David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Trolley toy.Lost a teddy bear or other stuffed plaything lately? Chances are it's now working down your Tesco.
    • A Whole New WorldActor Timothy Murphy replaces James Corden for confused.com's latest campaign.
    • Compelling evidence.Streaming service DirecTV unleash a variety of not-so-subtle suggestions on naive cable subscribers.
    • A Break from the ActionAudi combine action and relaxation in this entertaining ad for their vehicles' luxury features.
    • Beyond the Fourth WallEsurance appeal to savvy consumers with this self-aware commercial.
    • The last hurrah.Channel 5 has apparently decided to ditch Celebrity Big Brother after this series because of falling ratings... but they're certainly going out with a bang.
    • John Turner arrives at Dark Energy.Seasoned commercials director and lapsed cricketer John Turner is the latest to join Matt Brown's contingent at Dark Energy.
    • An ape in need.Environmental campaigners Greenpeace draw attention to the issue of deforestation with this touching film.
    • A fur-raising discovery.A pair encounter an unusual car companion in this pleasingly surreal commercial from VW's German arm.
    • The human strain.Pain and gain inform this tactile piece of work from Reebok for the Chinese market.
    • Team BuildingCarlsberg continue to espouse the virtues of living life "the Danish way" in a new series of online films.

CRAFTWORKS

CraftWorks is on its summer break.

The last two events were held in the evening and attendees have been able to offer their full attention without worrying about emails or phone calls.

Because of this, we're going to stick with this slot when it returns in September.

We don't claim to provide a secret formula to help you achieve success in the future - we'll leave that to the snake oil salespeople who charge hundreds to attend dull seminars.

We created it because the industry needs an event which celebrates creativity and craft in an entertaining way. We've achieved that.

Please support us by coming along when you can.


Tesco
"Cedric"
80s
20 August 2018

Lost a teddy bear or other stuffed plaything lately? Chances are it's now working down at your local Tesco. That's the premise of this light-hearted effort from Irish agency Rothco and director Finn Keenan, whereupon Cedric the bear becomes a small yet vital member of Blue Supermarket's staff - all without opposable thumbs.

Like an employable version of Ted, the cuddly toy surfs the aisles and conquers Mount Cornflake while his true owner is sought. Whether this is a viable solution to current vacancies remains to be seen, but Keenan and his well-animated lead ensure the retailer's family-friendly approach comes across.


confused.com
"Confusion"
60s
20 August 2018

Actor Timothy Murphy fronts a new campaign for confused.com, taking over from previous spokesman James Corden... whose performance received, well, mixed reviews. This latest ad keeps things brand-focused, plunging the viewer into a, ahem, confusing, cryptic world.

The visuals slide past like a capitalist nightmare got lost on its way to Bat Country, offering a sea of choices which bamboozle the casual observer. Ever-shifting camera angles and a neon colour palette add to the sense of unreality, as Murphy gives a suitably jaded performance.

Director Aoife McArdle's cinematic sensibility is in full swing here, as she gives choreographed scenes a ‘Blade Runner'-esque flavour. Time will tell if this approach proves more or less popular than Corden's outings... but it certainly looks the part.


Direc TV
"Signs"
50s
20 August 2018

As subtle hints go, discovering the phrase "quit cable" on your morning slice of toast is one life's weightier (and tastier) examples. This wholemeal omen is actually among this DirecTV ad's more grounded efforts, as agency BBDO New York and director Nick Ball unleash a variety of not-so-subliminal messages on naive cable subscribers.

From crop circles to oddly specific ketchup spatters, the universe conspires to convey the streaming service's mantra by any means necessary. Monitor static and a tense soundtrack lend extra urgency to proceedings, nudging impressionable viewers towards the advertised broadcaster with playful seriousness.


Audi
"Escape"
90s
17 August 2018

Audi combine action and relaxation in this entertaining ad for their vehicles' luxury features. Director Matthijs van Heijningen has the look and feel of the explosion-packed, blockbuster genre down pat, as the action opens with a trio of heroes escaping a gang of thugs on a Bangkok rooftop.

From acrobatic fight moves to familiar action beats (running into the unexpectedly massive henchman, for example), everything proceeds as standard... until one bloke takes shelter in a shiny new Audi.

What follows is an impeccably timed sequence, as the man enjoys a foot massage and a glass of bubbly while his friends are getting soundly trounced outside. One can only admire him for diving back into the fray after his brief respite - we'd be tempted to grab a refill and recline the seat down further.


Esurance
"Dennis Quaid"
1 min 45s
16 August 2018

US insurance providers Esurance appeal to savvy consumers with this self-aware commercial. Starring the "highly likeable" Dennis Quaid, the brand give their revamp a millennial twist by admitting at every turn that yes, this is a commercial, and yes, they know people hate being advertised at.

It's a disarming approach which keeps the audience engaged throughout, as lovely moments of meta-comedy (a previously nameless character gone method, an overly-verbose child actor et cetera) provide effective laughs. And, as it turns out, Dennis Quaid is highly likeable after all.


QUICK SEARCH

Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

Audi
"Escape"
90s
17 Aug 2018
Audi combine action and relaxation in this entertaining ad for their vehicles' luxury features. Director Matthijs van Heijningen has the look and feel of the explosion-packed, blockbuster genre down pat, as the action opens with a trio of heroes escaping a gang of thugs on a Bangkok rooftop. everything proceeds as standard from here... until one bloke takes shelter in a shiny new Audi.

Esurance
"Dennis Quaid"
1 min 45s
16 Aug 2018
Esurance appeal to savvy consumers with this self-aware commercial. Starring the "highly likeable" Dennis Quaid, the brand give their revamp a millennial twist by admitting at every turn that yes, this is a commercial, and yes, they know people hate being advertised at. It's a disarming approach which keeps the audience engaged throughout, as lovely moments of meta comedy provide effective laughs.

Big Brother
"Lies"
60s
16 Aug 2018
Channel 5 has apparently decided to ditch Celebrity Big Brother after this series because of falling ratings... but they're certainly going out with a bang. The 2018 edition's theme is perfect for a world grappling with the very idea of truth, especially for a programme where the highest acclamation comes to the those credited with 'being themselves'.

Halifax
"Ghostbusters"
60s
13 Aug 2018
Pop culture miners Halifax snag two-thirds of the original ‘Ghostbusters' line-up in the bank's latest nostalgia hit. Having previously answered the ‘Wizard of Oz' gang's mortgage queries, Greg from the Halifax - that's his name, don't wear it out - now accompanies Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Raymond Stantz (Dan Ackroyd) on their Sedgewick Hotel assignment.

Financial Conduct Authority
"Bob"
60s
13 Aug 2018
This film from the Financial Conduct Authority offers a stark warning to retirees about the danger of being ripped off by criminals. It introduces us to Bob - a 57 year old who worked for "just shy of forty years" - who was tricked into signing his pension to a conman who approached him out of the blue. Sat alongside his wife Cathy, he describes how he was fooled and how he is now facing a retirement with no funds at all.

Sixt
"Actor"
30s
13 Aug 2018
Car hire outfit Sixt put the ‘rental' in ‘parental guidance' with this amusing dip into the world of adult entertainment. Prudes needn't fear any NSFW antics, however - Grey London and director Jim Archer have another money shot in mind. When a woman tells her son she's now an "adult actor", his reaction is equally surprising.

Nike
"Awaken the Phantom"
2 mins 35s
10 Aug 2018
Does any advertiser use bombast as successfully as Nike? Matthew Vaughn is the latest director to provide the sportswear giant with a film bulging with grandiosity but - as you might expect from the man behind 'Stardust' and 'Kick-Ass' - there's plenty of humour to leaven the portentousness. It opens with various people trying to describe something they saw on a football field.

Impossible Foods
"The Return"
1 min 38s
11 Aug 2018
As you might surmise from their name, Impossible Foods have a rather ambitious mission statement - they want to develop plant-based meat products which are so good that they completely replace the need for animal-based meat products by 2035. Having identified meat production as the most significant factor in the damage humans are wreaking upon the environment, founder Patrick O Brown determined that the best way of saving the planet was to provide an alternative that consumers would prefer.

AXA
"The Save"
60s
10 Aug 2018
This father-son bonding effort from AXA pays tribute to football's most maligned position - the goalkeeper. When conceding a goal too many puts a boy in hot water with his teammates, his dad comes to the rescue with some improvised training strategies. From playing keep-away with a washing line to mattress-assisted diving practice, it's a nicely drawn exploration of the lengths a parent will go to in order to make their sprog happy.

VW Vans
"Spanish Lessons"
60s
10 Aug 2018
Anyone who's wrapped their tongue around a new language (or tried to, at least) will appreciate this sweet VW commercial starring a man who must juggle plumbing and heating jobs with Spanish lessons. From simple greetings to telling the time, the bloke gamely turns his work van into a mobile Spanish class... but why so much effort?

Dove
"I'm Fine"
60s
8 Aug 2018
Dove draw attention to their partnership with Cartoon Network in this compelling film, which offers an insight into a teenager's internal world. The two brands have joined forces to help youngsters build self-esteem in the face of selfie culture, social media, and academic pressure to succeed. The animation work is excellent, as it shows the child's fears twisting and warping into nightmarish exaggerations.

Land Rover
"The Land of Land Rovers"
3 mins
8 Aug 2018
Land Rover have good form when it comes to Asian jaunts. The brand's 'Dragon Challenge' earlier this year saw their Range Rover conquer all nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine steps of China's Heaven's Gate - now the marque travel to Maneybhanjang by the Indian-Nepalese border. Maneybhanjang by the Indian-Nepalese border. Part-village, part-staging post, life at 1,523m above sea level requires hardy constitutions and equally hardy vehicles.

New Zealand Transport Agency
"Dilemmas"
90s
7 Aug 2018
Rare is the road safety ad that encourages viewers to act selfishly, but this entertaining piece from the New Zealand Transport Agency suggests stopping one's friend from drink-driving is really an act of self-preservation. Sure enough, as a group of partygoers watch their friend stagger to his vehicle, the gang contemplate a world without Jono as their surfing chauffeur.

Hamburg Film Festival
"A Thousand Words"
90s
6 Aug 2018
This clever piece for the Hamburg Film Festival which was devised, written and directed by J J Keith has fun with the idea of a picture representing a thousand words. A combination of news footage and specially filmed sequences play across the screen as Mark Strong (in this English language version) gives a powerful reading of the script.

The Great British Bake Off
"Beautiful"
60s
2 Aug 2018
Channel 4's new ad campaign for The Great British Bake Off starts with a bang... and a song. Whether homemade disasters or tent-worthy showstoppers, these culinary delights aren't afraid to announce their beauty to the world. Excellent animation work and fantastic comic timing from director Alex Boutell suggest public imagination is about to be thoroughly captured.

Tena For Men
"Odyssey"
60s
1 Aug 2018
Stirling Gravitas takes us on an old-school trip around the world trip in this epic ad for Tena Men. The brand continue their charisma-fuelled campaign (in comparison to Tena Lady's attempts to make 'lady pants' sexy) with Stirling's globetrotting quest to remain in control. His goal? Transcendent absorbency.

thetrainline.com
"Fly Around Europe By Train"
60s
1 Aug 2018
Actress Laura Haddock recites Robert Louis Stevenson's ‘From a Railway Carriage' in this appealing outing for the Trainline's European off-shoot. As the population jets off on their summer hols, the advertised website favour a more grounded approach. As Haddock delivers Stevenson's ode to a window view, director Tom Welsh triggers a lovely sequence whereby painted stations do indeed whistle by.

Walmart
"Ode to Motherhood"
3 mins
29 Jul 2018
Walmart's paean to modern motherhood is so full of inconvenient truths that it could easily be mistaken for a warning about the seriousness of postpartum depression... if it wasn't so damn funny. Director Mark Zibert has thrown every kitchen sink he could find at this and when he ran out, he found some more and threw those at it too.

BT Sport
"Take Them All On"
60s
31 Jul 2018
The compulsion to remind viewers that BT Sport has more going on than football almost trips up this marvellous film but thanks to inspired casting and some brilliant child wrangling from Fredrick Bond, it's an absolute winner. The ad is topped and tailed by young Charlotte doing what the BT wants all of us to do... watch sport on television, and director Bond manages to catch the essence of live sport in her enraptured face in these short vignettes.

Lovehoney
"Turn Up The Turn On"
30s
31 Jul 2018
Lovehoney are one of a number of newer companies who've made a name for themselves in the realm of sex toys by associating themselves with female empowerment. The sleazy sex shops of the past which appeared to cater to the classic 'dirty old man' have been completely usurped by retailers catering to the needs of women.

Toon Blast
"PSA"
50s
31 Jul 2018
Ryan Reynolds lets his inner Deadpool run the show in this entertaining ad for mobile game Toon Blast. One may be led to believe the actor is displaying his own version of Hollywood candour, as he gives an emotional account of an addiction... at least, until we discover exactly what substance he's been struggling to quit.

Sky Sports
"Take Your Seat"
60s
29 Jul 2018
Even after a World Cup summer which saw England unexpectedly reach the semi-finals, most football fans will be getting itchy for the start of the new season and this trail for Sky Sports' coverage of premiership football is a beautiful encapsulation of that eager anticipation.

AT & T
"Surprise"
1 min 36s
30 Jul 2018
This excellent commercial from American telecom company AT&T riffs on tropes to show the range of films available via its streaming service. In typical rom-com fashion, a woman stops a plane taking off so she can reconcile with her beloved... or so it seems. There are some lovely moments in this film, from the couple being paralleled with giraffes in a nature documentary to the bloke actually interrogating the 'Stop the plane!" cliche.

Westpac
"Moustache"
60s
26 Jul 2018
Movember may be months away, but this heartfelt commercial for Westpac bank already features a contender for the ‘Best Moustache of the Year' title. Said whiskers belong to an Aussie who lives life to the fullest, through good times, bad times, and dust storms. As the years pass and grey hairs pepper his upper lip, his importance to friends and family only grows… which makes his eventual passing all the more painful.

Guinness
"Liquid Tumble"
30s
26 Jul 2018
Guinness summon memories of their classic 'Surfer' and 'Alive Inside' ads in this beautifully staged film for the Asian market. Supple Nam's choreography is at its meticulously designed best, as dancers twirl and swirl their way to being 'poured' as the perfect pint. Delicate grading and aerial acrobatics come together to add a painterly feel to the visuals, giving the whole film a timeless vibe.

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.