David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Looking good, Parker?  Feeling good, Billy Ray.This longer version of the most recent commercial for Halifax uses its time well and ends up offering a much more comprehensive rationale for Parker's mutiny.
    • Mike Lee Thomas becomes one of PG's tips for the future.Director Mike Lee Thomas has joined the roster at Pundersons Gardens.
    • Snack attack.For anyone who's endured the worst of cinema etiquette, du Telecom feels your pain.
    • Stock response.There must have been a certain nervousness at MullenLowe when they were charged with spreading the word about an initiative that has Knorr supporting homeless shelters.
    • Thinking outside the blocks.Danny Capozzi's satire on client fickleness prompted a lot of laughter when we screened it at our March 2017 CraftWorks event and the director proved as engaging as his film in the Q&A which followed.
    • Calm before the storm.Park Village's Thibaut Grevet taps into the racing mindset with this arresting Renault film.
    • Pet peeves.Australian energy firm Jemena remind us why natural gas trumps a pet dragon when it comes to reliable heating.
    • The Morning After... March's CraftWorksListen to Kate Dale, Jane Bolton and Will Cohen waxing lyrically about last week's CraftWorks.
    • Julia Knight gets to Work.Cultured editor Julia Knight has become the latest addition to Work's roster.
    • National pride.John Cooper Clarke and The Maccabees's 'Pelican' combine to give this ITV Racing promo terrific energy.
    • Family misfortunesTesco Mobile follow last year's entertaining montage of holiday foibles with these minor domestic calamities.
    • When life's going swimmingly.A heart-warming tale of parental devotion is used to illustrate the support offered by HSBC when you need a mortgage in a hurry.
    • Sibling rivalry.B & Q's spin-the-bottle approach to appointing advertising agencies has made Leo Burnett the latest custodian.

CRAFTWORKS

Wednesday, 26th April.
Betwen 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

The LSE, Sheffield Street, Holborn, London, WC2.

Tickets: £20 plus VAT.

● McDonald's McCafe.

● Crossover Club: Peter Souter.

● Nationwide's Mothering Sunday.

● plus much more.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


Renault
"Enter the Zone"
1 min 37s
28 March 2017

Park Village's Thibaut Grevet taps into the racing mindset with this arresting Renault film. We've rarely seen the marque's high-performance division advertised, but this brings us up to speed.

Anticipation builds through rhythmic humming and close-ups of the driver and his crew. These quiet moments make the eventual explosion all the more effective. Brief glimpses of snarling dogs and colliding helmets only enhance the physicality.

The tone evokes Grevet's short film charting the Coste motocross family. While Renault's consumer-focused advertising is hit-or-miss, the brand's sporting wing comes across as a formidable proposition. A potent look at life in top gear.

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Jemena Gas
"Instantly Better"
30s
28 March 2017

It's been a good year for dragons in advertising so far. First Dorito's unleashed their animatronic beast; now Australian energy firm Jemena present their own tame-ish firebreather. Alas, there's a reason why household dragons haven't caught on.

This couple describes some of the fiery mishaps sparked by their scaly pet: incinerated dinners; scorched coffee tables; and ruined bathtimes. Something tells us this isn't the first scorched duck dad's had to replace.

Fortunately, the brand's natural gas solutions offer a more manageable alternative. The deadpan performances offset the CGI carnage well, while Aussie consumers are reminded that reliable gas needn't be a fantasy.

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The Morning After... March's CraftWorks

It is now an established tradition that the morning after our monthly CraftWorks show, we gather a small group of people to talk about it.

This month's volunteers were Sport England's Kate Dale - who took part in our opening session on 'This Girl Can'; String & Tins' Will Cohen - who took part in The Reunion session on The Guardian's 'Three Little Pigs'; and Fat Lemon's Jane Bolton who was soaking it all up in the audience.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Julia Knight gets to Work.

Cultured editor Julia Knight has become the latest addition to Work's roster.

Likening the art of editing to "chiselling a block of marble", Knight brings an aesthetic spark to her work. Having honed her craft at some of the industry's top editing houses, she's ready to forge ahead at Work.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

ITV Racing
"Grand National"
60s
26 March 2017

John Cooper Clarke and The Maccabees's 'Pelican' combine to give this ITV Racing promo terrific energy. The broadcaster taps into how the annual Aintree meeting captures the nation's imagination - and turns us all into racing savants.

Form goes out the window when it comes to picking a contender; instead, it's all about "their colours and their funny names". Whether we meet Triumph or Disaster, everyone starts the race with one thought: this could be the year.

The film weaves together racing footage, eccentric personalities and visual stories beautifully. It boils down the race's multi-faceted relationship with the nation's seasoned and novice punters alike.

Cooper Clarke's words and voice convey the Grand National's enduring appeal, a blend of tradition and superstitions. The lyrical script also incorporates the channel's "nothing comes close" mantra, further strengthening ITV's revived association with horse racing.

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Five Star Work

du Telecom
"The Man Sitting Next to You"
85s
28 Mar 2017
A trip to the cinema offers ideal escapism for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, it only takes one crunch, slurp, or waft from a fellow patron to break the illusion. For anyone who’s suffered such picturehouse blues, du Telecom feels your pain. Rarely has the worst of cinema etiquette looked so good as arm hairs mingle, popcorn combusts, and nachos literally swim in melted cheese.

ITV Racing
"Grand National"
60s
26 Mar 2017
John Cooper Clarke and The Maccabees's 'Pelican' combine to give this ITV Racing promo terrific energy. The broadcaster taps into how the annual Aintree meeting captures the nation's imagination - and turns us all into racing savants. Form goes out the window when it comes to picking a contender; instead, it's all about "their colours and their funny names".

Nationwide
"Mother's Day"
2 mins
26 Mar 2017
The latest instalment in VCCP's campaign for Nationwide featuring young poets is a really moving piece of work. Filmed just twenty-four hours before it was broadcast, it has Laurie Ogden articulating the feelings of Gavin - a young man from Belfast - in a specially composed poem for Mother's Day.

Sixt
"The Cult"
30s
26 Mar 2017
There's a very strong idea behind this irreverent commercial for car rental company Sixt and it grabs your attention with both hands before nutting you in the face with it. A funny script from Grey London gave the directorial team an awful lot to work with and they largely deliver: Keith and his new wife are on the money but mum and dad are a tad stilted.

Virgin Media
"Non-Stop Entertainment"
90s
23 Mar 2017
Sometimes more is more, and Virgin Media prove it with this full-throttle commercial. A stampede of cinematic archetypes race against one another in a high-tech tunnel; Supermen, cowgirls, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are all along for the ride. We don’t fancy the Prohibition gangsters’ chances, though - they’ve got a right Muppet at the wheel.

moneysupermarket.com
"Skeletor"
60s
23 Mar 2017
Skeletor saved with moneysupermarket.com, and now he feels epic. So epic, in fact, that he's ready to renounce a life of universe-conquering and dance through the streets to Irene Cara's 'Fame'. The villain quickly wins the town over with his hip-thrusting moves... which we can't quite imagine Frank Langella busting out.

Berocca
"Panjabi MC"
30s
20 Mar 2017
Berocca aim to energise the nation with this entertaining ad for their fizzy yellow vitamin tablets. Far from being just a hangover cure, the brand want you to know that the drink can give you bags of energy and all the get-up and go you need. Roccy the chameleon embodies this vitamin-fuelled nugget of joie de vivre as he struts his stuff deep in the jungle.

Bulmers
"Percentages"
60s
17 Mar 2017
Bulmers Ireland show us a scene with a twist in this energetic ad. A pulsing soundtrack accompanies what looks like a house party only the cool kids are invited to, but appearances can be deceiving... Soon the scene is annotated with percentages which make witty observations about what's really going on with the partygoers.

KFC
"Irish Chicken"
74s
16 Mar 2017
Randy O'Brien is back to introduce KFC's O'Sanders Feast just in time for St Paddy's Day - and yes, it does include potatoes. In one of BBH's final pieces of work for the brand, Randy attempts to make a '200%' Irish meal through a montage of stereotypes sure to make anyone of Irish descent chuckle: huge families, rain, and, of course, leprechauns.

Hornbach
"No Regrets"
67s
16 Mar 2017
This ad for German DIY retailer Hornbach is barmy - and brilliant. It opens with a man building a house in an idyllic setting (we assume this is a common German leisure activity), who takes an unexpected tumble just as his son arrives. The lad starts to weep for his loss, and the years of expensive therapy in his future, but then a very different sound begins...

Sky Sports
"No More One Horse Race"
45s
16 Mar 2017
Nico Rosberg’s retirement following his 2016 title victory left many Formula One fans shocked - and presumably left his closest rivals delighted. Pole position is up for grabs, yet this beautifully shot Sky Sports promo draws from a different track sport. While there isn’t a car in sight, there’s plenty of horsepower.

IKEA
"Rug"
45s
15 Mar 2017
Jonny & Will have good form when it comes to Ikea ads. Having helped bring Dougal Wilson’s tale of migrating t-shirts to life, the pair assume directing duties in this charming Aussie commercial. When the alarm goes off, an especially hirsute hand reaches over. Turns out it’s a sheepskin rug - or Ludde, to give its proper Ikea delineation.

James Wellbeloved
"Mega City"
90s
10 Mar 2017
Amazon recently showed you can’t go wrong with a busker and his dog. Pet food brand James Wellbeloved take this notion to heart with this beautifully animated commercial. A young chap braves an endless downpour to save for better times ahead. Alas, generosity is hard to come by in this grim metropolis. As faceless commuters trudge by, the lad manages a few pennies each night. Still, every penny counts.

Sun Life
"Life After 50"
60s
9 Mar 2017
Over fifty equals over the hill? Not if Sun Life has anything to do with it. Long associated with the likes of Michael Parkinson offering free Parker pens “just for enquiring”, the insurer flips the script in this all-action commercial. The entertaining script encourages growing old disgracefully with some well-staged beats.

Seat
"Race Car"
90s
10 Mar 2017
This commercial represents a massive improvement for a brand whose previous advertising has been so lacking in ambition it suggested the car's manufacturers didn't have any confidence in it. Gone are the hoary clichés of family life - instead we're given an emotional glimpse of the car's inner life. The vehicle in question is a racing car and as it's removed from storage every day to see if it can improve on yesterday's times, it yearns for a more fulfilling life on the open road.

Volvo
"ABC of Death"
45s
9 Mar 2017
In contrast to the poignancy of their last outing, this film by German upstarts Dorian Lebherz and Daniel Titz is funny from the word go. It recounts the 'ABC of death' as we see people perish in various ways, and we only appreciate how dark some of them are after we've started laughing (D is for Dora... yikes).

Volvo
"Human Made"
90s
8 Mar 2017
This cultured Volvo commercial is touchy-feely in the best possible way. The carmaker claims it’s the human touch that inspires them. Instead of a portentous VO describing myriad design features, the ad favours a more tactile approach. Subtle gestures make a big impression - for Volvo, this is the ideal starting point when designing their interiors.

Jose Cuervo
"Last Days"
2 mins
7 Mar 2017
It's the end of the world as we know it... and with a little tequila we'll feel just fine. Jose Cuervo encourage us to live in the moment in this poignantly defiant film, set in a remote dive bar as the apocalypse looms. Some of the bar's patrons flee and take their chances in the storm, while others decide to stay put and wait for the inevitable.

Land Rover
"Night Sounds"
1 min 40s
4 Mar 2017
The creatures of the night come out to play in this sensory treat for Land Rover. Beautifully shot by Gorgeous’s Chris Palmer and DP Barry Ackroyd, even nature can’t resist a gander at the new Range Rover Velar. Predators lurk in the shadows, but even they know they’re outmuscled by the four-wheeled visitor. Try telling that porcupine to shift, though.

E.on
"Epic Journey"
40s
3 Mar 2017
Ahh... the cupboard under the stairs - convenient dumping ground for everything from gym equipment to Harry Potter. This fun E.on commercial depicts what happens when we let said cupboard get the upper hand, and this chap is forced to navigate all sorts in search of the electricity meter. Good thing E.on have some smart solutions up their sleeve.

GambleAware
"Machine"
45s
2 Mar 2017
The spirit of gambling targets another vulnerable individual in this latest GambleAware ad. Standing at the back of this darkened pub, he needles a lone drinker like a jilted lover channelling his inner Ben Kingsley. He toys with his prey, threatening to pass his winnings on to “her or him, him or her” before his true form is revealed. Unsettling and superbly acted.

Road Safety
"Designated Driver"
60s
1 Mar 2017
This road safety film reminds us that dangerous driving comes in many forms. A woman picks up her sozzled partner from the pub. She shows commendable restraint while he regales her with hazy anecdotes… that is until she picks up her phone. In a darkly comic twist, they both agree the drunken one is in a better state to drive.

Verizon
"Half House"
60s
1 Mar 2017
This whimsical Verizon commercial takes us into 8½ Maple Street - an address which takes the term ‘halfway home’ to extreme levels. Good luck to the estate agent who ever has to shift this place. Still, the family seems content with their ultra-cosy existence. Always helps when you’ve got rapid upload and download speeds in every cubby-hole.

Uniqlo
"Wireless Bra"
66s
27 Feb 2017
Sassy, stylish and snappy, this beguiling Uniqlo commercial suggests - in no uncertain manner - that sitting still is going out of fashion. A group of women in chic but conservative officewear start getting busy with dance moves which emphasise half of them are in a state of semi-undress, and the use of Starcrawler's 'Ants' as a soundtrack with its buzz-saw riff is an inspired choice.

Toyota
"Good Chat"
90s
28 Feb 2017
This touching ad for Toyota explores the value of silence. In a world where we're increasingly encouraged to be open about our feelings, whether in person or shouting into the technological void, director Hamish Rothwell demonstrates that sometimes it's more powerful to say nothing at all.

Five Star Work

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