David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.


Five Star Work

"La Dolce Vita"
22 Jun 2017
Martini’s 2016 comeback claimed that time was only currency that mattered. Now they return to the theme with this Italian caper. We see some fleet-footed revellers converge on a drinks party. Rome may be famous for its traffic jams, but nothing will delay their tipple. It looks and sounds the part, with director Autumn de Wilde and DP Luca Bigazzi delivering a classy aperitivo.

19 Jun 2017
The name Margrét Lára Viðarsdóttir might not mean a great deal to you but after watching this sparkling film for Icelandair, you might want to look her up. If you do, you'll discover that with 77 goals from 115 games, she is the leading goalscorer for Iceland's national football team... and she makes a brief appearance in this ad.

"Natural Beauty"
19 Jun 2017
Any filmmaker will tell you nature has no respect for production schedules. However, patience pays off in this elegant ad for Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido. Eschewing beauty models and haughty testimonials, the ad fuses green fingers with sophisticated tech. Sensors and probes capture nature at work before converting their findings into art: a centrepiece which ‘grows’ before our eyes.

New Zealand Human Rights Commission
"How to Be Racist"
1 min 50s
16 Jun 2017
Rather than champion arts funding or plug his upcoming films, Taika Waititi uses his New Zealander of the Year victory to promote another, er, worthy cause: racism. Through a helpful FAQ session, Waititi outlines how would-be racists can pitch in. There’s no need for grand gestures, though - a little racism goes a long way.

Blind Date
"The Old Ways"
15 Jun 2017
This lovely promo for Channel 5’s Blind Date is an ode to dating rituals. Archive footage and classic animation showcase courting across the decades: prom night nerves, cheesy chat-up lines, the ol’ yawn and reach… sometimes, the classics are the best. Five’s poet-in-residence makes an entertaining case for the programme’s return.

2 mins 30s
15 Jun 2017
This beautifully animated film for AIME - an Australian organisation which runs a mentorship programme for disadvantaged Indigenous students - poignantly demonstrates that it only takes initiative and care to start fixing a broken system. We see two boys on very different paths in life: one predestined to work in a dark, industrial world, the other existing on a much more pleasant side of town.

"Air Action"
14 Jun 2017
Virgosol return with a characteristically kooky film to advertise the coolness of their chewing gum. A satisfying play on words underpins the premise here, as a man chewing the Virgosol gum transforms into the epitome of cool, taking different forms depending on whose gaze he's under. The transformations are nicely executed, with satisfying attention to detail which definitely warrants a second watch.

"Go Places"
1 min 42s
12 Jun 2017
Toyota have released a series of strange new cinema ads which take the brand's 'Let's Go Places' slogan to a whole new level. From Saatchi & Saatchi and director Vania Heymann, the absorbing vignettes appear to take place in an uncanny universe slightly left of ours. The first film focuses on a woman who has an unusual reaction to being overtaken by multiple cars...

"I Love Doing Dishes!"
12 Jun 2017
Benjamin Franklin famously said that 'nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes'... and doing the washing up, according to Finish. They dive back into the existential angst in this musical ad, examining the relentless cycle of dish-doing through a forcibly-cheery musical number. The contrast between quasi-upbeat music and dark, surreal visuals lets us know all is not well in dish-land.

"Do Donken"
8 Jun 2017
As Britain clamours for a new identity after our fit of Brexit pique which has the rest of the world characterising us a nation of self-harming buffoons, we could do worse than look to Sweden for inspiration. Here is a country which takes pride in multiculturalism without adding bigoted caveats to appease racists and a country which prides its ability to collect tax from wealthy companies to fund a well-resourced safety net for the less fortunate member of society.

"Love Everywhere"
6 Jun 2017
This ad for condom brand Skyn is tons of fun. Well, not as much fun as its featured characters are having, but still astutely constructed and executed with a huge amount of confidence by directorial duo Truman & Cooper. The pair recently made a similarly successful ad for Durex... we can think of worse nicknames than the Condom Boys if they keep turning out work this good.

"Singing Baby"
2 Jun 2017
Sometimes the best special effects are the most understated. The VFX work carried out by The Mill to manipulate the mouth of the toddler who appears to be singing Tina Turner's 'Proud Mary' is pretty subtle and will leave much of the audience believing that they're witnessing an extraordinary performance by a child prodigy.

"The Final Excuse"
2 Jun 2017
Ahead of the Champions' League Final, Jose Mourinho has a mission... to track down the last man who has decided he cannot watch with his friends. Working at a remote Arctic sub-station is no excuse as far as the 'special one' is concerned and he sends him on his way to the stadium where his friends are waiting.

Irn Bru
2 Jun 2017
Is there another brand whose advertising is as relentlessly edgy as Irn Bru's? Scotland's 'other national drink' has always presented itself as the cheeky outsider and the latest instalment generated by Barr's long-running relationship with Edinburgh's Leith Agency suggests they're as committed to irreverence as the day they established their reputation as a challenger brand.

1 Jun 2017
Spectrum - a US-based TV streaming service - devote a good chunk of this interesting ad to bashing their direct competition, the fittingly named DirecTV. TV without a comprehensive collection of channels - not to mention the ability to pause the action - is evil, according to Spectrum, and these particular poker players should know all about evil.

1 Jun 2017
'Brave' is a word bandied about too often within the advertising industry. Perspective is provided by the bravery of the characters depicted in this campaign for Macmillan... but it can also genuinely be used to describe the decisions taken by VCCP and Outsider's Jim Gilchrist when making it.

"Driving Test"
31 May 2017
This empowering film by Nick Ball has a young woman facing a driving test with confidence bordering on recklessness. Instead of nervously negotiating the course - as one might expect - she uses an array of tricks which appear to loosen the contents of the examiner's colon as he tries to hide the terror he's experiencing in the passenger seat.

31 May 2017
With a 75% share of the sports drink market in the USA, Gatorade isn't really competing against other products in their sector... they're competing against tap water. And this brilliantly executed piece of 'in camera' work demonstrates a willingness to take the fight to H2O and kick its ass.

UEFA Women's Football
"Come Play"
1 min 37s
31 May 2017
Ahead of the 2017 UEFA Women's Champions League final, Europe’s football bigwigs release this pacy film designed to help women’s football kick on. Jumping between multiple matches and kickabouts, the action always returns to one protagonist. After making her debut, animated flourishes convey her growing confidence.

30 May 2017
Change is inevitable, especially when cancer is involved - but Macmillan believes it shouldn’t change everything. This hard-hitting film reminds us that there’s more to a patient than the diagnosis. We watch a couple cuddle in bed as the early morning light seeps in. The ad lingers on this scene of domestic bliss… until we’re told one of them has cancer.

29 May 2017
This extraordinarily beautiful film by Academy's Seb Edwards takes the idea of an unstoppable connection between a man and a woman and paints an exquisite picture of timeless longing. Using a piece of music - 'November' by Max Richter - which will sound familiar to fans of underrated TV drama 'The Leftovers', this film has a man pursuing a woman across the ages after he bumps into her at a railway station.

"Project 8"
30 May 2017
Even if you’re unfamiliar with Jaguar’s previous seven projects, this high-octane film suggests Project 8 is worth investigating further. The vehicle in question comes from the marque’s Special Vehicle Operations division - sure enough, it's car advertising meets black ops. For Jaguar, it’s about convincing motoring enthusiasts the brand can let loose like the best of them.

"Float to Live"
28 May 2017
In stressful situations we are often guided by our instincts - but how reliable are they? This film for the RNLI demonstrates that they can be insanely unhelpful. When we find ourselves suddenly immersed in freezing water, our instincts push us towards a series of actions perfectly designed to kill us.

Palace Skateboards
25 May 2017
Palace Skateboards celebrate opening their first store outside the UK - in New York, no less - with this impressive ad. Jonah Hill returns (although sadly not via green screen) to complain about how little he was paid for his last, disastrous outing for the brand... only to be stopped in his tracks by a giant metal snake. Has there ever been a more enjoyable tagline than "You're in my house now, motherfuckers"?

"Sholing F.C."
1 min 40s
25 May 2017
Budweiser reaffirm their support of grassroots football in this engaging film. As more illustrious clubs spend hundreds of millions on new stadia, it’s a sore point for clubs like Sholing F.C. Having seen progress stifled in the past by league criteria, the Hampshire team must work hard on and off the pitch.

Five Star Work

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