David Reviews

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

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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

"Nicholas the Sweep"
2 mins 30s
12 Nov 2019
One can hardly move for origin stories these days. From Han Solo to the Joker (and, erm, Alfred Pennyworth), seemingly any character is fair game. Even a certain Father Christmas. That's the premise of this rollicking two-and-a-half minute ad from Sainsbury's, which draws inspiration from the likes of Charles Dickens, Monty Python, and any superhero coming-of-age story you'd care to mention.

11 Nov 2019
This German McDonald's ad suggests the notorious velociraptor has a bad rap, so to speak, and that a boy's real best friend is a bipedal carnivore with razor-sharp teeth. Oh, and a secret love of seesaws. Like a U-rated version of ‘Jurassic Park', director Sune Sørensen's charming film trades gore for larks as a child explores the woods with his scaly new friend.

"Gifting is Hard"
11 Nov 2019
It's that time of year again - time to try and work out what to give friends, family, and what feels like everyone else under the sun for Christmas. Does your nephew still like videogames? Does your vegan co-worker make exceptions for chocolate? Does your mum really need yet another scarf? These questions, and more, are addressed in this amusing commercial for Boots, who acknowledge the gifting minefield of the season.

Renault Clio
"The French Exchange"
2 mins 10s
9 Nov 2019
Renault chart the evolution of a relationship through the years in this touching commercial for their Clio model. A reluctant exchange student finds herself increasingly taken with the child of her home-stay family - a friendship which evolves into more as the pair stay in touch and grow up together. It's enough to stir what romance is left in DAVID's jaded soul, no less.

"Silence the Critics"
8 Nov 2019
House-shaming takes a curious new form in this entertaining outing for IKEA. When a woman hesitates on inviting friends over due to the state of her abode, knickknacks around the room take up a call for the family to get the place spruced up sharpish. Figurines rapping criticism over a Grime-inspired beat is sure to cut through the Christmas chatter, particularly for viewers getting twitchy about hosting holiday gatherings for judgemental relatives.

Leroy Merlin
"A Life to Build"
1 min 42s
7 Nov 2019
This CG-heavy epic from home improvement retailer Leroy Merlin suggests life in a post-apocalyptic world is nowhere near as bad as books, films, and video games make out. In fact, it's the ultimate blank canvas. This is illustrated by a family who use a ramshackle house in the middle of nowhere for shelter.

"Leafy Blinders"
7 Nov 2019
Kevin the Carrot makes his triumphant return in Aldi's 70" Christmas film, and the brand have sneaked in two pop culture references for the price of one. Perhaps astutely realising that a outright Peaky Blinders parody might be a little dark for the season, things launch into full 'The Greatest Showman' territory once Kevin escapes the flat cap-wearing sprouts' clutches.

Dogs Trust
7 Nov 2019
A dog made of champagne corks may sound like Dom Pérignon's dream pet, but it's actually the star of the Dogs Trust's splendid Christmas ad. The aptly-named Corky is an understated feat of animation, as well as a hit at the Christmas table - alas, only a fleeting one. As the charity have been at pains to show over the years, many dogs like Corky have their day in the worst sense possible.

"Granny Goes Out Out"
1 min 33s
6 Nov 2019
Family values are the order of the day in this touching, light-footed commercial for online clothing retailer Zalando. A considerate young man takes his grandmother out to an old-fashioned knees-up, complete with dancing, pinball, and a jukebox soundtrack - streaming be damned. It's a marked shift in tone from many previous Christmas ads to have featured the elderly.

"The World Got Game"
6 Nov 2019
This colour-saturated promo for sports streaming service DAZN draws attention to their coverage of the 2019 Basketball World Cup… and shows how Google Earth might function on psychotropic drugs. The aforementioned software is a key player in RUFFMERCY and Raphaël Levy's commercial, as the camera dives into cities across the globe and delivers a hyper-stylised look at the sport.

Amazon Prime
"Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"
5 Nov 2019
Amazon's bid for festive domination sees their iconic cardboard boxes once again burst into song. To the tune of Solomon Burke's 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love', a bunch of friends, families, and lovers are brought together by exchanging gifts for the holidays. Tying everything together is a cheery delivery driver, who takes joy in handing over orders on time.

5 Nov 2019
This intriguing ad for Bosch from director Matthew Swanson shows that terror can strike at any time. A bloke finds himself stalked by a threatening llama, constantly looking over his shoulder only to be greeted with a cold stare and a targeted wad of spit. Swanson and DP Bobby Shore nail the horror vibe, creating a sense of increasing dread while sprinkling moments of levity throughout to ease the tension.

Toyota Rav4
"Push The Limit"
4 Nov 2019
Kinetic visuals and crunchy sound design propel this impressive Toyota RAV4 commercial from director Nigel Simpkiss. Featuring a cast of mountain-slash-dirt bikers and wakeboarders, the ad intends to show the marque enjoy a bit of rough and tumble... and does so with aplomb. Unlike some of Toyota's recent outings, this 60" film grips from the start.

"Northern Lights"
2 mins
4 Nov 2019
Christmas kicks off with a bang at Asda, with a two-minute film which does its best to hit every emotional soft spot possible. Sibling dynamics, holiday spirit, dead grandparents - there's nothing Green Supermarket haven't added into the mix to attempt to aggressively tug audience heartstrings. Director Tom Green balances wintry wonder with moments of levity throughout, as a brother and sister capture the magic of the Northern Lights.

"The Book of Dreams"
2 mins 46s
1 Nov 2019
The Argos catalogue used to be a staple feature of Christmas throughout a British childhood - studying, circling, conspicuously leaving open at a particular page for parents to see. While the brand have moved mainly online and their catalogues are generally nothing more than glossy doorstops these days, they revive some of the magic with this sweet commercial.

"The Big Set"
1 Nov 2019
Director Martin Werner has navigated a tricky situation here: after dedicating a campaign to trashing Netflix, Canal+ signed a deal with them at the last minute. Thus, this latest instalment of their streaming platform launch has to tread the precarious line of announcing the new partnership without rendering the previous ads redundant... and manages beautifully.

The Joy of Plants
"Thanks, Plants"
1 min 35s
31 Oct 2019
Plant lovers rejoice: you now have a short film with which to communicate the sheer joy your green friends bring you. 'Thanks, Plants' combines hipster musical stylings with chic production design, creating an eye-catching tribute to the indoor and outdoor greenery of the world. The attractive film is bound to entice more people to see if they can keep a plant or two alive. Or perhaps start with a cactus, at least.

International Fund for Agricultural Development
"Still I Rise"
2 mins
31 Oct 2019
There is a visual freshness to director Camille Summers–Valli's piece for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) that is complemented by some old-school poetic flair. The latter is provided by Maya Angelou's 'Still I Rise', which remains a vital and melodious statement of defiance over forty years after publication.

Ovarian Cancer Action
"I Will Survive"
30 Oct 2019
Ovarian Cancer Action are the latest brand to enlist Gloria Gaynor's services as the charity bid to safeguard the next generation - represented here by a young cast performing a spoken-word version of ‘I Will Survive'. Some of the children sound more confident than others - one girl never rises above a whisper - but this only adds to the film's careful mix of vulnerability and strength.

29 Oct 2019
Another elegant commercial for Squarespace by director Patrick Daughters shows how a would-be restaurant owner like Claire Williams can make their dream a reality. Step one? Sit alone in a dusty room with only your laptop for company. As with previous instalments in this campaign, however, it's step two where things get interesting.

Domino's Pizza
30 Oct 2019
Introverts rejoice: the fear of missing out is officially cancelled. At least, according to this entertaining ad for Domino's Pizza, who encourage people to have a little self-indulgent anti-social time and take part in JOMO - the joy of missing out. Silent discos are sweaty, karaoke is awkward, and other people are, generally, awful - much better to order in and avoid human contact for as long as possible, really.

TransPennine Express
"Get Together"
29 Oct 2019
A train journey becomes a puppetry wonderland in this quirkily charming commercial for TransPennine Express. With The Chordettes' classic 'Mr Sandman' offering a bubbly soundtrack, the laid back action follows a sentient bucket heading home to see his other half. The character design is spot on here, with various surreal train occupants - a family of socks, a record player, a helpful teaspoon, et cetera - given tangible heft and personality.

"The Shoot"
28 Oct 2019
As the streaming wars truly begin, Canal+ get in on the action with their own unique, er, content platform. Which, you must understand, absolutely cannot be compared to N*tflix. This entertaining ad takes the prospect of libel and turns it into a smart comedic concept, as a director attempts to explain to the star of the 'real ad' what it is they're advertising.

Miller Beer
25 Oct 2019
Social media takes on a life of its own in this artistic commercial for Miller Beer. The film opens in black and white, as a guy hesitates on leaving his apartment due to the shambling horde waiting outside. But this isn't The Walking Dead, oh no... this is Instagram come to life. Director Ringan Ledwidge balances the action nicely here, as looming terror meets slapstick humour.

AT & T
"The Codes We Live By"
25 Oct 2019
One typically associates AT&T with hard-hitting road safety films or movie parodies, but this 30" tie-in with the National Basketball Association suggests the brand have game, too. Brash and in-your-face, director Sara Dunlop's film turns telephone area codes including New York's 212 and Los Angeles County's 310 into badges of honour.

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.