David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Joakim Reveman joins Another Film Company.Swedish-born director Joakim Reveman has joined Another Film Company for UK representation.
    • By the power of GrayskullSkeletor saved with moneysupermarket.com, and now he feels epic.
    • All together now.This 30" profile of England midfielder James Blackwell shines a light on the FA's support of cerebral palsy football.
    • Fruit salad.If you're a little rusty on the Big Bang theory (no, not the sitcom), then let frozen smoothie brand Dole bring you up to speed.
    • Just the ticketMcDonald's annual Monopoly ad returns - this time with a scientific twist.
    • Scrubbing brush bluesSpecsavers's long-running campaign has rarely focused on children's glasses, so this latest entry is a welcome diversion.
    • Denim: the universal languageJohn Lewis have created their own in-house denim and lifestyle brand, And/Or - and here's the ad that launches it.
    • Railing about the railwaysThe Rail Delivery Group paints a rosy picture of Britain's trains but is this a reasonable claim?
    • Flower powerWe love the way JD Williams has been brought into the 21st century.
    • Board to death.1stAveMachine's Baz takes board games over to the dark side in his new feature film, 'Game of Death'.
    • Life still moves pretty fastHaving starred in ‘Stranger Things,’ Joe Keery should feel at home in Eighties throwbacks. Now the tousled heartthrob takes the lead in this lovely homage to 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' from Domino's.
    • Do Your ThingiZettle have released a series of ads focused on, uh, 'true' historical moments when people refused to take no for an answer.


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

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

Tickets: £20 plus VAT.

● How We Made... McDonald's McCafe.

● plus much more.


Raymond James
17 March 2017

As Dylan Moran once observed, everyone wants to hear their name said a certain way. This engaging commercial for wealth management firm Raymond James introduces us to Kevin - a name comprised of two syllables and many inflections.

Kevin's name is uttered with love, frustration, and sadness throughout. We especially like teenage Kevin opening his door to dad. Now that's one tone of voice you don't want your name associated with.

Knucklehead's Tomas Jonsgården does a lovely job depicting Kevin's journey through school, work, and retirement. Subtle period details and an economical script create a strong piece of work for an institution keen to get on first-name terms.

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"An American Icon"
1 min 39s
20 March 2017

A hundred seconds spent in the company of Morgan Heim gives us a real insight into the conservation photographer's life. It's a tribute to director Jay Buim that - despite its brevity - this film never feels rushed. Cinematographer Kyle D Repka manages to capture the beautiful snowy landscapes in a fashion which reminds us that this is Heim's obsession and provides us with a sense that she is a highly capable photographer without us needing to see her work.

And a nod too for the stunning sound design which makes you feel as though it's your foot crunching the snow as Heim makes her way through the Alaskan wilderness in pursuit of the images which will help her protect the animals who live there.

When the digital realm figures out how to distribute advertising without getting on everyone's nerves, we really hope it's films like this that are brought to the fore.

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Short Films
"Do What You Can't"
3 mins 52s
16 March 2017

Youtuber Casey Neistat has racked up three and a half million views with this energetically upbeat video. Addressing the film to 'the haters' and 'doubters', Neistat rails against conformity over a montage of young people doing things they were told they couldn't do.

Lines like "The haters are drinking champagne on the Titanic and we're the fucking iceberg" sum up the mood: a rallying call to millennials simultaneously disillusioned with the world and revelling in its possibilities. Digital disruption is the order of the day, and these teens and 20-somethings are shaking things up in a way inconceivable to their parents' generation.

The film is directed by Max Joseph who - as fans of MTV will know - is one half of the duo responsible for Catfish; a show about internet romance and false identity.

Together with Neistat, he's made 'Do What You Can't' snappy, smart, and full of youthful hubris in the best way - although we do wonder just a little bit about the relationship between Reistat and his dad. There's just a hint of "You can't hurt me now!" about it.

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Swedish Railways
"Paul's Journey"
14 March 2017

Some journeys are more difficult than others. The central character in this enlightened commercial for Swedish Railways has embarked on a personal journey to seek acceptance for his transvestitism - and he's no generic cipher representing the LGBT community, either. He's Pelle Pia Hedberg, who became a cause célèbre in his native Sweden when his decision to begin dressing as a woman in the workplace provoked a row with his boss.

It's a beautifully-made piece of work. Hedberg's transformation is simultaneously allegorical and literal as he inserts a pair of earrings before applying nail polish. This piques the curiosity of other passengers but their faces reflect a society at ease with 'difference' and none of them display a hint of prejudice even when he returns from the toilet having swapped his blokeish apparel for a dress.

All the while, the train hurtles effortlessly through the Swedish countryside to remind us of the other - more straightforward - journeys made possible by the railway concerned.

This feels as though it's advertising a way of life as much as it's advertising anything else, and with Sweden being cited by both its friends and its enemies as a bastion of liberalism, it's an exceedingly well-timed piece of communication.

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17 March 2017

Bulmers Ireland show us a scene with a twist in this energetic ad - reminding us how Irish their cider is just in time for St Paddy's. A pulsing soundtrack accompanies what looks like a house party only the cool kids are invited to, but appearances can be deceiving...

Soon the scene is annotated with percentages which make witty observations about what's really going on with the partygoers. A woman gazes into the distance, trying to remember switching her straighteners off; a man laughs along with his mates despite having no idea what the joke is; another man courageously commits to throwing shapes regardless of the fact he's probably at the wrong bash.

The annotations have a satisfyingly universal feel (we've all seen at least one bloke on a night out who 82% fancies himself), and build up nicely to the final observation that Bulmers is 100% Irish. A solid creative executed with aplomb - excellent work from Neil Gorringe and Lucky Generals.

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On This Day

Anti Smoking (NHS)
"The Right Road"
24 Mar 2009
A strange mix of live footage and animation illustrates the number of options available to those aiming to quit smoking. The whispered voiceover at the start is unfortunately reminiscent of the long running anti-STI film featuring belt buckles spelling 'gonorrhea' etc.

American Airlines
"Business Class"
24 Mar 2009
Kevin Spacey has replaced James Gandolfini on this campaign and has immediately made it more appropriate to British sensibilities. The late-night dog-walker explains that we each have our own notions of the perfect seat... and American Airlines has the lot.

Marks & Spencer
"M & S Spring"
24 Mar 2010
The usual suspects have been joined by some extra personnel to launch the spring collection at the nation's favourite provider of middle of the road fashions. We can't help wondering whether Rainey Kelly got the Minogue sister they were after.

"Egg Hunt"
24 Mar 2013
Blue supermarket's Easter pitch is this charming film showing a young girl trying to find the chocolate hidden by her parents. Only when she's sat at the dining table and the delicious lamb is about to be served does she realise that a bunny is peering down at her from on high. Lovely work.

Comic Relief
"David's Exes"
6 mins 41s
24 Mar 2013
This comedy sketch by Ben Turner - one half of the team known as Silsoe Mouse (represented by Upstart Films) - was shown during BBC's Comic Relief. David Walliams is told by Dr Christian from 'Embarrassing Bodies' that he must contact everyone with whom he's been intimate in the last year... leading to some surprising revelations.

Sky Broadband
24 Mar 2014
Good old Samuel L Jackson. He does know how to put on a good show of righteous, justified dudeness. In this spot for Sky Broadband, which is a tie-in with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he gets into character as Nick Fury and urges the crew to sign up for Sky Broadband Shield when it's discovered that online details of the soldier in question have been hacked and in their place is a website of dubious moral quality.

Crabbie's Grand National
"O'Callaghan and Blake"
24 Mar 2014
If this doesn't tickle your fetlocks, we suggest you hook up to the nearest defibrillator post-haste. This big, loud, ballsy ad (appropriately soundtracked by speedpunk band Cerebral Ballzy) presents us with the first steeplechase event ever recorded back in 1752, which apparently came about as a result of a wager between two fiery chaps named Cornelius O'Callaghan and Edmund Blake.

Tim Tam
"Bert's Story"
3 mins 08s
24 Mar 2014
This unrelentingly sentimental film takes us to a small outback town where we meet Bert... a contented pensioner with no illusions about how little of life is in front of him. Bert is the kind of man who sees life's blessings much more clearly than its many curses... and chief among his cherished blessings is his love for his daughter who - in tune with this campaign's theme - lives a long way from him and hasn't been able to see him for some time.

"The Guest"
5 mins 19s
24 Mar 2015
Hannibal's Mads Mikkelsen takes a break from playing the psychopathic doctor with a very particular brand of fine dining in this smartly scripted and amusing commercial for the Danish furniture designers. As his guest is transfixed by the beautiful ladies frolicking in the pool, all the indifferent Mads wants to do is show off the stylish practicality of his living space.

Tokio Marine
"Yesterday / Today"
24 Mar 2015
Well, hands up who expected that to be about insurance? It's an unexpected destination, but Havas (Singapore) have crafted such an impressive and engaging journey, we're all for it. Starting knee deep in the dreariness of everyday life, the story takes a more optimistic turn and leaves you feeling like you can take that all-important first step into the unknown.

"The Arrival"
24 Mar 2015
This celebratory ad for the Lancia Ypsilon represents an 'Italian job' well done for director Ago Panini. A young boy notices the latest iteration of the venerable motor in the distance and excitedly runs off to let the townspeople know. Daily business grinds to a halt as people rush to a surprise welcome party to wish it a happy birthday.

24 Mar 2005
The Laughing Policeman provides the musical backing here as a man laughs hysterically at the ease with which he is able to apply Cuprinol to his fence using the new spray system, especially compared with his disgruntled neighbour who is painting his the old-fashioned way.

Channel 4
24 Mar 2006
Neat conceit here as people literally plug into each other's heads to uncover their musical tastes to promote a preponderance of unsigned bands available at Channel 4's Web Site.

Sony PS3
"This Is Living"
24 Mar 2007
Sony have come out of tease mode now that the PS3 has been launched and, in this re-edited version of the original teaser, we get to see the same events from a slightly different perspective. It's big and it's clever and must have cost a fortune.

Sugar Puffs
24 Mar 2008
An ill-advised attempt to show that the Honey Monster can get down with the kids... although not deserving the heaps of derision that have come its way, this is nonetheless a little bit embarrassing for those concerned.

Learning & Skills Council
24 Mar 2008
Further proof that it is almost impossible to create a film urging young people to take control of their lives without striking a highly patronising note. A young black voice tells us that he intends to set his own path and the thirty quid a week he gets from the EMA will enable this.

"Ten Years"
2 mins
24 Mar 2009
A clever piece for the free newspaper has a busker and a woman using props apparently made from sheets of newspaper describing major events from the last ten years. The selected events' bent perfectly reflects the asinine news coverage in the advertised journal.

"Cricket Catwalk"
24 Mar 2010
The new spring and summer collections available from Tesco are shown off on an unusual catwalk. The models striding down by cricket pitch with very Little regard for the damage their stilettos may do to the hallowed turf. Harumph.

Boots No 7
"Not So Everyday"
24 Mar 2010
Perhaps female viewers will watch this commercial with a glimmer of recognition as they remember a time when they put on some make-up and then dressed up like a bag lady but still felt glamorous.

B & Q
"D.I.Y Videos"
24 Mar 2011
Ha, ha, ha, ha... some people fell over. Hilarious. If you're the kind of person who can watch You've Been Framed without a growing tide of hope that a meteor will reduce our planet to dust and cockroaches then this is probably the perfect ad for you.

"When I Grow Up"
24 Mar 2011
This film for Irish charity Trocaire focuses on the dismal prospects of children growing up in the under-developed world. Switching to adult voices does nothing to dim the poignancy while ensuring that words haven't irresponsibly been put in the mouths of babes.

24 Mar 2011
This short and simple ad for the online trading service shows a man attaching a rope to his car and watching as its launched into the sky. This is the kind of ad likely to prove so successful that Gumtree's servers will collapse under the weight of traffic it generates.

1 Oct 2011
This energetic spot from October 2011 has greyhounds doing what they have been bred to do... chase a rabbit without ever quite managing to catch it. They abandon their owners all over the city to join a chasing pack that's hot on the heels of the advertised vehicle - known just about everywhere other than the UK as the VW Rabbit.

"We Are Alive"
2 mins
24 Mar 2012
If you're going to use stock footage then you'd better make sure you use it well. Though it's message is scarcely credible - documentaries on ITV? Really? - this manages to hit all the right notes and adds up to an impressive whole even if occasionally the clips seem slightly misaligned with the script.

Samsung Galaxy
"Audition Queue"
24 Mar 2012
This American ad beautifully makes fun of the Apple devotees in a bid to persuade people who aren't in thrall to the shiny objects made by Steve Jobs's company. Idiots in a queue for the latest Apple offering are dazzled by the advertised product in the hands of a passer-by.

On This Day

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