David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • A shade of Kode Red.Multidisciplinary creative hub Kode Red have launched a new website for 2020.
    • Home is where the harm is.This haunting Women’s Aid film comes as fears grow over violence against women and children post-lockdown.
    • Virus Crisis Podcast: Jacques SalmonDirector Jacques Salmon talks about life after Sky TV and his 'keep it up' quarantine campaign.
    • Who will dig you out of a hole?This intriguing film for Bumble is a riff on an idea of true friendship… specifically, to whom would you turn at the moment of your greatest need?
    • Mind games.This low-key Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) film uses football to show that mental health requires a similar team effort.
    • War and PCs.Pacifists may balk at the success of a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) called ‘World of Tanks’, but players like Frank can’t get enough of it.
    • Naut to DoThis evocative short film is bound to hit home for many in the current climate, as an astronaut finds themselves suddenly unemployed.
    • Hobby HeroSome dreams simply cannot come true, but that doesn't mean passions can't be followed - at least, when it comes to horse racing.
    • Outsider reach maximum WATTS.International directing duo WATTS have joined Outsider for UK commercial representation.
    • Passing OutGerman development company Metropole Ruhr presents the tale of a bloke whose main pastime is missing the boat.
    • Suki and see.Argos mine yet more laughs from the world of high fashion with this 30” ad starring actress and model Suki Waterhouse.
    • Virus Crisis Podcast: Andrew DaviesUNIT9's Andrew Davies joins Jason Stone to talk all things quarantine.
    • An isolated success.Cometh the hour, cometh the campaign... when giffgaff launched their current strand of advertising a couple of months ago, who could have guessed that its homemade qualities would swiftly become de rigueur?
    • Cuckoo Land ComfortA woman travels into a fantasy realm of comfort in this entertaining outing for Sloggi.


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Women's Aid
"The Lockdown"
7 April 2020

This haunting Women’s Aid film comes as fears grow over violence against women and children post-lockdown. While fellow charities report a spike in calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline, director Max Fisher explores London’s empty streets in a way that makes ’28 Days Later’ seem prophetic.

Silence speaks volumes as the camera glides through locations including Brixton, Chinatown, and Leyton Grange, with apprehension growing as we enter residential districts. The stark reality, say Women’s Aid, is that domestic abuse victims have nowhere to hide while their partners are off the streets due to government restrictions - making intervention even more crucial.

Virus Crisis Podcast: Jacques Salmon

Director Jacques Salmon talks about life after Sky TV and his 'keep it up' quarantine campaign. In a wide-ranging interview we also find out why his name has a Gallic flavour and how he's doing what he can to keep his family and friends entertained and healthy in the midst of coronavirus.


"Cut the Small Talk"
2 mins
7 April 2020

This intriguing film for Bumble is a riff on an idea of true friendship… specifically, to whom would you turn at the moment of your greatest need? The importance of this question is amplified by the nature of the trouble you find yourself in and, although it is far from clear exactly what's occurring as to women dig a grave-sized hole in the words, it's plain that it's serious.

The feminist dating app - which famously obliges its heterosexual male participants to wait until they are contacted by a woman - has a new variant called BFF which is aims to promote platonic relationships, and that's what's being advertised here. So, if you need someone willing to make themselves an accessory after the fact in the name of friendship, you know which app you need.

5 mins 12s
2 April 2020

This low-key Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) film uses football to show that mental health requires a similar team effort. It’s something the ad’s narrator learned the hard way, as he describes the impact of a devastating foot injury on both mind and body.

The physical effects are bad enough (eight stitches to an eight-inch wound), but the subsequent cocktail of medication and self-doubt only exacerbates things. Suddenly, a good team talk matters more than ever.

As the narrator bares his soul, the director cuts between various amateur footballers staring down the lens. Viewers may assume the voice belongs to one of them, but the shrewd reveal will surprise those who thought top-flight players were immune from mental health problems.

World of Tanks
"The Art of Winning"
2 April 2020

Pacifists may balk at the success of a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) called ‘World of Tanks’, but players like Frank can’t get enough of it. This tongue-in-cheek commercial shows how Frank channels his ability to vaporise Panzers, Chieftains, and Shermans into real life pursuits… like underground Jenga.

No doubt Sun Tzu had other skirmishes in mind when he wrote ‘The Art of War’, but its transformation into bedtime reading for both man and cat is another memorable gag. Even if the winning meme risks overexposure at this point, the ad possesses a quirky charm absent from other free-to-play video game campaigns.


Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

"Spring 2020"
1 Apr 2020
Argos mine yet more laughs from the world of high fashion with this 30” ad starring actress and model Suki Waterhouse. As with previous instalments, however, the real stars are the ‘clothes’. Like a woman pushed over the edge by self-isolation, Waterhouse dons catalogue staples like rugs, lampshades, and even a bedside table as if they were Coco Chanel originals.

"Gary the Tortoise"
30 Mar 2020
Homebase’s eerily topical ‘Feels Good to be Home’ campaign returns with this 40” creature feature starring Gary - a CG-enhanced pet tortoise capable of giving any hare a run for its money. Accompanied by the theme to The Adventures of Black Beauty, Gary makes a beeline for his family’s rejuvenated back garden.

"Power On"
24 Mar 2020
Gardening gets the action movie treatment in this enticing outing for Honda. The brand focus on their range of mowers and other plant-pruning apparatus, as they encourage gardeners with stamina to get stuck in. Given the current circumstances, there may be a lot of passionate new plant-tacklers joining the fray.

"Princess Party (Director's Cut)"
16 Mar 2020
Dragons typically get a bad rap when princesses are involved. Not so in this charming Very.co.uk ad, which handily reinforces the retailer’s progressive approach to playtime. A girl is crestfallen when she’s invited to a ‘princess party’, as she prefers the scaly, fire-breathing type. Luckily, her dad is a supportive bloke… and a demon with a sewing machine.

"War on Carbon"
16 Mar 2020
While the threat of climate change may feel like an insurmountable burden when faced with the cold hard facts, there is hope to be had. Ovo focus on that proactive attitude in their latest ad, which addresses the ongoing and essential 'war on carbon'. The film focuses on togetherness and the collective power of humans to enact meaningful change,

Apple AirPods
1 min 57s
13 Mar 2020
This transformative commercial for Apple sees a woman's hectic walk through the city changed into something far more fantastical. Director Kim Gehrig plays with colour to great effect here, switching between neon and day-glo sequences of escapism and muted excursions into the everyday world when reality intrudes.

"Getting to the Start Line"
13 Mar 2020
A typically motivational outing for Nike focuses on world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith. The track star discusses her physical and mental preparations for Tokyo 2020, along with the impact training at her familiar home ground has on both her mental and emotional state. This is a lovely insight into the high-performance mindset - regardless of whether the coming Olympics happen on time or not.

Club de Creativos
1 min 46s
12 Mar 2020
Husbands, wives, and significant others bemoan their partners’ choice of career in this droll ad for Spanish advertising union Club de Creativos. Having been left in the lurch once too often, the cast leap at the chance to savage radio silence, talking shop, and umpteen late nights. Naturally, it’s the off-screen lot who earn the organisation’s sympathy.

"A Car Right Up Your Street"
12 Mar 2020
This restrained outing from Gumtree encourages car buyers to look local first. Director Charlotte Regan goes for a light touch here, as a young boy delivers a rhyming script which outlines the brand's unique proposition: vehicles nearby, already tested on local streets, easily accessible for the consumer when time is at a premium.

Direct Line
6 Mar 2020
Direct Line round off their cinematic trilogy with this CG-heavy slice of action starring ‘Transformers’ staple Bumblebee - the world’s most kitted-out Volkswagen Beetle. This time, however, Decepticons are the least of his worries. Like RoboCop and Donatello before him, Bumblebee is compelled to help a policyholder in need.

"Idiots Are Amazing"
11 Mar 2020
Since we're living in an unprecedented age of idiots, it seems only right that Fanta pay such everyday daredevils the proper respect. A little stupidity can go a long way, say the brand, as we see a trio of entrepreneurial eejits preparing to risk life and limb for the sake of a laugh. Cue a guy in a giraffe suit, a waterless diver, and a wheelbarrow pilot.

Community Clothing
"Northern Soul"
10 Mar 2020
This kinetic commercial for Community Clothing celebrates one of the most striking features of the North - its sense of social togetherness. While the South is renowned for abruptness and chilly public attitude (and Scotland and Wales have their own distinct codes of behaviour), this film makes one thing very clear: it's right friendly up North.

"Night Workers"
9 Mar 2020
The unsung heroes of the night take centre stage in this latest ad for McDonald's. No, not Batman and his cohort - the stars here are the early shift workers, all-night standby staff, and everyone in-between who keep things running while the rest of the world is asleep. There's been a trend for ads staring invisible protagonists lately, but director Sam Brown brings his own flair to proceedings.

9 Mar 2020
This daring piece of work for Tena picks up where Dove left off and delivers something even more compelling. Produced by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Merman, the ad has plenty to say about sex, ageing, and incontinence, and goes about it in a mature, textured, and even flirty manner. Bolstered by grainy, intimate visuals and strong casting, this may in fact be awkward or challenging viewing for some.

"Where There Are Cooks, There is Hope"
9 Mar 2020
The state of the world may seem dire at present, but fear not: an army of cooks are ready to save us. At least, according to this intriguing commercial for Lurpak, which celebrates the creativity, care, and and commitment that goes into nourishing the ones we love - body and soul alike. Enough to make the late Rutger Hauer proud.

Department of Health & Social Care
"Our NHS People"
9 Mar 2020
The unsung heroes who keep the NHS running through thick and thin are celebrated in this touching ad from the Department of Health & Social Care. From providing life-saving critical care at the scene of an accident to making the time to chat about a patient's worries, this film covers a wide range of positions and services in a respectful 60".

Direct Line
6 Mar 2020
2014’s ‘RoboCop’ was a slick but soulless remake of Paul Verhoeven’s Eighties classic. Next to have a crack at the crime-fighting cyborg are Direct Line of all people, who place Alex Murphy firmly in non-lethal mode. This will no doubt upset gorehounds who prefer to see limbs blown off and people melted by toxic waste.

"From the Grounds Up"
4 mins 06s
5 Mar 2020
While we’re far from the ‘Just Say No’ days of trying to convince kids that bad behaviour isn’t cool on adult word alone, there are few schemes which effectively harness the power of peer pressure to influence positive change. This ad for Nike shines a light on one such scheme, as former convict and football enthusiast Bobby Kasanga explains his efforts to keep kids out of gang life since his release from prison.

DB Export
"That's Why"
4 Mar 2020
While heavy drinking may seem as entrenched in Western cultures as racism and panicked responses to exaggerated headlines, there's been a distinct shift towards buying low or no-alcohol drinks over the past few years. This entertaining Kiwi ad focuses on one such product: DB Export's 0.0% brew.

"Flavour Dimension"
3 Mar 2020
This anime-inspired commercial for Wagamama celebrates the chain's ties to Japanese culture. Tactile animation focuses on the experience of dining out, as a woman gets ready to treat herself to dinner at the same time as a chef puts love and talent into preparing her meal. Things then take a decidedly fantastical turn after she samples said dish...

"The Most Beautiful Place on Earth"
3 Mar 2020
This 45” ad for German mail order company Otto is a low-key treat. Directed by filmmaking team Edward Lovelace and James Hall aka D.A.R.Y.L., their latest captures the moment when we shut the front door on the world and reacquaint ourselves with home. The result is a piece of quietly persuasive work from the German market.

"You're Our Headline Act"
2 Mar 2020
At first glance, this O2 commercial suggests that the brand have well and truly gone to the dark side. In fact, it’s difficult to spot the protagonist amidst the gloom initially. To make matters worse, his network phone battery dies… but that’s where a certain oxygenated network provider step in. As Michael Kiwanuka’s ‘Light’ sets the tone, the man is suddenly elevated to headliner status.

"Catching Crooks The Kids Way"
28 Feb 2020
Childrens' imaginations have always been the secret sauce in Lego's enduring success - generations have projected their own games onto the versatile blocks, constructing and destroying entire worlds with the glee that only childhood fantasy can produce. This latest commercial celebrates that in charming fashion, bringing such games to life in a slick, polished manner.

"Be The Meister"
27 Feb 2020
The strikingly original piece for Jägermeister successfully cements the idea that this brand is a nexus of hedonism. Opening on a pair of DJs blasting a new vibe into the ether, the film takes us on a journey which suggests that life can be a whole lot more fun when filtered through the prism of the advertised drink.

Apple Arcade
"A New World to Play In"
27 Feb 2020
Fantasy and reality meet in entertainingly odd ways in this new commercial for the Apple Arcade platform. The fruit-based giant’s stab at mobile gaming promises users more high-quality games than they can handle - with regular updates to help keep things ticking along - and that abundance of content is reflected in the sheer variety of scenarios crammed into this 60" ad.

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.