David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Trophy ScarsThis poignant film from director Paul Hairston takes an emotional look at one man's journey to turn his life around.
    • Move your feet.Fourteen different animators show what dancing means to them in this fun piece out of Seed Animation Studio.
    • How do you like me now?Emma Willis finds herself in an identity crisis in this clever promo for Channel 4's The Circle.
    • Day trippers.This commercial for South Western Railway encourages punters to head into London for a day trip to remember.
    • Chair-brained scheme.This beautifully judged satire from Norwegian classifieds website Finn targets brands who turn conservation into a sales opportunity.
    • Welcome to the club.A trio of sisters chart the rise of ten-times major champion Annika Sörenstam and women's golf in this lilting commercial for MasterCard.
    • Walk this way.Cadillac have their best foot forward in this single-minded commercial.
    • Ride of Your LifeThere's a unique perspective to this short film which is sure to grip audiences from the start: that order and chaos can exist simultaneously, and even be a thing of beauty.
    • UNIT think long-form with Duncan Cook.UNIT have described post-producer Duncan Cook as "the obvious choice" to help expand the TV & Film department at their new Berners Mews headquarters.
    • Taking Sam Pilling's pulse.Sam Pilling is a director with a great future, having already set out his stall with a number of brilliant films.
    • Style and SubstancesHip lip balm brand eos bring a little magic to their manufacturing process in this fantastical film.
    • Different strokes for different folks.McCain's occasionally controversial 'We Are Family' campaign returns with another warm portrait of domesticity.

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Short Films
"Lions in the Corner"
9 mins 10s
22 August 2019

This poignant film from director Paul Hairston takes an emotional look at one man's journey to turn his life around. From a youth marred by fire, tragedy, and felonies, the man known to friends as Scarface is a fascinating subject - both for his history and current work to serve his community.

Following stints in prison and being stabbed in the throat, his ambition to stop street-level feuds becoming deadly took the shape of Street Beefs: an organisation which facilitates people with an axe to grind punching out their differences safely in the ring.

The film is a gripping watch, shifting between hectic fight scenes and Scarface's measured narration. He's candid and eloquent as he talks about the mentality of physical fights and their ability to settle disputes... without one of the participants ending up dead, if he has any say in things.


Short Films
"The Big Jig"
52s
23 August 2019

Fourteen different animators show what dancing means to them in this fun piece out of Seed Animation Studio. As a pulsing dance track sets the tone, a colourful cast of movers, shakers, and boppers show what the queue at the bar is missing out on.

Those already with drink in hand have mixed fortunes, as it goes. One reveller is caught in a loop as she tries to keep her glass full, while another has mastered the static boogie. Many a festivalgoer will empathise with the bloke who's partied just too hard, as well.

It's those with free hands and feet (bar the odd walking stick) that steal the show, however. Whether it's a pensioner on an arcade dance machine or a security guard in front of a festival crowd, this 2D medley reminds us it's good to bust a move - with or without an audience.


The Circle
"Metamorphosis"
60s
23 August 2019

Emma Willis finds herself in an identity crisis in this clever promo for Channel 4's The Circle, which sees the presenter undergo a variety of transformations to convey the programme's zest for online alter-egos. As a shapeshifting Willis sagely reminds us, being yourself takes on a whole new meaning once when we log in.

Directors Smith & Foulkes run with the concept here, turning Willis into a tattoo nut, a walking emoji, and a pink animated kitten, among other things. Even if Willis's performance isn't quite as dynamic as the visuals, there's enough to tempt curious viewers into a world of avatars and online chicanery.


South Western Railway
"Great Days Never Leave You"
40s
22 August 2019

This is such a lovely idea – kudos to Alicia Job and Jess Watson at Engine – and it's been beautifully executed by Don & Nic at Outsider. It encourages punters living south west of London to use the advertised railway to make a day trip to remember. This notion is brought to life by depicting characters from the places they visit as a growing cavalcade joining in the fun.

It's been delivered with a great deal of warmth and humanity, making it a feelgood film which has a good chance of persuading people to do what it advocates. (Of course, as the long-suffering users of this railway will tell you, persuading more people to use their trains is not exactly the brightest idea… there is more agony and suffering on a daily basis at South Western's London terminus then there ever was at the battle which gave it its name!)

But let's not be churlish, this is a super piece of work and fully deserving of its five stars.


Finn
"The Chair"
67s
20 August 2019

This beautifully judged satire from Norwegian classifieds website Finn targets brands who turn conservation into a sales opportunity. Or those who ask questions like: "If a chair could speak, what stories would it tell?"

Set in a lush Nordic forest, the ad muses on the humble chair's place in the world with increasing absurdity. Like a circular economy gone mad, the unnamed brand envision trees that lead to chairs that lead to, erm, tree-in-a-chairs.

That the ad just about manages to string you along for sixty-odd seconds is testament to directors Matias & Mathias, who nail the furniture maker's highfalutin tone before flipping the script in understated fashion. A first-rate salute to second-hand goods.


QUICK SEARCH

On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Nissan Vans
"Stunt Jump"
60s
25 Aug 2005
Hilarious account of one man's attempt to jump the entire range of Nissan vans Eval Kineval style on the back of a motorbike. What's clever here is that it has been made to look exactly like the output of an obscure satellite TV channel.

British Heart Foundation
"Heart Disease is Heartless"
60s
25 Aug 2015
This astonishingly moving film for the British Heart Foundation establishes a narrative in just a few seconds and leads the audience view into a crushing glimpse of an everyday tragedy. The exchange between father and son has a surreal quality from the get-go and astute viewers will immediately realise what's happening.

McCoy's
"Car-aoke"
60s
25 Aug 2015
In promoting McCoy's as the man's crisp, it can be all too easy to stray into "well ‘ard" territory. BMB neatly sidesteps that problem with a plumber's showstopping rendition of Ella Henderson's ‘Ghost' - see, it's all about having confidence in what you do. Recently, we've seen ads with ordinary blokes strutting, cheerleading, and twirling like they just don't care. Now we can add singing to the list with equally pleasing results.

Under Armour
"Rule Yourself"
60s
25 Aug 2015
Philip Glass's 'Knee Play 1' provides the music, Wally Pfister provides the photography and the direction; The Mill provide the VFX; the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics provides the inspiration... and the outcome is spectacular. There is an idea behind this but it plays second fiddle to the visual impact - this time the means justify the ends rather than the other way round.

Arthritis Research UK
"Ray"
90s
25 Aug 2017
Arthritis Research UK challenge expectations in more ways than one here. An ex-convict take his first steps back into society. All this young man wants is to get back on track, reconnect with his son, and find work. So far, so good. Yet director Ben Liam Jones lulls us into a false sense of security. Only later in the ad do we see the pain strike.

Levi's
"Circles"
90s
25 Aug 2017
This glossy film for Levi's celebrates our differences - and the things that bring us together - through dance. Director Jake Nava has created a piece of work which feels like one big party, as the international becomes intimate. From bar mitzvahs to tribal dances, we see a wide range of people and places getting down to their hearts' content.

Beats
"Dedicated"
3 mins 06s
25 Aug 2017
Conor McGregor's had better weekends. Defeat to Floyd Mayweather leaves the Irishman in a sporting bind... albeit a highly lucrative one. This Beats film is a conscious riposte to the razzmatazz surrounding McGregor. Where the cage fighter goes from here remains to be seen, but Beats back his resolve.

Reebok
"Jay-Z's Fitting"
30s
25 Aug 2005
Rap star Jay-Z is being fitted for a bespoke suit at a tailor in a scene a little reminiscent of Michael Caine's visit to the tailor in The Italian Job. The tailor asks how business is and receives a long, rambling answer. Kids, eh?

Ford S-MAX
"Wings"
40s
25 Aug 2007
This offering from Ford underlines the improved performance on this account in the last year. It takes the form of a whimsical look at what it would be like if birds didn't use their wings which provides a metaphor for the freedom offered by the Ford S-MAX. The very last shot is a lovely punchline.

Kinder Bueno
"Park"
30s
25 Aug 2008
Young women gawp gormlessly at a gardener in the park before one of their number decides to take direct action to get his attention. She messes up her hair and drops her bicycle in a fashion to suggest she has just crashed it before lying down and waiting for him to notice. Sadly, he does what she hopes.

Dairylea Cheese Spread
"Grandpa"
30s
25 Aug 2008
Cute new ad for the squishy cheese has a little boy running his grandfather ragged in the garden. The two eventually sit down and eat Dairylea sandwiches and Granddad takes a nap but, boy, is he in for a surprise when he wakes to discover that his feet have been strapped into roller skates.

Innocent Smoothies
"Kid"
30s
25 Aug 2009
This ad suggests that the best way of dealing with children's reluctance to ingest fruit is to buy them incredibly expensive sachets of pulverised fruit to take care of one of the five portions it's recommended they consume each day. Can you see the problem with this?

O2
"Sam"
30s
25 Aug 2009
Another episode of romantic comedy on behalf of O2. Matt makes a bit of an arse of himself when he asks Sam to spell her name when he offers to make a label for her so that they can share the only cupboard.

Cool Hand Poker
"Realistic"
30s
25 Aug 2009
This is an attempt to hoover up those online gamblers who feel that they're losing money to people who are better at the game than they. This is a pretty strange proposition when you think about it as the whole basis of poker is that the most skilled player wins.

J2O
"TV Shows - Answers"
40s
25 Aug 2010
J2O launch another of their weekly competitions requiring viewers to unravel three TV shows from cryptic clues. As usual the degree of difficulty is not inconsiderable and it makes it a much better campaign than it otherwise would be. And the answer's here too.

J2O
"Movies - Answers"
40s
25 Aug 2010
Another instalment of this campaign which uses an interactive quiz to gain attention. As before, the questions have been put together in a fashion which makes it impossible to use internet search engines to find out the answers. The answers are in this version.

Juliper
"Monster"
60s
25 Aug 2010
This extraordinary Belgian ad features three resourceful fishermen who are attacked by a monster from the deep. They leap into action and set about tackling the creature even though it has a considerable size advantage over them.

5 A Day
"Supermarket Commentary"
60s
25 Aug 2010
This NHS filler features a young lad we've seen in the 5 A Day campaign before providing a David Attenborough style commentary explaining his parents' behaviour in the supermarket. You wouldn't want that tomato if she rejected it, would you?

Do The Green Thing
"Tap Water Cocktail"
70s
25 Aug 2011
This ad encourages us to drink tap water instead of asking for something from a bottle. It's a good fit with Ben Kay's campaign which has the same aim and there can be little doubt that the world would benefit if the tide turned against this costly product.

Kodak
"Kodak Printers"
50s
25 Aug 2011
A longer version of the charming new Kodak ad that has a pair of lads decking out their garden with crowd photographs before they begin playing a game of football. Great music choice and nice retro feel but even if this printer has relatively low running cost, all that printing would have cost a fortune.

Film 4
"Film Shoot"
40s
25 Aug 2013
Nicely macho ad for FilmFour +1. A rugged chap is out shooting clay pigeons - but the twist is that they're the film reels of 'guy' films like Das Boot. A thumping backing track plays as he misses his targets - the premise being that this needn't happen thanks to the catch-up channel. Wonder why they didn't choose any Jennifer Aniston flicks?

Aldi
"Fish Fingers"
20s
25 Aug 2014
Dad and daughter compare notes on fish fingers as they sit on the river bank, waiting patiently to reel something in. They're tucking into that glorious creation, the fish finger sandwich - but suddenly their rural idyll takes an unexpected turn. Being a laconic northerner, the girl takes it all in her stride and continues to munch her lunch.

Kia
"Fully Charged"
90s
25 Aug 2014
A freak electrical surge at Kia's R&D lab turns a test hamster in the Soul EV car into a test hottie; prompting the hamster boffins to take advantage. This spot is sort of like an MTV video for rodents, in which the female hammies have sexy human lady-bodies and the scientist hammies are - well, just hammies with clothes on. Maroon 5's Animal provides the music.

Google
"Innovations"
60s
25 Aug 2014
This film for Google asks us to take a look at innovations which the company should support by reminding us of the ideas they got behind last year. It's good to know that there's a better way of contributing to good causes than pouring ice-cold water over your head and it certainly makes more sense to support an initiative like this.

Sky Sports
"US Tennis Open"
40s
25 Aug 2015
With prim and proper Wimbledon done for another year, this enjoyable work of hard court verse heralds Sky Sports' upcoming coverage of the US Open. Our Flushing Meadows poet-in-residence charts the tournament's vibrant history in the Big Apple and looks ahead to see who will add their own names to the record books.

On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

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