David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Horses for coursesIf you're drinking Strongbow cider, what do you need to complement it? A walk on the beach with your beloved... and your very own slow motion horse called Brian. Works for us.
    • The next generationThis German ad for Vodafone is by turns intriguing, exhilarating, funny and poignant.
    • Sweet and sourOne of a series of commercials for McDonald's has a perfectly-performed piece of dialogue.
    • A concise love storyOnce again, Grey London's work for Vodafone in Ireland provides some of the strongest advertising for a mobile phone network anywhere in the British Isles.
    • Homelife in a spinThis commercial for Hilcox uses an innovative technique to illustrate its central idea.
    • A notable locationThis very attractive online spot for Samsung Galaxy Note certainly knows how to show off the phone's features to best advantage.
    • LostYou may need to watch this excellent rumination on 'loss' more than once because there's a subtle reveal towards the end that makes you realise there's slightly more to the protagonist's need for his SatNav than you might suppose.
    • Treading new groundOne of a series of very classy ads for Bridgestone tyres. We like these a lot because they marry thought-provoking questions and ideas with beautifully-filmed visual parallels.
    • Sarah Silverman's cojonesSarah Silverman takes a radical step in her bid to muscle in on the financial benefits men enjoy simply by dint of being born with a penis.
    • D'you want a pasadoble with that?Poor Gareth Silverman - destined for his artistry on the dancefloor to be misunderstood and unappreciated by the world. Until, that is, he discovers Subway.

THE BLACK BOX

JASON:

Have you ever noticed how many directors have been identified by Shots as 'One To Watch'?

ALICE:

Nearly as many as have appeared in Saatchis' Young Directors thing. You have to wonder what it says about a director if he or she hasn't appeared in one of these lists.

JASON:

Probably that their last birthday cake was well candled.

ALICE:

Huh?

JASON:

They're old.

ALICE:

Oh.


Strongbow
"Slow Motion Horse"
60s
16 October 2014

If you're drinking cider, what do you need to complement it? Not a Hell's Angel tatt or badly-cut drugs, contrary to perception - what you need is something soft and fuzzy to define your tipple's edges and give it that socially acceptable vibe. Like a walk on the beach with your beloved... and your very own slow motion horse called Brian.

This lovely tongue-in-cheek approach is made all the better by the fact that there's a slight hitch with Brian's speed, which intermittently causes the ambiance to vaporise as the couple stroll along slightly ahead of him.

It's beautifully done, and the proof of its success is that not only can you watch it more than once, you also want to show it to everyone else you can think of. Go, Brian, go. Just a little faster.

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Vodafone
"Bucket List"
60s
16 October 2014

This German ad for Vodafone is by turns intriguing, exhilarating, funny and poignant. A young woman has taken her grandfather's bucket list and is on a quest to complete everything on it. As she tackles each task she sends videos, messages and photos to him, so he can cross them off on his own copy of the list.

The ad hits the perfect note. It captures the energy and curiosity that comes in such supply in youth; the readiness to do things our older selves might baulk at.

Her love for him means she is prepared to jump off dizzyingly high diving boards and eat pickled scorpions, while he, ensconced in his chair at home, chuckles at her exploits - exploits he thought he'd written off ever doing, yet is now experiencing them vicariously through someone who reminds him what it was like to feel gloriously alive.

Towards the end is a beautiful moment when she visits someone for him, and you forget this is an ad because it simply feels too genuine and moving. But it brings the spot round to Vodafone again cleverly, and you're left feeling full of goodwill towards a network whose recognition of the role they can play in lives and experiences like these is so perceptive.

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McDonald's
"The Ultimate Supreme"
30s
16 October 2014

The third of the commercials for McDonald's special promotion built around burgers put together by competition winners has a perfectly-performed piece of dialogue from a couple who were one ill-advised smear of sour cream from victory.

In a scene lasting just seventeen seconds, a couple's happy recollection of their collaboration turns as sour as the ingredient that ruined it all as she points the finger and he accepts responsibility. Then it's over to Dexter Fletcher and the food itself for the second half of the commercial.

Because of the nature of this offer, each of the commercials in the series can only going be broadcast for a single week. So it's to the client's great credit that they opted for this approach, allowing scripts by Leo Burnett's Philip Deacon and Caroline Rawlings to be brought beautifully to life by director Tony Barry.

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Fieldtrip takes on A Very Successful Business

Directing duo Dulcie Cowling and Adam Morley - aka A Very Successful Business - have signed to Fieldtrip. They met at university, and in 2010 decided to throw in their lot with each other to become filmmakers; bringing with them a Yellow D&AD Pencil and experience on Bafta-winning TV programmes respectively.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Vodafone
"Amy and Niall"
40s
14 October 2014

Once again, Grey London's work for Vodafone in Ireland provides some of the strongest advertising for a mobile phone network anywhere in the British Isles. The 6.4 million people south of the border on the island next to ours are the recipients of a really excellent campaign and this latest film - directed by Kevin Thomas - is no exception.

It's a love story in just forty seconds and a wonderful illustration of how adept our industry is at telling a tale with perfect succinctness. It's beautifully cast... mercifully, neither of the duo look like they would cut it on the catwalk but both seem to possess enough confidence in their own attractiveness to make it a perfectly relatable and charming story.

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On This Day

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).

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.

B & Q
"David"
30s
20 Oct 2008
A man sits in a park rehearsing his lines for a new TV ad for B & Q. An onlooker is unsurprisingly perturbed by this and shifts uncomfortably towards the end of the bench. This is a neat way of emphasising the offer while bringing a little humanity to the brand.

Betty Crocker
"Chocolate"
30s
20 Oct 2009
A little boy cutely explains how he enjoys baking with his mother and his sister. There's lots of loving close-ups of children's faces as the young lad licks the "patchula", sits in front of the oven and generally behaves adorably to sell cake mix.

Sony Ericsson
"Spark Something"
30s
20 Oct 2009
A couple climb aboard a pair of space hoppers and, because they send images of themselves bouncing on them around the world, soon everybody in the city is using one to have fun. And none of this would be possible without the advertised camera... actually, that's not true.

NHS
"Snack Swapper"
40s
20 Oct 2009
Another initiative designed to promote healthy living being funded by the NHS. A plasticine Mum and her young child decide to use something called the 'snack swapper' to avoid unhealthy food in favour of better alternatives.

The F Word
"Food Testing"
40s
20 Oct 2009
Craggy-faced anger-management candidate Gordon Ramsay is back for another series of The F Word and this attractively filmed trail shows a series of chefs queuing up to stuff a morsel of their food into his over-active gob. DAVID would proffer his Cyanide Prawns.

Epson Printers
"World's Fastest Inkjet"
2 mins 18s
20 Oct 2010
This attempt to demonstrate the speed of the advertised inkjet printer doesn't really come off. The exercise has been filmed impressively with as much drama as possible injected into the action but this cannot disguise the fact that the test is completely contrived and appears nonsensical.

Little House Of Hope
"Whistling"
40s
20 Oct 2010
You have to fear the worst when you see a young African child digging a trench in this film promoting the work of a charity. But it isn't slave labour that's being highlighted and neither is he digging a grave... he's helping to put up a building funded by those who donate to Little House Of Hope.

Nom
"De-Light"
30s
20 Oct 2010
Another series of "nom-nom-nom"s emanate from the mouths of those enjoying the advertised dairy products. Like the preceding ad, it cleverly succeeds in getting across the idea that that this is a delicious product that people will enjoy eating and it seems to be a perfect approach for a television advertising launch.

The Sun on Sunday
"Free Match Attax Cards"
20s
20 Oct 2011
Considering this is a commercial for a free offer in a tabloid newspaper, it's actually pretty good. A young lad collecting the advertised cards is filmed to look like a football manager with a series of still images, sped up footage and it's all to good effect.

Smyths
"Avengers"
40s
20 Oct 2012
Four children dressed as 'Avengers' have everything they need for their fun and games thanks to the advertised toy retailer. It's rare to see a toy ad that wasn't made in the US and although this isn't exactly advertising gold, it's a lot better than the work we normally see in this sector.

Panasonic Lumix
"Andy Barter"
30s
20 Oct 2012
Andy Barter's weak voice undermines his message about the advertised camera's versatility as he walks through the streets of Istanbul showcasing it. It isn't nearly as exacting a task as he makes it sound... anyone would think he had been asked to accompany the Paras on a tour in Helmand Province.

On This Day

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