David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • James Marsh joins Pulse FilmsPulse Films have signed Academy Award winning director James Marsh to their roster.
    • The Sweet Shop sign Gudmundur Gudmundsson.The Sweet Shop have signed Icelandic director Gundmundur Arnar Gudmundsson for worldwide representation.
    • A moving story.Squire Studios' Phil Tidy provides a consummate lesson in pacing in this touching and important film for charity Harrison's Fund.
    • Sounds delicious.Readers with misophonia should probably consider giving this ad for Crosse & Blackwell a skip... even if it is very good.
    • Three stripes, many shades.This vibrant Adidas commercial celebrates how we perceive colour.
    • Pyeongchang calling.Fear meets its match in this beautifully animated BBC Sport promo.
    • A better way of looking at things.This optimistic film out of Brazil - ostensibly advertising telecommunications company Vivo - urges us to look at life more generously.
    • A classy approach.This classic 30" commercial for Knorr makes the advertised product look like it'll be the centre of a better life than the one you have now.
    • Stitch's Jack Singer is a cut above.Stitch boost their roster by signing accomplished editor Jack Singer.
    • Trailblazers WantedThis is one of a series of online films designed to support the live-action TV work promoting a greater sense of inclusivity in Army Recruitment.
    • Naughty or nice?Sky Cinema viewers are encouraged to pick a side with the broadcaster’s new Heroes and Villains channels.
    • Luis Cervero and Pleix turn Rogue.Spanish filmmaker Luis Cervero and French collective Pleix have joined Rogue for representation.
    • Mixed reactions.Mullen Lowe’s debut Subaru ad shows the marque is in tune with its customers' needs… well, nearly everyone’s.
    • The New GuyThis lovely ad from Vodafone Ireland depicts a little boy's developing relationship with his mum's new partner.

SISTERHOOD

David Reviews is proud to introduce Sisterhood - a pool of female talent designed to help the advertising industry to access a broader range of voices.

Sisterhood launches with several hundred directors but will soon expand into any other areas of film-making currently dominated by men.

Sisterhood profiles are available for free if you meet the eligibility requirements. Contact Jason Stone on 0141 776 7766 to find out more.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE SISTERHOOD.


BBC Sport
"The Fearless Are Here"
90s
22 January 2018

Fear meets its match in this beautifully animated BBC Sport promo. As Winter Olympians descend on Pyeongchang, the Beeb pay tribute to their indomitable spirit. When the mercury drops, this lot bring the heat.

Athletes from various disciplines face their respective demons. Wolves, tentacles, and giant eyes do their best to thwart their prey but these medal hopefuls have trained too hard to let fear win.

Painterly animation and a striking colour palette deliver a premium rush. While the Summer Olympics typically dominate the public consciousness, this ensures all eyes on are on Pyeongchang.

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Vivo Telecoms
"Rethink"
1 min 37s
21 January 2018

Even those inclined to defend Donald Trump cannot deny that his 'America First' creed gives succour to those who believe it's foolish to take account of other people's feelings. His ascendency to the Presidency offers a stark reminder that civilisation is more fragile than we tend to assume, and that it will all come tumbling down if enough people are persuaded they can bulldoze their way through life in pursuit of their own gratification.

But it doesn't have to be that way, and this optimistic film out of Brazil - ostensibly advertising a telecommunications company - urges us to look at life more generously. A number of people appear on the screen, together with a drop-down list offering a number of alternative ways of looking at them. The first, lazy choice underlines an existing prejudice but beneath there are better options because... there are always better options.

It's a message which appears to have landed well: the Portuguese version of this film has been viewed more than 32 million times and - a few weeks into a year we all need to believe will be better than 2017 - it provides a better way forward.

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Knorr
"A Rich Life"
30s
20 January 2018

This classic 30" commercial for Knorr makes the advertised product look like it'll be the centre of a better life than the one you have now. Buy this stuff and you'll get to hang out with cool exotic people who dance as they cook and live life to the max. This has been made with a lot of love and makes a convincing argument for using Knorr.

This brand is one of those that relies on advertising which matches it to the right demographic. And, as the slightly cheffy feel of this gel-based stock is designed for people who like to think they take cooking seriously but not so seriously that they have to make everything entirely from scratch, this approach looks absolutely perfect for the vast swathe of the middle classes who recognise an idealised version of themselves in these vignettes.

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Stitch's Jack Singer is a cut above.

Stitch have boosted their roster by signing accomplished editor Jack Singer. Having learned his trade at Cut+Run, Singer is relishing fresh challenges ahead at Stitch.

He’s already cut a variety of high-profile ads and music videos. Working with promo director Tom Beard, Singer cut this risqué number for singer-songwriter Jamie T.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Army Recruitment
"Gay"
40s
13 January 2018

This is one of a series of online films designed to support the live-action TV work promoting a greater sense of inclusivity in Army Recruitment.

Where the live-action work is subtle, obliging viewers to discern the message by reading between the lines, the animated work is explicit and openly pitches army life at those who have probably never considered it.

If you heard this campaign being discussed on Radio 4's Today programme a few days before its official release then you'll know it clearly had its critics within the upper echelons of the Army, and we suspect it was the animated films that provoked the ire of the top brass.

They have also been met - predictably enough - with a cacophony of derision from keyboard warriors who fetishise an outdated notion of masculinity they feel is represented by khaki-clad soldiers with a low tolerance of otherness.

They resent this nuanced, accepting approach because - in their eyes - it panders to political correctness. But these largely white men are certainly not the target audience so does their opinion really matter?

Possibly not, but that doesn't mean these films are beyond criticism. As eye catching and lovingly constructed as they are, they are also gauche and don't quite land the way they're intended to.

The issue lies not with the work itself, but in their disconnect from the reality of being in today's Army. While the organisation has made great efforts to modernise on an institutional level, it's naive to suggest that the prohibition of homophobia (or any other insidious hatred) will prevent it from existing on the ground.

Indeed, the very fact that the Army is now attempting to recruit minorities is an admission that the existing culture within its ranks is still overwhelmingly 'traditional'... along with all the prejudices that that entails. There's a suggestion, particularly in the animated work, that new recruits can expect to join an existing group of open-minded people. While it's perfectly plausible that the lot of the female, gay or Muslim cadets has improved over the past few years, it's a struggle to believe that bullying and victimisation has been eradicated.

While detractors - whose only experiences of combat are day-long sessions of 'Call of Duty' - whine about the erosion of 'bravery' and 'British values' within one of the last bastions of old-school masculinity, they fail to consider just how brave you'd have to be to join an army that doesn't entirely welcome you. And, unfortunately, the animated work doesn't really acknowledge this either. All the more so because they didn't really need to soft-peddle that challenge - minority recruits will be ready for a fight.

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On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Coca Cola
"I Wish"
60s
23 Jan 2004
A smiling woman serenades passers by on the street as she hands out drinks in this ad for Coca-Cola. Her walk down the street is tracked in one smooth movement by a single shot. The combination of the joyful music and the woman's warmth creates a cheerful mood.

Skoda Octavia
"Train"
40s
23 Jan 2006
Brilliant new take on Skoda's "practical but exciting" campaign has a devoted PA going to extraordinary lengths to update her boss on some changes to his schedule. To reach him , she jumps on to the roof of a speeding train before crashing through the window.

Cadbury Dairy Milk
"Eyebrow Dancing"
60s
23 Jan 2009
That's the way to do it. Returning to the simplicity of 'Gorilla', Cadbury gets back on track after the minor diversion created by the Airport Trucks with this brilliantly charming film featuring four hyperactive eyebrows.

MasterCard
"Brit Awards Sponsorship"
90s
23 Jan 2010
This amusing set of bumpers advertising Mastercard's ongoing sponsorship of the Brit Awards show a band setting up a gig in someone's living room. A young schoolgirl gives the roadies the thumbs up each time they successfully install a bit of kit.

Asics
"Running Hood"
60s
23 Jan 2013
This is a superb piece of advertising. A young woman slipping into a new pair of trainers for her first run is rudely passed by a mysterious hooded figure but who can it be? She's determined to find out and sets off after him or her with unstoppable determination... what will she find out?

Newcastle Brown Ale
"Aubrey Prepares America"
86s
23 Jan 2015
Anyone unfamiliar with April Ludgate - Aubrey Plaza's character in Parks & Recreation - may find this commercial a bit baffling but they'll have seen enough of this style of deadpan to get the point. On the other hand, fans of Plaza's distinctive sarcasm will love it. Even if her style of comedy is a bit one-note, it's a note she plays so beautifully well that DAVID never tires of it.

The Observer
"Origins"
30s
23 Jan 2004
The Observer makes use of a distinct animation style constructed from cut out photographs to advertise its food magazine. Clement Freud's voiceover combines with the classical music in the background to accompany imagery that brings Terry Gilliam's work for Monty Python to mind.

Ford Focus
"Silence"
30s
23 Jan 2005
The fashion designer introduced in previous ads opines about the importance of silence to him as he sits in the back of his Ford Focus in the midst of a huge rave. He explains: "if I had one message to the rest of the World about the importance of silence, I would scream it at them."

Bodyform
"Vote For Change"
30s
23 Jan 2006
Women march together to demand better sanitary protection because one in five women are apparently let down by theirs each month. Excellent soundtrack (as ever with a BBH ad) as women abandon their activities to vote for change. Could have done without the dripping paint metaphor.

Kingsmill Bread
"Whole of The Grain"
30s
23 Jan 2006
A meeting of Kingsmill nutritionists comes up with revolutionary idea that they should use the whole of the grain in their bread. But, because they want parents of over-indulged children to buy it, they suggest doing so without having bits in it. Would Elvis approve?

MTV
"I Control Time"
40s
23 Jan 2007
A nightmare teenager tells her parents that she controls time; an impression she has gained from the way she is able to set up MTV Overdrive for her own requirements. Brilliantly cast and you have to love the moment when we get a glimpse of her photograph and she looks just as crazy as in the ad.

The Tonto Woman
"Trail"
2 mins 40s
23 Jan 2008
The opening sequence from Daniel Barber's oscar-nominated short film The Tonto Woman doubles as a trail. Based on an Elmore Leonard story, this tale of the redeeming power of love is utterly compelling and everyone in the business whould be rooting for Barber on the big night.

Road Safety
"Dress Bright"
30s
23 Jan 2009
Another in this engaging series which is designed to encourage children to pay attention to road safety. This film focuses on the vexed issue of persuading children to wear something bright (whether it is fashionable or not).

Macleans
"Be Ready"
60s
23 Jan 2009
This ad moves back in time from an intimate moment to show a woman using Macleans to clean her teeth. The idea being that you should always make sure your breath is fresh because you never know who you might end up kissing by the end of the day.

Barclays
"Spot The Difference"
30s
23 Jan 2010
Stephen Merchant provides another animated voice over for Barclays in a commercial which boasts that the bank will enable you to talk to a real person if you're looking for an insurance quote. All because, it seems, we sometimes forget what we've bought.

Sainsbury's
"Pork and Red Pepper Bolognese"
30s
23 Jan 2010
Jamie Oliver once again demonstrates his crowd handling skills in this effective commercial for Sainsbury's. The thick tongued chef cooks a Pork and Red Pepper Bolognese for a collection of people milling around in the snow.

Pizza Hut
"You Be The Judge"
30s
23 Jan 2011
This amusing parody of the paroxysms of agony suffered by judges on The X Factor has a young teenage girl trying to decide which stuffed crust to choose. In fairness, this is a more pressing dilemma than choosing between two sub-standard karaoke mental cases.

travelsupermarket.com
"Swimming Trunks"
20s
23 Jan 2012
Brian's hubristic journey through his Las Vegas hotel continues. This time he's striding through in his swimming trunks with the swagger of a man who knows he's just saved money on his family holiday. Has a campaign ever lost touch with its founding proposition as swiftly as this?

Churchill
"Love"
30s
23 Jan 2012
Martin Clunes's efforts to tell Churchill the dog that he loves his company's UK-based call centres keep floundering because of constant interruptions. Since this form of coded communication is known as a 'dog whistle', it's ironic that it should appear in an ad for this brand.

Andrex Washlets
"Episode Three"
30s
23 Jan 2012
The effort to persuade Britain to switch to moist toilet paper continues with Dawn wandering through Soho in search of people to convert. Once again, this campaign bravely tackles the instinctive antipathy to this product.

Young's Jamie Oliver
"Arctic"
30s
23 Jan 2012
Jamie Oliver gives another consummate performance in this commercial for a range of frozen fish products bearing his name. The premise has him attempting to prepare some food in an Arctic storm as some underwhelmed locals look on.

Fisherman's Friend
"Taxi"
20s
23 Jan 2012
A taxi driver is silenced by the strength of the flavours in the advertised product in this commercial for the dubious confectionery. Since the protagonist is gabbing on in clichéd fashion, we assume that the refreshing sensation is ours rather than his when he can no longer talk.

Road Safety (Ulster)
"Shannon's Story"
50s
23 Jan 2012
The parents of a teenage girl killed in a car accident talk candidly about the impact that her death has had on their lives in this heart-rending film from Northern Ireland. It's a powerful reminder that even when an accident doesn't affect other road users, its impact can be devastating.

Road Safety (Ulster)
"Melissa's Story"
50s
23 Jan 2012
Melissa explains how her life was shattered by a car accident. Now wheelchair-bound, she once had hopes of becoming a PE teacher and she knows that it's all because she lay down in the back of a car being driven by a friend because she was tired. Had she been wearing a seatbelt she would have "walked away from [the] crash".

Diet Coke
"Teaser"
20s
23 Jan 2013
Twenty or so years after the idea of gawping at a half-naked man was used to sell Diet Coke, this highly successful concept is back. On Monday morning at 11.30, the soft drinks company is hoping the whole nation will take a Diet Coke break and enjoy the sight of a hunky fellow being ogled by secretarial types.

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.