David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Raman Djafari joins BlinkInkBlinkink have added Hamburg-based animator and director Raman Djafari to their roster for representation.
    • Final Cut welcome Justin BrukmanJustin Brukman joins Final Cut as US Managing Director and Director of Global New Business.
    • Lives of LackPoverty is one of the greatest threats to families across the globe, and this touching film highlights the plight of those on the breadline in Romania.
    • Re(re-re-re)-windAmazon takes a cinematic approach in their latest campaign to convince consumers they're missing out on the joys of voice activated technology.
    • Things that go meow in the night.This fantastic short film for Temptations is built around a truth about cats of which many may be unaware.
    • Get ready for what exactly?It's ironic that the propaganda juggernaut should continue to roll even as it appears that actual juggernauts are likely to be stalled in the giant Brexit car park (neé Kent) as the transition phase of the UK's painful departure from the EU comes to an end on January 1.
    • Going the DistanceThis rather charming commercial for Bud Light breathes a little life into such cardboard sport supporters, as it follows one on a quest for refreshment.
    • Dazed DaysVegan bodycare brand Happy Dance are using celebrity power to get in on the craze for cannabis-adjacent products.
    • Living on PauseThis affecting film for ERUK has a sting in the tail which will draw compassion from even the most tuned-out viewer.
    • Trump joins Lincoln in fields.Let's face it, satire isn't going to hasten the end of Donald Trump.
    • Put Hate on HoldWith public tensions at an all-time high due to Covid-19, it feels like a very fitting moment to highlight the abuse that public-facing workers are subjected to on a regular basis.
    • Dog Eat Dog sign Marc BethkeDog Eat Dog have added noted automotive director Marc Bethke to their roster.
    • Mind and BodyThis nifty piece of work for Asics emphasises the importance of mind over matter.

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Volvo
"A Million More"
1 min 53s
15 October 2020

This moving film opens by describing public and media resistance when Volvo introduced the three-point safety belt. It could hardly be more timely, as it encapsulates the dissent faced by those advocating various public health measures in our fight to control coronavirus… not least, the encouragement to wear face coverings in a public setting.

It's a useful reminder that there has always been a section of the population for whom personal sacrifice is too big a price to pay for public good. (Ironically, this selfish minority is most likely to lionise the sacrifices made by their armed forces in years gone by… but, given the opportunity to emulate - in some small way - the heroism they admire by sacrificing a little personal comfort for the greater good, they hide behind spurious notions of personal liberty and behave like spoiled brats.)

Laerke Hertoni's beautiful film offers a perfect illustration of the true value of implementing effective safety measures, and it does it in the most human way possible by drawing our attention to some of the stories of the million or so people whose lives have been saved by one particular innovation.

In less than two minutes, we are introduced to a number of road crash survivors whose lives have been dramatically impacted by seatbelts, and we are left in no doubt that those who once claimed that wearing a seatbelt was an infringement of their liberty have been revealed to be fools on the wrong side of history.

The intimate storytelling delivers this idea without a hint of sensationalism, and this hugely amplifies the message's effectiveness.

This film was being prepared before the advent of Covid-19 and the parallels with the current crisis – stark as they are – are not intentional, but in our view that only adds to the power of the analogy.

The widespread acceptance of seatbelts today is a reminder that we shouldn't need hindsight to identify the wisdom of a selfless act.

It's worth noting that even without the powerful face-mask allegory that this is a fantastic piece of work which successfully reinforces the idea that Volvo are still at the forefront when it comes to the safety of everyone travelling inside a car, and that also makes this a very powerful piece of advertising.


Reynald Gresset heads to The Sweetshop

The Sweetshop's UK arm have added London-based director Reynald Gresset to their team.

Known for his thoughtful and cinematic work across many different sectors, Gresset initially shot live performances and interviews for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and Nirvana. This was followed by a stint in international news - an experience which informs much of Gresset's reel.


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London North Eastern Railway
"Red Line"
30s
15 October 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on the UK’s rail network. Train usage has dropped to its lowest level since the mid-1800s, while embattled staff are now on high alert for infected MPs acting out of character. Meanwhile, local lockdowns and three-tier restrictions are enough to give the Fat Controller heart palpitations.

But that hasn't stopped London North Eastern Railway from releasing this 30" commercial, with the Department of Transport offshoot urging viewers to hop on board "when the time is right". If only Covid-19 had a departure time, eh?

It's a shame because director Jacques Salmon's film is both snappy and inviting, with Ralph Ineson's distinctive VO making a clear contribution as well. Let's see how Operation Bums on Seats, ahem, fares over the next few weeks and months.


Hola from 1stAveMachine Buenos Aries.

1stAveMachine have expanded into Argentina with the launch of their new Buenos Aries office.

The move sees 1stAve merge with production company Tronco, who specialise in mixed-media and animation. They also joined 1stAve's directing roster in 2014, so partner/executive producer Sam Penfield knows exactly what’s in store.

"In this new arrangement", Penfield says, “we can offer clients more efficiency whilst maintaining the same level of craft. This translates into more opportunities for our artists and, at the end of the day, isn’t that the goal? From the bottom of my heart, I could not be more excited."


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

FITXR
"Workouts for Everyone"
60s
15 October 2020

Fitness-focused brands have long clung to their 'no pain, no gain' mantra, celebrating sweat and tears just as much as the results that come from such Herculean efforts. VR workout programme FITXR, however, dismiss the notion that one has to suffer in order to get in shape and sharply satirises existing gym-culture messaging in this entertaining film.

Each element is ideally pitched, as the ad encompasses a driving soundtrack, endless shots of pre-buff gymgoers, and motivational hashtags galore. Director Chris Boyle stamps the brand's twist on such imagery with verve: animated flares and irreverent VFX ensure that no viewer mistakes this for another Nike or Under Armour missive.

While this is an edgy route to take, there's a core message beneath the 'PAIN' membership cards and toxic waste smoothies: the gym is an intimidating experience, and there are other options for people to get fit in their own "sweary, wobbly" way. It's 2020, after all—haven't we suffered enough without adding public changing rooms and other people's sweaty equipment into the mix?


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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

Hope and Homes
"She Always Comes Back"
50s
20 Oct 2020
Poverty is one of the greatest threats to families across the globe, and this touching film highlights the plight of those on the breadline in Romania. Comprised of a series of scenes which pan slowly back from the child at the centre of the story, it details how families become separated slowly - then all at once - by not having enough.

Amazon
"Ironing"
80s
21 Oct 2020
Amazon takes a cinematic approach in their latest campaign to convince consumers they're missing out on the joys of voice activated technology. Director Andreas Nilsson brings his characteristic genre-hopping flare to proceedings, as fantasy drama meets chores in an, er, epic crossover for the ages. We've all looked away from the screen at a critical moment, but a bloke doing his ironing takes the cake here.

Temptations
"Scaredy Cat"
4 mins 07s
18 Oct 2020
This fantastic short film for Temptations is built around a truth about cats of which many may be unaware… we can't tell you what it is without spoiling the ending so we'll leave you to discover it for yourselves. What we can tell you is that this is a hugely ambitious piece of animation and its very existence speaks volumes about this client's faith in adam&eveDDB.

ERUK
"A Life Interrupted"
2 mins 44s
19 Oct 2020
This affecting film for ERUK has a sting in the tail which will draw compassion from even the most tuned-out viewer. The atmospheric action takes place in Thurso, a small town in the North of Scotland, and focuses on Doug - a formerly lost young man who found his calling via surfboard.

Channel 4
"Together Against Hate"
3 mins 29s
19 Oct 2020
With public tensions at an all-time high due to Covid-19, it feels like a very fitting moment to highlight the abuse that public-facing workers are subjected to on a regular basis. This extended ad break from Channel 4 gives just a few of these workers a voice, yet speaks for a shamefully large number of people who face verbal and physical abuse while simply doing their jobs.

Asics
"I Move Me"
60s
16 Oct 2020
This nifty piece of work for Asics emphasises the importance of mind over matter. Nimbly shot by director Fabio Jansen, the film offers an insight into the mental and physical fortitude it takes to keep moving even when one's resources are all but depleted. With kinetic visuals accented by moody lighting and driven by a dynamic soundtrack, it's enough to get even the most committed couch potato's heartrate up.

Need For Speed
"Hot Pursuit Remastered"
2 mins 14s
16 Oct 2020
Forget 666 - the real number of the beast is 5-10. That’s the premise of this super piece of work for EA's Need For Speed franchise: namely, a remaster of 2010 fan favourite 'Hot Pursuit'. The protagonist is haunted by defeat a decade later, his mate’s winning time of five minutes and 10 seconds mocking him at every turn, business meeting, and café.

Volvo
"A Million More"
1 min 53s
15 Oct 2020
This moving film opens by describing public and media resistance when Volvo introduced the three-point safety belt. It could hardly be more timely, as it encapsulates the dissent faced by those advocating various public health measures in our fight to control coronavirus… not least, the encouragement to wear face coverings in a public setting.

AFK Arena
"Belinda Who?"
30s
15 Oct 2020
Elijah Wood and Uzgahk the Horrid’s relationship crisis continues in this AFK Arena film, as the former blurts out the wrong name in the kitchen. He tries to conceal his mobile RPG indiscretion, but the hulking, emotionally fragile Uzgahk won’t get fooled again. Another droll, well-executed spin on the 'video games ruin relationship' meme.

Dunelm
"Home. We Get It (Director's Cut)"
90s
14 Oct 2020
Home is now not only where the heart is, but where almost all of our day-to-day lives take place. Work, school, socialising - 90% of it happens within our own four walls. This charming commercial for Dunelm argues that these confines should at least be as comfortable as possible. Director Jesper Ericstam's film skilfully blends both quirky and familiar moments of life at home.

AFK Arena
"Caught in the Act"
30s
14 Oct 2020
Actor, producer, and Animal Crossing resident Elijah Wood stars in this endearing 30" ad for AFK Arena - a mobile role-playing game (RPG) and certified homewrecker. Well, that's if you believe Uzgahk the Horrid. He stars in a rival, 'World of Warcraft'-style RPG that no longer scratches Wood's gaming itch. One-hundred-and-fifteen hours spent upgrading a loincloth seemingly does that to a relationship.

McDonald's
"The Gift"
60s
13 Oct 2020
First cars rarely meet expectations. Young DAVID, for example, wanted a Batmobile - what he got was, erm, less than heroic. It’s a rite of passage familiar to many (except Batman, of course) and this beautifully judged McDonald’s ad nails it. Shot by directing duo thirtytwo, the ad centres on a seventeen-year-old boy and his new motor—his mum’s old motor, to be precise.

Very
"Life is This Very Moment"
60s
12 Oct 2020
An unlikely friendship takes centre stage in this whimsical ad for online retailer Very. A young girl discusses the changing seasons with her favourite Avenger, listing her favourite things about autumn and supplying Hulk-appropriate replies when her action figure doesn't hold up its end of the conversation.

Sick Kids
"Bravery Beads"
75s
9 Oct 2020
Canada's Sick Kids hospital has a unique programme to help the young people in their care document and process their medical journey: Bravery Beads. Rather than incentives or rewards, this method of tracking treatment allows kids to create a tangible reminder of what they've overcome, and how much progress they've made.

Water Wipes
"Skin"
45s
7 Oct 2020
Despite being the body's largest organ, skin often gets short shrift when it comes to being treated gently. Water Wipes, however, intend to ensure their customers' skin gets the five-star experience from the word go - eschewing harsh chemicals and sticking to little more than natural H2O. This intimate film communicates that commitment nicely, as it encompasses parents and babies of all skin types.

Nike
"Mercurial Dream Speed"
60s
7 Oct 2020
It seems only yesterday that Cristiano Ronaldo became the most expensive teenager in English football history. Now thirty-five, the Juventus and Portugal forward speaks to the only person capable of replicating his success: himself, of course. What makes this 60” Nike commercial stand out from the fawning crowd is Richard Swarbrick’s painterly animation.

Samsung Galaxy
"Onions"
60s
2 Oct 2020
This engaging love story from Samsung Galaxy may bring audiences to tears... though not for the reasons one might expect. The star-crossed couple in question work at neighbouring eateries and are brought together via an unexpected passion for vegetables - namely, onions. Clinically soppy viewers may be left feeling a bit, er, raw by the end.

Mont Blanc
"What Moves You, Makes You"
60s
2 Oct 2020
This biographical Montblanc ad provides a zippy recap of the life and career of director Spike Lee, incorporating archive footage and shots of the man at work. Aptly enough, Zeynep Orbay and Macie Soler-Sala’s script is narrated like a table read. This may be distracting for some, but the main draw is footage of New York City before, during, and after the 1977 blackout.

BBC Sounds
"To Be Moved"
60s
1 Oct 2020
Fluid VFX and canny sound design make this commercial for BBC Sounds a treat for both the eyes and ears. Director Sam Brown’s camera moves down a busy street, slinking off a bus and into a cafe as people undergo different visual tweaks according to their listening habits. While some characters receive flashy enhancements like zero-gravity hairstyles, it's arguably the more subtle effects that have the most impact.

Yorkshire Tea
"Socially Distancing Teapot"
80s
1 Oct 2020
While it's a ridiculously unnecessary risk to cram workers back into offices mid-pandemic, this fun outing for Yorkshire Tea at least hopes we'll do so safely. Having a cuppa with one's co-workers looks very different in 2020, and the film creatively imagines the, er, lengths one might go to share a proper brew.

Apple Watch
"It Already Does That"
2 mins
25 Sep 2020
Helena Bonham Carter delivers a memorable VO performance in this two-minute Apple Watch commercial, evoking Oscar Isaac’s Nike work from 2016. On paper, Bonham Carter has an easy job...if only the supporting cast would let her get on with it. As The Crown star tries to weave a tale of wrist-based science fiction, she’s constantly thwarted by Apple devotees.

Volvo
"The Parents"
2 mins 26s
29 Sep 2020
This kinetic Volvo commercial makes the most of early parenthood's frantic pace to promote the marque's lane assistance feature. The concept is beautifully realised by director Niclas Larsson, as a couple discover they're having twins and are thrown head-first into childcare. The one constant of their hectic family life? A perpetual shortage of nappies.

John Lewis
"For the Joy of Home"
60s
25 Sep 2020
Despite using The Muppet Show's venerable theme song, this playful 60" John Lewis ad features nary a Kermit, Miss Piggy, or Rowlf the Dog. Instead, the embattled department store presents a game of musical chairs. And tables. And cushions. Like a good-natured haunting, these inanimate objects sneak around the house while the adults furrow their brows. Yet this is no supernatural occurence...

Uber Eats
"Showdown"
45s
24 Sep 2020
Uber Eats have triggered a battle for the ages in their latest ad, as two giants of sci-fi face off about their dinner choices. Perennial internet darling Mark Hamill and glabrous legend Patrick Stewart take opposing stances regarding vegetables: Hamill favours an absolutely tomato-free sandwich while Stewart tauntingly asserts his choice of pasta - liberally adorned with the little red blighters.

FIFA 21
"There is Only One King"
90s
24 Sep 2020
FIFA 21 may be a mixed bag for Leeds United fans this season. On the one hand, United’s Elland Road stadium is, er, missing from the upcoming game. On the other hand, supporters can play as former striker Eric Cantona and pretend he never left for rivals Manchester United. Swings and roundabouts, really.

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.