David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • 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.
    • Spengler, Stantz, and… Greg from the Halifax?Pop culture miners Halifax snag two-thirds of the original ‘Ghostbusters' line-up in the bank's latest nostalgia hit.
    • Dancing on the job.Heineken look to challenge their craft rivals with this dancey launch ad for Maltsmiths.
    • A timely warning.This film from the Financial Conduct Authority offers a stark warning to retirees about the danger of being ripped off by criminals.
    • Office BondingBBC Sport announce Match of the Day's return in this entertaining, star-studded ad.
    • Mum moves up a gear.Car hire outfit Sixt put the ‘rental' in ‘parental guidance' with this amusing dip into the world of adult entertainment.
    • Hornet signs director César PelizerTop animation studio Hornet have added London-based Brazilian director César Pelizer to their roster.
    • Matthew Vaughn delivers a Kick-Ass film.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 there's plenty of humour to leaven the portentousness.

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.


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.

Cricket’s loss proved to be advertising’s gain as one-time Nottinghamshire man Turner ditched his bat 'n' ball in favour of a camera, pursuing still photography before shifting into live action. Since then, he’s established himself as a TVC director with a cinematic bent.


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Greenpeace
"Rang-Tan"
90s
15 August 2018

Environmental campaigners Greenpeace draw attention to the issue of deforestation with this touching film. As a child finds their bedroom overtaken by an inconvenient guest, actress Emma Thompson delivers a poetic script which explains the orangutan's plight.

The animation work is lovely, with a sketchy style which enhances the storybook feel of the piece. While Greenpeace's more extreme tactics may not be for everyone, this film offers a gentle yet emotive condemnation of the over-production of palm oil and its devastating impact on the environment.


VW
"Raccoon"
45s
15 August 2018

A couple of blokes encounter an unusual car companion in this pleasingly surreal commercial from VW's German arm. After seemingly stumbling around for days in an effort to remember where they parked, they realise a furry friend has taken up residence in the vehicle... except it might not be so friendly.

As the pair attempt to cajole, intimidate, or just plain fight the interloper until it surrenders its new habitat, another motorist breezes past with his GPS Car-Net location app from the advertised marque.

While the lead duo could have appeared more bedraggled, it's still a funny way to draw attention to the feature with some good slapstick and equally strong VFX- plus the final shot provides hope for future human-raccoon relations.


Reebok
"Be More Human"
55s
15 August 2018

Pain and gain inform this tactile piece of work from Reebok for the Chinese market. As the sportswear brand's ‘Be More Human' campaign reaches the Far East, directors PANTERA capture what it means to try, fail, and ultimately prevail. Needless to say, muscles will be stretched and beads of sweat will roll.

What follows is a restrained look at inner steel being forged. Early disappointments inspire later, greater successes, with the cast picking themselves up off the floor as the narrator muses on time and human endurance. While such observations in this sector are nothing new, this remains an engrossing spin on the traditional motivational tape.


Carlsberg
"Build the Danish Way - Episode One"
4 mins 34s
14 August 2018

Carlsberg continue to espouse the virtues of living life "the Danish way" in a new series of online films. The project follows a collection of strangers who are brought together to build the world's first waterfall-powered pub... in just five days.

It's an ambitious task, but this group - who include a primary school teacher, a PPI admin assistant, and a self-proclaimed "jack of all trades" - seem up to it.

Meanwhile, director Jack Laurance purposefully strays away from a reality TV vibe throughout, ensuring shots have a more cinematic, artistic feel. The only thing missing is a cycle-by cameo from brand spokesman Mads Mikkelsen.


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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

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.

Bonds
"The Queendom"
60s
25 Jul 2018
Aussie underwear brand Bonds have released this humorous yet striking ad for their latest range of skivvies. Directed by Gracie Otto, the action takes place in a location cheekily referred to as "The Bush"... for reasons which quickly become apparent. The film embraces women by depicting them in an unusually authentic state of 'realness' - hairy or smooth, butch or femme, model-skinny or curvy.

Mattessons Fridge Raiders
"Power"
30s
24 Jul 2018
Parent company Kerry Foods is rebranding Mattessons Fridge Raiders in an attempt to attract a grown up audience - and launches their new range of products with this fetching commercial. Focusing on the protein content of the Fridge Raiders snacks, the ad follows Julie as she "powers up" on her way through the city.

Haribo
"Backstage"
30s
24 Jul 2018
Haribo's long-running campaign gives voice to children everywhere by enlisting grown-ups to mouth the words of babes. The confectionary brand's latest recruits? A heavy metal band with some of the best facial hair in the biz. Like a blend of Kiss, Slipknot, and Lordi, the group cut imposing figures as they advance on their dressing room... but they're really a sweet-toothed bunch.

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.