David Reviews

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

    • Breaking taboos, and the fourth wall.There's a terrific central performance in this film for Breast Cancer Now.
    • Worrying WeatherEmmerdale hint at a blow-out episode - literally - for the popular soap's 50th anniversary with this intriguing trailer.
    • Justin Tyler Close heads to Fresh Film.The latest addition to the Fresh Film flock is Canadian director Justin Tyler Close, who joins for global representation.
    • Keep it Simple, SnackerThai commercials have become known internationally for their quirky sense of humour and studied understanding of comic timing, and this outing for snack brand Snack Jacks is an amusing addition to that canon.
    • Sustainable ShowsThis commercial announces Coldplay's partnership with DHL, as both the group and the brand emphasise their commitment to a more sustainable world.
    • Time trials and tribulations."How did the inventor of the clock know what time it was?" That's the question posed this confused.com.
    • Fairy TaleThis Purplebricks commercial arrives with the company’s share price near an all-time low.
    • Sutherland succotash.For a few moments, DAVID thought this Plus500 commercial was a left-field reboot of 24 with a chummy Jack Bauer.
    • Too much, too young.Clothes brand Certified Sports believe no youngster should suffer when released by football clubs.
    • Wear Your SupportThis crowded DAZN spot examines the moments that turn American football spectators into fans.


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Breast Cancer Now
"Let's Talk More Openly"
26 September 2022

There's a terrific central performance in this film for Breast Cancer Now. The woman at its heart is facing up to the affliction which gives this charity its name, and finds herself unable to speak honestly to her friends and family. Her asides to camera owe something to 'Fleabag', which proves to be an excellent way of conveying the idea that her innermost thoughts are kept to herself because she is not yet ready to share them.

The exception, of course, comes at the end when she has the opportunity to be open during a group counselling session organised by Breast Cancer Now.

The use of this comedy trope obviously gives the film an irreverent tone, and there is always the danger that this will be judged inappropriate by those who don't recognise the value of dark humour during stressful times. But, DAVID is glad that agency BMB, and director David Dearlove had the courage of their conviction, as this film is all the more powerful because of its willingness to skirt the boundary of good taste.

"A Storm is Brewing"
3 October 2022

Emmerdale hint at a blow-out episode - literally - for the popular soap's 50th anniversary with this intriguing trailer. The film turns each featured character into a 3D-printed miniature in the style of a celebration cake topper, placing them in intricately designed sets as though caught in the path of an oncoming storm.

Bronski Beat's synth-driven classic 'Smalltown Boy' provides a fittingly theatrical soundtrack, as unusual camera angles and rapid cuts add to the film's sense of unease and trouble lurking ahead. The destruction of the cake once it's revealed - chunks and characters alike flying through the air - also hints that audiences will be in for a rough ride when the advertised episode hits screens.

Justin Tyler Close heads to Fresh Film.

The latest addition to the Fresh Film flock is Justin Tyler Close, a Canadian director who joins for global representation. As well as a prolific filmmaker, Close is also a photographer and founder of The Lab Magazine—needless to say, he knows how to keep busy.


Snack Jack
4 mins 03s
3 October 2022

Thai commercials have become known internationally for their quirky sense of humour and studied understanding of comic timing, and this outing for snack brand Snack Jacks is an amusing addition to that canon. The four minute piece follows a family on a walk out in nature, only for their peaceful afternoon to be disturbed when the father stumbles upon a crudely assembled bomb.

A mixture a screwball and deadpan comedy follows, with moments of overblown panic interspersed with (un)reasonable attempts to find a solution to their time-pressured problem. A quick foray online to seek a way to disarm the explosive - cut short by a hurried instruction to read the comments section - is particularly entertaining.

The child munching on the advertised snack has the simplest solution, of course, suggesting that the brand keep things stripped back when it comes to delivering a tasty experience to customers. It's a diverting watch which should keep viewers intrigued throughout the film's runtime... though a flying intruder in the last few seconds suggests there's more to come.

3 October 2022

Perennial tepid pop purveyors Coldplay made waves in 2019 when they announced that they wouldn't tour again until such an event could have a positive environmental impact. Thankfully - or not, depending on whether or not Chris Martin and co. are your bag - they had plenty of downtime during the Covid-19 pandemic to come up with solutions.

This commercial announces their logistics partnership with DHL, as both the group and the brand emphasise their commitment to a more sustainable world. The film opens with a truck driver singing the group's breakthrough hit 'Yellow' (conveniently also the brand's familiar colour), before the scene morphs into Martin performing in front of a packed crowd.

Text on the lorry shown offers some explanation as to why the partnership is beneficial to the environment, while press around the tour has made great pains to emphasise a reduction of CO2 emissions, efforts to offset carbon production, and a ban the sale of single-use plastic. Talk of harnessing fan energy through kinetic floors and power bikes may be met with greater scepticism, and is wisely avoided here.


On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

4 Oct 2010
This is such a clever idea but DAVID has watched it several times now and still isn't sure whether on he's supposed to be able to recognise the tune. He's going to assume it is a musical illiteracy and give this a massive thumbs up.

4 Oct 2014
This ad for power company SSE provides an opportunity to look at the world through a fresh pair of eyes - those belonging to an orang-utan inconspicuously roaming the streets and studying the modern world as he goes. Had DAVID been sat at the meeting when this was first proposed, he's pretty sure he'd have been among the unimaginative nay-sayers but he's happy to report how wrong he'd have been as this is an immensely engaging piece of film.

"Mr Bean Kung Fu"
4 Oct 2014
What on earth is Mr Bean doing in this setting? In fact, what's he doing on our tellies at all? These are the first two questions that go through our heads on seeing this. Bafflingly, he's with a bunch of oriental warriors sneaking about at night, and they all seem to know him as someone else. Then we discover - of course! - he's not Mr Bean, he's just a warrior in need of a Snickers.

National Lottery
"Think Big"
4 Oct 2015
The worst thing about someone winning gazillions on the lottery is when you hear them tell reporters: "Oh, it won't change our lives... but we'll definitely get a new kettle." It leaves only one possible response: these pea-brained dullards should be made to hand the cash back. However, the family in this attitude-packed spot for Ireland's National Lottery are evidently deserved winners.

"How Does That Sound?"
4 Oct 2015
It's not often an ad for white goods has so little to say, but the almost total silence in this spot for the Samsung Ecobubble™ washing machine is used to great effect. That's because its key feature is its unbelievably quiet spin cycle. To demonstrate this, the machine is set up in a white space with thirty microphones being assembled around it - a simple but very strongly executed conceit.

Insolvency Service of Ireland
4 Oct 2016
The Insolvency Service of Ireland realises the notion of 'drowning in debt' with this unnerving, well-crafted commercial. A woman is shown struggling against an invisible current as her two children eat breakfast. As she floats in mid-air, she fights for a lifeline. Alas, there are only half-made cups of tea and final warnings on her kitchen counter.

"The Robot"
4 Oct 2016
Playtime takes a surprising turn in this excellent ad for home security brand Daloc. A young boy regales his pal with talk of an extraordinary newcomer to his home - a newcomer made of steel, with gripping hooks, a "spy eye" and an ability to swallow all sound. His friendunderstandably pictures a robot of epic proportions - but just wait for the twist...

Talk Talk
"This Stuff Matters"
4 Oct 2016
Talk Talk demonstrate the value of authenticity in this fly-on-the-wall style ad. The product's role is subtle enough to blend unnoticed into the scenes until it's revealed what's being advertised, which leaves the viewer with a feeling of honesty about the company. 9 Merwick Street is an ordinary household that deserves extraordinary data access, and Talk Talk does a stellar job of showing us that without saying a word.

4 Oct 2016
Hotpoint appeal with an understated, visually pleasing ad for their ovens. It's a wonderfully quiet film with a lone voiceover recalling childhood memories of a bakery with affection which never descends into schmaltz. We like the subtlety of this ad, it doesn't need to shout to be heard. Another sincere piece from directors Atanasio + Martinez.

4 Oct 2016
Asus provides the showdown we've all been waiting for in this home office epic. No, it's not good versus evil or Batman versus Superman - it's space marines versus a string quartet. When this gentleman innocuously plugs in his Transformer book, he summons pulse rifle-toting soldiers and a far more graceful band of violinists. It's an odd match-up, but an eye-grabbing one.

"Lesson of Love"
1 min 35s
4 Oct 2017
This curious love story for Instrumentarium sees a young man infatuated with his lecturer. The period piece is beautifully constructed, with spot-on styling and a sepia-tinged grade which screams retro. Why the student decides to make his move via specs remains mysterious, and raises the question of how he found the teacher's prescription. A surreal twist on classic romance tropes from Pete Riski.

"Pride and Breadjudice"
3 mins
4 Oct 2017
Peter Kay stars in this brilliant Jane Austen spoof for Warburtons created by WCRS and directed by Declan Lowney. It's the third outing in a highly ambitious campaign which is rapidly establishing itself as an advertising institution. With previous instalments starring Sylvester Stallone and the Muppets establishing a broad eclecticism, it was very hard to anticipate where Warburtons might go next in their annual bid to create the most noteworthy commercial of the year.

4 Oct 2018
Halloween may still be weeks away, but that hasn't stopped online mortgage broker Habito from summoning a few demons. This 30" commercial from agency Uncommon and director Andy Baker subjects one beleaguered applicant to an infernal pat-down, with severed hands emptying his pockets and more. A lot more.

"The Unseen Ocean"
5 mins 30s
4 Oct 2018
Volvo wade into the war on marine pollution with this latest Sky Atlantic collaboration, which focuses on a school teacher's bid to turn his class into thalassophiles. First things first, however: he needs to convince those who have never even seen the ocean before. With some children more familiar with ‘Minecraft' lakes than they are natural ones, it would appear the educator has his work cut out.

"Sharing Makes Us Stronger"
4 Oct 2019
Poet and spoken word artist Aiysha Humphreys vocalises the burden of mental illness in this striking AXA commercial. Artfully shot by Brazilian directors Jones+Tino, the ad continues the insurer's introspective streak with a smattering of eye-catching moments for good measure. From levitating footballers to someone trapped in a hall of mirrors, the piece weaves together aesthetics that channel isolation and uncertainty.

"The Small Escape"
3 mins 51s
4 Oct 2019
Almost thirty years after the destruction of the Berlin Wall, BMW pay tribute to those who risked life and limb to help others escape East Germany in this compelling piece of work. Evocatively filmed by director Alex Feil, the ad follows a man who uses an unusual mode of transport to hoodwink the guards: an Isetta 'bubble car'.

Royal London
"Determination Since 1861"
4 Oct 2019
Determination is the name of the game in this intrepid outing for Royal London insurance. Gethin Alderman's memorable spokesman is replaced by a sticky wall climber who decides to get out and explore the world, steadily making his way to his ultimate destination: an entire building of shiny windows. The animation work is lovingly executed, as the tenacious toy navigates the world.

State Farm
"On the Board"
4 Oct 2019
Acts of kindness are encouraged - nay, demanded - in this catchy commercial for US insurers State Farm. The company is challenging all of its employees to commit one-hundred good deeds before its centenary in 2022, and two colleagues take to the unpaid task with an enthusiasm unique to those living in our capitalist dystopia.

Starling Bank
"Set Yourself Free"
4 Oct 2021
Starling Bank's latest ad follows the company’s fourth Best British Bank award in a row - not bad for something founded in 2014. As rivals Virgin Money close more High Street branches, the brand reckon now's the time to attract more customers online. They harness the power of flight (and Sixties supergroup Cream) in this agile commercial.

"Christmas on Halloween"
4 Oct 2021
Following last year's understandably muted version of the Christmas ad arms race, online retailer Very are first out of the gate in 2021 with a stunningly premature effort eighty-two days before Santa comes to town. Thankfully, a self-aware sense of humour and tongue-in-cheek approach allow the brand to pull off such an audacious move.

Children In Need
"Wogan Break Dances"
4 Oct 2005
Cloven-footed Radio 2 DJ and Eurovision sardonicist Terry Wogan appears to be break dancing in this promo film for the BBC's annual Children In Need charity bash. The idea is that you can do anything you want and the cleverly knitted footage certainly implies this is true.

"Car Teaser"
4 Oct 2006
Stephen Mangan and Julian Rhind-Tutt from hit comedy Green Wing in a teaser for a forthcoming Barclaycard campaign seem to reprise their characters from the Channel 4 show as Mangan, in the front passenger seat, bumps his head after dropping off while Rhind-Tutt drives across a blurred landscape.

"Passenger Teaser"
4 Oct 2006
Second teaser for Barclaycard featuring Stephen Mangan and Julian Rhind-Tutt from green Wing. This time Mangan's at the steering wheel and Rhind-Tutt wakes from a slumber but neither knows who the mysterious bloke in the back of the car is.

Microsoft XBox
"Car Chase"
4 Oct 2006
A dramatic police chase comes to an end when the balaclava-clad robbers are cornered and climb reluctantly out of the car but instead of being placed under arrest they swap their disguises for the cops' badges as the game it set to start over with the roles reversed.

Heart FM
"Air Dancers"
4 Oct 2007
Air dancers come to life when the wireless is tuned to Heart FM in this amusing ad for the radio station. Not that anybody anywhere is suggesting even for a moment that those who listen to commercial radio are a bunch of airheads. No, siree... that would be rude.

On This Day
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