David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Jake Dypka is a Friend indeed.Friend London are delighted to announce the signing of filmmaker Jake Dypka.
    • Christmas in 3DMost of us could do with taking a step back from social media at any given time of the year, but HP suggest it's particularly vital at Christmas.
    • Out of Sight, but Not Out of MindThe hidden issue of modern slavery is sensitively explored in this touching film for Unseen UK.
    • The John Lewis Christmas Ads - RankedThe most hyped commercial of the year has landed… how does it compare with previous years?
    • Off-off piste.This well-shot commercial for outerwear brand Aigle suggests Parisians have missed a trick with their morning commute.
    • OB Management enlist Tom Bender.OB Management are pleased to announce the signing of US filmmaker Tom Bender to their freelance roster.
    • Sonja Phillips lands at Dark Energy.Well-travelled filmmaker Sonja Phillips is ready to put down roots at Dark Energy after joining for commercial representation.
    • Word play.'Have You Heard George's Podcast?' creator George the Poet aims to get the word out there.
    • Backed into a corner."A jaguar is for life, not just for Christmas" says this piece of stop-motion animation for the World Wildlife Fund.
    • Young LungsThe ever-more pressing issue of air pollution is explored in this striking ad from energy provider E.on.
    • Dragon's zen.The most eagerly-awaited (or should that be Edgarly-awaited) commercial of the year has been released... the John Lewis Christmas ad - brought to you this year in association with their supermarket partners Waitrose.
    • A Double-Hit for Missing Link.Missing Link Films have announced a couple of new additions to their roster: Laura Scrivano and Christophe Dolcerocca.
    • New Land bring Natanael Ericsson into the fold.Former director's assistant Natanael Ericsson is now a director in his own right at New Land.
    • Same difference.Tanqueray's discerning spin on a blind taste test starts in 1830 and finishes in the present day.
    • Destination DignityThe limitations of travelling while disabled are explored in this touching partnership between Tesco and accessibility charity Changing Places.
    • Another Bank in the WallBanking becomes even more of a dystopian nightmare than usual in this ominous commercial for Nubank.


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John Lewis & Waitrose
"Excitable Edgar"
2 mins 30s
14 November 2019

The most eagerly-awaited (or should that be Edgarly-awaited) commercial of the year has been released... the John Lewis Christmas ad - brought to you this year in association with their supermarket partners Waitrose.

After last year's departure from the usual template with a celebrity-driven film featuring Elton John, this ad is a return to the fold.

For the fifth time, Dougal Wilson has been entrusted with the director's chair and for the fifth time he has delivered an exquisite tale which is sure to strike a chord with a public who genuinely anticipate this commercial with great excitement.

It is a classic fairytale. A friendship between a little girl and a young dragon, who appears to suffer from a draconic version of Tourette's syndrome - he simply can't help setting fire to things when he gets excited. His human companion is well aware of this unfortunate tendency and does her best to prevent it from being too calamitous. This is not an easy undertaking but, after a moment of inspiration, she hatches a plan to turn his liability into an asset.

That turning point – which you'll find at 1'41" – looks to be a deliberate echo of a very similar moment in one of Wilson's previous Christmas films for John Lewis - Monty the Penguin... and it epitomises his skill for capturing extraordinary tenderness in a child's performance.

The John Lewis Christmas ad is the tallest poppy in advertising's field and there are bound to be those who feel it is too early, too sentimental, too cynical, too derivative and all the rest… but most will greet it as a joyous opportunity to feel good at the time when such opportunities feel scarce.

Already, social media commentary swings both ways but our favourite sentiment was expressed by someone on Twitter who not only adores the new film but considers it – along with the advent of 'I'm A Celebrity' on Sunday – as the real starting point of the festive season. This is the cultural significance of this annual event, and, as an industry, advertising should be pleased that it possesses anything with that much power.

A Double-Hit for Missing Link.

Missing Link have announced a couple of new additions to their roster: Laura Scrivano and Christophe Dolcerocca.

The duo bring a compelling blend of experience and talent to the party at Missing Link, with Scrivano known for her command of narrative and Dolcerocca his slick, polished visuals. Read on for more about what makes Scrivano and Dolcerocca tick...


New Land bring Natanael Ericsson into the fold.

Former director's assistant Natanael Ericsson is now a director in his own right at New Land.

The Swede has been with the company since its launch in 2015, and learned his craft at the right hand of directors Niclas Larsson and Gustav Johansson. Four years later, Ericsson's earned his own slot on the New Land roster.


13 November 2019

Tanqueray's discerning spin on a blind taste test starts in 1830 and finishes in the present day, with plenty of costume changes and lush period details in-between. As an orchestral soundtrack sets the tone, director Scott Lyon underlines the advertised gin's longevity as fashions change and interiors transform.

This is done through a pleasing, diorama-style effect, with Lyon's camera regularly swooping around a Tanqueray bottle to reveal a new decor. It's a neat way to draw viewers in and suggest that the advertised spirit is still an attractive choice nearly two hundred years after its inception. Props must go to the discriminating set designer, too.

"Changing Places"
13 November 2019

The limitations of travelling while disabled are explored in this touching partnership between Tesco and accessibility charity Changing Places. Blue Supermarket have teamed up with the organisation to install more accessible toilets at their locations across the UK, and one family's story explains why it's such an important move.

While there's often some forced heartstring-tugging in these sorts of ads, matter of fact narration from the mother of twin girls - one of whom is disabled - ensures this film packs a genuine emotional punch. The love between the family is front and centre throughout, clearly demonstrating the very real impact these simple decisions have on people's everyday lives.

The fact the whole family were able to visit an ailing grandparent, and all do so with equal dignity, is extremely powerful without any added bells and whistles - something director Sonja Phillips astutely allows to shine through. With Tesco planning to add more Changing Places in the coming year, here's hoping other brands get on board with the scheme too.


On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Phones 4 U
18 Nov 2013
Again, one of those where casting is everything. David Mitchell informs us that Tom forgot to buy his auntie a Christmas present as we witness the awkward silence between them. But this year he makes up for it with help from Phones 4 U. Auntie is delighted. Tom's face is a picture. Lovely.

"Aussie Christmas"
2 mins
18 Nov 2014
It's always interesting to see how a brand's personality shifts from one country to another, and this epic from Australia does a cracking job for Aldi. A young man from a small Nordic village comes back from Oz full of tales about the way they celebrate Christmas down under, and incurs the wrath of his elders... until one tastes an Aldi prawn and is converted.

Westfield Australia
"Sophia Grace and Rosie"
1 min 51s
18 Nov 2014
This ad for Westfield Australia features the irrepressible young stars of YouTube and Ellen, Sophia Grace and Rosie. The girls became a sensation a few years ago when a video of them rapping to Super Bass by Nicki Minaj was posted on YouTube, and their big personalities have ensured their fame has continued to grow.

"Ed Sheeran"
18 Nov 2014
This excellent ad features Ed Sheeran, portraying his rise to fame from his bedroom at the family's home, through to busking on the underground and ending with an appearance at Wembley Stadium. The whole commercial was filmed in a single shot which gives it a lovely dynamism and proves Sheeran must be good at hitting his marks.

BNP Paribas
18 Nov 2014
An office worker sees that it's nearly 5pm, and realises she must make a sharp exit in this latest ad for BNP Paribas. However, fate is conspiring against her - it's only her Herculean efforts that ensure she even gets in the lift. Not deterred when it breaks down, she does everything she can in order to pick up her little boy on time and get to the bank.

Federal Express
"Show the World"
2 mins 18s
18 Nov 2014
Pepper sauce that ages like wine? We'll have some of that, thanks. This lovely ad for FedEx focuses on the story of Llewellyn, who wants his own take on the fiery condiment to be enjoyed all over the world. As such, we see him using the courier service to convey his sauce from the Jamaican island of Nevis where he lives to far-flung climes... and the reactions of the people who sample it.

"Ship My Pants"
18 Nov 2014
This terrific spot from the US for KMart tells us that if we can't find what we want instore, we can find it online and KMart will ship it to us for free. The twist is that 'ship my pants / nightie / bed' sounds very much like something else, and this is played on to the hilt as various customers young and old proudly announce what they've done in public.

Loteria de Navidad
3 mins 30s
18 Nov 2015
Those itching for another dollop of Pixar-esque magic before the year is out will find plenty to enjoy in this touching ad for the Spanish Christmas Lottery. Night watchman Justino dutifully clocks in for his lonely shift every night. Except he's not really alone - that's the perk of working in a mannequin factory.

"Our Pitch, Our Rules"
18 Nov 2015
Slick and commanding, this Adidas ad encapsulates the reputation of the German national team with clever visuals and a steely team talk for a script. The lines of the pitch become battle lines as players and fans organise themselves with precision. It's a very well-crafted production and one that only strengthens the long-lasting bond between team and kit provider.

18 Nov 2016
Halfords sum up the reality of going away for the weekend with your mates in this frenetic ad. The script's staccato barrage carries us along on an exhausting but exhilarating ride, once again smartly implying that a trip to the retailer beforehand ensures we can take spontaneity for granted.

"Googlebox Christmas"
3 mins 20s
18 Nov 2016
The cast of Gogglebox become stop-motion characters in this special adbreak from the show's creators Channel 4, and Sainsbury's. Following the groundbreaking ad to promote The Lego Movie - in which Orange Supermarket's current agency PHD recreated an entire commercial break in Lego - this ad sees the Gogglebox crew react to the Sainsbury's animated Christmas ad which launched last week.

The Samaritans
"Small Talk Saves Lives"
1 min 34s
18 Nov 2017
This film was created by The Samaritans and Network Rail to persuade us to look out for one another and offer reassurance about the value of intervening if we think someone looks troubled. It's a superbly-judged piece of work. Director Matt Hopkins has shown great restraint giving the subject matter the gravity it deserves and - in doing so - has made a film which stands a chance of making a real difference.

"Fast Forward"
18 Nov 2018
John Lewis responded to this ad on Twitter with the words: "I thought we were Partners @waitrose?" which led to a conversation with Waitrose which ran and ran. Aside from demonstrating a proper understanding how brands can engage with the public using social media, it also draws attention to the 'cheeky' piece of advertising which prompted the exchange.

"No Carrots"
18 Nov 2018
Santa's reindeer suffer a fuel shortage in this well-rendered Christmas ad for McDonald's. While their corpulent master enjoys his annual fill of mince pies, Rudolph and co. haven't a carrot to share between them. In other words, it's mincemeat and no veg. Like 2017's pro-carrot offering, the fast food restaurant aim to warm the heart rather than clog it.

TV2 Sumo
"Keep Streaming"
18 Nov 2018
This beautifully shot ad for Finnish streaming service TV2 Sumo argues that good programming is an art form... literally. Evoking classical artwork through a painterly grade, the film shows people captivated by their favourite shows at pivotal life moments, transporting them to a different plane of existence. Artful work which shows a confident hand on the rudder.

Canal Digital
18 Nov 2018
Typical, eh? You're minding your own business on a city street when your friend runs up and says you're both currently starring in a commercial. Such an uncanny fate befalls a man called Björn in this meta escapade for Canal Digital and Netflix as he becomes embroiled in a ‘Narcos'-style raid. Blurred realities and tough justice combine well here.

"The Pump"
18 Nov 2005
Trainers with an on/off switch? Impressive special effects consider the possibility of a whole city emerging from your shoe to illustrate how life opens up when you go out running in a pair of Reeboks. But does anybody actually go running in these shoes?

"Too Tarty?"
18 Nov 2005
Kerry Katona is at cross-purposes when she asks "Gaz" if her dress is "too tarty?" He only has eyes for the dessert in front of him and, having apparently reassured her that she looks okay his addendum that he "loves tarts" does not go down well.

"Road Map"
18 Nov 2007
A similar idea to one that appeared in a Vauxhall ad earlier this year has a man crumpling his map in order to create a more interesting landscape to cross. This only works if you have a magic map that causes the local topography to react when you scrunch it up... maybe it comes free when you buy the car.

"Football Match Delay"
18 Nov 2008
Another neat addition to this winning series of ads manages, against all odds, to get a decent performance out of pundit dunce Andy Townsend and, less surprisingly, the slick Steve Rider. Everyone at the football must wait until 'Mike in Cirencester' has had his bath and done his hair.

18 Nov 2008
The photography's immaculate and the food's posh so it can only be Waitrose's annual Yuletide effort. A montage of very attractive scenes and an elegant soundtrack remind the middle classes of the kind of Christmas they will achieve so long as the Chavy side of the family doesn't track them down.

18 Nov 2008
An amusing reminder that we can help to preserve water if we flush our toilets less often. Unlikely music provides an ironic backdrop as people urinate in all kinds of unusual places in a bid to illustrate the green message. Mind you, if this is ad number one, we definitely don't want to see ad number two.

Road Safety
"The Boy Who Didn't"
18 Nov 2008
This animated film reminds children of the importance of crossing the road safely. It tells the tale of a little boy who liked to play football but no longer can because of the severity of the injury he received when hit by a car. The film wisely focuses on something boys genuinely care about without being overly alarmist.

New Zealand Transport Agency
"Urban Speed"
18 Nov 2009
This film from New Zealand reminding drivers that it's wise to drive slowly in the suburban streets shows the difference between driving at 50 kph as against 60 kph using a neat trick. As ever with antipodean road safety work, the suspense is impressive.

"Give A $%@#"
18 Nov 2009
This amusing US ad has a woman explaining how she discovered that it's easy to "give a shit"... only every time she says the word 'shit' it's bleeped out. It's an attention-grabbing piece with a decent pay-off but may be too glib to persuade people to, well, give a shit.

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.