David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Phenomenal WomanSport England have followed their sensational 'This Girl Can' film with another hugely powerful piece of work.
    • StrangeLove for Tubby Brother and Flash Factory.StrangeLove have made a double signing: filial duo Tubby Brother and Marco Prestini, aka Flash Factory.
    • Hazard warningPremier League refs would appreciate this Sure ad’s rewind facility.
    • Channel hopping.There’s plenty of joie de vivre in this 60” ad for Eurostar. These travellers discover what can happen when you just say qui. A lot, as it happens.
    • Arno Salters is Riff RaffRiff Raff have signed multi-talented director Arno Salters to their roster.
    • Not today, bubThis trope-subverting Australian ad for Toyota manages to have everything a car commercial needs... and more.
    • Back in gear... almost.This amusing trail for the latest series of Top Gear sees presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid face a grilling in the BBC insurance department.
    • Bill's bargainMother Nature and Bill have come to an arrangement: as long as she keeps the rain coming, Bill will only make pure, organic milk.
    • Leo Vegas hits the jackpotIt turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors... enter the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas.
    • Give the people what they wantThis film sees the tech giant make strong statements about the rigorousness with which their smartphones are now tested.
    • Come fly with meGerman supermarket EDEKA caught the imagination in 2015 with their darkly touching Christmas ad about lonely relatives. Now they’re tackling another, erm, weighty subject: obesity.
    • Nur Casadevall enlists with Colonel Blimp.Colonel Blimp have signed Barcelona-based director and photographer Nur Casadevall for UK representation.
    • Big events to celebrate the IPA's Centenary.The IPA is celebrating its 100th birthday in style with a series of impressive events.
    • Simple does it.This entertaining McDonald’s McCafé ad offers salvation for anyone who’s uttered the phrase: “I just want a coffee”.

CRAFTWORKS

Monday, 27th February.
Betwen 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20 plus VAT.

● How We Made... BUPA.

● Dan Gordon on Hillsborough.

● BAFTA-winning 'Home'.

● An amazing VR project.

● The Radio 1 ad that never was.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.

Brought to you by DAVID REVIEWS and the APA.


Top Gear
"Risk Assessment"
90s
22 February 2017

This amusing trail for the latest series of Top Gear sees presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid face a grilling in the BBC insurance department.

A humourless pen-pusher (he’s stingy with biscuits, as well) has some concerns about the programme’s impending return. It’s safe to say these three aren’t the ones to ease them.

The presenters tip-toe around the show’s high-octane antics. A question regarding LeBlanc’s driving record prompts a sneak peek at the actor’s James Bond audition tape, while his cohorts are just as evasive about their driving.

We see crashes, corners, and, erm, cracks as the BBC suit continues his audit. Just when it looks like the trio have got away with it, The Stig shows health and safety remains an afterthought.

After last year’s troubled relaunch, this film suggests the show is focusing on its strengths - namely the chemistry between LeBlanc, Harris, and Reid. While many fans will have pledged allegiance to Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour, the Beeb seem confident there’s still plenty of fuel in the Top Gear tank.

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Arla
"The Deal"
40s
21 February 2017

Anyone who’s tried to organise a summer barbecue will know you can’t reason with Mother Nature. Dairy farmer Bill, on the other hand, has come to an arrangement with the big boss: as long as Mother Nature keeps the rain coming, Bill will only make pure, organic milk. We’d love to see the minutes from that meeting.

PrettyBird’s Jodeb a.k.a Jonathan Desbiens marks his UK commercial debut with an eye-catching effort. Shots of nature in full flow combine well with Bill’s solid graft, whatever the conditions. Soon there’s enough green stuff to make the white stuff.

It reminds us that organic farming isn’t as cuddly as you might think. It still requires hard work and patience, and the brand wants us to know it respects such values. A milk commercial with backbone.

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Leo Vegas
"Double Vegas"
90s
21 February 2017

It turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors. We're already familiar with the suave yet faintly menacing lion... and now another familiar visage joins him. It's the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas - and boy, what a bonus he proves to be. Having "bigged it up" in the audition, he finds himself slightly out of his depth - and we can't look away.

The 90-second ad uses a variety of behind-the-scenes tropes to convey the comic's anxiety about the things he's expected to do. We see him roar feebly in the recording booth, protest at featuring in a Japanese ad, and jump out of a plane... onto a greenscreen mat.

His timing and physicality are superb, and what's so clever about bringing him on board is the extra dimension he introduces.

While the besuited big cat suggests the brand has a sophisticated player demographic, Jonny opens things up and invites a broader audience.

The hapless manner in which he bumbles through renders the idea of gambling harmless - it's just a bit of a laugh. Existing customers can align themselves with the superiority of Leo the lion; new ones will associate the brand with fun and frippery.

But to say his clout stops there would be wrong. Johnny Vegas is also known for being controversial and anarchic; his size and his ability to look and sound dim-witted belying a sharp intelligence. So both target audiences will appreciate his presence and take what they choose from it.

Whatever we feel about the ubiquity of online gambling and the barrage of ads promoting it, we have to judge each campaign by the quality of its ideas, execution, and presumed effectiveness. This particular ad hits the jackpot on all three counts and we look forward to seeing what's next for the newly-formed double act.

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Samsung
"Quality Assurance"
60s
19 February 2017

Following the, uh, toasty experience of many at the hands of the Galaxy Note 7 last year, the results for 'Samsung quality control' on any given search engine are unsurprisingly bleak.

This film sees the tech giant go on both the offensive and defensive simultaneously - making strong statements about the rigorousness with which their smartphones are now tested. This includes them being bent, frozen, and - in a nice moment of self-awareness - baked. All to a prescient soundtrack of The O'Jay's 'Give the People What They Want'.

The claims are bold ('innovation is our legacy', 'quality is our priority') and consumers may be hesitant to believe them, but it's make or break time for the brand's smartphone future and a little hyperbole seems necessary. Whether Samsung's new gen can go up against the iPhone remains to be seen, but they're certainly giving it all they've got.

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EDEKA
"EATKARU / Icarus"
2 mins 35s
17 February 2017

German supermarket EDEKA caught the imagination in 2015 with their darkly touching Christmas ad about lonely relatives. Now they’re tackling another, erm, weighty subject: obesity.

A boy despairs as his family gorges on an unidentified substance that makes gruel look appetising. The grey gloop seems to be the town’s only source of sustenance - though the youngster wants to expand his palate.

When he spots a bird flying away, the lad dreams of becoming airborne. Alas, balloons, kites, and a homemade glider can’t help. Finally, he learns the blackbird’s secret. No need for a degree in aerodynamics - some berries will do the trick (though we don’t recommend running into the woods and shoving any old fruiting body in your mouth).

Unsurprisingly, the ad has already divided opinion on the ol’ interweb. The supermarket has even released a statement concerning accusations of fat shaming. Yet it's not as grotesque as it could have been - instead, the characters are cartoonish; their Violet Beauregarde-style physiques designed to represent a heedless, herd mentality rather than pure greed.

As the newly slimline hero enjoys his fruit, the final line reads, “Eat like the one you want to be.” In German, this reads as 'Eatkarus'... a clever play on 'Icarus'. It encourages everyone to question their diets and whether some subtle tweaks can achieve big changes; and after the January glut of diet ads this peculiar spin on Greek mythology is a worthy flight of fancy. Although let's hope the lad doesn't want to soar too high.

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Five Star Work

Sport England
"This Girl Can Returns"
90s
24 Feb 2017
The bedrock of the long-awaited second instalment of Sport England's 'This Girl Can' campaign is provided by Maya Angelou's mischievous reading of her own poem 'Phenomenal Woman'. It's a perfect fit for the everywoman approach which drew so many plaudits for the original film... also directed by Somesuch's Kim Gehrig.

Eurostar
"Travel State of Mind"
60s
20 Feb 2017
There’s plenty of joie de vivre in this 60” ad for Eurostar. These travellers discover what can happen when you just say qui. A lot, as it happens - you’ve just got to have the right mindset. Long lunches, lost and found love, and discovering one’s dancing shoes… sod the itinerary and just roll with it.

Top Gear
"Risk Assessment"
90s
22 Feb 2017
This amusing trail for the latest series of Top Gear sees presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid face a grilling in the BBC insurance department. The humourless pen-pusher (he’s stingy with biscuits, as well) has some concerns about the programme’s impending return. It’s safe to say these three aren’t the ones to ease them.

Leo Vegas
"Double Vegas"
90s
21 Feb 2017
It turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors. We're already familiar with the suave yet faintly menacing lion... and now another familiar visage joins him. It's the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas - and boy, what a bonus he proves to be. Having "bigged it up" in the audition, he finds himself slightly out of his depth - and we can't look away.

EDEKA
"EATKARU / Icarus"
2 mins 35s
17 Feb 2017
German supermarket EDEKA caught the imagination in 2015 with their darkly touching Christmas ad about lonely relatives. Now they’re tackling another, erm, weighty subject: obesity. A boy despairs as his family gorges on an unidentified substance that makes gruel look appetising. When he spots a bird flying away, he's inspired to expand his palate.

McDonald's McCafé
"Madness"
60s
20 Feb 2017
When did a cup of joe become so complicated? The sheer variety of sizes, roasts, and finishes available is enough to leave anyone’s head spinning. So this entertaining McDonald’s McCafé ad offers salvation for all those who - in the face of overwhelming choice - have ever uttered the phrase: “I just want a coffee”.

BNP Paribas
"The Day After"
90s
17 Feb 2017
This French BNP Paribas commercial will bring back painful memories for some - or hazy ones, at best. A man wakes up in a hotel hot tub after a night involving, erm, chainmail. Alas, it’s far from the suite life. Only hotel CCTV can piece together whatever happened here.

Diesel
"Make Love Not Walls"
1 min 38s
15 Feb 2017
This film launching Diesel's 'Make Love Not Walls' campaign is hopeful, surreal, and flamboyant. But then, it's directed by famed photographer and Warhol protégé David LaChapelle, so why would we expect anything different? It stars 'bad boy of ballet' Sergei Polunin, who wanders through a wasteland until he comes across a mysterious wall (no word as to whether Mexico paid for it).

Finish
"Combinations"
40s
14 Feb 2017
Finish’s ‘Who Cleans The Cleaner?’ campaign continues to stand tall in this sector. This latest instalment focuses on, erm, fusion cuisine. Caesar salad and orange jelly, scrambled eggs with cat food, baby milk and tuna bake… no, it’s not a Heston Blumenthal set menu, it’s just some of the unedifying things that nestle beside one another in the dishwasher.

Johnnie Walker
"This Land is Your Land"
1 min 40s
14 Feb 2017
This spirit-lifting ad for Johnnie Walker functions as both declaration of intent and rebuttal to the current political climate across the pond. It features a timely remake of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land is Your Land', sung in both English and Spanish by funk band Chicano Batman. The upbeat melody and lyrics sound joyful - a bold statement of identity as the band roam the streets of California in all its multicultural glory.

Hallmark Cards
"Hannah & Henry"
2 mins 02s
10 Feb 2017
This commercial for Hallmark has a sly twist which - if heeded - could massively boost the sales of the card company's Valentine's offerings. It charts the burgeoning love affair between two people who work in the same building. Painfully unaware of a mutual attraction, they appear likely to opt for love of the unrequited variety.

Instrumentarium
"Eternal Love"
66s
13 Feb 2017
Just in time for the most romantic day of the year, Finnish eyewear retailer Instrumentarium bring us a touching story of enduring love. An elderly couple have been married for decades when the husband brings home some new specs for himself and his missus. What follows isn't exactly love at first sight...

Kia
"Hero's Journey"
60s
2 Feb 2017
It's impossible to write about this funny commercial broadcast during the Super Bowl without noting that its star - Melissa McCarthy - catapulted herself into the front line of the battle against tyranny the same weekend. Her unforgiving impersonation of Donald Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer during 'Saturday Night Live' was a perfect demonstration of the power of ridicule.

BBC
"Every Element of Wonder"
50s
9 Feb 2017
Olivia Colman covers Tom Lehrer’s ‘The Elements’ with a BBC twist in this colourful promo. Replacing the elements of the periodic table are programmes designed to stimulate the ol’ grey matter. Who said learning had to be dull? Directors weareflink match Colman’s pacy delivery with a cubic spectacle.

Michelin
"I Need You"
1 min 34s
9 Feb 2017
The Michelin Man takes a back seat in this engaging commercial. The mascot has typically appeared as a jolly CGI creation, but not here. Instead, his likeness becomes a reassuring sign on the road - just what these particular motorists need.

GambleAware
"Online"
60s
9 Feb 2017
Online gambling can have hidden dangers beyond losing a few quid on the outcome of a football match, and this unsettling ad for GambleAware brings that home hard. The key to this film is a masterful vocal performance, as a man sitting on a young woman's desk speaks her inner thoughts aloud while she tries not to give in to the urge to gamble.

VoteVets
"Exercise"
30s
7 Feb 2017
How do the dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporters - who've managed to rationalise their way past their man's hot-headed stupidity, in-your-face corruptness, blatant racism and appalling sexism - turn a blind eye to this raw appeal from VoteVets? It doesn't condemn Trump. It gives him a chance. It reminds him of his promises and his responsibilities and asks for a response.

UNICEF
"Harry and Ahmed"
2 mins 05s
8 Feb 2017
This thoughtful UNICEF film reminds us that time doesn’t necessarily heal everything. Harry and Ahmed are separated by decades, yet united by hardship. Side by side, the two describe their respective ordeals. Faces, countries, and technologies may change, but the language of suffering remains the same. When Harry and Ahmed’s stories overlap, the humbling effect is compounded.

Mooncup
"A Period Drama"
74s
7 Feb 2017
Fans of barechested scything drama Poldark will enjoy this affectionate spoof. Squint your eyes and these two could be stars Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson on horseback. They exchange tender glances, but time is of the essence. Riding across the moors at full speed, they finally reach their destination… though we’re not in the eighteenth century anymore.

Paddy Power
"Coach Driver"
60s
6 Feb 2017
Paddy Power pay tribute to another unsung hero: a long-suffering coach driver who ferries football fans to and from matches. There are some lovely omedy beats in this ad, from the lacklustre delivery of the driver's own version of 4 Non Blondes' 'What’s Up?' to the introduction of 'Big Fat Phil' - who gets left behind when the coach stops for its passengers to, uh, water the grass behind some bushes.

Mexican Avocados
"Secret Society"
1 min 40s
2 Feb 2017
In this age of leaks, spoilers, and whistleblowers, clandestine organisations have it tougher than ever. Avocados from Mexico’s amusing Super Bowl commercial highlights the difficulty in keeping things under wraps. One can’t help feel sorry for this concerned leader as his acolytes vex him with supposed leaks.

Squarespace
"John Malkovich"
50s
2 Feb 2017
John Malkovich has built his reputation on being other, gently menacing versions of himself. And even as he turns from acting to fashion design, some things don't change. This Super Bowl campaign for website building service SquareSpace shows him trying to maintain his cool on discovering someone has already taken the domain name JohnMalkovich.com.

Barbie
"Dads"
75s
1 Feb 2017
We’ve known for a while that the Barbie world is changing. Having laid the groundwork in 2015’s charming ‘Imagine the Possibilities’ film, the brand now get the dads involved. “I’m a typical man’s man”, states dad number one. Not that his daughter is fussed. All that matters is having a dad to play with. What follows is a charming montage of fathers and daughters letting their imaginations guide them.

Jaguar
"Perfect Corner"
75s
1 Feb 2017
Jaguar have a case of the bends in this attractive commercial. Bends in the road, of course. The premium brand suggests any car can drive around a corner - doing it in an F-Type Jag is another matter. Flitting between slow motion to full-on thrust and power, we’re given an artful demonstration of the car’s form.

Gillette
"Honest Player"
60s
1 Feb 2017
Jim Telfer’s speech during the 1997 Lions tour in South Africa propels this stirring Gillette ad. It’s the kind of voice you daren’t talk back to, only absorb what’s being said. He outlines what it means to be a rugby player in no uncertain terms - standards for George North’s generation to live up to. An ideal appetiser for this year’s Six Nations and Lions action.

Five Star Work

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