special deals and priority tickets are easily spotted because their tails are wagging (though, in fairness, the fact that they've got tails would make them easy to spot whether said appendages were wagging or not!).

O2's spirit animal is - of course - the cat who views itself as more canine than feline; and once the camera has swooped back and forth across the high street it settles on the brand's icon staring at some sausages in a shop window. This manages to communicate the news that there are more and more goods and services that you can get hold of first if you're an O2 customer... and it does so with a great sense of fun.

Loading the player ...

McDonald's
"Lonely Hearts"
60s
26 June 2015

The awkwardness of a blind date is perfectly captured in this typically lovely piece for McDonald's as a couple who seem to have literally nothing in common finally discover a connection at the eleventh hour.

The vignettes have been brilliantly delivered by Sean Meehan. Each moment induces a slightly bigger cringe than the last and it's clear before their time together is over that Cupid's arrow has fallen short of its target. The best laugh is the "who's Steve?" moment which plays its part in generating a sense of overwhelming awkwardness that makes a second date seem extremely unlikely.

Until that is, the pair discover they share a guilty secret. They've both decided to console themselves with a cheeky McDonald's and they're even ordering the same food. Hope springs eternal... all is not lost.

But this is more than a sweetly told tale, this carries a really important message to customers who no longer see themselves as the kind of people who go to McDonald's. "It's all right," this says, "others like you have the same guilty secret and it's okay to pop in by yourself when you want to indulge those appetites that other restaurants can't provide."

The fast food chain's detractors might not like to admit it but this is a message that's likely to chime with an awful lot of punters.

Loading the player ...

Laundrapp
"Successful"
40s
27 June 2015

This is a great way to gain attention for a newly-launched service. Rather like the recent Weedol ad, the protagonist is shifted into a number of situations - only here, he doesn't know what he's doing.

His cluelessness doesn't matter because he's wearing a freshly laundered shirt; and he's able to do that because he takes advantage of Laundrapp. They will pick up your dirty laundry and return it to you washed and ironed for around 2 per shirt and there will be many young men who consider this to be a bargain.

Unfortunately, only those currently in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh will be able to use the service and our only concern about this spot is that it's such a great launch ad it might arouse premature interest in the rest of the country. But that would probably be a nice problem to have.

Loading the player ...

Stand by for the Rattling Traktor

Illustrious directing collective Traktor has joined Rattling Stick for representation in the UK and US.

The seven LA-based Scandinavians have twice been named the most awarded TVC directors in the world by the Gunn Report, and as Ringan Ledwidge says: "Rattling Stick and Traktor share so many consonants, working together was just meant to be."


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

QUICK SEARCH

On This Day

Waitrose
"Love Life"
40s
30 Jun 2011
She's Got You High by Mumm-Ra is the slightly annoying music in this earnest announcement of a new range from the middle-classes favourite supermarket. Love Life products promise to achieve a balance that will enable posh punters to enjoy healthy food.

Greyhound
"Tour in Style"
60s
30 Jun 2014
How do you make an ad for public transport informative and unmissable? You substitute a heavy metal band's tour bus with a Greyhound coach. Affectionate echoes of Spinal Tap bounce around all over this, and it's none the worse for it either. Ferocious on stage, the individual band members are pussycats off; and their reactions to the comforts of their vehicle are a hoot.

Nintendo
"Super Mario Idents"
30s
30 Jun 2006
Another selection of these delightful idents which wrap around Channel 4's comedy output. Once again, the characters from video games are reproduced on a stage shaped like a games console by human actors wearing black. This time we see the familiar form of Super Mario.

BT
"Make Another One"
40s
29 Jun 2007
Do you remember the ads featuring Gold Blend couple? They rattled along at the pace of a Jackie Chan fight scene compared with the progress being made by Adam and Jane in this series. Here, a misunderstanding has her imagining that maybe he wants to try for a baby. Not sure he'd know how.

McDonald's
"Miami"
30s
30 Jun 2009
The last in this dryly funny series for McDonald's has the intrepid delivery men heading to 'Miami' with one of them spelling out road directions in the style of a cheerleader. The driver grows impatient... and rightly so - as they miss their turn.

Sainsbury's
"Sainsbury's Summer 2010"
40s
30 Jun 2010
There's a lot packed into this commercial focusing on summer food for orange supermarket. Jamie Oliver is excellent as he enthusiastically reminds us that we should be having fun while highlighting food which can be bought at Sainsbury's.

Marks & Spencer
"Dine In For 10"
20s
30 Jun 2010
Caroline Quentin describes a meal she's cooked at home as though it's something found in a restaurant. This is a clever way of highlighting M&S's special offer as it disguises the fact that a supermarket bought meal costing 10 apiece is actually quite expensive.

Age UK
"Thank You"
60s
30 Jun 2011
It's a tightrope walk to raise awareness of issues facing the elderly without being patronising and this piece by Peep Show director Becky Martin (repped by 2AM) transcends the difficulty by exploiting the dynamism of a single take.

Direct Line
"Spiritual Cover"
40s
30 Jun 2011
Amelia Bullmore reprises her role as a flake talking to the insurance salesman played by Chris Addison. In this execution, she claims to have abandoned materialism until she discovers that her handbag is missing with predictable results. A little too predictable actually.

Ikea
"Little Things"
30s
30 Jun 2011
After musing about the nature of happiness, a bearded man suggests that we shouldn't have to put a price on it. But, if we do, he reckons we should get down to Ikea where a sale means that happiness may cost 75% less than before. Presumably the 'hppnss' is a chest of drawers.

Direct Line
"Call The Police"
30s
30 Jun 2011
Chris Addison and Alexander Armstrong reprise their roles as salesman and pushy client in a new ad involving the police. Armstrong's character tries to engineer a publicity stunt but when the boys in blue show up, they fail to see the funny side.

Virgin Media
"Racetrack"
30s
30 Jun 2013
Usain Bolt does his thing again for the broadband company; demonstrating just how much faster Virgin's download speed is than your regular short, chubby companies. The comparison takes place on a racetrack, with mere mortals on sofas and an angsty teen on his bed waiting for their downloads to arrive. Richard Branson makes another scintillating guest appearance.

Come Dine With Me
"Couples"
40s
30 Jun 2014
We love CDWM here at DAVID, and the prospect of increasing the potential for chaos / delight by turning lone hosts into couples is one that fills us with joy. This fun trail captures the spirit of the programme and then some; although those who are new to it may be disappointed that the dinner parties are not quite so anarchic as this implies. Great shot of hand-holding solidarity at the end.

Virgin Media
"Dinosaur"
35s
30 Jun 2014
This visually arresting viral for Virgin Media has a real flavour of Tango about it. The running commentary, the random situation, the build-up to a denouement you're not quite sure is coming... all these are trademarks of the classic campaign. While you could argue that the spot implies Virgin's bundles may not be very reliable, the fact it's so memorable outweighs this. A few more virals in the same vein would simply serve to impress upon you that these are very big bundles indeed.

Club Orange
"El Zero - The Fruit Whisperer"
40s
30 Jun 2014
Whisperers seem to be in at the moment. Houses, bikes, and now soft drinks get the treatment - and jolly good fun it is too. In this spot for Club Orange, a boy discovers he has special fruit-exploding powers, and the utterances he makes as he brings his skills to bear on an innocent orange are delivered with the, er, zest of someone who's really enjoying himself. Great stuff.

Halfords
"The Bike Whisperer"
3 mins 05s
30 Jun 2014
Canadian comic Tony Law gets into character as The Bike Whisperer in this online video for Halfords. Nonplussed and vaguely apprehensive customers are approached by him as they bring bikes for servicing, come to collect them, or check out the range available. It's gentle and amusing - Law is an excellent choice - but this would be improved by more self-discipline when it comes to running time.

Star Alliance
"Time Fliers - Heathrow Terminal 2"
60s
30 Jun 2014
Tempus fugit, the saying goes; and this ad suggests it flies from Terminal 2. Elegantly tickled ivories create a sense of exclusivity and calm as various people relax before their flight; spending the hiatus sipping drinks, enjoying the peaceful surroundings and generally looking pleased to avoid the cattle in the sports bars of Terminal 1 who've been drinking Strongbow since four in the morning simply because they can.

BBC Sport
"Commonwealth Games"
90s
30 Jun 2014
This impressive and intense preview spot is "designed to showcase the sporting prowess and determination of the 4,500 athletes" taking part. The Commonwealth Games are known as the "friendly games", and the vibe here is that they're anything but. Judging by the homicidal grimness on the faces of the competitors, the "pleasantries" set to commence on July 23rd are likely to take the form of a punch in the face.

Maltesers
"Naughtier Than Usual"
15s
30 Jun 2008
Another tie-in with Mamma Mia has the same pair of women as in the previous ad wondering why holidays make them behave naughtier than usual. Meanwhile, they are surrounded by a group of the men who look like they list 'hunky' as among their attributes in Spotlight.

Swalec
"Rugby Kick"
40s
30 Jun 2008
As Duelling Banjos plays, the man who appeared in the previous ad for the electricity supplier keeps kicking the ball over the crossbar while playing football. As he dejectedly leaves the field, he lashes out at a loose ball and it flies over the rugby goal on the adjacent pitch. He should switch codes... and utility companies, obviously.

Nokia
"Headphones"
5s
30 Jun 2008
A pair of headphones are animated to look as though a mouth is formed by the part that sits on your ears. The idea, of course, is that they will be overpoweringly loud which is designed to appeal to the generation of people who like to drift through life aurally cut off from the rest of humanity.

Nokia
"Headphone Attraction"
15s
30 Jun 2008
An animated commercial for Nokia depicts a pair of headphones with loudspeakers sitting along the top which appear to magnetically attract all manner of music and devices once they are plugged into the advertised phone (which looks a teeny bit like an iPhone, wouldn't you say?)

Direct Line
"New for Old"
30s
30 Jun 2013
Direct Line understands the value of ensuring that their commercials are instantly recognisable and they certainly appear to prioritise this over creativity. And who can blame them? They've built a hugely successful business on the back of this strategy and the strong branding here underlines the approach.

Blackpool
"STV"
60s
30 Jun 2014
Is this a plan to evacuate Glasgow's youth ahead of the Commonwealth Games so there's room for all the visitors to stay? It certainly seems odd that STV should be promoting the virtues of Blackpool at a time when you'd expect young Scots might be thinking about what's happening in their own back yard.

VW Polo
"Drive Confident"
30s
30 Jun 2014
Ooh, we thought: a new VW ad. Bound to be better than the swathes of bland car ads that usually grace our screens. But... sadly, it's not up to their usual standard. It has the potential to be a really well-observed spot - we all recognise the different types of nervous passengers depicted - but it's all a bit over-cooked.

On This Day

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