David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Water World.Water Aid reminds viewers of the origin of rainbows - and the importance of ensuring everyone can have them.
    • Boxed In... with Paul Burke and Sue HiggsIn the first of a new series of podcasts that will soon have its own home outside of DAVID, Paul Burke and Sue Higgs share their top TV boxset tips with Jason Stone.
    • What The What?This slick communication suggests style and substance can, on occasion, coexist quite comfortably
    • Cheque it out.As Covid-19 continues to disrupt the financial sector, TD Bank urge customers to party like it’s 1992… and not for the first time, so to speak.
    • Protect our protectors.This extraordinarily impactful film supports frontline healthcare workers in their bid to force the government into providing badly needed PPE to help protect them against Covid-19.
    • All clapped out.Clapping for the NHS aside... let's look at how we respond to Covid calls to arms.
    • Comfort eating.This eloquent short film by director Libby Burke Wilde sheds light on Blackpool’s Syrian community, and the importance of food to those forced to leave their homeland.
    • A cycle for life.Joe Ogunmokun - a producer at Havas - is using his furlough to 'cycle to France' in his living room to raise money for his friend Ben Chatfield's fight against cancer.
    • When the stars align.ITV’s big guns are on the case to mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.
    • Front Line FacesThere's a second epidemic brewing amidst the chaos of Covid-19: a looming avalanche of mental health problems.
    • Life: InsideThe barbarity of the American prison system is widely documented, but Covid-19 has thrown its issues into stark relief.
    • Fear of the UnknownThe prospect of contracting Covid-19 is scary for everyone, but those with pre-existing conditions have an extra layer of worry.

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A cycle for life.

Joe Ogunmokun - a producer at Havas - is using his furlough to 'cycle to France' in his living room to raise money for his friend Ben Chatfield's fight against cancer.

Ogunmokun's original plan was to cycle to France for real but Covid-19 happened and that forced him to adapt his fundraising plans and, instead of enjoying the French countryside as he raised money to extend his friend's life, he's enjoying the slightly more prosaic charms of his Wimbledon home.


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ITV
"The Call"
90s
18 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 arrives slap bang in the middle of a nationwide lockdown, in case you haven’t noticed, and some viewers are now at breaking point. Thank goodness ITV’s big guns are on the case then.

Thanks to the power of video conferencing (and some post-production jiggery pokery), stars including Ant & Dec, Lorraine Kelly, Tinie Tempah, and Holly Willoughby urge viewers to reach out to one another sooner rather than later. After all, some lives may depend on it.

The stakes have gotten significantly higher since the channel’s first ‘Britain Get Talking’ ad in 2019, and this feels like a worthy response to the crisis. The novelty of celeb-heavy Zoom calls may be wearing thin, but it’s a call worth making given the circumstances.


Laura Hyde Foundation
"No Mask for Mental Health"
66s
18 May 2020

There's a second epidemic brewing amidst the chaos of Covid-19: a looming avalanche of mental health problems. While all of us have dealt with heightened anxiety over the past few months, front line workers have had far more intense crises to handle.

The persistent use of military terminology surrounding disease doesn't help. Patients 'battle' the virus and nurses 'wage war' despite a desperately underfunded health service, implying that those who die, somehow, just didn't fight hard enough. This makes it extra difficult for medical personnel to seek help for mental distress - if they step away from the battle, are they a coward?

This dilemma is neatly illustrated in this affecting film, which sees nurses wearing face masks explain a little of what they've been going through. The depersonalising effect of the mask is especially poignant, as their pain stays hidden behind both a physical and mental barrier. Those chiding teachers about being 'too cowardly' to prematurely open schools, take note.


Short Films
"We Matter Too"
2 mins
18 May 2020

The barbarity of the American prison system is widely documented, but Covid-19 has thrown its issues into stark relief. From a lack of hygiene supplies to being refused basic medical care, this affecting film outlines the system's problems in the words of inmates themselves.

The crux of director Savanah Leaf’s film is that inmates are seen as problems, not people. Social distancing is impossible in overcrowded institutions, and it's hard to fault inmates for wondering if they would simply be left to die upon becoming infected.

The intense black-and-white aesthetic and sketchy imagery used to accompany their words is deeply evocative, highlighting the real-life horror film these people are living through. This is a much-needed reminder that those at the mercy of an unjust system still matter, and deserve protection just as much as those on the outside.


British Heart Foundation
"Questions"
30s
18 May 2020

The prospect of contracting Covid-19 is scary for everyone, but those with pre-existing conditions have an extra layer of worry to deal with. The omnipresent nature of that concern is skilfully portrayed in this ad for the British Heart Foundation, which addresses the uncertainty and anxiety those with heart conditions are currently living with.

Various methods of escapism are tainted by unanswerable questions - from crosswords filled with fear to video games flashing up worries instead of loading screens. It's a relatable look at how such anxieties can creep into every facet of daily life, and why the advertised charity's helpline is such a vital resource.


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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

PPE for Healthcare Workers
"Letter To My Unborn Child"
90s
21 May 2020
This extraordinarily impactful film supports frontline healthcare workers in their bid to force the government into providing badly needed PPE to help protect them against Covid-19. Dr Meenal Viz and Dr Nishant Joshi are launching a legal challenge to the government's guidance because, contrary to the claims of Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, the UK government has gone against World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance and failed to provide adequate PPE for the 'heroes' they applaud every Thursday evening.

ITV
"The Call"
90s
18 May 2020
Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 arrives slap bang in the middle of a nationwide lockdown, in case you haven’t noticed, and some viewers are now at breaking point. Thank goodness ITV’s big guns are on the case then. Thanks to the power of video conferencing (and some post-production jiggery pokery), stars including Ant & Dec, Lorraine Kelly, Tinie Tempah, and Holly Willoughby urge viewers to reach out to one another sooner rather than later.

British Heart Foundation
"Questions"
30s
18 May 2020
The prospect of contracting Covid-19 is scary for everyone, but those with pre-existing conditions have an extra layer of worry to deal with. The omnipresent nature of that concern is skilfully portrayed in this ad for the British Heart Foundation, which addresses the uncertainty and anxiety those with heart conditions are currently living with.

Adobe
"In The Time It Takes To Get There"
11 mins 28s
11 May 2020
This entertaining short film began life as a movie poster created in Adobe Photoshop by graphic design student Sam West. In the hands of director Zach Braff, it’s become an eighteenth-century spin on social media influencers. Naturally. The result is a sumptuous two-hander that sees Florence Pugh’s weary influencer question her choices in life.

Just-Eat
"Snoop"
60s
11 May 2020
Snoop Dogg occupies a unique position in pop culture, simultaneously taken seriously as one of the founders of modern rap music and never taking himself too seriously. So, while other celebrity-fronted commercial songs may come across inevitably as cringey and try-hard, there's nothing to hate about Snoop rapping laconically about pizza.

Lynx Africa
"Hot Since '95"
60s
10 May 2020
There’s more than a whiff of nostalgia to this Lynx commercial, which celebrates twenty-five years of the brand’s Africa body spray. Scored by Apache Indian’s ‘Boom Shack-A-Lak’, the ad brims with hormones and Nineties iconography as the curtain-haired protagonist travels from 1995 to the present day. The lengths teens will go to for a shag, eh?

Cadbury
"This Doesn't Need to End"
90s
4 May 2020
Every cloud has a silver lining, as the old adage goes. Or, if you want a more contemporary spin, every outbreak of Covid-19 has a silver lining… at least according to eternal optimists Cadbury. This sweet commercial celebrates those who’ve taken the ‘spread kindness, not germs’ mantra to heart, whether it’s by ringing a loved one, helping the neighbours, or practising self-care.

Heineken
"Don't You Forget About Me"
60s
26 Apr 2020
Heineken take a leaf out of the Argos catalogue, so to speak, with this well-put together ad featuring the dulcet tones of Simple Minds. Unlike the retailer’s joyful Christmas film, ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ is used in a more, ahem, sober context here. As pubs, bars, and watering holes lie empty around the world, the brand urge Brazilian drinkers in particular not to lose hope.

COVID-19 Urgent Appeal
"Together Cup"
60s
23 Apr 2020
This film is, by far, the most accomplished we've seen made under lockdown conditions. Drawing attention to a fundraising effort which involves sporting stars such as cricketer Ben Stokes and racing driver Lando Norris playing video game FIFA 20, it has a family readying itself for the coming spectacle.

Progressive
"Group Outing"
30s
22 Apr 2020
American insurance outfit Progressive provide an unusual service in their latest ad: training homeowners in the delicate art of not turning into their parents. From using speakerphone in public to offering unsolicited advice in the DIY aisle, it's an amusing look at the ways we find ourselves succumbing to the inevitable.

KLP
"Stories"
60s
20 Apr 2020
This sombre outing from Norwegian pension fund KLP draws attention to the plight of public sector workers during lockdown. As “smouldering uncertainty” grips the capital, nurse Line Fleischer, doctor Lene Finnestad, and kindergarten manager Frode Thorjussen share their thoughts on an increasingly unrecognisable world.

Short Films
"Ever Upward"
2 mins 57s
19 Apr 2020
This affecting film explores how New Yorkers are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike many films from this side of the pond which have focused on remaining upbeat and staying positive in quarantine, there's no attempt to shy away from how the current situation is impacting people emotionally.

ITV
"Clap From Our Carers"
2 mins
16 Apr 2020
While there has likely never been more day-to-day discussion about the NHS, it's rare to hear from the workers themselves. ITV change that with this two-minute outing which turns the 'clap for our carers' phenomenon on its head, as medical staff applaud the public for staying at home and allowing them to go about the business of saving lives as effectively as possible.

Uber
"Thank You for Not Riding"
75s
13 Apr 2020
It must be a strange time to be Uber - a business which relies on people going from place to place in a world suddenly thrown into lockdown. However, the company take a responsible position in the current circumstances, thanking users for not riding with them with this touching ad. It's a brave new world, but we are, indeed, still living in it.

Argos
"Spring 2020"
30s
1 Apr 2020
Argos mine yet more laughs from the world of high fashion with this 30” ad starring actress and model Suki Waterhouse. As with previous instalments, however, the real stars are the ‘clothes’. Like a woman pushed over the edge by self-isolation, Waterhouse dons catalogue staples like rugs, lampshades, and even a bedside table as if they were Coco Chanel originals.

Homebase
"Gary the Tortoise"
40s
30 Mar 2020
Homebase’s eerily topical ‘Feels Good to be Home’ campaign returns with this 40” creature feature starring Gary - a CG-enhanced pet tortoise capable of giving any hare a run for its money. Accompanied by the theme to The Adventures of Black Beauty, Gary makes a beeline for his family’s rejuvenated back garden.

Honda
"Power On"
60s
24 Mar 2020
Gardening gets the action movie treatment in this enticing outing for Honda. The brand focus on their range of mowers and other plant-pruning apparatus, as they encourage gardeners with stamina to get stuck in. Given the current circumstances, there may be a lot of passionate new plant-tacklers joining the fray.

Very
"Princess Party (Director's Cut)"
50s
16 Mar 2020
Dragons typically get a bad rap when princesses are involved. Not so in this charming Very.co.uk ad, which handily reinforces the retailer’s progressive approach to playtime. A girl is crestfallen when she’s invited to a ‘princess party’, as she prefers the scaly, fire-breathing type. Luckily, her dad is a supportive bloke… and a demon with a sewing machine.

Ovo
"War on Carbon"
60s
16 Mar 2020
While the threat of climate change may feel like an insurmountable burden when faced with the cold hard facts, there is hope to be had. Ovo focus on that proactive attitude in their latest ad, which addresses the ongoing and essential 'war on carbon'. The film focuses on togetherness and the collective power of humans to enact meaningful change,

Apple AirPods
"Snap"
1 min 57s
13 Mar 2020
This transformative commercial for Apple sees a woman's hectic walk through the city changed into something far more fantastical. Director Kim Gehrig plays with colour to great effect here, switching between neon and day-glo sequences of escapism and muted excursions into the everyday world when reality intrudes.

Nike
"Getting to the Start Line"
60s
13 Mar 2020
A typically motivational outing for Nike focuses on world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith. The track star discusses her physical and mental preparations for Tokyo 2020, along with the impact training at her familiar home ground has on both her mental and emotional state. This is a lovely insight into the high-performance mindset - regardless of whether the coming Olympics happen on time or not.

Club de Creativos
"Couples"
1 min 46s
12 Mar 2020
Husbands, wives, and significant others bemoan their partners’ choice of career in this droll ad for Spanish advertising union Club de Creativos. Having been left in the lurch once too often, the cast leap at the chance to savage radio silence, talking shop, and umpteen late nights. Naturally, it’s the off-screen lot who earn the organisation’s sympathy.

Gumtree
"A Car Right Up Your Street"
30s
12 Mar 2020
This restrained outing from Gumtree encourages car buyers to look local first. Director Charlotte Regan goes for a light touch here, as a young boy delivers a rhyming script which outlines the brand's unique proposition: vehicles nearby, already tested on local streets, easily accessible for the consumer when time is at a premium.

Direct Line
"Bumblebee"
60s
6 Mar 2020
Direct Line round off their cinematic trilogy with this CG-heavy slice of action starring ‘Transformers’ staple Bumblebee - the world’s most kitted-out Volkswagen Beetle. This time, however, Decepticons are the least of his worries. Like RoboCop and Donatello before him, Bumblebee is compelled to help a policyholder in need.

Fanta
"Idiots Are Amazing"
90s
11 Mar 2020
Since we're living in an unprecedented age of idiots, it seems only right that Fanta pay such everyday daredevils the proper respect. A little stupidity can go a long way, say the brand, as we see a trio of entrepreneurial eejits preparing to risk life and limb for the sake of a laugh. Cue a guy in a giraffe suit, a waterless diver, and a wheelbarrow pilot.

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