David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

Latest Work
    • Ad Break - Game of Thrones.According to The Guardian, 3.2 million people watched the final episode of Game of Thrones in the UK when it was broadcast at two o'clock in the morning on 21 May.
    • Worn CarelesslyAdidas buck current trends by celebrating their 'Supercourt' sneakers getting thoroughly trashed.
    • The Juice is LooseOasis attempt to harness the Millennial hatred of being advertised to in this tongue in cheek commercial.
    • As luck would have it.A flight attendant describes the moment her world came crashing down - or, crashing into a fruit stand, to be more precise - in this twisty commercial for the New Zealand lottery.
    • The beast's burden.Director Thomas Kelly's bristling study of Muay Thai fighter James Chaney could be termed a nature documentary.
    • Sneaker little devil.A teenager preys on the generosity of the rich and famous in this mischievous Foot Locker commercial.
    • Coffee to go.Dunkin' Donuts have come up with a range of signature, erm, Espresso-Wear to ensure that coffee lovers can enjoy their iced beverages hands-free.
    • Screen break.This stark ad for The Film & Television Charity targets industry professionals struggling with mental health issues.
    • Proud to Fight OnPride in London have released a film commemorating the event's jubilee year.
    • Projecting the future.Who would have thought that, in an era of gadgets which fit neatly into pockets, that a tech company like Epson would be trying to persuade the youth to splash out on an unwieldy device like this?
    • Sam Cadman joins Another Film CompanySam Cadman has signed with Another Film Company for UK representation.
    • Party poopers."The party's over", says this thought-provoking commercial which calls out McDonald's over its animal welfare record.

SISTERHOOD

Sisterhood is a free resource we developed to provide a platform for women working in roles dominated by men.

Sisterhood is free to join and free to view.

Over the next few weeks, we are expanding its scope to include live events and an annual competition.

We're seeking sponsors for this so please get in touch if you'd like to help and associate your company with this vital mission.

VISIT THE SISTERHOOD.

Ad Break - Game of Thrones.

According to The Guardian, 3.2 million people watched the final episode of Game of Thrones in the UK when it was broadcast at two o'clock in the morning. This is a remarkable demonstration of the hold that this programme had over its viewers… and, certainly a more edifying aspect of this devotion than the endless online whingeing from the same fans about plot developments they disliked as it approached its dénouement.

Game of Thrones has been a cultural phenomenon – it shifted the Zeitgeist - and its passing is a significant moment. This is in part due to it being one of those rare US programmes considered successful enough to end on its own terms, rather than being axed by a ruthless network.

Its final series was eagerly anticipated, and the very last programme was clearly a massive opportunity for advertisers keen to catch the attention of its devotees. Making it an obvious choice for the second of our examinations of ad breaks in context.


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Adidas
"Supercourt"
30s
21 June 2019

In a market saturated with the latest must-have kicks to be kept pristine and box-fresh for peak bragging rights, Adidas have taken a contrary approach: celebrating their 'Supercourt' incarnation getting thoroughly trashed.

The campaign has a pleasantly edgy, urban feel, as the young cast ruin their once-white sneakers via toes stepped on at gigs, splatters of hair dye staining leather, and grass ground in during carefree games of football in the park.

Director Yoni Lappin has retained a grainy vibe which suits the film, showing flashes of youthful rebellion and camaraderie executed with equal enthusiasm. Lovely work which bucks the current trend in a satisfying way.


Oasis
"Flood"
30s
24 June 2019

Sardonic fruit juice makers Oasis attempt to harness the Millennial hatred of being advertised to in this tongue-in-cheek commercial. The brand's latest campaign hinges on a single, mutually beneficial message: if the public keep buying Oasis, then they'll stop advertising it. First, the ad's protagonists must keep their heads above, er, water.

It's a solid enough concept, as a couple try to keep their heads above, er, water as a tidel wave of the brand's Summer Fruits variant fills their living room. The VO's delivery could be a little less smug, but it should certainly start a few engaging conversations in the comments section.


Lotto Powerball
"Lost"
90s
24 June 2019

A flight attendant describes the moment her world came crashing down - or, crashing into a fruit stand, to be more precise - in this twisty commercial for the New Zealand lottery. Arm in plaster, the woman tells her enthralled nurse how she won the jackpot... and lost the ticket just minutes later.

Like previous instalments in this campaign (including 2018's 'Armoured Truck'), the ad runs a gamut of emotions as the hero experiences joy, disbelief, panic, and acceptance. Needless to say, there's more to her loss than meets the eye.

Even if the denouement feels oddly flat in comparison to what comes before it, the brand still deliver another touching distillation of their values - reminding players that life is a bumpy ride worth taking.


Short Films
"Animal"
5 mins 40s
24 June 2019

Director Thomas Kelly's bristling study of Muay Thai fighter James Chaney could be termed a nature documentary, so in tune is the protagonist with his beastly side. The Californian insists he must "think like an animal" during a bout, both as a form of attack and of defence. As Kelly makes clear, Chaney is a vulnerable yet potent breed.

We're told Chaney emigrated from the United States to Southeast Asia to - for want of a better phrase - "pick a fight" with anyone willing to take him on. He's been in demand ever since, yet the standard of competition means victory is never guaranteed. The opening shot of Chaney's bloodied face proves it.

The fights themselves are blurry, fraught affairs, with one or two brutal hits made painfully clear for all to see, hear, and feel. Together with Chaney's coiled-spring narration, it's a worthy and expressive look at one man-slash-beast's desire to fight.


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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

Lotto Powerball
"Lost"
90s
24 Jun 2019
A flight attendant describes the moment her world came crashing down - or, crashing into a fruit stand, to be more precise - in this twisty commercial for the New Zealand lottery. Arm in plaster, the woman tells her enthralled nurse how she won the jackpot... and lost the ticket just minutes later. A touching reminder that life is a bumpy ride worth taking.

Foot Locker
"The Letter"
60s
21 Jun 2019
A teenager preys on the generosity of the rich and famous in this mischievous Foot Locker commercial, which stars basketball player PJ Tucker, singer Pia Mia, and child actor JD McCrary. While the trio may not be household name on these shores, they're ideal fodder for a cunning opportunist like young Nick.

Pride in London
"Jubilee"
2 mins 10s
21 Jun 2019
Pride in London have released a film commemorating the event's jubilee year - with imagery ranging from celebratory to heartbreaking as it charts the progress fought for by so many. Directed by Fred Rowson, the film opens on the Stonewall Riots: protests which kicked off the modern gay rights movement. This is a powerful piece of work which reminds viewers that Pride, for all it's changed, is not a party.

The Humane League
"McGhoster"
85s
20 Jun 2019
"The party's over", says this thought-provoking commercial which calls out McDonald's over its animal welfare record. Directed by Matias & Mathias, the film targets the fast food chain via the aftermath of a debauched mansion party. Despite the film's understandably serious tone, witty production design adds another layer to proceedings.

Samsung
"Apollo 13"
60s
20 Jun 2019
Samsung go back in time to celebrate their long history of technical innovation with this 60" ad. Director James Marsh takes viewers not only through the years but around the world, as the film shows a diverse array of nations and races united by one thing: being completely gripped by watching the first man on the moon.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup
"Ed Sheeran"
80s
19 Jun 2019
Ed Sheeran: singer, songwriter, marketing genius? The latter remains to be seen, though this affectionate execution from agency DAVID (no relation) and Smuggler suggests that the lad's got potential. The film takes a Twitter DM Sheeran sent to Heinz at face value, bringing the star's dream ketchup ad to life.

Direct Line
"Film on 4 Sponsorship"
83s
19 Jun 2019
One rarely sees movie characters have to cope with the vagaries if modern life, whether it's finding a public toilet or filing an insurance claim after some blockbuster antics. Unsurprisingly, Direct Line wish to see more of the latter. Hence, the newly minted sponsors of Films on 4 have released a series of droll bumpers set in one of the insurer's call centres.

AXA
"Cold Water"
77s
18 Jun 2019
AXA promise to be in their customers' corner with this intriguing film. Directed by Yags, the ad focuses on a group of open-water swimmers - all women 'of a certain age' who find empowerment and community in their unusual hobby. It's a dangerous sport to undertake solo... and, well, why would they want to with friends like these?

Virgin Media
"Unlimiting"
60s
17 Jun 2019
adam&eveDDB's first piece of work for Virgin Media is a blackly humorous twist on the brand's familiar bombast. Stirred by talk of an 'ultimate oomph bundle', a staid bloke called Steve loses himself in a data-driven reverie... only for reality to bite big time. His fate is preceded by a rollicking sequence shot by Ian Pons Jewell as Steve imagines life with extra oomph.

Everyman Cinemas
"Music Makes You Feel Film"
1 min 52s
14 Jun 2019
This artfully shot commercial for upmarket cinema chain Everyman is an intriguing three-hander, with up-and-coming artists Celeste, Master Peace, and Obongjayar taking centre stage as the brand defiantly shun the multiplex crowd. Split across scenes of civil unrest, waterside dancing, and a transcendent club night, director Sophie Jones's film shuns narrative coherence in favour of rich visuals and an eclectic soundtrack.

Sportsbet.io
"Defy The Odds"
2 mins 09s
14 Jun 2019
This eye-opening film for Sportsbet.io draws attention to the Conifa European Football Cup, a tournament designed to represent teams from ethnic or cultural minorities and unacknowledged or disputed territories - those left behind by mainstream football and its organisations. 'Defy the Odds' shines a light on Székely Land, a Hungarian indigenous enclave within Romania.

Roche
"The Two Lives of Sara"
3 mins 24s
13 Jun 2019
Finnish pharmaceutical company Roche raise awareness about the early detection and treatment of MS in this affecting film. Shot split-screen style by director Pekka Hara, the film follows the life of Sara - detailing the way two alternate realities split and differ after her diagnosis. Her struggles are delicately drawn, while the stark emotional impact as she faces the camera at the end is incredibly moving.

Tesco
"Chilled Juice"
30s
13 Jun 2019
Tesco's Food Love Stories campaign has recently shifted from character-focused ads to fetishised shots of various groceries, with comedian Sarah Millican on commentary duty. This latest outing sees the brand in full flow, so to speak, as they showcase their range of fruit juices. Director Charlie Stebbings does his fruity cast justice as the brand show off their liquid assests.

Nike
"Andressa Alves"
60s
12 Jun 2019
As the Women's World Cup brings female players an unprecedented moment in the spotlight, it's the perfect time for Nike to release this compelling ode to following passion against the odds. When a young Andressa Alves is given dolls to play with, she repurposes them for her own use - not matter what anyone around her thinks.

AIB
"The Power of Doing"
60s
12 Jun 2019
Everyone wishes they could jet off to an exotic location at a moment's notice. Now spare a thought for the humble suitcase cast under the bed, on top of a wardrobe, or left to stew inside a cupboard. That's the launching pad for this whimsical commercial for Allied Irish Banks (AIB), which sees a red suitcase leave its sleeping owners behind in search of adventure.

Pepsi Max
"No Can Left Behind"
75s
11 Jun 2019
Paul Rudd brings his inimitable comic skills to this 90" ad for Pepsi Max, directed by fellow Marvel alumnus Taika Waititi. The campaign, er, launches with Rudd as the familiar bumbling everyman - in this case an astronaut who can't possibly take off without his carbonated beverage of choice. Rudd's 'Ant-Man' co-star Michael Peña proves an able foil.

Philips
"Shouting Men"
90s
11 Jun 2019
It's not like men to make their voices heard. Well, that one's up for debate, but it is true that blokes struggle to share their feelings when it matters most - especially in regards to mental health. That's where Philips and Finland's Mieskuoro Huutajat [Shouting Men] come in. Director Meeto's sonorous film sees the choir express themselves through the medium of - you guessed it - yelling.

Virgin Trains
"Fast Chair"
60s
9 Jun 2019
Virgin Trains take re-imagining rail travel quite literally in this pleasantly surreal commercial. Directed by Keith Schofield, the ad sees a bloke fancifully consider how his trip to the exotic climbs of Wigan could be as comfortable and convenient as possible, setting off on a madcap jaunt only to realise he's trying to reinvent the wheel.

Ad Council
"End Family Fire"
60s
7 Jun 2019
Whatever political and social bullshit our little island happens to be dealing with this week, we can at least be grateful that 'family fire' isn't a concern. The gun-heavy culture of the USA, however, sees eight kids a day die in accidental firearms incidents - something this deceptively calm film from the Ad Council attempts to address. Director Bennett Johnson skilfully lulls the viewer into a false sense of security, as it becomes abundantly clear that kids can, and will, get into anything.

VW
"Hello Light"
1 min 45s
7 Jun 2019
The 2015 VW emissions scandal risked turning an industry stalwart into a pariah. Four years later, Volkswagen aim to clear the air, so to speak, with this brooding ad that draws on the brand's storied design history. Shot in almost complete darkness, director Daniel Wolfe's film is a pleasingly tactile and stripped-down portrayal of a VW engineer at work.

FIFA
"Cliches"
1 min 34s
6 Jun 2019
FIFA use sporting ad cliches as a springboard for change in this combative film for the Women's World Cup. Players address the camera directly as they go about their daily lives - which, unlike their male counterparts at the same level, involve day jobs, public transport, and carving out time for training around family life. Bold and upfront, it's a shrewd move to draw lingering inequalities into the spotlight.

Santé Publique France
"One Month"
60s
5 Jun 2019
People experience the various stages of smoking-cessation grief in this entertaining commercial for France's public health authority. Celebrating the efforts of those who stuck to a pledge to spend 30 days without a cigarette for Tobacco-Free Month, the film offers a heightened yet all-too familiar depiction of what it feels like to kick a habit.

Electric Ireland
"Darkness into Light"
2 mins 30s
5 Jun 2019
This inspiring film from Electric Ireland explores the power of using personal tragedy to fuel the greater good. The understated, restrained delivery of a father describing the loss of his son to suicide is heartbreaking - confusion and resignation tangible in the man's voice as he tries to comprehend some sense from the senseless.

Komplett
"The Stand-Off"
1 min 40s
4 Jun 2019
It's been a staple of Westerns since ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid': two outlaws faced with insurmountable odds opt to go out in a blaze of glory. This ad for Norwegian internet provider Komplett offers a thoroughly modern spin on the trope, and one that will resonate with would-be desperados worldwide.

Walkers
"Superfan"
90s
3 Jun 2019
M J Delaney is no stranger to girl power, having technically worked with Sporty, Ginger, Baby, and Scary on a repurposed version of their 90's hit 'Wannabe' for Project Everyone. Now, the director returns for a more lighthearted romp with the group for Walkers - in which the Spice Women surprise an avid supporter with a visit.

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.