David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Bill's bargainMother Nature and Bill have come to an arrangement: as long as she keeps the rain coming, Bill will only make pure, organic milk.
    • Leo Vegas hits the jackpotIt turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors... enter the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas.
    • Give the people what they wantThis film sees the tech giant make strong statements about the rigorousness with which their smartphones are now tested.
    • Come fly with meGerman supermarket EDEKA caught the imagination in 2015 with their darkly touching Christmas ad about lonely relatives. Now they’re tackling another, erm, weighty subject: obesity.
    • Nur Casadevall enlists with Colonel Blimp.Colonel Blimp have signed Barcelona-based director and photographer Nur Casadevall for UK representation.
    • Big events to celebrate the IPA's Centenary.The IPA is celebrating its 100th birthday in style with a series of impressive events.
    • Simple does it.This entertaining McDonald’s McCafé ad offers salvation for anyone who’s uttered the phrase: “I just want a coffee”.
    • Henry Mason's Bold new reel.Director Henry Mason is now being represented by BOLD, and that gave us the excuse to catch with him in Australia.
    • The Hangover Part IVThis French BNP Paribas commercial will bring back painful memories for some - or hazy ones, at best.
    • Snack attackA would-be robber comes up against a quick-thinking cashier and a bag of Hula Hoops. Guess who wins?
    • Question your answersThe Atlantic's first brand campaign in a decade sees esteemed actor Michael K. Williams exploring the question of identity.
    • John McAvoy's Tale of RedemptionAt the latest of Just So's screenings exploring the realm of influence the audience was captivated by John McAvoy's extraordinary story of redemption.
    • Changing lines.Having recently scooped a Grammy for Beyoncé’s politically-charged ‘Formation’ promo, director Melina Matsoukas tackles equality in this stirring Nike film.
    • Passion playDirector Dave Tynan says he was "blown away" when he saw actor Emmet Kirwan perform 'Heartbreak' at the Fringe Festival and knew immediately he wanted to capture it on film.

CRAFTWORKS

Monday, 27th February.
Betwen 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20 plus VAT.

● How We Made... BUPA.

● Dan Gordon on Hillsborough.

● BAFTA-winning 'Home'.

● An amazing VR project.

● The Radio 1 ad that never was.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.

Brought to you by DAVID REVIEWS and the APA.


Arla
"The Deal"
40s
21 February 2017

Anyone who’s tried to organise a summer barbecue will know you can’t reason with Mother Nature. Dairy farmer Bill, on the other hand, has come to an arrangement with the big boss: as long as Mother Nature keeps the rain coming, Bill will only make pure, organic milk. We’d love to see the minutes from that meeting.

PrettyBird’s Jodeb a.k.a Jonathan Desbiens marks his UK commercial debut with an eye-catching effort. Shots of nature in full flow combine well with Bill’s solid graft, whatever the conditions. Soon there’s enough green stuff to make the white stuff.

It reminds us that organic farming isn’t as cuddly as you might think. It still requires hard work and patience, and the brand wants us to know it respects such values. A milk commercial with backbone.

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Leo Vegas
"Double Vegas"
90s
21 February 2017

It turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors. We're already familiar with the suave yet faintly menacing lion... and now another familiar visage joins him. It's the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas - and boy, what a bonus he proves to be. Having "bigged it up" in the audition, he finds himself slightly out of his depth - and we can't look away.

The 90-second ad uses a variety of behind-the-scenes tropes to convey the comic's anxiety about the things he's expected to do. We see him roar feebly in the recording booth, protest at featuring in a Japanese ad, and jump out of a plane... onto a greenscreen mat.

His timing and physicality are superb, and what's so clever about bringing him on board is the extra dimension he introduces.

While the besuited big cat suggests the brand has a sophisticated player demographic, Jonny opens things up and invites a broader audience.

The hapless manner in which he bumbles through renders the idea of gambling harmless - it's just a bit of a laugh. Existing customers can align themselves with the superiority of Leo the lion; new ones will associate the brand with fun and frippery.

But to say his clout stops there would be wrong. Johnny Vegas is also known for being controversial and anarchic; his size and his ability to look and sound dim-witted belying a sharp intelligence. So both target audiences will appreciate his presence and take what they choose from it.

Whatever we feel about the ubiquity of online gambling and the barrage of ads promoting it, we have to judge each campaign by the quality of its ideas, execution, and presumed effectiveness. This particular ad hits the jackpot on all three counts and we look forward to seeing what's next for the newly-formed double act.

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Samsung
"Quality Assurance"
60s
19 February 2017

Following the, uh, toasty experience of many at the hands of the Galaxy Note 7 last year, the results for 'Samsung quality control' on any given search engine are unsurprisingly bleak.

This film sees the tech giant go on both the offensive and defensive simultaneously - making strong statements about the rigorousness with which their smartphones are now tested. This includes them being bent, frozen, and - in a nice moment of self-awareness - baked. All to a prescient soundtrack of The O'Jay's 'Give the People What They Want'.

The claims are bold ('innovation is our legacy', 'quality is our priority') and consumers may be hesitant to believe them, but it's make or break time for the brand's smartphone future and a little hyperbole seems necessary. Whether Samsung's new gen can go up against the iPhone remains to be seen, but they're certainly giving it all they've got.

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EDEKA
"EATKARU / Icarus"
2 mins 35s
17 February 2017

German supermarket EDEKA caught the imagination in 2015 with their darkly touching Christmas ad about lonely relatives. Now they’re tackling another, erm, weighty subject: obesity.

A boy despairs as his family gorges on an unidentified substance that makes gruel look appetising. The grey gloop seems to be the town’s only source of sustenance - though the youngster wants to expand his palate.

When he spots a bird flying away, the lad dreams of becoming airborne. Alas, balloons, kites, and a homemade glider can’t help. Finally, he learns the blackbird’s secret. No need for a degree in aerodynamics - some berries will do the trick (though we don’t recommend running into the woods and shoving any old fruiting body in your mouth).

Unsurprisingly, the ad has already divided opinion on the ol’ interweb. The supermarket has even released a statement concerning accusations of fat shaming. Yet it's not as grotesque as it could have been - instead, the characters are cartoonish; their Violet Beauregarde-style physiques designed to represent a heedless, herd mentality rather than pure greed.

As the newly slimline hero enjoys his fruit, the final line reads, “Eat like the one you want to be.” In German, this reads as 'Eatkarus'... a clever play on 'Icarus'. It encourages everyone to question their diets and whether some subtle tweaks can achieve big changes; and after the January glut of diet ads this peculiar spin on Greek mythology is a worthy flight of fancy. Although let's hope the lad doesn't want to soar too high.

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Nur Casadevall enlists with Colonel Blimp.

Colonel Blimp have signed Barcelona-based director and photographer Nur Casadevall for UK representation. Casadevall studied at ESCAC (the Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya), and her training’s paid off as Colonel Blimp bring her sophisticated and thoughtful approach to the UK.


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