David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Stock response.There must have been a certain nervousness at MullenLowe when they were charged with spreading the word about an initiative that has Knorr supporting homeless shelters.
    • Thinking outside the blocks.Danny Capozzi's satire on client fickleness prompted a lot of laughter when we screened it at our March 2017 CraftWorks event and the director proved as engaging as his film in the Q&A which followed.
    • Calm before the storm.Park Village's Thibaut Grevet taps into the racing mindset with this arresting Renault film.
    • Pet peeves.Australian energy firm Jemena remind us why natural gas trumps a pet dragon when it comes to reliable heating.
    • The Morning After... March's CraftWorksListen to Kate Dale, Jane Bolton and Will Cohen waxing lyrically about last week's CraftWorks.
    • Julia Knight gets to Work.Cultured editor Julia Knight has become the latest addition to Work's roster.
    • National pride.John Cooper Clarke and The Maccabees's 'Pelican' combine to give this ITV Racing promo terrific energy.
    • Family misfortunesTesco Mobile follow last year's entertaining montage of holiday foibles with these minor domestic calamities.
    • When life's going swimmingly.A heart-warming tale of parental devotion is used to illustrate the support offered by HSBC when you need a mortgage in a hurry.
    • Sibling rivalry.B & Q's spin-the-bottle approach to appointing advertising agencies has made Leo Burnett the latest custodian.
    • Motherin' succotash!Th latest instalment in VCCP's campaign for Nationwide featuring young poets is a really moving piece of work.
    • Milton Keynes Syndrome.There's a very strong idea behind this irreverent commercial for car rental company Sixt and it grabs your attention with both hands before nutting you in the face with it.


Wednesday, 26th April.
Betwen 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20 plus VAT.

● McDonald's McCafe.

● Crossover Club: Peter Souter.

● Nationwide's Mothering Sunday.

● plus much more.


Short Films
"Visualise This"
2 mins 25s
27 March 2017

Danny Capozzi's satire on client fickleness prompted a lot of laughter when we screened it at our March 2017 CraftWorks event and the director proved as engaging as his film in the Q&A which followed.

While you wouldn't guess it from his understated demeanour, Capozzi is clearly something of a show-off. Why else would he use this film to demonstrate his masterful versatility in executing such a broad range of different animation techniques? In fairness to him, 'Visualise This' is the perfect vehicle for this exercise because the switches in style brilliantly bring the client's indecision to life.

This isn't just entertaining, it's practical. Next time some awkward mofo is giving you the run-around, send him a link to this clip and ask: "you don't want to be *that* guy, do you?"

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"Enter the Zone"
1 min 37s
28 March 2017

Park Village's Thibaut Grevet taps into the racing mindset with this arresting Renault film. We've rarely seen the marque's high-performance division advertised, but this brings us up to speed.

Anticipation builds through rhythmic humming and close-ups of the driver and his crew. These quiet moments make the eventual explosion all the more effective. Brief glimpses of snarling dogs and colliding helmets only enhance the physicality.

The tone evokes Grevet's short film charting the Coste motocross family. While Renault's consumer-focused advertising is hit-or-miss, the brand's sporting wing comes across as a formidable proposition. A potent look at life in top gear.

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Jemena Gas
"Instantly Better"
28 March 2017

It's been a good year for dragons in advertising so far. First Dorito's unleashed their animatronic beast; now Australian energy firm Jemena present their own tame-ish firebreather. Alas, there's a reason why household dragons haven't caught on.

This couple describes some of the fiery mishaps sparked by their scaly pet: incinerated dinners; scorched coffee tables; and ruined bathtimes. Something tells us this isn't the first scorched duck dad's had to replace.

Fortunately, the brand's natural gas solutions offer a more manageable alternative. The deadpan performances offset the CGI carnage well, while Aussie consumers are reminded that reliable gas needn't be a fantasy.

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The Morning After... March's CraftWorks

It is now an established tradition that the morning after our monthly CraftWorks show, we gather a small group of people to talk about it.

This month's volunteers were Sport England's Kate Dale - who took part in our opening session on 'This Girl Can'; String & Tins' Will Cohen - who took part in The Reunion session on The Guardian's 'Three Little Pigs'; and Fat Lemon's Jane Bolton who was soaking it all up in the audience.


Julia Knight gets to Work.

Cultured editor Julia Knight has become the latest addition to Work's roster.

Likening the art of editing to "chiselling a block of marble", Knight brings an aesthetic spark to her work. Having honed her craft at some of the industry's top editing houses, she's ready to forge ahead at Work.



On This Day

"Go Wild"
29 Mar 2006
Real animal magic here in the follow-up to last year's marvellous stunt city has football fans transmogrifying into animals as they get ready to watch a big match. Most of the beasts were generated by CGI but they are so successfully integrated you'll never see the joins.

Close Up (Argentina)
29 Mar 2007
An absolutely charming commercial shows what can happen if we can get past our head down habit of getting through life and start living instead. A man who is so devoted to his hand-held gadget that he appears to put it down for a moment has his humanity restored by a beautiful smile.

"Bad Boy"
2 mins
29 Mar 2007
Spectacular commercial for HSBC directed by Joe Carnahan has a young Oriental boy jumping into a car and mirroring the video game being played by his father to illustrate differing World attitudes to electronic gaming.

Cadbury Dairy Milk
29 Mar 2008
Here it is then... Juan Cabral's follow up to last year's Gorilla film for Cadbury has a collection of airport vehicles having a race on the runway. As with the previous commercial, there is no connect with the product. Inevitably, perhaps, this is not as startling as its predecessor but it's still likely to garner much attention.

29 Mar 2010
There's a certain style of advertising that the Americans do very well which is seldom tried over here. This excellent commercial for Magners Cider matches the best examples of the dry comedy typically found in the best US ads.

"Sh*t Kids Say"
29 Mar 2012
This affecting piece for the NSPCC starts as a celebration of the charmingly daft things that children say before sliding into darker territory by depicting the kinds of things children say when all is not well in their lives. An outstanding reminder that we all have a responsibility to act if we suspect something is amiss.

Marks & Spencer
"Summer Fashion"
29 Mar 2015
This vibrant ad for M&S really, er, rings our bell. Agency RKCR/Y&R received plaudits from DAVID for their enchanting Christmas work and this new spot promoting the retailer's summer range maintains that form. Channeling some of the visual magic of The Grand Budapest Hotel, a humble bell boy is rushed off his feet by the stylish clientele.

29 Mar 2016
If Batman duking it out with Superman has left you with a splitting headache, then Finish have a more playful skirmish in store for you in this new addition to their excellent campaign. The fight against ageing is an advertising staple, and the dishwasher detergent pedlars claim to have the ideal antidote - the Powerball.

MS Society
29 Mar 2006
A clever stunt organised by Saatchis reminded a cinema audience how unsettling it can be when things break down. The agency organised for a cinema curtain to apparently break down just as the ads are about to be shown. The parallel with the unpredictability of MS was well made.

29 Mar 2007
Charming commercial for a new TV channel which enables users to interactive with TV and Internet content has a demonstration from an elderly man who uses brightly lit (animated) bits and bobs to represent all the fun stuff that's available. It's simple yet clever and it works.

29 Mar 2009
A crew of people put a garden together on a traffic roundabout in the latest ad by the DIY specialists. Watch out for the small print though... apparently, Homebase don't sell trees as mature as those depicted in the ad

Stella 4%
3 mins 50s
29 Mar 2009
The latest viral for the Belgian beer is a short film set in a 1960s jazz club and revolves around a taunting competition between two young men. Once again, the emphasis is on authenticity and it's a clever parody but it's not the kind of thing that excites the Internet.

"Twinkle Twinkle"
29 Mar 2010
Two young children show off their singing skills to their grandmother. She's grinning and bearing it with womanly fortitude but can't hide her surprise when she discovers the duo have rudely adapted the last line. Utterly charming performances well caught.

Burger King
"Cheat On Beef"
29 Mar 2010
This amusing ad for the fast food chain has a man sitting in a cheap hotel room enjoying a chicken burger. But his secret is uncovered when a cow bursts through the door and he desperately tries to explain himself.

"Other Halves"
29 Mar 2012
Another helping of domestic bliss in many different forms. Like the recent B & Q ad, this commercial manages to capture the essence of the enduring love enjoyed by the best among us. In this execution, this is depicted through the tolerance of the little foibles that can destabilise relationships founded on something other than love.

Foot Locker
"Make Your Own Moves"
29 Mar 2012
There are so many different places to find advertising these days that it would be easy to overlook some really good work. This engaging piece, for example, was commissioned by Foot Locker to run on the screen in their shops to catch punters' attention and assure them that they're in the right place.

"Barry the Biscuit Boy"
29 Mar 2014
This animated film has young Barry the Biscuit swimming in a river of Cravendale and very nearly coming undone. Luckily for him, biscuit-based lifeforms can cope with the loss of their heads with remarkable alacrity and his parents are able to merely replace the part of him that dissolved into the milky stream so that before long he's ready to fight another day.

Robinsons Squash'd
"Set Free"
29 Mar 2014
Appropriately enough, a lot is squeezed into thirty seconds in this commercial for a new product from Robinsons that appears to allow punters to enliven water with a squirt of cordial while they're out and about. The action jumps from one scenario to the next as we follow the progress of the robust little container that holds the product.

The North Face
"Never Stop Exploring"
29 Mar 2014
This is - we think - the first time that North Face have advertised on telly in the UK and it's a pretty good début. By aligning themselves with the 'just do it' ethos long used by a well-known sport brand (look, it's Nike - not sure why we're being coy about that), they're suggesting we get out there and explore mountains and so forth and it instinctively feels right for the brand.

BT Broadband
29 Mar 2014
An annoying 'friend' of the student housemates keeps turning up to use their superfast BT Broadband. Unfortunately he has the hide of a rhino, so doesn't take the subtle (and not so subtle) hints they signal to him in the hope he'll get the same broadband back at his own place. Quite frankly DAVID wouldn't have their patience, and if it were he who was suffering in silence the chap would be going home with the router lodged firmly in his gullet by the end of the ad.

29 Mar 2015
Gary Lineker's stairlift repairman arrives to fix a kindly old lady's malfunctioning chair. She then spots a bag of Walkers crisps in his toolbox. He slyly fends her thieving mitts off when tries to nab them, but a sly bit of vengeful tinkering from the hungry gran sees the apparatus launch poor Gary out of a first floor window. You'd think he would've learned to give the trade a miss after his misadventures at the building site.

"Football Match"
29 Mar 2015
Disconsolate footie fans trudge back to their accommodation after a crushing defeat. Luckily there is life after loss at a luxury hotel suite courtesy of Booking.com. The holiday company continue their fine run of form with another set of engagingly quirky protagonists and a script that ramps up the twist to the word 'booking'.

"New Travels In Colour"
29 Mar 2015
Following on from their campaign's sci-fi reboot, Dulux takes us back to the future. With colour now a part of this futuristic brave new world, our hero faces a new challenge: how to pick the right one from so much choice. The new range of neutral tones provides the solution. The scope is far more modest than the epic original, but the message is still conveyed well.

"Free the Kids"
2 mins 37s
29 Mar 2016
This is a really interesting film and it gets your attention but it takes two giant leaps... and that's at least one too many. The first leap comes when it becomes clear that it isn't a film supporting the human rights of those imprisoned in the US's infamously draconian penal system. The second comes when it emerges that it's part of Persil's laudable 'dirt is good' campaign.

"Presidents Day"
29 Mar 2016
However meaningless 'President's Day' is to us in the UK, and despite the over-ebullience of the presenter, you can't help but admire the technical skill of this US ad for Nissan. What looks like a frozen shot he's wandering through suddenly becomes something else, as he moves an actual person out of his way rather than sidestepping a CG image.

On This Day

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