David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • A Place of One's OwnGirlguiding turn a demeaning admonishment into an empowering message in this excellent ad.
    • Take control.This Xbox commercial offers a luminous alternative to in-game tutorials.
    • Step by StepFamily reconciliation is at the heart of this unusual Christmas ad from German supermarket Penny.
    • Setting the stage.Given Paddington Bear’s starring role in the M&S Christmas ad, we’re surprised their food commercial doesn’t feature a lick of marmalade.
    • Nice Shirt Films sign Lucy Bridger.Up-and-coming director Lucy Bridger has joined Nice Shirt’s tailored roster.
    • Richard Peter Hunter joins Blink.Comedy director Richard Peter Hunter has joined Blink for commercial representation.
    • Back to humanity.The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness urge viewers to look beyond their own four walls and help a neighbour in need.
    • Frequently asked questions.Ask and you shall receive, says this entertaining Google Pixel ad from Droga5 and director Ian Pons Jewell.
    • Feel The ForceA kid is dismayed when his new neighbour appears to have succumbed to the dark side of the Force in this ad for Star Wars Battlefront II.
    • Witness Me!The irrepressible Los Pérez bring a riot of colour to our screens in this entertaining ad for PhotoBox.
    • Yako Yako DoAnna Carpen and Matthew Fone have been working on an important project and you can help.
    • Skunk's Ben Strebel on skateboarding his way to the top.Following Ben Strebel's recent arrival at Skunk, we caught up with the multi-talented director to find out all about him.
    • Mark of distinction.Bose continue their inner life campaign with another calm ad, this time featuring a kid leaving a school dance.
    • Tick-tock, tick-tock.Max Sherman’s two-hander will chime with anyone used to close-quarters squabbles.

CRAFTWORKS

Wednesday, 15th November.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

The LSE, Sheffield Street, Holborn, London, WC2.

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How We Made... Oxfam.

● Homespun Yarns.

● Christmas Crackers.

● Tango Reunion.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


Girlguiding
"I Know My Place"
57s
16 November 2017

Girlguiding turn a demeaning admonishment into an empowering message in this excellent ad. We see girls and young women taking part in activities across the country - from outdoor fun to science experiments - as they find their place among the guiding community.

The action here is never overstated, giving the film an authentic vibe and leaving us with an understanding of how much the girls get out of their involvement - and how much women can take from being a volunteer. The chugging, electronic soundtrack gives things a nice pace without rushing. Polished work with a great message - girl power.

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Xbox
"Tutorial"
60s
16 November 2017

Tutorials are second-nature to video gamers. Muscle memory and impatience often leave training aids irrelevant. However, this Xbox commercial offers a luminous alternative: watch and learn.

While Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, and Isco demonstrate their skills, the Xbox controller’s symbols light up in unison: A for pass, B for shoot, and so forth. Easy enough… though skill moves are a different story.

Fans of simulated footie are encouraged to think Xbox over PlayStation. Notably, the button combinations are geared towards FIFA 18 rather than the competing Pro Evolution Soccer. Guess we know which team Microsoft support.

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Penny
"The Walk"
1 min 45s
16 November 2017

Family reconciliation is at the heart of this unusual Christmas ad from German supermarket Penny. German retailers have become known for putting a darker spin on the festive season - most notably a controversial outing for EDEKA in which an elderly man fakes his death - and Penny joins the heartstring-tugging trend with relish.

We see a woman who's not looking forward to the holidays, depressed about being estranged from her daughter. She decides to seek out her child with an olive branch in the form of a familiar blanket, and takes the first step of what turns out to be an arduous journey.

The reveal raises some questions (how long have the pair been estranged?), but puts a neat twist on the more fantastical elements of the mother's trek. The wolves and mountains may be symbolic, but they can feel just as arduous to face as the real thing. The holidays can bring up sometimes painful family relationships, and this piece suggests we fix things while we can. Thought-provoking work.

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Marks & Spencer
"Extraordinary Christmas"
40s
15 November 2017

Given Paddington Bear’s starring role in the M&S Christmas ad, we’re surprised their food commercial doesn’t feature a sniff of marmalade. Unless he’s scoffed the lot, of course. Whatever the circumstances, this 40” ad provides more than adequate sustenance.

Grey London iterate on a familiar recipe. Thus, pears unravel, bone marrow stands proud, while raspberries receive a sugar dusting. While this campaign’s jingle receives a standard festive remix, the photography remains strong as ever. Should mobilise discerning party hosts with ease.

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Nice Shirt Films sign Lucy Bridger.

Up-and-coming director Lucy Bridger has joined Nice Shirt’s tailored roster. Early promise with her dad’s camcorder led Bridger to pursue various creative outlets. While a broken arm curtailed her dance career, contemporary dance’s loss has been film-making’s gain.


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Five Star Work

Girlguiding
"I Know My Place"
57s
16 Nov 2017
Girlguiding turn a demeaning admonishment into an empowering message in this excellent ad. We see girls and young women taking part in activities across the country - from outdoor fun to science experiments - as they find their place among the guiding community. The action here is never overstated, giving the film a nicely authentic vibe.

Penny
"The Walk"
1 min 45s
16 Nov 2017
Family reconciliation is at the heart of this unusual Christmas ad from German supermarket Penny. German retailers have become known for putting a darker spin on the festive season, and Penny joins the heartstring-tugging trend with this film about an estranged mother and daughter. The mother decides it's time to reconcile, and takes the first step of an arduous journey.

Marks & Spencer
"Extraordinary Christmas"
40s
15 Nov 2017
Given Paddington Bear’s starring role in the M&S Christmas ad, we’re surprised their food commercial doesn’t feature a sniff of marmalade. Unless he’s scoffed the lot, of course. Whatever the circumstances, this 40” ad provides more than adequate sustenance. Should mobilise discerning party hosts with ease.

Google Pixel
"Ask More"
1 min 53s
14 Nov 2017
Ask and you shall receive, says this entertaining Google Pixel ad. An initial “What is that?” sparks a two-minute Q&A session starring everyone from Dua Lipa to Salt Bae. The corporation’s flagship smartphone receives a thorough grilling - luckily, Google Assistant and a composed narrator have all the answers.

Star Wars Battlefront II
"Rivalry"
1 min 40s
15 Nov 2017
A kid is dismayed when his new neighbour succumbs to the dark side of the Force in this ad for Star Wars Battlefront II. A rivalry soon sparks which plays out over decades - from birthday party posturing to tree house one-upmanship. The narrative is well executed here, and does a good job of making the advertised game a logical next platform for their fun.

PhotoBox
"Dog Warrior"
40s
15 Nov 2017
The irrepressible Los Pérez bring a riot of colour to our screens in this entertaining ad for PhotoBox. Capitalising on the current trend for physical photos, we watch a kid gearing up to give his parents a truly album-worthy photo op. It's a great concept, as the camera slowly pans out to show the 'virtuoso of photographic dynamite' in all his glory.

Bose
"Kiss"
30s
14 Nov 2017
Bose continue their inner life campaign with another understated ad, this time featuring a kid leaving a school dance. While initially the solo scoot home might seem lonely, the camera stays on his face long enough for the audience to notice a lipstick print.

S7
"I Am You"
90s
14 Nov 2017
This terrific film for S7 airlines transports us around the world... and to somewhere else entirely. From the opening shot, which literally turns everything upside down, we know this isn't going to be a standard airline ad. EasyJet, it ain't. We see a series of exotic images as a voiceover encourages us to experience the world head on - not just like it through a screen.

T K Maxx
"White Christmas"
60s
13 Nov 2017
T K Maxx announce their intention to spray 'actual' snow all over some lucky customers' houses in this entertainingly quirky Christmas ad. The colourful film - directed by Ian Pons Jewell - appears to take place in the same saturated universe as their last outing: the excellent 'Why Shop at T K Maxx?'. We see a family opening presents before a very special one emerges from the pile - one of the brand's limited edition snow globes.

Boots
"Show Them You Know Them"
60s
13 Nov 2017
Ogilvy & Mather’s first piece of work for Boots is a sisterly affair. An evocative sequence covers parental squabbles, teenage love, and other notable milestones. Back in the present day, the sisters prove a taste in gifts only improves with age. The retailer itself plays a small but significant role. Various cosmetics feature thoroughout, emphasising the brand’s enduring presence in its customers’ lives.

Debenhams
"You Shall"
90s
10 Nov 2017
Debenhams give Cinderella the hashtag treatment in their Christmas ad. Commuter trains replace pumpkin carriages as two passengers enjoy a fleeting encounter. Of course, scouring the kingdom is old hat in 2017 - cue #FindThatGirl and #FindThatShoe. Despite the Twittersphere’s best efforts, 'happily ever after' seems way off… until fate proves it’s a softie at heart.

Breast Cancer Now
"Time Machine"
90s
10 Nov 2017
While many of us count down the days before Christmas, Breast Cancer Now have only one date in mind. The charity predict zero deaths from breast cancer by 2050 - and one little girl knows how to get there. This precocious scientist has the whole ‘timey-wimey’ business sussed, building a homemade time machine big enough for two.

E.on
"Freedom is Electric"
1 min 36s
9 Nov 2017
Muscle cars, monster trucks, and Batmobile wannabes assemble for a high-speed dust-up. It’s an imposing line-up… though green energy proponents E.on have a surprise under the bonnet. Fresh from another desert car shoot, Outsider’s Scott Lyons handles the action with ease. It may be a long winter ahead for ol’ Gil, though.

Dollar Shave Club
"Butter Dunes"
30s
9 Nov 2017
Dollar Shave Club dip their toe into Old Spice territory with this entertainingly surreal ad for their shave butter. A bloke smears some of the advertised razor lube on his face and is instantly transported to a slippery heaven, sliding effortlessly across buttery expanses of comfort in his skivvies. There's some lovely comedy here, including a cat being freed of its fur and a, ahem, nutty sight gag.

John Lewis
"Moz the Monster"
2 mins
10 Nov 2017
The template established by adam&eveDDB for John Lewis's big Christmas commercial undoubtedly makes it predictable. We could all anticipate that it will be a sweetly emotional film featuring a child in the build-up to Christmas Day but because it's a formula which the public adores, the most predictable aspect of all is the love it will receive.

IKEA
"Dance"
60s
8 Nov 2017
This touching Swedish ad for IKEA shows the enduring love a son has for his mother, even if she can't quite reciprocate the way she used to. A subdued acoustic cover of David Bowie's 'Let's Dance' sets the mood, as we watch a guy carefully wrap a present and catch the bus, a melancholy look out of the window suggesting he's mentally preparing himself for something.

House Of Fraser
"Sisterhood"
60s
8 Nov 2017
House of Fraser have unveiled their Christmas ad and it's a wonderful smorgasbord of loveliness. Agency 18 Feet & Rising turned to Vaughan & Anthea and the newly-reunited directorial duo have delivered a beauty. Against a backdrop of 'Who Took the Merry out of Christmas' by The Staple Singers, two sisters are shown enjoying the festive season in a 'then and now' compilation encompassing both their childhood and the present day.

Tesco
"Welcome"
60s
5 Nov 2017
A scant fifty days before Santa comes to town, Tesco have released the first in a series of five Christmas ads. We see a series of festive moments play out across the nation - all focused on the star of the meal: turkey. Diversity is the order of the day here, as families of all races, religions, and orientations are shown preparing their bird for the big day.

Aldi
"Kevin and Katie"
60s
7 Nov 2017
Kevin the Carrot hitches a ride in Aldi’s Christmas ad. Convinced he’s found Santa’s polar express, the anthropomorphic vegetable stumbles on a crime scene… and a potential love interest. Riffing on ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ with a little ‘Titantic’ thrown in for good measure, the ad gives Kevin plenty to do.

Marks & Spencer
"Paddington and the Christmas Visitor"
90s
7 Nov 2017
Marks & Spencer enlist the furry Peruvian for their festive outing. Woken on Christmas night, the bear mistakes Mark Benton’s laden burglar for Santa Claus, providing the perfect excuse to visit the neighbours. Following Janet McTeer’s urbane escapade last year, M&S bank on Paddington’s family appeal and it seems even criminals are powerless to resist his charms.

Farmers
"Secret Santa"
60s
7 Nov 2017
New Zealand department store Farmers offer a fresh take on 'Secret Santa' in this heartwarming ad for the holiday season. A curmudgeonly old man is disgruntled when a noisy young family moves in next door... but all is not what it seems. There's a lovely spirit to this ad, which feels as reluctant to dip its toe into sentimentality as the old guy is to reveal his inner kindness.

Samsung Galaxy
"Growing Up"
60s
7 Nov 2017
Samsung ‘celebrate’ ten years of the Apple iPhone with this wry commercial. From the gadget’s 2007 launch to the present day, we see one bloke’s relationship with the fruit-based smartphone grow sour. While the protagonist anticipates each iteration, his girlfriend upstages him with the Samsung Galaxy.

Sky Cinema
"Movie Togetherness"
60s
7 Nov 2017
The Sound of Music takes centre stage in Sky Cinema's surprisingly touching ad for the festive season. We watch the relationship between mother and daughter evolve over time, as the famous musical runs like a thread through the years. It's a quietly emotional ad, creating a relaxed atmosphere of closeness without trying too hard to tug at the audience's heartstrings.

Goodness Knows
"Mr Nasty"
30s
6 Nov 2017
Tis' the season of merriment, joy, and wonder across the nation... and if you're ready to break out the bah humbugs at the mere suggestion of festive delight, Goodness Knows have just the spokesperson for you. Mr Nasty has a casual hatred of all things happy - he bursts balloons, blows out candles, and crashes cars with a gleeful cold-heartedness which puts Simon Cowell to shame.

Very
"Anna and Ulfie"
90s
6 Nov 2017
Very reinforce their ‘Get More Out of Giving’ philosophy in this charming animated commercial. Passion Pictures’s againstallodds once again take the reins as a generous youngster completes her Christmas list. Teachers, friends, and lollipop ladies each receive a glowing treat. There’s just one more name on her list - unfortunately, it’s a bit of a trek.

Five Star Work

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