David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Wim Wenders evokes the 1960sGerman director Wim Wenders draws on his knowledge of world cinema to perfectly evoke European cinema of the 1960s in this stylish commercial for Italian eyewear company Persol.
    • Anachronism or post-post modern fun? Take your pickThe Milk Tray man is back! That is, for those of us who remember him.
    • Vikings strike a pose in ad for Swiss photography service These fearsome Vikings are more concerned with getting some great pics for their Ifolor photo book that they are in bloodthirsty murder.
    • Iconic doll takes on her critics in smashing US spotIt's hard to imagine a more inappropriate word but this commercial for Barbie is incredibly ballsy.
    • Rebel Wilson gets a meatier role than Ewan et alForget Ewan McGregor looking gravely mystified at the team's approach - forget everything, in fact, that's gone before. Because in Rebel Wilson, BT Broadband has found a genius.
    • Psyop reunite with Stink for global representation.Animation powerhouse Psyop are excited by the possibilities on offer after reuniting with Stink.
    • An emotional approach ups the anteIt takes a lot of bottle to imbue a commercial with this much sentimentality and - if you're going to do it - it's best to commit fully. Rattling Stick's Pete Riski has done exactly that in this ad for Wrigley's Extra and the result is absolutely lovely.
    • A pooptacular invention.This entertaining ad for the Squatty Potty proves Harmon Brothers may well be the masters of toilet humour.
    • AD Sports up their game.This dynamic commercial for the United Arab Emirates' AD Sports channel will have other sports networks envious.
    • Piggy back for the Irish marketHaving brought a lump to our throats earlier this year, Vodafone remake their 'Piggy Sue' commercial for the Irish market.
    • For when people are the proverbial painThis campaign for American brand Flanax targeting back pain has a brilliantly simple concept which, once revealed, rings just true enough to make us laugh out loud in recognition.


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"Vai Paparazzo!"
2 mins 10s
13 October 2015

German director Wim Wenders draws on his knowledge of world cinema to perfectly evoke European cinema of the 1960s in this stylish commercial for Italian eyewear company Persol.

An engaging tale, it follows the on-set action when the relationships between actors are at odds with the relationships between the characters they portray. It possesses enough complexity to be quite cryptic on first viewing but the concentration required to fathom its meaning immerses you in its immaculate sense of period.

Wenders remains as dedicated to the aesthetic as ever and when a script provides him with the freedom to show his skill, he demonstrates a superb mastery of his domain.

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Milk Tray
"The Search"
12 October 2015

The Milk Tray man is back! That is, for those of us who remember him. One of the original polo-necked chappies who used to swing in through windows and slalom through doorways to leave a box of chocs for an admired laydee has climbed out of whatever ravine he's been stuck in for decades and is urging men across the nation to be his successor. "Now it's time for a new man to deliver the famous box," he announces. "Is it you?"

It'll be interesting to see how this one goes... it's fun and all that but does today's woman want to lounge around in her lingerie sighing over the mysterious action man who's left her an edible gift?

And - in an era of chocolate snobbery - Milk Tray isn't a brand to get excited about... a glimpse at the uninspiring packaging offers an unfortunate reminder of this.

Mind you, if the new 'chap' turns out to be, say, a balaclava-clad woman delivering the chocs to her lover in a bit of tongue-in-cheek girl-on-girl action, then maybe the brand might just feel exciting again.

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13 October 2015

Viking warriors lurk in the undergrowth, biding their time - before suddenly launching themselves at an enemy tribe with a ferocious roar.

But wait... is that a selfie stick one of them is using to capture the scene? It is - because these fearsome dudes are more concerned with getting some great pics for their Ifolor photo book that they are in bloodthirsty murder.

This very entertaining spot is lavishly produced and has a cinematically epic feel that makes its subject all the more amusing. Unlikely marauders in specs or lippy, carrying pump sprays of fake blood and surrounded by cars stop every now and then for a photo opportunity as it dawns on us that this is merely a re-enactment.

This is much more fun than watching everyday folk endorse the speed of a photo book service followed by shots of albums full of christenings, graduations and birthdays. More swords and gore please - or maybe next time a recreation of an alien abduction? That'd be awesome.

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"Imagine the Possibilities"
1 min 45s
13 October 2015

It's hard to imagine a more inappropriate word but this commercial for Barbie is incredibly ballsy. But because it's so beautifully made with superb performances coaxed by ace child whisperer Karen Cunningham, the ballsiness might not be the first thing you notice.

It's hard to think of another brand more closely associated with the reinforcement of gender stereotypes than Barbie. Since her 'birth' in 1959, the long-legged icon has become representative of a submissive feminine ideal that places a premium on beauty ahead of brains. In fairness, Barbie has always been a bit of a go-getter and many of her incarnations over the years have hinted at empowerment and achievement... after all, this plastic doll has smashed through many a glass ceiling in her 56 years.

But the image has stuck and - rightly or wrongly - many parents have adopted the view that allowing their daughters to play with a Barbie doll is the first step of a process that will see them accept their lot as a second-class citizen.

Not so, claims this immensely charming commercial. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Handing your little girl one of these dolls will allow her to rehearse her plans for a sorority of global domination.

Thanks to director Karen Cunningham's sure touch, this message reaches your brain before you've had time to question it. And - when it's expressed like this - it's actually hard to disagree with the idea that using your toys as surrogate students or employees is ideal preparation for doing the same thing in real life.

Female empowerment has been a popular theme for advertisers in recent years and it's a meme that award juries seem to favour. Its association with Barbie may be the most audaciously counter-intuitive yet; and that's what makes this our favourite example of this genre because it demonstrates that advertising can be at its best when it rises to the most difficult of challenges.

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BT Broadband
9 October 2015

At last - the new BT Broadband campaign has produced a winning ad. Forget Ewan McGregor looking gravely mystified at the team's approach - forget everything, in fact, that's gone before. Because in Rebel Wilson they have found a genius.

What is a genuinely funny idea becomes a truly brilliant piece of comedy thanks to her own acting skill - which, in this instance, doesn't feel like acting at all.

Sharing the set with a cheetah, an increasingly nervous Wilson attempts to draw a comparison between the speed of the fastest land mammal on the planet and the speed of BT Broadband. The cheetah isn't impressed, and the production crew start to get nervous themselves. One of them has a bright idea, however, and impulsively puts it into action... with unexpected results.

This wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining with most other luminaries. Wilson hits the perfect note when it comes to conveying a celebrity gamely carrying on presenting while unbeknownst to the audience things are taking a turn for the worse off-screen. The nervous smile, the tremulous whimpers - she does vulnerable as brilliantly as she does slapstick.

It's an ad you stop to watch every time it's on, and what's more, one you get everyone else in the room to watch too. Do we all remember who it's for? We do now.

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On This Day

Renault Clio
"England v France"
13 Oct 2005
Significant new ad for the Renault Clio continues with the va va voom theme but, much like Arsenal next year, has to get by without Thierry Henry. An Englishman and French woman take turns to promote their nation as superior citing a number of physical and cultural figures.

13 Oct 2012
This attractively-filmed commercial for the power utility company may look an awful lot like an ad for a kettle but it still manages to communicate its message extremely well: the need for electricity is a part of our lives whether we like it or not and we might as well make sure we get the best deal we can.

"The Chase"
2 mins 30s
13 Oct 2013
If you're going to base a piece of advertising around one of the most iconic events in the world, you'd better make sure you bring something fresh to the enterprise - and that's exactly what director Henry-Alex Rubin, cinematographer Stephane Fontaine, and editor Spencer Ferszt have done with this splendid twist on one of Spain's famous bull runs.

13 Oct 2005
A man sprays his kitchen with Lynx so that his returning girlfriend will be overwhelmed by a need for sexual healing when she unpacks the shopping. His plan works and then using the allegedly aphrodisiac spray, he lures her into the bedroom.

Vauxhall Corsa
13 Oct 2006
The strange puppets introduced in the previous ad gather for a night-time rendezvous at a club. It turns out their vocabulary is limited to the "c'mon" that was the signature phrase of the opening ad. Eventually, one of them flies off on a balloon. Odd.

"Comedy Sponsorship III"
13 Oct 2006
Another marvellously surreal offering on behalf of Nintendo has national stereotypes represented facially by actors forming mouths and so on. These clever idents are almost too good for the product which, DAVID suspects, appeals to people without the humour to appreciate these ads.

13 Oct 2007
A new addition to the family of idents created for BBC One has a number of neon figures coming to life and heading for a lit up Ferris wheel which forms the iconic circle that the BBC now strongly associates with its main channel.

Children In Need
"Shaun The Sheep"
13 Oct 2007
Gary Lineker and Shaun the Sheep join the stars of BBC who are getting involved with this year's charity event in this trail which uses some of the footage from the earlier, longer ad. Shaun the Sheep is unquestionably the brightest of the new stars on the BBC in the last year and rightly takes his place in the pantheon.

Cadbury Dairy Milk
"Come On Lads"
13 Oct 2007
We are provided by an excuse to run the gorilla ad again by the inclusion of an overt message of support for the England rugby team as they do battle with the French on Sunday. The words 'come on lads' and the English flag are clearly visible as the camera pulls back to show the drum kit. And they did.

Pepsi Max
13 Oct 2008
A man atop a high building who is about to attempt an improbably and audacious stunt takes a swig of Pepsi Max and imagines he hears a pep talk from a medieval knight. Suitably inspired, he charges off the roof and flies off in a random fashion before conveniently landing on a roof decorated with attractive women.

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
"Public Information Film"
13 Oct 2008
This ad sends up public information films from the 1950s to let us know that the advertised product has 60 per cent less saturated fat than butter. Mind you, look how much of the stuff is put onto the bread roll... if you use that much, aren't you pretty well eating the same amount of saturated fat?

"Darker Side - Nostril"
13 Oct 2009
Another attempt to use levity to convey a message about the dangers of taking drugs. With the best will in the world, it's hard to imagine how a comic conversation between two nostrils and a dog is going to cause anyone to rethink their lifestyle.

Chiquita Smoothies
13 Oct 2009
Chiquita are not not just a fruit company any more... they've now branched into the arena of fruit smoothie drinks and this fun little commercial focuses on the benefits of so-called 'super fruits' which are included in their wholesome medleys.

"Global Citizens"
13 Oct 2009
Another excellent film in Oxfam's campaign to raise awareness about global warming. They want us to understand that it is real and that time is running out but that we can still act. This is not a plea for funds to help victims of the phenomenon but a call to arms.

"Blue Elephant"
13 Oct 2009
This pair of bumpers are used to advertise VW's ongoing sponsorship of documentaries on Channel 4. It wryly announces the discovery of a new breed of animal called the Blue Motion Elephant which echoes the name of a technology promoted by VW.

London Pride
"James May"
13 Oct 2010
The advertised product is so appealing that dedicated car enthusiast James May is prepared to walk to the pub for a pint. May is an avowed bitter drinker and he probably has the right profile to appeal to existing London Pride fans but will he convert lager drinkers?

Marks & Spencer
"Bistro Range"
13 Oct 2010
Caroline Quentin introduces a new range of convenience foods from Marks & Spencer called the Bistro Range. The usual attractive food photography combines well with Quentin's description and a general feeling that all's well with the world.

13 Oct 2010
Shirley Temple's Animal Crackers provides the musical backing to this Lebanese commercial for a telecommunications company. Cutely filmed footage of children on an adventure ends with them making the acquaintance of a giant.

Nestlé Oats & More
13 Oct 2010
Another outing for the selfish dad who tries to keep all of the advertised breakfast cereal for himself. This time, he locks himself in his car and then pretends he hasn't in a bid to stop his children from sharing any of the delicious food with him.

Seven Seas
"Temple Of Steve"
13 Oct 2010
People sometimes refer to their bodies as temples and that idea is given an interesting illustration in this ad for a vitamin supplement. Steve's body is a temple at which miniature versions of himself worship him and mimic his every move.

"Breakfast Wrap"
13 Oct 2011
This was going so well until the food came into it. It lays out an attractive montage of different scenarios in which the food might be eaten before a close up of the all-in-one breakfast wrap suggests that no-one in their right mind would eat it.

"Brand Match"
13 Oct 2011
Another helping of orange supermarket's Bare Necessities campaign reveals that they are willing to match the prices of branded goods found at their major rivals. Once again, cuteness galore is provided by the father and son with an ideal relationship.

Hatfields & McCoys
"New Series"
13 Oct 2012
Channel 5 has managed to the rights to screen this multi-award-winning drama based on a notorious feud in 19th Century America. Bill Paxton and Kevin Costner are the star turns in the mini-series that saw both of them nominated for Emmys. The latter prevailed on the big night... what does that augur for his character?

"Charlene and Carl"
13 Oct 2012
This amusing commercial for Go Daddy is said to represent an effort by the web domain company to edge away from advertising that uses attractive young women to gain attention. They haven't, in fairness, edged very far but there's a candour about their strategy that works well as a joke.

EA Sports
13 Oct 2012
A young man dashes into another room in his house to lord it over his grandmother when he defeats her in a video game. She appears oblivious and stares sadly at the screen in front of her as he sings at her as though she's a football crowd. Apparently, EA Sports and Virgin are joining forces to make this kind of thing possible.

On This Day

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