David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Creative differences.H & M's odd couple of David Beckham and Kevin Hart hit the road to Las Vegas... or ruin, more like.
    • Empire states of mind.Culture bible i-D and hair styling brand Schwarzkopf team up for this vivid look at New York City's melting pot of perspectives.
    • MindsEye recruits Ryan PatrickUS director Ryan Patrick has joined the team at MindsEye for representation in the UK.
    • Ending the awkward.This piece by charity Scope uses humour to educate us about the best approach to adopt when we encounter a disabled person.
    • 35 East heads to My Accomplice.Multi-talented creative studio 35 East is ready to bring new ideas and new technologies to the table at My Accomplice.
    • Donald's a hit in Mexico.This charming short film from director Sarah Clift should appeal to anyone who's fancied giving Donald Trump a thwack with a wooden stick during the US presidential election.
    • Full Speade ahead for Ben Crook.After years of cutting about the freelance circuit, editor Ben Crook has found a new home at Speade.
    • Fit to lead.This is a canny piece of work from Reebok. There are no star names in this ad. Rather, it's someone who's rarely given their moment in the spotlight: the fitness trainer.
    • Fixing human-robot relations.This impressive launch trail for season two of Humans sees Persona Synthetics make a product recall announcement.
    • Yes, you can put your mind at ease.Yes, even 1970s disco groups need to negotiate the housing market on occasion - at least according to this attention-grabbing commercial for online estate agents Yopa.
    • Glitter bombs away.This sparkling commercial for Sony's new 4K HDR set pays tribute to the past by giving an abandoned casino a new lease o
    • There's madness in the method.The lengths we’ll endure to achieve perfection inspire this clever crime thriller with performance issues.
    • Mealtime over screen time.Has cooking become too much of a spectator sport? Lurpak thinks so, and the butter makes a bold move by telling viewers to switch their attention from telly to belly.

THE BLACK BOX

JASON:

Did you see that new thing we were sent this morning?

ALICE:

Yeah... great piece of work. Looks a bit shit though.

JASON:

I know. They sent a 640x360 video.

ALICE:

Blimey. Who sent it? The 1990s?

JASON:

It's not as if we don't ask for HD. All the time.

ALICE:

Just post it. If they don't care whether it looks shit, why should we?

JASON:

We might have to start doing that.


H & M
"The Road Trip"
5 mins 20s
29 September 2016

H & M's odd couple of David Beckham and Kevin Hart hit the road to Las Vegas... or ruin, more like. Seems like the latter has decided 'I, Beckham' would work better as a musical, and David is last to know as always.

While Hart enjoys preferential treatment from a state trooper and producing some questionable beats on his mobile mixing desk, Becks just wants some peace and quiet. Still, his cool disposal of a nearby rattlesnake shows he does care for his buddy's welfare... if not for his organisational skills.

Once again identically dressed in the retailer's threads, the duo pick up from where they left off last year with two likeable performances. While Hart provides the energy, Beckham proves to be a natural straight man with a cool head.

Thanks to the pair's chemistry and director Fredrik Bond's light touch, the brand's star vehicle continues to roll on. Even 'I, Beckham' has gone up in flames, we're sure Kevin can come up with another project. Erm, sorry, David.

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Schwarzkopf
"A-Z of Attitude"
5 mins 12s
28 September 2016

Culture bible i-D and hair styling brand Schwarzkopf team up for this vivid look at New York City's melting pot of perspectives. As the title suggests, director Austin Peters presents an alphabetized trip around the Big Apple to find what attitude means in 2016. Through an eye-opening series of vignettes, we see attitude takes on many different guises, but you can spot it a mile away.

Peters ensures each of his subjects fill the screen with their individual brio. Introverts, extroverts, lovers, fighters... everyone has a story to tell - and looking good while telling it doesn't hurt, either. A couple of brief cameos from the brand complement rather than disrupt the execution, and it's a smart way of showing how their products amplify all manner of styles.

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MindsEye recruits Ryan Patrick

US director Ryan Patrick has joined the team at MindsEye for representation in the UK.

Florida-born Patrick’s been making waves with his singular approach to promos. Blending cinematic visuals and offbeat storytelling, the man’s worked with the likes of Miike Snow, Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd, and formed a fruitful partnership with Tesla Boy.

Throw commercials for Microsoft, Wendy’s, and the New York State Lottery into the mix and you’ve got an all-round talent.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Scope
"H.I.D.E."
40s
27 September 2016

This piece by charity Scope uses humour to educate us about the best approach to adopt when we encounter a disabled person. The acronym H.I.D.E. does not - as the people in the ad initially think - suggest we dive for cover in our fear of blundering. Instead, we should say "hi" as we introduce ourselves; make sure we "don't panic" and make sure we "end the awkward".

In other words, we should behave exactly as we would if we met anyone else. Though - on second thoughts - as many of those watching this are from London, perhaps we should try to behave better than we normally would when meeting a stranger and try to be a little friendly.

Jim Gilchrist hits exactly the right tone for this message by underlining the awkwardness associated with a social situation that many people struggle with.

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35 East heads to My Accomplice.

Multi-talented creative studio 35 East is ready to bring new ideas and new technologies to the table at My Accomplice.

The New York outfit - headed by renowned photographer Antoine Wagner - believes no approach is off limits, so the team dabbles in everything from conventional film and photography to emerging media like virtual reality (VR).


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

QUICK SEARCH

On This Day

Sony
"Soundville"
2 mins 30s
1 Oct 2009
A typically epic piece from Fallon's Juan Cabral which involved wiring up the Icelandic village of Seydisfjordur with a sound system so the residents could listen to music wherever they were. Cabral's ads increasingly give the impression of being the result of drunken bets.

Superdrug
"Take Another Look"
50s
1 Oct 2010
Gavin & Stacey's Joanna Page is the new face of Superdrug and this is a terrific way to introduce her (even if it does make her out to be a bit of a harlot). She sneaks into the bathroom to sort out her make up so she can look pristine when her latest conquest wakes.

Walkers
"It's Raining Ten"
40s
1 Oct 2010
It's a slightly bizarre promotion but it's a terrific commercial. The Walkers campaign appears to have been reenergised and that's really surprising to those of us who have felt that it had become weary. Notwithstanding the lame gag that sees Lineker's ears disappearing upwards at the end, it doesn't put a dance step wrong.

Tetley Tea
"Just The Way You Are"
40s
1 Oct 2011
This ad beautifully combines animation and live action to provide a scene in which one of the Tetley Tea Folk directs a love song towards a cuppa. This has been executed with real tenderness but with just enough humour to prevent it seeming mawkish. Lovely.

Guinness
"The Cloud"
90s
1 Oct 2012
This grand commercial for Guinness has Brian Cox (the actor... not the astronomer) describing the actions of a cloud visiting a city. This is no ordinary cloud as it pays no heed to the wind and appears to be sentient. It's might be designed to represent the cloud in a pint of Guinness as it settles but really this ad is all about the grandiosity of itself.

Chivas Regal
"The Barman"
60s
1 Oct 2013
While we may have seen the 'famous actor in a subservient role' scenario before (Denholm Elliot, John Gielgud, for instance), viewed in an advertising context this may be considered educational in purpose. That is, the people who imbibe such drinks tend to be rather boorish... so here's a gentle nudge to them suggesting they adopt a more civilised approach.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup
"Bring Food To Life"
30s
1 Oct 2014
Heinz have followed up their 2009 commercial for tomato ketchup with another that similarly demonstrates it to be the vital missing ingredient that brings food to life. This time the food it's added to is invisible until the sauce is layered on top. It's actually a more logical metaphor than the previous ad and is another outstanding example of how advertising can underline a product's essentialness.

GE
"Enhance Your Lighting"
2 mins
1 Oct 2014
This spot makes up for all those turgid films that don't know how to reign themselves in because there's no time limit online. Every second of this GE ad from the US entertains - and not least because of Jeff Goldblum's bravura performance as Terry Quattro; the man whose celebrity is down to "really great lighting."

GHD
"Curve"
75s
1 Oct 2014
In this impressive ad for GHD, we're treated to the fleeting recollections of a party as remembered by one woman who was there. Obviously an opulent, possibly slightly debauched, definitely drunken night, she awakes somewhat worse for wear - but her hair remains as demurely perfect as Rebekah Brooks's did as she strode out of court after implausibly getting away with it.

Royal London
"We're All Going to Die"
60s
1 Oct 2014
This fantastic commercial for Royal London not only tackles the taboo of 'death', it laughs in its face. Just look at the opening exchange: "We're all going to die!" warbles an aged soothsayer... only for the brand spokesperson (the marvellous Gethin Alderman) to riposte: "It's true - we are all going to die," before explaining how Royal London have been helping people to make provisions for this inevitability ever since their foundation in 1861, even going so far as to label them "experts in dying".

Booking.com
"Golf Holiday"
30s
1 Oct 2014
It's Peter Serafinowicz's masterful VO performances that make this campaign special and in this golf-themed ad (first aired in April but revived for the Ryder Cup) he once again lifts the script's level well above the words on the page. It has golfers admitting they love the game more than they love their wives as a hawk-like chap practices his swing with palpable intensity. Will he get it out of the bunker or not? Er, no... but he's staying at such a terrific resort that he doesn't care.

Channel 4
"Disability Minefield"
60s
1 Oct 2014
In this era of communication, where most of us (in the West, at least) can express our opinions via social media, we're only just beginning to grasp what that responsibility might mean. And in timely fashion, Channel 4 has made an ad for the Talk Disability section of their site online in which the minefield we face in naming anyone with a disability is discussed.

TNT Couriers
"Human Truck"
50s
1 Oct 2014
This is one of those commercials that puts DAVID into a bit of a quandary. On the one hand, the visual impact of the truck made up of Guantanamo-styled TNT staffers is undeniably impressive but - on the other - there's something slightly sinister about its implication of suggesting that the people who work for the company are obedient drones.

Waitrose
"The Warmest Season"
60s
1 Oct 2015
When the most obvious choice is also the smartest choice it always sounds a bit denigrating to describe it as a 'no-brainer' but when the John Lewis Partnership decided to extend its relationship with adam&eveDDB by asking the agency to create Waitrose's advertising, it really couldn't be described any other way.

Spies
"Do It For Mom"
2 mins 30s
1 Oct 2015
Judging by the number of times we've seen this shared on Facebook (vital research done on our break, you understand), this cheeky ad for Danish travel agency Spies looks set to amuse and bemuse just as much as last year's outing. It's seems all still isn't well with our Nordic neighbours and it's down to a lack of babies being born. Fewer babies mean fewer Danish grandmothers. Luckily, Spies have the answer: sexy holidays.

Kellogg's Optivita
"Ray Winstone"
30s
1 Oct 2006
Ray Winstone trades a little of his street cred for a few of Kellogg's dollars as he speaks up for a cereal that can reduce cholesterol. Cleverly, Winstone's endorsement is qualified... because he disapproves of the "nanny culture thing", he is only giving us the facts - it's up to us if we buy it. Well, yes.

Scottish Widows
"Metamorphosis"
50s
1 Oct 2006
Filmed largely in Iceland, this ad introduces Hayley Hunt as the new Scottish Widow (taking over from Amanda Lamb). The film uses a black and red motif to represent the various services which are provided by Scottish Widows to provide financial protection for their customers.

Peugeot 307
"Long Time"
30s
1 Oct 2006
You may be away longer than you think according to this ad in which the owners of a Peugeot 307 come home to find their garden overgrown and that the children have outgrown their rusty tools. The ad is served particularly well by a soundtrack by Dan Teper of Tsunami which suits the piece perfectly.

Pepsi Max
"Hitchhikers"
30s
1 Oct 2006
A couple of hitchhikers measure their luck by a scale along the bottom in which a can of Pepsi Max moves along a sliding scale. A rains storm soaks them but the can starts to move to more positive terrain when Desperate Housewives's Eva Longoria picks them up.

Tesco
"Wife Of Bath Cheese"
30s
1 Oct 2006
Tesco's determination to be all things to all men sees them take a stride towards Waitrose's territory in this ad voiced by Richard Briers which tells of the exclusive Wife of Bath cheese range. Supply is limited so the farmer has decided to extend his resources - by buying another cow.

Mentos
"Refreshing Celebration"
30s
1 Oct 2007
Amusing ad for Mentos has the residents of small snowy community in a Nordic country participating in one of those strange annual events we sometimes see at the end of the news. At least that's what it seems to be until we see that it is Mentos they are plunging into and not snow.

Culinaire
"Wig Spin"
20s
1 Oct 2007
If you want a straight-forward product demonstration then this is the way to go. Although the product is undoubtedly the start of the commercial, the illustration of its most important quality via a hairpiece supports the message and prevents the ad from being dull.

Nokia
"Lost Property Rush"
30s
1 Oct 2007
Slick ad for Nokia has an announcer at a railway station reporting that they have found a lost Nokia phone. He goes slightly overboard with his description and pricks the interest of every passer-by. Before long, a crowd of people are descending on his booth with the apparent intention of claiming the phone.

Utterly Butterly
"Hot Potato"
30s
1 Oct 2007
Amusing ad for Utterly Butterly has a woman eating a scoop of her freshly baked potato but struggling with it because of the heat even though she had covered it in prodigious quantities of the butter substitute. Having survived one mouthful, she takes another and the whole cycle resumes.

Inland Revenue Self-Assessment
"Moira Stewart"
30s
1 Oct 2008
There's an office romance underway in this amusing film reminding the self-employed to get their tax returns in on time. Moira Stewart gives us the news about Steve and Jenny's date before letting us know about the other important dates related to taxation administration.

On This Day

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