David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Short Films
"Lina/Laviai"
5 mins 21s
10 August 2017
UK Short Films

For Laviai and Lina Nielsen, athletics is a family business. Inspired by London 2012, the sprinters have trained together ever since. Matt Houghton’s thoughtful short film charts their twin bid for glory.

There’s little hint of sibling rivalry. Instead, both are ready to offer each other a helping hand. It’s a welcome breather from overblown sports dramas. For once, winning isn’t quite everything.

Meanwhile, carefully-chosen family photos and social media posts emphasise their bond. Even if one suffers disappointment, the Nielsens’ demeanour suggests it’s a temporary setback.

Quiet and sincere, Houghton’s film offers a familial slant on grassroots athletics... and what it takes to join the elite.

HP
"Z VR Backpack"

Matt said:

Whatever you think about this, watch it a second time without sound.


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Latest Work

Mr Sheen
"Back to Banish Dust"
20s
13 Dec 2017
Having presumably renewed his pilot's licence, Mr Sheen flies again in this 20” commercial. First things first, though - give the plane an overdue clean. If only there was a range of multi surface wipes he could use! Even if his ‘tache can't compete with Hercule Poirot’s multi-layered lip warmer, it’s a respectable effort from the mascot.

Virgin Atlantic
"The Prodigal Brother"
3 mins 28s
13 Dec 2017
Sibling love has been a recurring theme during this Christmas ad season. Now Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines promote their transatlantic routes with a brotherly visit. Happy families? Not quite. Jacob initially enjoys a frosty reception - after all, calling a scarf “the greatest gift in the entire world” is flagrant false advertising. Fortunately, Uncle Jacob summons his inner raconteur.

Apple
"Appocalypse"
2 mins 50s
13 Dec 2017
This hugely entertaining film by Tom Kuntz was made for Apple's annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in the summer. Dripping with Kuntz's trademark gusto, it offers an apocalyptic vision of a life without apps... prompted, in this case, by an unfortunate rearrangement of plugs by a new arrival temporarily housed in the main server room.

T K Maxx
"Weather Report"
30s
12 Dec 2017
T K Maxx's festive campaign features the opportunity to have a white Christmas delivered to your door... something the current weather has rendered obsolete. The brand have decided to roll with the punches, however, and we've got to admire them for taking the opportunity to highlight their other gift options. Impressive to get Bill Nighy back on short notice, too.

Guinness Hop House 13
"Sorry"
30s
12 Dec 2017
Everyone knows Christmas is a time for forgiveness - Guinness will be hoping its competitors share the sentiment. The brand apologise for making its Hop House 13 lager taste superior to all others - thus, brewers, technicians, and even the delivery driver show their contrition. Well, everyone deserves a second chance.

International Committee of the Red Cross
"Separated"
90s
12 Dec 2017
The International Committee of the Red Cross and HLA's Simon Ratigan summon every parent's worst nightmare in this 90" awareness film. CCTV captures the moment when a child temporarily goes missing. However, the Red Cross remind us those in conflict-stricken regions share the same torment… for years rather than minutes.

Hey Duggee
"Stick"
30s
12 Dec 2017
Stick and twist, says this hyperactive CBBC trail. We imagine frazzled parents will recognise the likes of Duggee the bear and Roly the hippo. Studio AKA's Flash animation gang are joined by a raving twig. Given his limited vocabulary, we wouldn't be surprised if he’s related to Guardians of the Galaxy's Groot.

Morrisons
"Cheeseboard"
30s
12 Dec 2017
Morrisons continue their orgasmic trip through the pantry, this time exulting in their posh cheeseboard. The familiar seductive voiceover details the creamy, sweet, and vintage merits of their various cheeses... so we can't blame them for running out of superlatives and simply describing the last variety as 'Spanish'. At least they can rely on the food photography to prove it's muy bueno.

BMW
"The Difference"
60s
12 Dec 2017
BMW embrace the great outdoors in this kinetic commercial. We follow a surfer and a mountain biker as they tackle land, sea, and air. Meanwhile, the marque's X3 model has its own business to attend to. Swapping town for country, the brand underline their off-road prowess while maintaining their aspirational ethos.

Audi
"Drums"
45s
12 Dec 2017
This agreeable montage for Audi suggests we should put ideas first and figure out the mechanics later. Cutting loose and overcoming constraints, we're informed, is the way to find success. The visuals create a sense of urban freedom... even if the tricksy reversal in the middle doesn't quite come off.

Desperados
"SkyFest"
2 mins
11 Dec 2017
Following 2016's zero-gravity concert, Desperados' latest musical experiment stays a little closer to the ground. Beatmakers Honey Dijon, Paco Osuna, and excitable Scotsman Jackmaster turn hot air balloons into flying DJ booths. Good thing none of them suffer from vertigo - that could have been awkward.

Pampers
"Midwives"
60s
11 Dec 2017
Pampers put midwives first in their Christmas ad. As maternity wards prepare for the festive period, the brand offer their own spin on ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. Thus, pipers, geese, and pear trees make way for anxious fathers, excited nieces, and, well, milking aids. HLA's Simon Ratigan complements this festive rejig with some affecting fly-on-the-ward footage.

NSPCA
"Fluffy"
30s
11 Dec 2017
This amusing ad for the South African NSPCA stars the only family member you get to choose... and one of the ones you don't. A young woman explains her decision to adopt a dog in the foreground, while something considerably less wholesome happens behind her. The comic timing is great here, leaving the viewer confused until the very end.

Lidl
"Visiting Vegetarian"
20s
11 Dec 2017
Vegetarians rarely get a look-in when it comes to Christmas advertising. However, Lidl insist “humble herbivores” like this bloke can enjoy the big day without consuming a lethal number of Brussel sprouts. Thus, the supermarket promote their meat-free selection. Never has a man looked so excited at the prospect of vegetarian parcels.

Tesco
"Save the Day"
30s
11 Dec 2017
Tesco's festive campaign continues with this lovely ad dedicated to some of the people who don't get to take Christmas off - the emergency services. We see a paramedic and police officer hard at work during the most wonderful time of the year, dealing with the side effects of festive indulgence in more ways than one. A neat way to bring attention to Blue Supermarket's conveniently late opening hours.

Belgian Lottery
"Soiree"
60s
11 Dec 2017
Parabella resurrect their sun-worshipping snowman for another charming animated ad for the Belgian Lottery. While the last instalment saw the frozen fellow wishing he could catch some rays in Hawaii, this year he's pining after a Christmas soiree. Luckily, some woodland pals decide to help him out.

CBBC
"Strictly"
20s
11 Dec 2017
The Go Jetters take on Strictly Come Dancing in another tie in with the BBC's grown up side. While their last cute-ifying of an adult programme featured an animated John Humphrys, here we see a unicorn strut its stuff while Bruno Tonioli's avatar doles out points. Strictly is a good choice for this sort of tie in... we can't imagine a Peaky Blinders adaptation for tots would go down well.

Stella McCartney
"Gymnasium"
80s
11 Dec 2017
Those currently enduring sub-zero temperatures will appreciate this summery gym session courtesy of Stella McCartney POP. The perfume and RSA Photographic/Black Dog Films’s Leonn Ward borrow a school hall for a slick dance-off. Dodgeball practice will simply have to wait. While perfume brands frequently stray into ponderous territory, Ward and co emphasise freedom of expression with old-school elan.

Amazon
"New Wheels"
15s
8 Dec 2017
Another brief festive ad from Amazon shows an amusing musical moment in action. A baby crosses the screen on a roomba, accompanied by an ironic blast of Chamillionaire's 'Ridin' Dirty'. The baby's absolute delight at its new vehicle really makes the humour work, and the background tree is a nice nod to the season.

webuyanycar.com
"So Schofield"
60s
8 Dec 2017
While some take figures such as the Dali Lama or Ghandi as their models for living, webuyanycar.com has a more Phil-osophical approach. The brand have decided to make Phillip Schofield - the 'most loved man in Britain... unofficially' - their personal talisman. This ad sees the webuyanycar offices preparing for the campaign launch.

Amazon
"Merry Christmas"
30s
8 Dec 2017
This amusing ad from Amazon stars a cat who isn't fully embracing the Christmas spirit. Entangled in colourful fairy lights, the long-suffering mog stares balefully at the viewer as Kelis musically expresses its inner turmoil. Funny, deadpan stuff with a lovely sense of humour... and a well timed performance from the cat.

Aldi
"Baby Carrots"
30s
8 Dec 2017
Aldi’s CG carrot patch continues to grow. Despite only just meeting on a train, Kevin and Katie are now parents to three - yes - baby carrots. Strangely, they ask Santa for plush versions of themselves. Meanwhile, Katie’s penchant for erotic fiction continues to grow. Side note - ‘Fifty Shades of Grapes’ is not available from all good bookshops.

Tinaba
"Wallets"
50s
8 Dec 2017
Italian wallet makers are set to have a bad Christmas season... if this ad for money transfer app Tinaba is anything to go by. Director Igor Borghi presents a vision of the near future which is either utopia or dystopia... depending on how much you like carrying cold, hard cash. Wallets and purses are abused in a series of amusing situations, used as everything from dog toys to dish sponges.

T K Maxx
"White Christmas Delivery"
30s
8 Dec 2017
Having commandeered the UK’s entire supply of fake snow, T K Maxx make good on their promise to deliver a white Christmas. This festive documentary captures the Markham family’s artificial snow day. While the clan enjoy their localised winter wonderland, Bill Nighy provides typically irreverent commentary.

BMW
"Ode to Tarmac"
60s
8 Dec 2017
BMW presents a love letter to roads in this cinematic ad. The VO waxes lyrical about the complex appeal of tarmac, detailing every aspect of the stuff in florid detail. The script can feel a bit overbaked at points - especially considering the earnest tone with which it's delivered - but the visuals of roads in all their glory are lovely.

Latest Work

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