David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • 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.
    • The time is now.5:10 is the real number of the beast in this super piece of work for EA's Need For Speed franchise.
    • Meet Factory's new creative directors.Seasoned sound designers Dan Beckwith and Jon Clarke have been sworn in as Factory’s new creative directors.
    • Unmasking selfishness.This Swedish film for Volvo accidentally offers a perfect commentary on those objecting to public health measures during the current pandemic.
    • Reynald Gresset heads to The SweetshopThe Sweetshop's UK arm have added London-based director Reynald Gresset to their roster.
    • Railing cry.This 30" London North Eastern Railway film aims to put bums on train seats again.
    • Hola from 1stAveMachine Buenos Aries.1stAveMachine have expanded into Argentina with the launch of their new Buenos Aries office.
    • No Pain, All GainVR workout programme FITXR dismiss the notion that one has to suffer in order to get in shape in this satirical ad.


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Need For Speed
"Hot Pursuit Remastered"
2 mins 14s
16 October 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. Fortunately, the remaster offers Michael a shiny chance of redemption.

Non-gamers may run out of patience with him before then, but the numerate visual gags and breezy, self-aware script keep viewers onside. Those with similiar scores to settle must get some practice in (and pray for their partner's understanding, too).

Meet Factory's new creative directors.

Experienced sound designers Dan Beckwith and Jon Clarke have been sworn in as Factory’s new creative directors.

Dubbed the "Ryu and Ken of audio" (one for Street Fighter fans), Beckwith and Clarke have risen through the Factory ranks together and become integral parts of 54/55 Margaret Street.

The pair are now responsible for providing the "highest levels of audio craft" to clients, as well as mentoring the next generation of Factory talent. They may even chuck in a hadouken or two.


"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.


London North Eastern Railway
"Red Line"
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.


On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

21 Oct 2005
Two colleagues at Barclays celebrate when one shows the other the Invisicard - a debit card that you can make invisible for security purposes. But as their joy diminishes when they realise they have knocked the car to the floor whilst it's invisible and they cannot find it.

Sony Bravia
21 Oct 2006
Shortened version of the attention-hogging Sony Bravia ad which aired last week is, if anything, more dramatic than the original as it packs all the most impressive moments into an intensive concentration of explosions.

"Milk Run"
21 Oct 2010
This Australian ad for Volkswagen uses a quartet of people to illustrate its claim that we all face similar problems even if our circumstances are different. It's been neatly filmed and then stitched together with terrific precision from the editor who has succeeded in underlining the points of similarity with considrable élan.

21 Oct 2014
Young fans of Scottish rivals Dunfermline Athletic and Stirling Albion are the stars of this touching new film for KFC. The youngsters both dress in their respective team colours before heading to the game where they sit at opposite ends of the ground. What isn't clear at the start is that these two live in the same house - because they're brothers.

1 min 40s
21 Oct 2014
This jolly and utterly bonkers piece of work from Sweden provides answers to worries about pensions via a singing drummer atop a tall building. All around him, people pose their concerns about the money they'll receive when they finish working and he provides them with a resolute yodelled 'yes' to the chorus of a very recognisable Euro-anthem which - infuriatingly - we can't quite pin down.

"Ode to Joy"
21 Oct 2014
A pyroclastic flow of colourful toys erupts in a sterile, all-white bedroom, defying gravity as Ode to Joy rings out. Dolls, Lego bricks and crayons hurtle through the air with slow-motion grace and a large yet elegant super informs us there's up to a third off Barbie, Hot Wheels and Monster High, whatever that is. A visually impressive homage to the annual onset of Christmas Fever.

Greene King IPA
"To The Pub"
2 mins 05s
21 Oct 2015
The spectre of last orders is hanging over the pub industry these days. Rising costs, supermarket competition, and tightening drink-drive limits have led to many a local vanishing from both town and country. Representing the fightback is Greene King IPA. The cask ale brand has previously demonstrated a wistful vision of traditional boozers and this optimistic film says the glass is very much half-full for the pub trade.

Ambuja Cement
"The Great Khali"
21 Oct 2015
What do you do with the strapline: 'Giant compressive strength'? Even before you know it's for cement, it's singularly lacking in charisma. Apart from the building industry, why would anyone care - and then, even in the building industry it's hardly going to stir up excitement. So bravo for this lovely idea for Indian cement brand Ambuja.

"The Launch"
21 Oct 2015
While we're all becoming more and more aware of 'the Cloud', it still remains a fairly nebulous concept. There are some rather nice ads around that tell us how great it is, but none of them offer any, er, tangible information. This terrific spot for Adobe does do something, however - it warns marketers that conflicting data sources could end up preventing the launch of a product that they've heavily invested in.

21 Oct 2016
Footballers aren't magnets for sympathy, but spare a thought if you can for Paul Pogba. The Manchester United midfielder's £89 million transfer fee means every touch, kick, and pass is measured in pounds and pence. This vibrant Adidas commercial says forget the numbers - it's all about the name.

21 Oct 2016
Past and present attitudes collide in this thought-provoking Mencap ad. The voice of a 'leading academic' claims that those with Down's syndrome do not merit a human response. That was in 1968; it's now 2016, and DJ Casey Rochell thinks it's time for a long overdue remix. Rochell's audio trickery and director Ed Morris's stark visuals ensure this is a distinctive rallying call.

"My Way"
21 Oct 2016
IKEA encourage us to embrace our weirdness and live how ever we like in this ad. They promise not to tell anyone about our nude dinners or kitchen dance parties... and we almost believe them. The montage is nicely put together here, clips of different lives shown affectionately and without judgement in a way that makes them feel universal.

Childhood Trauma
6 mins 40s
4 Dec 2016
This touching PSA drawing attention to the long-lasting impact of childhood abuse is, at times, hard to watch. The actor playing Chad successfully conveys a sense that he's too overwhelmed to speak as he struggles to articulate the horrors of 'his' past. He returns to the house where the abuse took place.

Transport For London
"Running Late"
21 Oct 2019
This affecting film from Transport for London reminds drivers that arriving alive is more important than arriving on time. The inner monologue of two kids being driven to karate class illustrates the premise, as their anxiety ramps up with every risky move the dad behind the wheel makes. Subtle direction from Steve Reeves makes things all the more nerve-wracking.

Samsung Galaxy
21 Oct 2019
An unlikely cultural icon springs to prominence in this entertaining commercial for the Samsung Galaxy. The cuddly alpaca may seem more of a farmyard fixture than a cover star, but one plucky photographer changes everything when she applies some creative styling to the beast's hair... and promptly inspires a trend.

"1700 Friends"
21 Oct 2005
The man with 1700 enjoys his popularity as we can see when everyone stops to wave to him in the street but it creates a big problem for him at Christmas time. Just as well then that Argos provide him with so many choices.

Kellogg's Nutri Grain Bars
21 Oct 2005
Jimmy Carr voices an ad which explains how a female fan of Kellogg's Nutri Grain cereal bars believe they are manufactured by magic because, despite the unlikely sounding list of ingredients, they taste so yummy. Just a thought, but maybe it's 60g of sugar... not magic.

The Observer
"Franz Ferdinand CD"
21 Oct 2005
Glasgow-based superstars Franz Ferdinand get the Observer animation treatment in an ad highlighting the inclusion of a free CD of their music in this week's edition. Typically, it's the drummer who bears the brunt of the misfortune meted out on the band.

Sky Three
"Twister 3"
21 Oct 2008
Another impressive demonstration of High Definition in the new idents for Sky television. This time objects being flung around by a 'twister' collide with the giant numeral and shatter it impressively.

Sky Three
"Whack 3"
21 Oct 2008
In a fairground, teenagers play 'Whack A Mole' with numerals replacing the part of the small mammals who normally pop their heads up to be smashed. This is the latest of the new series of visually impressive idents being used by Sky to promote their main entertainment channels.

Sky Three
"Boxes 3"
21 Oct 2008
A series of purple crystal objects flow from one cardboard box to another until the second moves aside and the objects form a numeral. This is the latest in the new series of idents which convincingly gets across the idea of high definition output on the satellite broadcaster's main entertainment stations.

"Strong Man"
21 Oct 2008
Bad news, men. Having been replaced in the bedroom by a selection of scary looking gadgets, it now seems another has done the same thing to our last bastion of invincibility... our ability to open pickle jars. This amusing ad makes plain the fact that women no longer need a strong man to do the job. Ah well.

"Listen To Your Lips"
21 Oct 2008
The fun of Baileys is captured in this stylish ad that shows drops of the drink landing on pairs of lips as they are fall. The sight of the disconnected mouths could have been quite disconcerting but clever work all round has ensured that it's an attractive image.

21 Oct 2009
This French film for Orange shows how the same word can have two different meanings in order to back its claim that the Internet provided by Orange is significantly better than the Internet provided by any of its rivals. Not true, of course, but a neatly-stated claim.

21 Oct 2009
Boats converge to throw stones and rocks into the ocean to create a new island so the pretty young people on board have somewhere to party. It's energetic, fun and beautiful to look at but, kids, don't try this at home... it's trickier than it looks.

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.