David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

Latest Work
    • Pulse think THE REST are a cut above.Pulse Films are pleased to announce the signing of directing duo THE REST for global representation.
    • Chicken foo yung?There's a useful ambiguity in the casting of this delightful ad for Tui and we're not sure how intentional it is.
    • Out of the mouth of babes.This affecting film for the ONE campaign continues the charity's bid to draw attention to the sexist elements of poverty.
    • Let's be Frank(lin).Director MJ Delaney brings her usual zest to this feel-good outing for the Global Girls Alliance - an initiative spearheaded by Michelle Obama and the Obama Foundation.
    • Ready or not, here they come.This ad for costume store Party City reminds spook enthusiasts to prepare for Halloween in advance.
    • Pay Up, J.R.TV Licensing hark back to the golden age of soap opera in this vintage-style ad.
    • Repeat offender.This PSA-cum-music promo from March for Our Lives is a triple threat.
    • Mike Warzin goes Bold.Bold have added to their American contingent by signing director Mike Warzin for UK and European representation.
    • Noah Harris's Agile move.Noah Harris has joined Agile Films, so we had a chat about it.
    • It's all about truthful performance for Tomboy's Justin Chadwick.It's all about truthful performance for Tomboy's Justin Chadwick.
    • Message in a BottlePlastic Free Pledge offer a darkly comic slant on saving the planet with this Tony Burke-directed short film.
    • It all goes downhill from here.Red Bull's latest high-caffeine outing sees World Rally Championship driver Dani Sordo and mountain biker Andreu Lacondeguy navigate Portugal's Lousã Bike Park in a one-on-one race.
    • Private PartyThis quirky blend of live action and animation draws attention to Gemfields's commitment to responsibly sourced coloured gemstones.
    • Sin it to win it.Sin is in, if this latest promo for Amazon Prime is to be believed.

THE BLACK BOX

ALICE:

Has anyone said we're wrong about awards?

JASON:

Literally no one.

ALICE:

So, everyone agrees with us?

JASON:

I expect so.

ALICE:

And they'll stop entering awards?

JASON:

Almost certainly.

ALICE:

What do you think they'll do with the money they save?

JASON:

I expect they'll buy unicorns.

ALICE:

Unicorns?! Oh, I've got you.


ONE Campaign
"When I Grow Up..."
1 min 38s
12 October 2018

This powerful film sends an important message about the way poverty often has a greater impact on female members of society. A number of schoolgirls are answering a question about their future and - at first - they reflect the typical aspirations of those their age.

They are upbeat, even though they clearly reflecting the reality of growing up in a relatively benign patriarchy.

But as the piece goes on, the mood darkens. The children begin to reflect a different reality - that of their equivalents in societies where they are valued as commodities rather than as young people.

It's painful to hear some of the children's utterances, and there will be some who disapprove of asking them to say such things... but only by those who wish to sweep these issues under the carpet.

Director Joanna Bailey allows her young cast to stand up and be counted, and it's clear from the looks on their faces that they have some understanding of the message's importance.

It would be better still if the shift in the music wasn't so grindingly obvious - sometimes what is intended to underline a message, actually manages to undermine it. But it doesn't detract from the power of the performances drawn from her young actors by an uncompromising director.


Global Girls Alliance
"Think"
2 mins 40s
15 October 2018

Director MJ Delaney brings her usual zest to this feel-good outing for the Global Girls Alliance - an initiative spearheaded by Michelle Obama and the Obama Foundation. As well as tapping the former First Lady, Delaney and her young cast channel the late Aretha Franklin for a near-three-minute think piece.

Driven by a largely a cappella cover of Franklin’s ‘Think’, this is an in-your-face plea for cooperation and common sense where safeguarding girls’ education is concerned. Even if the film can’t quite sustain its initial thrust, there is enough girl power and soul power to command attention.


Party City
"It's On"
60s
12 October 2018

America takes Halloween pretty seriously, being that they're major fans of the horrific and macabre (just look at their politics). On the lighter end of the scale, this ad for costume store Party City reminds spook enthusiasts to prepare for the holiday in advance - well before the deluge of trick or treaters arrives.

From superheroic muscle suits to competitive neighbour-baiting garden displays, the film weaves together the brand's wares into one seasonal onslaught - think a jollier version of ‘Assault on Precinct 13’. This is all guided by the light touch of director Jonathan Herman, who channels the brand’s all-or-nothing approach to Halloween well.

ion.


TV Licensing
"Shoulder Pads"
30s
15 October 2018

TV Licensing hark back to the golden age of soap opera in this vintage-style ad. Having presumably realised that threatening the Google generation with being hunted down by a mysterious 'detector van' won't work, they take a more creative approach to persuading viewers to part with their cash.

Channelling iconic pulp series ‘Dallas', Clara and Sandra’s Direct Debit melodrama assures audiences that paying for a TV license needn't be a faff. From shoulder pads and decanters to soft focus and dramatic camera zooms, it’s a fun parody of soap conventions which the brand hope will, erm, pay off.


March for Our Lives
"The Most Vicious Circle"
9 mins 38s
13 October 2018

This PSA-cum-music promo from March for Our Lives is a triple threat. As well as fusing grim subject matter with a dominoes-inspired set piece, the work neatly illustrates the US’s dire record on school shootings… by repeating the same bullet-ridden promo three times in a row.

It’s a bold gambit in this age of dwindling attention spans and desensitised audiences, but the craft on show rewards patient viewers. A handful of rounds from an automatic rifle trigger social and political pandemonium, which is conveyed by a feat of set design in a school corridor.

While some visual cues are a little on-the-nose (eg. a spark meeting a rocket labelled ‘Public Debate’), the result is nonetheless a deft takedown of political gridlock as America’s gun woes accelerate.


QUICK SEARCH

Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

TUI
"Reunion"
60s
15 Oct 2018
There's a useful ambiguity in the casting of this delightful ad for Tui and we're not sure how intentional it is. It seems likely that this depicted duo are intended to be mother and daughter but - because the relationship isn't explicitly defined - it's also possible that they're sisters, or aunt and niece. It prompted some lively discussion here at DAVID HQ, that's for sure.

ONE Campaign
"When I Grow Up..."
1 min 38s
12 Oct 2018
This powerful film sends an important message about the way poverty often has a greater impact on female members of society. A number of schoolgirls are answering a question about their future and - at first - they reflect the typical aspirations of those their age. They are upbeat, even though they clearly reflect the reality of growing up in a patriarchal society.

Global Girls Alliance
"Think"
2 mins 40s
15 Oct 2018
Director MJ Delaney brings her usual zest to this feel-good outing for the Global Girls Alliance - an initiative spearheaded by Michelle Obama and the Obama Foundation. As well as tapping the former First Lady, Delaney and her young cast channel the late Aretha Franklin for a near-three-minute think piece.

Party City
"It's On"
60s
12 Oct 2018
America takes Halloween pretty seriously, being that they're major fans of the horrific and macabre (just look at their politics). On the lighter end of the scale, this ad for costume store Party City reminds spook enthusiasts to prepare for the holiday in advance - well before the deluge of trick or treaters arrives.

March for Our Lives
"The Most Vicious Circle"
9 mins 38s
13 Oct 2018
This PSA-cum-music promo from March for Our Lives is a triple threat. As well as fusing grim subject matter with a dominoes-inspired set piece, the work neatly illustrates the US’s dire record on school shootings… by repeating the same bullet-ridden promo three times in a row. It’s a bold gambit in this age of dwindling attention spans and desensitised audiences, but the craft on show rewards patient viewers.

Gemfields
"Art Gallery"
50s
11 Oct 2018
This quirky blend of live action and animation draws attention to Gemfields's commitment to responsibly sourced coloured gemstones. Like a contemporary art twist on ‘Toy Story', the ad takes place in a gallery where things get even livelier after the patrons have gone home for the night. From geometric rhinos to three-dimensional graffiti art, the nimble cast add extra personality to the brand's ethical mission statement.

Amazon Prime
"Lucifer"
60s
11 Oct 2018
Sin is in, if this latest promo for Amazon Prime is to be believed. One of four films from Droga5 and director Steve Rogers, the ad takes inspiration from (oc)cult favourite series 'Lucifer' - as it influences a repressed bloke to experience just how good being bad can feel. A wry descent into rebellion from the streaming giant.

Amazon Prime
"Outlander"
60s
11 Oct 2018
Droga5's Amazon Prime campaign is going from strength to strength with its tales of binge-fuelled lifehacks. This latest instalment is a 60" romp inspired by time-hopping titillator ‘Outlander', with a couple rediscovering their mojo over the course of a season… leading to some public displays of affection which flirt with public indecency.

Barclays
"Card Freeze"
30s
9 Oct 2018
There will be those who challenge the idea that this ad deserves five stars because it's not the kind of work likely to trouble an awards jury, and - frankly - that's the misguided metric the industry often uses to judge work. But it fully deserves five stars because it quite rightly focuses the audience's attention on a brilliant feature of Barclays' online banking app.

Apple iPhone
"Growth Spurt"
60s
9 Oct 2018
Size does matter, according to this entertaining ad for Apple. The brand draw attention to their XS and XS Max phones by claiming that bigger is invariably better, as the device seems to magically engorge whatever its camera is pointed at. From cute snaps of pets to hipster shots of avocado toast, no Instagram-worthy moment is safe from the phone's fantastical powers of enlargement.

Barbie
"Close the Dream Gap"
90s
10 Oct 2018
Director Karen Cunningham's latest outing for Barbie doesn't even feature the eponymous fashion doll. Instead, a cast of young girls take centre stage… and they want a word with those out to stymie their full potential. Disarming yet incisive, the youngsters call out parents who believe there are only gifted sons, not daughters; who glance over scientific toys without a moment's thought; and who generally offer little encouragement to explore not what should be done, but what can be done.

Berlei
"Serena Williams"
2 mins
9 Oct 2018
Fresh from the controversy of the US Open Final, Serena Williams lends her voice to this touching tribute to Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett who died of breast cancer in 2013. Subverting 'I Touch Myself' - Amphlett's band's most famous track - to remind women of the importance of self-examination could have been quite crass with the wrong treatment but this has been exceptionally well done.

Snickers
"Number One Fantasy"
30s
8 Oct 2018
David Shane once again demonstrates a fantastic mastery of the 30" commercial in this lovely film for Snickers running during the NFL ad breaks on US television. The performance is so good that you enjoy it even when you know the reveal. The key to this is the way the man muttering darkly about his number one fantasy gives no clue that this is a comic moment. Only when we see the faces of his friends do we realise the extent of the misunderstanding.

Funding Circle
"Go Further"
60s
8 Oct 2018
This is the longer version of the splendid new Funding Circle commercial that we reviewed in abbreviated form earlier this month. The longer edit gives much more breathing space to the idea and enables the ad to build to a real climax as the previously fixed figures gather together and take off just as it appears they'll come to a sticky end.

Amazon Prime
"Vikings"
60s
8 Oct 2018
This impressive ad sees woman finds herself inspired by the female protagonist of the hit show 'Vikings' to stand up for herself. Manspreading on the bus, office rudeness, and disrespecting personal space take on different meanings when faced with a shield-maiden's fire, and the transformation from timid to brave is skilfully handled by director Steve Rogers.

Nike
"Late Bloomer"
30s
8 Oct 2018
Whether you're eighteen or eighty-one-years old, haters gonna hate. Octogenarian Marjorie knows this all too well, as Nike's latest brand ambassador prepares for her belated marathon debut. Some call her crazy; she simply takes her place at the starting line… and pretends her hearing is a bit dodgy.

Amazon Prime
"Jack Ryan"
60s
8 Oct 2018
One of two amusing takes on the Amazon Prime Video library, this 60" commercial sees a dad transform into a suburban Jack Ryan. With each episode of the Tom Clancy reboot he consumes, the bloke becomes a lean, mean parenting machine, tackling domestic vagaries with the zeal of a certain CIA analyst.

Teeling Whiskey
"The Spirit of Dublin"
1 min 40s
8 Oct 2018
Dublin-based whiskey brand Teeling promise to do the Irish capital justice in this nicely polished ad. From dawn shots looking across the River Liffey to the minute details of day-to-day life, director Ross Killeen takes a cinematic look at what gives Dublin its distinctive character. The film explores the city in all its diversity, from traditional butcher shops to modern hipster cafés.

GHD
"Long Live the Queens"
30s
5 Oct 2018
Even those of us with tresses too short to warrant any styling beyond a rough towel-dry secretly covet GHD products. And having watched this latest offering from the king of electrical hair tamers, the flame of longing is ignited all over again. To an operatic crescendo, a diversity of divas accept the worship of friends, colleagues and strangers who are in awe of their luscious locks... and rightly so.

Volvo
"The Unseen Ocean"
5 mins 30s
4 Oct 2018
Volvo wade into the war on marine pollution with this latest Sky Atlantic collaboration, which focuses on a school teacher's bid to turn his class into thalassophiles. First things first, however: he needs to convince those who have never even seen the ocean before. With some children more familiar with ‘Minecraft' lakes than they are natural ones, it would appear the educator has his work cut out.

Global Goals
"The Future Is Now"
5 mins 05s
2 Oct 2018
The opening vignette of this superb film supporting Bill and Melinda Gates's worthy Global Goals foundation features a scene that will be familiar to many viewers - a wilful daughter arguing with her angry father. But their disagreement isn't about an untidy bedroom or incomplete homework, she is defying his demand that enter into a marriage she doesn't want.

Mentos
"Man-to-Man"
30s
3 Oct 2018
This amusing Belgian ad for Mentos suggests the advertised product can be an icebreaker in difficult situations. A young man is meeting his girlfriend's father for the first time and frantically thinks through his options when abandoned in conversational Siberia. How will he effectively prove his manly credentials? DIY? Woodwork? The answer may surprise you.

Healthier Scotland
"Survivors"
40s
1 Oct 2018
We heartily applaud this spot for Healthier Scotland. It confronts the fear and shame we have about certain health issues and makes them something to laugh about. If the folk north of the border can survive beach holidays in Arctic temperatures and Andy Stewart every Hogmanay, they can survive getting checked out for cancer.

Levi's
"Use Your Vote"
30s
1 Oct 2018
With just a few weeks to go until the mid-term elections determine whether the US has learned its lesson from the ongoing Trump clusterfuck, Levi's offer a timely reminder of the importance of voting. Disguised as a message to the wider world, this is clearly a clarion call to progressive thinkers within the boundaries of the United States, as their country approaches the November ballots.

Department for Education
"Every Lesson Shapes a Life"
1 min 40s
1 Oct 2018
The Department for Education is fighting a losing battle at the moment, as teachers leave the profession in droves due to low pay, long hours, and little thanks. New agency Havas London hopes to turn the tide, with this lovely ad about how important good teachers are to a child's life. The film follows one kid's progress through the education system - from articulating words to sitting GCSEs.

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.