David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Pensions in ParadiseSwedish insurance providers AMF take a surreal approach in this entertaining ad for their pension plan.
    • (Un)dead useful advice.It’s a modern conversation staple: “What would you do in a zombie apocalypse”? Well, Joe Wilkinson has got us covered.
    • City of stars.With ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ on the horizon, this Broadway-inspired commercial urges us to “do the Odyssey”.
    • Follow The LeaderMars have released a series of short horror films to coincide with the spookiest month of the year.
    • By 'eck, it's Melanie Sykes!Here's a blast from the past. Boddingtons is back on the telly and they've brought Melanie Sykes along en'all.
    • Howlin' for you.Green & Black’s launch their Velvet Editions collection with a Red Riding reboot.
    • The Seeds of ChangeThis atmospheric film for Prudential explores the work of Jadav Payeng - dubbed the 'Forest Man of India'.
    • If Music Be The Food of LoveThis charming ad from IKEA's French arm depicts a budding romance... impeded by awkwardness, loud music, and fluffy socks.
    • Bennett Johnson joins Park Village.Park Village have bolstered their roster with the signing of filmmaker Bennett Johnson.
    • First blood.AMV BBDO have struck another fierce blow against the orthodoxical coyness used to advertise sanitary protection products with a brilliant commercial for Libresse.
    • Gallivanting Grannies McDonald's reckon their chicken tenders are as good as Grandma's... and Grandma's okay with that.

CRAFTWORKS

Wednesday, 11th October.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

The LSE, Sheffield Street, Holborn, London, WC2.

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How we made... BT Sport.

● Ian Derry.

● The Bake-Off Challenge.

● Believe's Michel & Nico.

● The Dambusters Renuion.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


IKEA
"Encounter"
1 min 56s
18 October 2017

This charming ad from IKEA's French arm depicts a budding love story... one slightly impeded by awkwardness, loud music, and fluffy socks. While IKEA ads for the Scandinavian and UK market often depict the grim realities of life - divorce, loss, and parental neglect are all fair game - this is an altogether more lighthearted approach.

A bloke moves into a new flat and soon meets his neighbour... by virtue of her inconsiderately loud dinner party. The comic beats here are well timed, as we feel the guy's increasing resignation that he's destined to make a fool out of himself in front of his crush forever. Lucky for him, she decides to make the first move.

Entertaining work from director James Rouse. Even more so if you imagine a super reading: "and that was the last time anyone heard from him" at the end.

Loading the player ...

Bennett Johnson joins Park Village.

Park Village have bolstered their roster with the signing of filmmaker Bennett Johnson.

The New York-based director comes from a scholarly background. Having previously studied fine art and political science, Johnson brings a considered approach to each project.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Libresse
"#BloodHonest"
2 mins 22s
16 October 2017

AMV BBDO have struck another fierce blow against the orthodoxical coyness used to advertise sanitary protection products with a brilliant commercial for Libresse. Director Daniel Wolfe's film breezily confronts an audience accustomed to the conventional approach in which red is blue, and women are shown conducting themselves as though in denial of the reality of their menstrual cycles.

Existing advertising in this sector has been consistently attacked by female comedians for its condescension and this ought to have prompted a rethink years ago. Our industry has been slow to jettison an outdated approach, and it's hard not to attribute this to male-dominated creative departments.

Having said that, observant readers may notice that the credit list for this film is skewed towards maleness and deduce that it isn't necessary to have a fairer balance behind-the-scenes to achieve a more enlightened approach. But even if this inference is reasonable, it's probably more accurate to say that creative departments are adept at paying attention to the Zeitgeist and that this commercial is the result of reading the writing on the wall.

Similarly, there are those who will question the decision to hand this task to a male director. Not because anyone could have done a better job than Daniel Wolfe but because of the optics. Somesuch's Sally Campbell has already used social media to pre-empt this criticism in characteristically robust fashion but it's valid to ask whether this was a project that should have been handed to a female director. At the very least it would have avoided the criticism that Campbell anticipates. More than that though, it would have handed useful ammunition to those charged with gaining maximum PR for this project.

In an ideal world where equality reigns we might be able to agree with Campbell that it's: "total, old fashioned, backward bullshit" to focus attention on the gender of the director but as the #MeToo phenomenon has made horrendously plain in the last few days, we are a long way from that world.

Loading the player ...

McDonald's
"Woe is Me"
30s
17 October 2017

There's nothing like a home cooked meal... or is there? McDonald's attempt to disprove the old adage in this amusing US ad, featuring a grandma who's not entirely unhappy that her cooking is being usurped...

There's a great central performance here, as the deadpan granny declares she's got better things to do than cook for her rotten family members. Her preferred activities include swiping through Tinder, constructing puzzles of naked guys, and lounging in the pool. Her stand up comedy ("Millennials, am I right?") is a particular delight.

It's an astute twist on the 'just like Grandma used to make' trope common to food ads, with the brand at once assuring quality and poking fun at itself. Entertaining work from Rogue's Brian Billow.

Loading the player ...

Bud Light
"Beach"
30s
17 October 2017

This Bud Light ad must have been fun to write. A knowing spoof of lofty beer commercials, Wieden+Kennedy’s Adam Newby and Will Wells tackle familiar tropes in lyrical, literal fashion.

It’s all here: hipster beards; sunset horse rides; and ‘attractive millennial’ overkill (“even the rabbit’s an eight-out-of-ten”). No beer ad would be complete without an obligatory crash zoom, either.

Sonny London’s Ali Ali delivers a fun treatment. Amidst branded kimonos and lanterns, the lager insist we keep things simple while enjoying a cold one.

Having previously tapped Budweiser’s singing frogs, the 3.5% ABV tipple forge their own identity here. Despite stiff competition from craft beers and UK stalwarts, the US lager make a wry bid for business.

Loading the player ...

QUICK SEARCH

Five Star Work

AMF
"Unicorn"
55s
19 Oct 2017
Swedish insurance providers AMF take a surreal approach in this entertaining ad for their pension plan. Director Tomas Jonsgården mixes the fantastical with the mundane to great effect, as we see a guy's inner monologue come alive. He catches the bus home on a rainy night, feeling sorry for himself... until something unexpected sends him to his happy place.

Now TV
"Walker Survival Guide"
2 mins 30s
19 Oct 2017
It’s a modern conversation staple: “What would you do in a zombie apocalypse”? Well, Joe Wilkinson has got us covered. To promote Now TV’s The Walking Dead collection, the comedian offers some, er, helpful tips to avoid infection. These instructional videos cover everything from morale to bite prevention. Alas, things don’t always go according to plan.

Super Mario Odyssey
"Jump Up, Super Star!"
1 min 40s
19 Oct 2017
Mario has come a long way from his 8-bit origins. Since making the leap into 3D, Nintendo’s mascot has toured the universe and elsewhere. With ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ on the horizon, this Broadway-inspired commercial urges us to “do the Odyssey”. Set in the game’s New Donk City level, Partizan’s Warren Fu blends live-action and CG to jolly effect.

Skittles
"Floor 9.5"
2 mins
13 Oct 2017
Mars have released a series of short horror films to coincide with the spookiest month of the year... and they're bloody good. With minimal product placement and a two minute running time, each 'bite sized' chunk of horror promises to chill audiences to the bone. 'Floor 9.5' - sponsored by Skittles - takes a new approach to the idea of being followed.

Prudential
"The Forest Man of India"
2 mins
18 Oct 2017
This atmospheric film for Prudential explores the work of Jadav Payeng - dubbed the 'Forest Man of India'. After being inspired as a teenager, Payeng has spent the last thirty-eight years planting trees on deserted sandbars near his home - eventually amassing a forest of over fourteen-hundred acres. His unwavering dedication to improving the environment is depicted lovingly here by director Asif Kapadia.

Libresse
"#BloodHonest"
2 mins 22s
16 Oct 2017
AMV BBDO have struck another fierce blow against the orthodoxical coyness used to advertise sanitary protection products with a brilliant commercial for Libresse. Director Daniel Wolfe's film breezily confronts an audience accustomed to the conventional approach in which red is blue, and women are shown conducting themselves as though in denial of the reality of their menstrual cycles.

McDonald's
"Woe is Me"
30s
17 Oct 2017
There's nothing like a home cooked meal... or is there? McDonald's attempt to disprove the old adage in this amusing US ad, featuring a grandma who's not entirely unhappy that her cooking is being usurped. There's a great central performance here, as the deadpan granny declares she's got better things to do than cook for her rotten family members.

Federal Express
"Conspiracy Bookstore"
30s
16 Oct 2017
FedEx's delivery service is so affordable it seems too good to be true... if you're a conspiracy theorist, that is. The real conspiracy in this entertaining ad is how an independent book store is thriving up against the likes of Amazon, but perhaps these customers don't trust big companies with their payment information...

CoppaFeel!
"Touch"
40s
16 Oct 2017
Good Morning Britain viewers are used to peculiar sights... that’s what waking up to Piers Morgan’s face each day will do. However, the regular audience may have been surprised by this excellent film from breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! Tackling taboos before our first slice of toast, the ad features pre-watershed nipples.

CoverGirl
"Made in the Mirror"
1 min 40s
13 Oct 2017
Cosmetics advertising is undergoing something of a, well, makeover. Boots No 7’s recent fencing bout delivered style and substance - now it’s US brand CoverGirl’s turn. This classy ad gathers a strong cast: diverse, dynamic, and in control of their identities. Contrasted with the modish cast and cinematography, the soundtrack provides old-school satisfaction.

Smyths
"Snot"
60s
13 Oct 2017
Smyths' 2017 Christmas campaign has big shoes to fill. Last year's effort - featuring a rewrite of Beyoncé's 'If I Were A Boy' and a whimsical dive into a kid's imagination - went down a storm. It's a tough ask, and this excellent animated ad meets the challenge with relish. A playful voiceover narrates the adventures of Snot, a hapless ball of yuck who's been sent down life's reject chute.

Project Everyone
"Freedom"
2 mins 57s
11 Oct 2017
Project Everyone's 2016 film - an in-your-face piece of work which recreated the energy of the original promo for the Spice Girls' 'Wannabe' with a serious message - showed women and girls around the world having fun while asking to be given the rights they deserve. This year they're no longer asking - they're demanding to be heard.

McDonald's
"Savannah"
40s
9 Oct 2017
Leo Burnett once again demonstrate an uncanny ability to make the most of McDonald's cyclical propositions by injecting a little humour into the script. And by asking Tony Barry to direct, they gain hugely from his innate understanding of how a joke should be weighted.

Fitbit
"Still Got It"
45s
6 Oct 2017
Ian Derry is no stranger to exertion. His profile of ice diver Johanna Nordblad captured the physical and mental rigours of pushing one’s limits; this Fitbit commercial reminds us it’s never too late to challenge ourselves. We see thirty, forty, and fiftysomethings throw themselves into various pursuits: running, swimming, cycling, even lifting ruddy big tires.

Warburtons
"Pride and Breadjudice"
3 mins
4 Oct 2017
Peter Kay stars in this brilliant Jane Austen spoof for Warburtons created by WCRS and directed by Declan Lowney. It's the third outing in a highly ambitious campaign which is rapidly establishing itself as an advertising institution. With previous instalments starring Sylvester Stallone and the Muppets establishing a broad eclecticism, it was very hard to anticipate where Warburtons might go next in their annual bid to create the most noteworthy commercial of the year.

Instrumentarium
"Lesson of Love"
1 min 35s
4 Oct 2017
This curious love story for Instrumentarium sees a young man infatuated with his lecturer. The period piece is beautifully constructed, with spot-on styling and a sepia-tinged grade which screams retro. Why the student decides to make his move via specs remains mysterious, and raises the question of how he found the teacher's prescription. A surreal twist on classic romance tropes from Pete Riski.

Campaign to End Loneliness
"Experiment"
3 mins
26 Sep 2017
This fascinating depiction of an experiment designed to highlight the corrosive power of loneliness pits a young man against himself by placing him in solitary confinement for a week. As prisons go, this one isn't bad. He has a television and he can feed himself but he pretty rapidly comes apart at the seams for want of human interaction.

BMW
"M5"
78s
2 Oct 2017
Independent’s Philippe André hits the desert in this attractive BMW ad which launched their new M5 model by paying tribute to their motorsport heritage. As the saloon reaches top speed, it literally leaves its predecessors in the dust as dIrector André, DP Óttar Guðnason and their crew craft an elegant sandstorm.

Period Equity
"Not A Luxury"
60s
2 Oct 2017
Amber Rose stars in this excellent film for Period Equity - an organisation which lobbies for the removal of a luxury tax on sanitary products in the USA. Director Melanie Bridge helms a spot-on parody of a deluxe ad, diamond sparkle dominating the screen as Rose caresses herself and provides a sultry voiceover narrating just how expensive her jewellery is... and what it conceals.

Bulldog
"Bank Robbery"
60s
1 Oct 2017
Skincare brand Bulldog provided one of Christmas 2016’s surprise ads. Socially-awkward elves exchanging gifts underlined the brand’s appreciation of male hang-ups. This latest outing now brings their eponymous mutt to life - and he aims to turn this would-be bank robber’s life around. Perma-grumpy expression aside, the bulldog provides likeable moral support.

FIFA 18
"El Tornado"
2 mins 07s
29 Sep 2017
Rabonas, Cruyff turns, Marseille Roulettes… now FIFA 18 adds ‘El Tornado’ to football’s bulging trick book. The specially-created manoeuvre encompasses a drag back followed by a swivel and volley. Easy enough for pixelated superstars, but can real-life players replicate it? The results are, well, mixed. Riffing on social media reactions and gameplay sharing, the football sim advocates self-expression.

Elisa
"Miss You"
2 mins 25s
29 Sep 2017
This emotive film for Finnish telecommunications provider Elisa shows the deterioration - and subsequent reconciliation - of a relationship between father and son. Director Pete Riski is a master of creating touching content, and his talents are beautifully exhibited in this poignant film. This is excellent, emotionally honest work which many parents will relate to.

MailChimp
"Brains"
30s
28 Sep 2017
We meet the brains of the operation in this surreal MailChimp commercial. The e-marketers suggest their online tools are like having a second brain - ably demonstrated by their idiosyncratic spokesperson. Arch yet playful, Fliss Russell's other-worldy performance lends e-commerce a light touch.

Audi
"Clowns"
90s
29 Sep 2017
Next time someone is bemoaning the lack of creativity in modern advertising, stick this under their noses. This isn't just a brilliant execution by Ringan Ledwidge, it's a superb idea based on the really excellent insight that it's not our driving that endangers us on the road, it's all the other clowns out there.

YMCA
"Us"
90s
27 Sep 2017
This bold film from the newly branded Y (formerly YMCA) serves as a statement of intent, a promise that the organisation will work to bring communities together during this divided time. Director Malik Vitthal doesn't shy away from the grim realities of life in modern America, as gritty shots address racism, violence, and police brutality with unblinking frankness.

Five Star Work

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.