David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

    • Bedlam.This intriguing film advertises an immersive experience called Arkham Asylum which is coming to London next year.
    • Driving home for ChristmasThis sweet Christmas confection both advertises Xfinity and trails the film 'Sing 2'.
    • Breaking point.Chocolate is a product with romantic connotations, so it's both interesting and apposite that Greek confectionery company Lacta have opted to support the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
    • Taste test.v2food reckon they have the solution to keep everyone happy despite dietary differences with their latest plant-based meat substitute.
    • Empty spaces.The Gay Times comes out in support of transgender people in this intentionally patchy commercial.
    • Major kiosk.This sleek collaboration between Vogue and Swarovski stars actress Julia Garner as a kiosk vendor with a difference.
    • Make America gay again.This satirical commercial from American soft drink brand Mixwell takes on homophobia in confrontational fashion.
    • Charlie Moreton joins The Assembly RoomsThe Assembly Rooms have added editor Charlie Moreton to their esteemed roster.
    • Strength in numbers.This Irish Allianz commercial lulls viewers into sports ad territory then performs an impressive one-eighty.
    • The stuff of dreams.DAVID likes this Pizza Hut campaign, and a large part of that is down to Parker J. Patterson.

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Arkham Asylum
"Lose Yourself"
80s
29 November 2021

This intriguing film advertises an immersive experience called Arkham Asylum which is coming to London next year. Batman fans will recognise the name as it's Gotham City's hospital for the Criminally Insane from the original books, and features in some of the movies too.

Directorial pair Vilanova/Curran certainly make it look as though it's going to be a visceral experience, and it brings to mind the perverse Victorian leisure activity of popping into asylum to gawp at the patients for a little while.

The aim here is to generate interest and it certainly does that... an with a massive fanbase who'll undoubtedly attend just because of their love of Batman, you can't help thinking that it's likely to be a roaring success.


Xfinity
"Come Home"
2 mins
28 November 2021

This sweet Christmas confection which both advertises Xfinity and trails the film 'Sing 2' has a mum (and by mum, we very much mean a mummy dog) running out of petrol when she's on her way home to watch a special seasonal show with her children.

The youngsters are immensely disappointed when it looks like it's a 'no show' from mum, but it turns out that she'll be with them one way or another because she's managed to stumble across the studio where the show is being broadcast and, having accidentally knocked out on of the singers, she steps into his place and performs.

It's a scene very much in keeping with Sing 2, and it looks fabulous with the fantastic characterisations we've come to expect from high-end animation – thus raising expectation for the star-studded film, also directed by Garth Jennings, which is released later this month.


Lacta
"Don't Ever Leave Me"
4 mins 02s
29 November 2021

Chocolate is a product with romantic connotations, so it's both interesting and apposite that Greek confectionery company Lacta have opted to support the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which fell on November 25. The film, like the relationships it depicts, starts off feeling like a love story... so many of the tropes associated with the idea of romantic devotion are rooted in abusive behaviour and as the dial turns we begin to recognise what we are really looking at.

And, again like the relationships it depicts, it escalates from there into something that's no longer ambiguous, but clearly toxic. Director Argyris Papadimitropoulos has imbued this tale with hard-hitting candour, and many women who have found themselves in this kind of relationship will see aspects of what they went through on the screen.

Our society has become much better at identifying abusers, and recognising that those they are victimising are often so diminished that they feel dependent on the very person who has taken away their self-esteem. We are also getting better at understanding why abused women often make excuses for their partner. But these are inevitably difficult situations, and the harder we – as a society – work at debunking the myths which have attached themselves to domestic violence, the more equipped we'll be to support its victims. This sobering film makes exactly this point, and it makes it very well.


v2food
"Taste-a-tarian"
60s
30 November 2021

Those preparing for an overdue family Christmas may already be bracing themselves for accommodating dietary differences. More people than ever before are converting to vegetarianism or veganism for the sake of the planet, while fad diets are an ever-looming spectre on the quick-fix circuit.

v2food reckon they have the solution to keep everyone happy with their latest plant-based meat substitute, as demonstrated in this entertaining commercial. The brand say vegans, meat lovers, and, er, fussy cats alike will all be satisfied by their patties and sausages.

Director Jesse James McElroy has done a lovely job with the film's quirky humour here, ensuring that each weird foodie is given their own distinctive personality during their moment in the spotlight. We particularly enjoy the 'breatharian' who (despite being "stuffed!" from a few gulps of O2) snacks on a meatball in the end.


Gay Times
"Incomplete Without the T"
47s
30 November 2021

The Gay Times comes out in support of transgender people in this intentionally patchy commercial. Released in response to the transphobic LGB Alliance's attempt to divide the queer community to further their own ends, the film features a robotic voice reading out a message of acceptance with each letter T removed.

The downside of the result being purposefully garbled is that it's difficult for viewers to follow, and those who don't immediately catch on to the conceit may switch off before the film's end. However, this is still a valuable communication which will bolster confidence in many who feel vulnerable in what was supposed to be a supportive and accepting community.


QUICK SEARCH

Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

Lacta
"Don't Ever Leave Me"
4 mins 02s
29 Nov 2021
Chocolate is a product with romantic connotations, so it's both interesting and apposite that Greek confectionery company Lacta have opted to support the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which fell on November 25. The film, like the relationships it depicts, starts off feeling like a love story... so many of the tropes associated with the idea of romantic devotion are rooted in abusive behaviour and as the dial turns we begin to recognise what we are really looking at.

Allianz
"The World's Strongest Woman"
65s
29 Nov 2021
This Irish Allianz commercial lulls viewers into sports ad territory then performs an impressive one-eighty. Well-versed in the sport and leisure arena, director Fern Beresford depicts the four strongest women in the world and their respective 'warm-up routines'.

Pizza Hut
"Stuffed Crust"
30s
29 Nov 2021
DAVID likes this Pizza Hut campaign, and a large part of that is down to Parker J. Patterson. Having survived a lion attack earlier this year, the well-dressed spokesman draws attention to the brand's stuffed crust pizza...though he won't go as far to call it "the greatest stuff in the world".

Halo
"Forever We Fight"
2 mins 20s
28 Nov 2021
After making the fans wait a whole year because of delays, it was imperative that the developers behind the latest instalment of the Halo franchise landed their offering with sufficient vim to get everyone on board... and they've done that and more with this spectacular live-action trail which has got devotees of this series frothing at their keyboards with excitement.

Etsy
"Our Santa"
30s
28 Nov 2021
This is a lovely little film and – more than almost every commercial we've seen this year featuring a Black cast – provides a meaningful insight into the reality of existing as the other in a white-dominated society. As a dignified older Black man does his duty at Santa's Grotto with his young grandson, it's clear that he feels alienated by the situation. While, it isn't immediately clear why this is, it swiftly becomes evident.

Orange
"Together Season"
90s
28 Nov 2021
This French commercial for Orange is built around a very similar idea to the recent Apple Christmas commercial... It must be a fruit thing! Here, in a film directed by Riff Raff's François Rousselet, a snowman is a cypher for everyone who has had to wait a long and difficult couple of years to spend Christmas with their extended family.

Telia
"Neighbours"
90s
28 Nov 2021
Every year, a Christmas commercial from an unlikely territory captures the imagination of the British public, usually egged on by one of the national newspapers. One of this year's contenders for this unusual honour has to be this Lithuanian commercial for telecommunications company Telia which introduces us to a pair of warring neighbours.

RAF
"Engineering"
67s
29 Nov 2021
The RAF appeal to a previously under-tapped resource when it comes to military recruitment: nerds. Those with a passion for engineering are in the crosshairs of this slick offering, which pays visual tribute to the problem solving, innovation, and sheer technical joy potential sign-ups can find in the role.

Verizon
"Akbar"
3 mins 41s
29 Nov 2021
Akbar Cook is the principal of West Side High School, Newark, New Jersey - an educational institute previously known for gangs, fighting, and being a general sink hole of both behaviour and academics. He's turned the tide for many pupils over his tenure, but now faces a challenge greater than any before: Covid-19.

Jean-Paul Gaultier
"The Boxer"
50s
26 Nov 2021
This kinetic ad for Jean-Paul Gaultier has a curious narrative progression. There's plenty of glitz and glamour on show as a collection of bright young things attend a boxing match with a difference - namely that it ends in what's implied to be a wall-shaking shag. Perhaps the Eiffel Tower showstopper is a bit over the top, but then that's an essential part of the brand's appeal.

Posten Norge
"When Harry Met Santa"
3 mins 55s
24 Nov 2021
This moving love story illustrates the patience and fortitude required if the object of your amour is only able to put in an appearance once a year. It isn't a particularly enticing proposition, and this film doesn't shy away from the negative aspect of this idea... the man eagerly awaiting Santa's annual visit appears full of sadness and uncertainty.

Carsome
"Mr. Handsome"
3 mins 42s
25 Nov 2021
A bloke goes to pieces over a new car in this delightfully weird ad from Thai website Carsome... though perhaps not in a way audiences will anticipate. Usually DAVID would baulk at the prospect of an almost four-minute long car ad, but this film only gets better as time goes on.

Women's Aid
"Spot the Abuse"
2 mins
23 Nov 2021
There's been a real awakening in recent years about the nature of domestic abuse. Whereas, once upon a time, our understanding of it was limited to cuts and bruises, most of us are now aware that psychological abuse and coercive control can be incredibly damaging too. And while physical abuse often leaves evidence which needs to be explained, psychological abuse can leave those subjected to it feeling helpless as they struggle to be completely certain that they are, indeed, victims.

SuperValu
"Share the Magic"
90s
23 Nov 2021
This Irish commercial for Supervalu provides yet another gorgeous bundle of Christmas sentimentality. A little girl called Aoife wakes to find an injured reindeer in her back garden. The impressionable child painstakingly nurses the fawn back to health, believing him to be one of Santa's fleet. Her parents indulge her, but only just... and eventually her dad gently tries to tell her the 'truth'.

Apple
"Saving Simon"
3 mins
23 Nov 2021
Father and son Oscar nominees Ivan and Jason Reitman have combined forces to make this rather beautiful Christmas film for Apple... and they've done it using the tech giants latest phone - the iPhone 13 Pro. The pair have drawn a fantastic central performance from a little girl who decides that she must preserve the life of a small snowman – whom she's dubbed Simon – no matter what it takes.

Albert Bartlett
"Amazing Hands"
40s
24 Nov 2021
Albert Bartlett's commitment to starchy excellence shines through this well-designed commercial. Staff members sail though the air in choreographed fashion as a fantastical production line takes place, with spuds treated to a full spa experience which includes a wash, blow dry, and trip on a model train for good measure.

Niantic
"Meet You Out There"
2 mins 07s
24 Nov 2021
Augmented reality (AR) firm Niantic declare the outdoors open again in this well-staged adventure ad. Perhaps best known for public nuisance app Pokémon GO, the brand now draw attention to other games and tools in their wheelhouse. Scored by The Mae Shi's 'Lamb and the Lion', the film tracks five smartphone users ready to leave home for as long as their legs-slash-battery life will allow them.

Chipotle
"A Future Begins"
2 mins 23s
21 Nov 2021
It's been almost ten years since a Johnny Kelly commercial for Chipotle cleaned up at the Cannes Advertising Festival, and the restaurant chain have decided to mark that anniversary by asking Kelly to revisit the world he created, and tell a new story about its characters. Kelly's animation is such a perfect vehicle for the story – it's so recognisable that it's iconic, and immediately delivers us back into this world.

Google
"Black-Owned Businesses"
3 mins 16s
21 Nov 2021
This fantastic commercial for Google brings a whole new dimension to Black Friday. The American retail phenomenon is said to owe its name to the profitability of Christmas shopping which starts in earnest once Thanksgiving is over, theoretically moving stores' balance sheets from red to black in one fell swoop.

Vodafone
"Each Christmas"
1 min 36s
21 Nov 2021
This immensely sweet commercial for Vodafone in Ireland depicts a slow burning romance between two people whose orbits are misaligned. While she left the rural community where they grow up to seek adventures in the wider world, he remained behind to tend the family farm. Christmas was the one opportunity they had to reconnect in person, and we witness their growing attachment over the years.

Mind
"Heroes"
40s
21 Nov 2021
The label 'hero' is thrown around rather glibly. These days, it's possible to be declared a hero for an act of common decency like helping a stranger in distress or for contracting a disease or – if you happen to be a first responder – simply for doing your job. And, as this film for MIND demonstrates, while it is undoubtedly flattering to be called a 'hero', it can also be a burden.

Channel 4
"Altogether Different"
1 min 40s
18 Nov 2021
You have to love Channel 4. As it approaches its fortieth anniversary next year, it remains a purveyor of the kind of broadcasting that you simply won't find anywhere else. That was true in 1982 when – as its name implies – it became the fourth of four options available to television viewers in the UK; and it remains true today even though there are literally thousands of channels to choose from.

Optus
"Tis the season of Yes"
60s
18 Nov 2021
An intrepid sugar glider is the hero of this marvellous commercial for Optus – the Australian telecoms company. He is a possum on a mission (almost a Mission Impossible, at one point) as he embarks on a scouting mission in the house of his human neighbours. But what project has he embarked upon? And, more pertinently, what has inspired his determination?

Amazon Prime
"An Unlikely Friendship"
2 mins
18 Nov 2021
A rather sullen zookeeper gains the most extraordinary friend in this touching commercial for Amazon Prime. His new pal is a hyena... not – it has to be said – an animal celebrated for its friendliness despite its proclivity for 'laughter'. This is one of those ideas where you have to admire the imagination of its author almost as much as the tenacity of those who managed to bring it to life.

Levi's
"Re/Done"
2 mins 07s
18 Nov 2021
This snappy film for Levi's dives head-first into the world of sustainable fashion. Director Java Jacobs establishes a zippy tone from the start, as viewers are taken on a whistle-stop tour of all things Re/Done - the brand's effort to upcycle their old denim and create less waste for the planet's sake.

Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

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