David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • A better way of looking at things.This optimistic film out of Brazil - ostensibly advertising telecommunications company Vivo - urges us to look at life more generously.
    • A classy approach.This classic 30" commercial for Knorr makes the advertised product look like it'll be the centre of a better life than the one you have now.
    • Stitch's Jack Singer is a cut above.Stitch boost their roster by signing up-and-coming editor Jack Singer.
    • Trailblazers WantedThis is one of a series of online films designed to support the live-action TV work promoting a greater sense of inclusivity in Army Recruitment.
    • Naughty or nice?Sky Cinema viewers are encouraged to pick a side with the broadcaster’s new Heroes and Villains channels.
    • Luis Cervero and Pleix turn Rogue.Spanish filmmaker Luis Cervero and French collective Pleix have joined Rogue for representation.
    • Mixed reactions.Mullen Lowe’s debut Subaru ad shows the marque is in tune with its customers' needs… well, nearly everyone’s.
    • The New GuyThis lovely ad from Vodafone Ireland depicts a little boy's developing relationship with his mum's new partner.
    • Model behaviour.GoDaddy reveal Andrew Flintoff’s latest endeavour: crafting miniature figurines.
    • Changing the army's game.This is one of a new series of films for the Army which aims to help the organisation shake off out-of-date perceptions and recruit on a more inclusive basis.
    • A Case of The MondaysA woman battles her way down the street for Reed, fighting a gale as she goes.
    • Timely intel.BBH and Blink's Pedro Martin-Calero craft a mini spy thriller for online journey planner Trainline.

SISTERHOOD

David Reviews is proud to introduce Sisterhood - a pool of female talent designed to help the advertising industry to access a broader range of voices.

Sisterhood launches with several hundred directors but will soon expand into any other areas of film-making currently dominated by men.

Sisterhood profiles are available for free if you meet the eligibility requirements. Contact Jason Stone on 0141 776 7766 to find out more.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE SISTERHOOD.


Vivo Telecoms
"Rethink"
1 min 37s
21 January 2018

Even those inclined to defend Donald Trump cannot deny that his 'America First' creed gives succour to those who believe it's foolish to take account of other people's feelings. His ascendency to the Presidency offers a stark reminder that civilisation is more fragile than we tend to assume, and that it will all come tumbling down if enough people are persuaded they can bulldoze their way through life in pursuit of their own gratification.

But it doesn't have to be that way, and this optimistic film out of Brazil - ostensibly advertising a telecommunications company - urges us to look at life more generously. A number of people appear on the screen, together with a drop-down list offering a number of alternative ways of looking at them. The first, lazy choice underlines an existing prejudice but beneath there are better options because... there are always better options.

It's a message which appears to have landed well: the Portuguese version of this film has been viewed more than 32 million times and - a few weeks into a year we all need to believe will be better than 2017 - it provides a better way forward.

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Knorr
"A Rich Life"
30s
20 January 2018

This classic 30" commercial for Knorr makes the advertised product look like it'll be the centre of a better life than the one you have now. Buy this stuff and you'll get to hang out with cool exotic people who dance as they cook and live life to the max. This has been made with a lot of love and makes a convincing argument for using Knorr.

This brand is one of those that relies on advertising which matches it to the right demographic. And, as the slightly cheffy feel of this gel-based stock is designed for people who like to think they take cooking seriously but not so seriously that they have to make everything entirely from scratch, this approach looks absolutely perfect for the vast swathe of the middle classes who recognise an idealised version of themselves in these vignettes.

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Stitch's Jack Singer is a cut above.

Stitch have boosted their roster by signing up-and-coming editor Jack Singer. Having learned his trade at Cut+Run, Singer is relishing fresh challenges ahead at Stitch.

He’s already cut a variety of high-profile ads and music videos. Working with renowned promo director Ivana Bobic, Singer cut a nimble dance number for Bloc Party.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Army Recruitment
"Gay"
40s
13 January 2018

This is one of a series of online films designed to support the live-action TV work promoting a greater sense of inclusivity in Army Recruitment.

Where the live-action work is subtle, obliging viewers to discern the message by reading between the lines, the animated work is explicit and openly pitches army life at those who have probably never considered it.

If you heard this campaign being discussed on Radio 4's Today programme a few days before its official release then you'll know it clearly had its critics within the upper echelons of the Army, and we suspect it was the animated films that provoked the ire of the top brass.

They have also been met - predictably enough - with a cacophony of derision from keyboard warriors who fetishise an outdated notion of masculinity they feel is represented by khaki-clad soldiers with a low tolerance of otherness.

They resent this nuanced, accepting approach because - in their eyes - it panders to political correctness. But these largely white men are certainly not the target audience so does their opinion really matter?

Possibly not, but that doesn't mean these films are beyond criticism. As eye catching and lovingly constructed as they are, they are also gauche and don't quite land the way they're intended to.

The issue lies not with the work itself, but in their disconnect from the reality of being in today's Army. While the organisation has made great efforts to modernise on an institutional level, it's naive to suggest that the prohibition of homophobia (or any other insidious hatred) will prevent it from existing on the ground.

Indeed, the very fact that the Army is now attempting to recruit minorities is an admission that the existing culture within its ranks is still overwhelmingly 'traditional'... along with all the prejudices that that entails. There's a suggestion, particularly in the animated work, that new recruits can expect to join an existing group of open-minded people. While it's perfectly plausible that the lot of the female, gay or Muslim cadets has improved over the past few years, it's a struggle to believe that bullying and victimisation has been eradicated.

While detractors - whose only experiences of combat are day-long sessions of 'Call of Duty' - whine about the erosion of 'bravery' and 'British values' within one of the last bastions of old-school masculinity, they fail to consider just how brave you'd have to be to join an army that doesn't entirely welcome you. And, unfortunately, the animated work doesn't really acknowledge this either. All the more so because they didn't really need to soft-peddle that challenge - minority recruits will be ready for a fight.

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Sky Cinema
"Heroes and Villains"
40s
11 January 2018

Neutrals need not apply in this neat Sky Cinema ad. Viewers are encouraged to pick a side with the broadcaster’s new Heroes and Villains channels. Luckily, Sky boast an impressive cast.

The ad weaves together numerous iconic movie props and motifs. Flowing camerawork glides through masks and spider webs, while well-chosen sound clips complete the effect.

It’s a deft trip through cinematic conflict. Whether you cheer every time the Joker makes a pencil disappear or when Superman catches falling journalists, the broadcaster entertain both perspectives.

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On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Honda FR-V
"Fast Food Outing"
30s
22 Jan 2005
The family introduced in a previous ad take another family out to a fast food restaurant, sadly they do not allow dogs so they take the drivethrough facility instead. Luckily the people carrier is so big they can comfortably eat their food whilst on board. Simple animated representations, quirky and Garrison Keillor's drawling delivery combine beautifully.

BMW
"It's Just A Car"
60s
22 Jan 2006
It's only a car. Well, not really. It's a fantastically expensive car made to look very cool by a typically slick piece of advertising which reflects the brand's core values: (ie: unostentatious yet smug wealth) in a manner that suggests they've been a teeny bit influenced by the current Honda campaign.

Swedish Horse Racing
"Know Your Horses"
60s
22 Jan 2010
This dynamic Swedish commercial shows people fostering relationships with horses so they can get inside information and gamble successfully. The various situations depicted are inventive and amusing and will undoubtedly stir interest in the sport.

Barclaycard
"Rollercoaster"
60s
22 Jan 2010
In this follow-up to last year's water slide commercial, the idea of freedom is explored in exhilarating fashion as a man careers through the city aboard a roller coaster. Boston's More Than A Feeling provides the music as our hero raises his arms and enjoys the ride.

Snickers
"Diva"
30s
22 Jan 2012
Joan Collins and Stephanie Beacham guest star in this ad for Snickers as a pair of dressing room divas. The conceit is imported from a series of similar ads made in the US featuring veteran comedy actress Betty White. As in the original ads, the actresses stand-in for athletes in need of a sugar boost.

Tesco
"Daydream"
40s
22 Jan 2013
Tesco's latest wheeze is to show us a woman fantasising abut a Barbarian dong her shopping for her. His two main props are the unlikely combination of mobile phone and a massive sword... one of which he uses to slice some tiger bread for her. No horses were harmed in the making of this commercial.

McCain Oven Chips
"Lift Error"
10s
22 Jan 2004
This ad conveys its message effectively and quickly with an illustration of a situation many can relate to. Watching the woman's frantic attempt and subsequent guilt-ridden failure to hold a lift door open for a mother and child, we can be glad that she won't also have to feel guilty about eating oven chips with too much fat in them.

BT
"Web Cam (No Trousers)"
30s
22 Jan 2004
In this ad for BT, we watch a young student as he awakens to a mess of an apocalyptic scale and skillfully rearranges it out of sight of his computer's webcam. He does so just in time to brush off his parents' concerns with a knowing smile, reassuring them with a daring nonchalance that "as they can see" the house is tidy.

Silver Spoon Light
"Horse"
10s
22 Jan 2006
Another strange animated piece showing how Silver Spoon Light is so like sugar that anyone can be fooled into thinking it's the real thing. This time it's a horse interrupting a picnic who happily partakes of the white glittery stuff.

Kia Cee'd
"Questions"
30s
22 Jan 2007
Is it an ad? Is it a movie trail? Is it another of those campaigns built around a competition to achieve something unlikely (like unearthing a buried car) or is the task more prosaic... like trying to figure out what this is all about?

Channel 4
"Secret Talent"
60s
22 Jan 2007
The usual suspects are asked if they have a secret talent. Gordon Ramsay reveals he can play the drums ... really, is there no end to his obnoxiousness? Meanwhile, Charlotte Church reveals she can fit her fist in her mouth begging the question: why doesn't she leave it in there?

Cadbury Crème Eggs
"CCTV"
30s
22 Jan 2007
Three sponsorship bumpers for the seasonal chocolate offering which is 'back on the street' - an appropriate tie-in since the sponsored programme is Coronation Street. The CCTV footage idea may be a bit overused but it is cleverly employed here.

Diet Coke
"Lift"
30s
22 Jan 2007
The annoying tortoise has presumably been turned into an ornamental ashtray as we see the return of an old theme for Diet Coke. Three women take to the lift for their Diet Coke break before pressing the alarm button to gain the attention of the hunky maintenance man.

Shreddies
"Nanas (Coco Ending)"
40s
22 Jan 2008
Another outing for the Nanas who knit Shreddies has an appendage which has a couple of the oldsters cooing over a coco variant. The geriatric minimum-wagers seem to enjoy their work... which is just as well really.

Kellogg's Special K
"Quick Change"
30s
22 Jan 2009
A woman's mood brightens as she realises she doesn't have to have the same humdrum cereal every day. There are now ten different varieties of Special K and the look of the protagonist changes as she tries each of them.

RBC
"Olympic Torch Relay"
60s
22 Jan 2010
This impressive-looking ad for Canadian bank RBC depicts the Olympic torch as a path of fire making its way across the North American landscape. The company is a sponsor of the Olympic torch's progress and they suggest that it has the ability to light up a nation.

Argos
"Reservations"
30s
22 Jan 2010
A series of vignettes demonstrate how annoying life can be when you are unable to make a reservation before using this to illustrate the wondrousness of being able to reserve stuff online before popping round to your local Argos to collect it.

Maple Leaf Bacon
"Sorry"
30s
22 Jan 2010
One of a series of new Canadian commercials for Maple Leaf Bacon which focus on its new resealable packaging. In this execution, a man who works in an office is sent some bacon as an apology by a woman who hit his car with hers.

Maple Leaf Bacon
"Proposal"
30s
22 Jan 2010
One of a series of new Canadian commercials for Maple Leaf Bacon which focus on its new resealable packaging. In this execution, a woman proposes marriage while holding open a package of the advertised meat as though it was a box holding a ring.

Kit Kat
"Crane"
30s
22 Jan 2011
A wrecking ball operator is enjoying a Kit Kat during his break when he decides to have some fun. We were pretty sure that we'd worked out what was coming next but we were wrong... it wasn't conkers as we imagined but something even more elaborate.

Alpen Porridge
"Bung It In The Microwave"
20s
22 Jan 2012
A new variant of Alpen is designed to be "bunged in the microwave" and this ad aims to simultaneously emphasise its wholesome credentials and debunk the idea that it's a poncy cereal. A tough ask, you might think, but this does the job rather nicely.

Black Mirror
"A Future You Deserve"
60s
22 Jan 2013
This series promises another delve into the darker recesses of Charlie Brooker's brain. The poacher turned gamekeeper isn't quite as good at making dramas as he was at tearing them apart in his columns for The Guardian and on Screenwipe but this trail for the new series certainly suggests that it'll be worth a look.

McVitie's Breakfast
"Breakfast Challenge"
30s
22 Jan 2013
David Mitchell provides the voiceover for this lacklustre piece demonstrating how a woman is able to face the pressures of the morning provided she's eaten the advertised biscuit. The regret in Mitchell's voice is palpable as he describes her antics with outsized versions of the stuff that troubles us in real life.

Virgin Media
"Multiple Tennants"
40s
22 Jan 2013
David Tennant has acted alongside other versions of himself before - as fans of Doctor Who will doubtless recall. Here the Scottish actor is accompanied by an additional three versions of himself to highlight the advertised service's ability to record three streams at once.

Wonders of Life
"Brian Cox"
30s
22 Jan 2013
This trail is worth watching if for one thing alone - the luscious Professor Cox doesn't smile - or talk with a smile in his voice - for nearly all of it. He's mostly moody and brooding. Hard, then, to concentrate on the amazing things he's telling us about life and its wonders and stuff because... he's not smiling as much. Wow.

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