David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Just the ticketMcDonald's annual Monopoly ad returns - this time with a scientific twist.
    • Scrubbing brush bluesSpecsavers's long-running campaign has rarely focused on children's glasses, so this latest entry is a welcome diversion.
    • Railing about the railwaysThe Rail Delivery Group paints a rosy picture of Britain's trains but is this a reasonable claim?
    • Flower powerWe love the way JD Williams has been brought into the 21st century.
    • Board to death.1stAveMachine's Baz takes board games over to the dark side in his new feature film, 'Game of Death'.
    • Life still moves pretty fastHaving starred in ‘Stranger Things,’ Joe Keery should feel at home in Eighties throwbacks. Now the tousled heartthrob takes the lead in this lovely homage to 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' from Domino's.
    • Do Your ThingiZettle have released a series of ads focused on, uh, 'true' historical moments when people refused to take no for an answer.
    • Reel love.The Co-op's desire to embrace the past inspires this affectionate Mother's Day commercial.
    • Roccy and RollBerocca aim to energise the nation with this entertaining ad for their fizzy yellow vitamin tablets.
    • What's in a name? This engaging commercial for wealth management firm Raymond James introduces us to Kevin - a name comprised of two syllables and many inflections.
    • Enterprising journeys.A hundred seconds spent in the company of Morgan Heim gives us a real insight into the conservation photographer's life in this beautiful film for Enterprise.

CRAFTWORKS

Wednesday, 22nd March.
Betwen 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20 plus VAT.

● How We Made... This Girl Can.

● Jim Hosking.

● Charles Muzard.

● Homespun Yarns.

● Danny Capozzi.

● The Guardian 'Three Little Pigs'.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


Raymond James
"Kevin"
60s
17 March 2017

As Dylan Moran once observed, everyone wants to hear their name said a certain way. This engaging commercial for wealth management firm Raymond James introduces us to Kevin - a name comprised of two syllables and many inflections.

Kevin's name is uttered with love, frustration, and sadness throughout. We especially like teenage Kevin opening his door to dad. Now that's one tone of voice you don't want your name associated with.

Knucklehead's Tomas Jonsgården does a lovely job depicting Kevin's journey through school, work, and retirement. Subtle period details and an economical script create a strong piece of work for an institution keen to get on first-name terms.

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Enterprise
"An American Icon"
1 min 39s
20 March 2017

A hundred seconds spent in the company of Morgan Heim gives us a real insight into the conservation photographer's life. It's a tribute to director Jay Buim that - despite its brevity - this film never feels rushed. Cinematographer Kyle D Repka manages to capture the beautiful snowy landscapes in a fashion which reminds us that this is Heim's obsession and provides us with a sense that she is a highly capable photographer without us needing to see her work.

And a nod too for the stunning sound design which makes you feel as though it's your foot crunching the snow as Heim makes her way through the Alaskan wilderness in pursuit of the images which will help her protect the animals who live there.

When the digital realm figures out how to distribute advertising without getting on everyone's nerves, we really hope it's films like this that are brought to the fore.

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Short Films
"Do What You Can't"
3 mins 52s
16 March 2017

Youtuber Casey Neistat has racked up three and a half million views with this energetically upbeat video. Addressing the film to 'the haters' and 'doubters', Neistat rails against conformity over a montage of young people doing things they were told they couldn't do.

Lines like "The haters are drinking champagne on the Titanic and we're the fucking iceberg" sum up the mood: a rallying call to millennials simultaneously disillusioned with the world and revelling in its possibilities. Digital disruption is the order of the day, and these teens and 20-somethings are shaking things up in a way inconceivable to their parents' generation.

The film is directed by Max Joseph who - as fans of MTV will know - is one half of the duo responsible for Catfish; a show about internet romance and false identity.

Together with Neistat, he's made 'Do What You Can't' snappy, smart, and full of youthful hubris in the best way - although we do wonder just a little bit about the relationship between Reistat and his dad. There's just a hint of "You can't hurt me now!" about it.

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Swedish Railways
"Paul's Journey"
80s
14 March 2017

Some journeys are more difficult than others. The central character in this enlightened commercial for Swedish Railways has embarked on a personal journey to seek acceptance for his transvestitism - and he's no generic cipher representing the LGBT community, either. He's Pelle Pia Hedberg, who became a cause célèbre in his native Sweden when his decision to begin dressing as a woman in the workplace provoked a row with his boss.

It's a beautifully-made piece of work. Hedberg's transformation is simultaneously allegorical and literal as he inserts a pair of earrings before applying nail polish. This piques the curiosity of other passengers but their faces reflect a society at ease with 'difference' and none of them display a hint of prejudice even when he returns from the toilet having swapped his blokeish apparel for a dress.

All the while, the train hurtles effortlessly through the Swedish countryside to remind us of the other - more straightforward - journeys made possible by the railway concerned.

This feels as though it's advertising a way of life as much as it's advertising anything else, and with Sweden being cited by both its friends and its enemies as a bastion of liberalism, it's an exceedingly well-timed piece of communication.

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Bulmers
"Percentages"
60s
17 March 2017

Bulmers Ireland show us a scene with a twist in this energetic ad - reminding us how Irish their cider is just in time for St Paddy's. 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. A woman gazes into the distance, trying to remember switching her straighteners off; a man laughs along with his mates despite having no idea what the joke is; another man courageously commits to throwing shapes regardless of the fact he's probably at the wrong bash.

The annotations have a satisfyingly universal feel (we've all seen at least one bloke on a night out who 82% fancies himself), and build up nicely to the final observation that Bulmers is 100% Irish. A solid creative executed with aplomb - excellent work from Neil Gorringe and Lucky Generals.

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On This Day

Renault Laguna
"Eric Cantona"
90s
23 Mar 2009
Say what you like about Eric Cantona... the man delivers every time. Here, the enigmatic former footballer uses his Gallic charm to run through all the reasons why you should consider the Laguna next time you're in the market for a new car. Very convincing it is too.

Britain's Got Talent
"Britain, It's Time to be Great"
60s
23 Mar 2013
This is delightful piece of fun presages the coming series of Britain's Got Talent. The programme's stars - by which we mean those already famous rather than the members of the public yet to enjoy their fleeting moment in the limelight - show us their special gifts via some clever post-production jiggery pokery.

Garden Bridge Trust
"Garden Bridge"
80s
23 Mar 2016
This engaging film for the Garden Bridge Trust is a celebration of London's hustle and bustle while outlining the project's ambitious goal to bring an extra burst of greenery to the UK's biggest urban jungle. Director Charlie Robins taps into the project's aims and crafts a pleasing rendition of a metropolis in full flow.

T K Maxx
"Ceiling"
30s
23 Mar 2016
Wieden + Kennedy's work for T K Maxx gets off to a bouncy start with this surreal slice of fun starring... well, a pair of legs dangling from the ceiling. It's not a bad way to grab the audience's attention from the off. In fact, it's brave to wait a few seconds until we're given an explanation for this fleshy chandelier.

Foxtel
"Date"
2 mins 05s
23 Mar 2016
Love could be in the air for this couple as Sarah invites Ian over to her place to watch the latest instalment of 'Game of Thrones'. He naturally says, "Yes"... but there's a problem. A fifty episode-sized problem, in fact. You see, Ian hasn't seen a single episode of the show. "Winter is coming", intones the VO - not that it'll make much sense to our Westeros newbie.

Foxtel
"Prelude"
30s
23 Mar 2016
This frenetic ode to binge watching from Foxtel brilliantly encapsulates the desire to make sure conditions are perfect before we sit down for an episode or nine of our favourite programmes. The urgent VO passionately commentates on these telly fanatics and their respective routines, be it crashing on to the sofa or rushing to the loo for "the real Game of Thrones". Great visuals and a witty script combine to fine effect.

Wall's Magnum
"Five Senses"
30s
23 Mar 2005
Wall's launch another five special editions in their Magnum range this time reflecting the senses which are named one by one in a breathy whisper as a succession of images representing them are flashed past on the screen in a visually impressive ad.

Clarks
"Red Shoes"
20s
23 Mar 2007
This campaign always delivers in a charming fashion. Here a young woman takes such delight in her red shoes that she dances through her day, setting off from her home; sashaying through her office before we see her in a wine bar before she is back home again.

WKD
"Chair"
30s
23 Mar 2009
There's a more mature jape from one of the WKD lads in the latest contribution to the series as he comes up with a cunning plan when he's unable to find a chair in his local pub. This campaign continues to work miracles in successfully pitching girly drinks at men.

Bank Of Scotland
"Reasons For Saving"
40s
23 Mar 2010
This pleasantly animated commercial for the Bank Of Scotland suggests some other reasons why people save their money. These include cars and holidays as well as the most obvious reason of all... the peace of mind derived from knowing there's a bit of money in the bank.

Old Spice
"Armpit Mountain"
30s
23 Mar 2010
This American ad has its tongue so firmly in its cheek that it looks like it's sucking a lollipop. A series of questions are asked about the burden of being the perfect man then it's revealed that the perfect deodorant is now available to him.

Old Spice
"Freshershist"
15s
23 Mar 2010
Old Spice puts a new word in the dictionary in a bid to describe the increasing levels of freshness available from the advertised product. The four depicted products are 'fresh', 'fresher', 'freshest' and 'freshershist'. good fun.

Speculoospasta
"Give Love, Get Love"
35s
23 Mar 2010
This Belgian commercial for a savoury spread has horror movie overtones as a boy dashes out into the pouring rain in an unknown mission that looks dangerous and desperate. Whatever can be the young lad's motive for his perilous journey? Did we mention it's a savoury spread?

Boots
"Mother's Day"
30s
23 Mar 2011
Mum spoils herself rotten in this ad for Boots by buying herself a series of gifts and pretending they're from her young toddler. There's precious little effort to sell us a dummy though and it doesn't even feel as though we're supposed to feel surprised.

Co-op Supermarkets
"Elmwood Standards"
30s
23 Mar 2011
"That's right, pigs do have standards," says a farmer as he struggles to keep his facial muscles in check. The Co-op continues with its ambitious attempt to assure shoppers that it's more than a stop gap when it comes to purchasing food. They should keep at it... this feels like it's working.

BBC Radio 5
"Wednesday"
50s
23 Mar 2011
Another helping of Five Live illustrating that extraordinary things happen all the time. On the day of the budget, Richard Bacon and colleagues listen to PMQs and George Osborne's budget before the broadcaster announces the death of Elizabeth Taylor.

O2
"Jeff"
30s
23 Mar 2011
O2 might have decided to "keep it simple" but the same can't be said of this new strand of advertising. There's so much going on that it's hard to pay attention to the details of the special offer. Bells and whistles should enhance not distract.

Sky Movies
"Kate Winslet"
40s
23 Mar 2012
It's funny how the presence of a major star in a television commercial always seems to result in a wistful performance. It's as if the enormity of securing the services of said celebrity tips the whole thing off balance in a bid to persuade the audience to share the wonder of it all.

Magners
"Made In The Dark"
40s
23 Mar 2012
To illustrate their dedication to their craft, we're told that the makers of Magners happily work in the dark because it improves the quality of the cider. But it's not just the apple presses that operate during the hours of darkness, everything else is too.

Cadbury Crème Eggs
"Mexican Wave"
10s
23 Mar 2012
A marvellous addition to the ongoing series shows mass gooicide as a Mexican Wave spreads around the stadium. With the run of form this campaign is in, it's a shame that there will be no more ads after Easter and the build-up to the Olympics will be over. Well, in terms of Crème Eggs, in any case.

T K Maxx
"Do Your Thing"
40s
23 Mar 2013
TK Maxx ups the funkiness levels with this ad that tells us: "love your style... respect your money". Hip young things get on down, golden oldies shake their booty and break-dancing children do the caterpillar in fashions that are very nearly this season but have 60% off. Even a dog get in on the act, although it appears in nothing but its furry birthday suit.

Waitrose
"The Cod and the Bag"
40s
23 Mar 2013
Another in this attractively-filmed series highlighting a specific product available from posh supermarket. Roger McGough's gentle voice combines beautifully with a piano-based soundtrack to create a persuasive message that seems certain to ensure this flies off the shelves.

Allianz
"Singing Lesson"
40s
23 Mar 2015
DAVID had watched this quite a few times without being able to figure out how to rate it before it occurred to him that the very need to focus so much attention on it must mean it's doing something right. It uses an advertising stand-by: the parent struggling to connect with an alienated teenager who finds that something - often a hot plate of food - provides a breakthrough that leads to a heart-warming moment.

Asda George
"Dance-Off"
30s
23 Mar 2015
A bouncy, energetic ad for George at Asda shows boys and girls having a dance-off. A cheerful rendition of "Anything You Can Do" from Annie Get Your Gun complements the visuals nicely as the young'uns have fun trying to outdo each other's moves. Meanwhile, parents will be glad of a reasonably priced range of kids clothing that can stand up to some serious body popping.

Durex
"Connect"
4 mins 32s
23 Mar 2015
It's a bit long -- ooer, missus - but this online piece for Durex is still very nicely done. An eclectic mix of loved-up couples are invited to test out a new app that will transform things for them in the bedroom department. They're all very keen social media users and are very excited by the prospect. The build-up is cleverly handled too... what can the app possibly be?

On This Day

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