David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Phenomenal WomanSport England have followed their sensational 'This Girl Can' film with another hugely powerful piece of work.
    • StrangeLove for Tubby Brother and Flash Factory.StrangeLove have made a double signing: filial duo Tubby Brother and Marco Prestini, aka Flash Factory.
    • Hazard warningPremier League refs would appreciate this Sure ad’s rewind facility.
    • Channel hopping.There’s plenty of joie de vivre in this 60” ad for Eurostar. These travellers discover what can happen when you just say qui. A lot, as it happens.
    • Arno Salters is Riff RaffRiff Raff have signed multi-talented director Arno Salters to their roster.
    • Not today, bubThis trope-subverting Australian ad for Toyota manages to have everything a car commercial needs... and more.
    • Back in gear... almost.This amusing trail for the latest series of Top Gear sees presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid face a grilling in the BBC insurance department.
    • 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”.


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.


Brought to you by DAVID REVIEWS and the APA.

Toyota Kluger
22 February 2017

This trope-subverting Australian ad for Toyota manages to have everything a car commercial needs - slick shots of the new Kluger gliding through a city, a set-up to a traditional seduction narrative as the car turns heads and stylish lady is noticed by suave gent - and then swoops in to turn the story on its head at the last minute. Quite a feat, and all in a neat 30".

The comedy timing is impeccable here as, right at the moment Clooney-lite is deciding to make his move, the back window of the car rolls down to reveal the murderous stare of the woman's son. The kid is a wonderful bit of casting, warning glare never faltering as he sees off his mother's potential suitor through sheer intimidation.

We don't think a 'designed for families' tagline has ever been hammered home with such funny, murderous intent. This is genre-stretching work from director Tim Bullock, and it's compelling stuff.

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Top Gear
"Risk Assessment"
22 February 2017

This amusing trail for the latest series of Top Gear sees presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid face a grilling in the BBC insurance department.

A humourless pen-pusher (he’s stingy with biscuits, as well) has some concerns about the programme’s impending return. It’s safe to say these three aren’t the ones to ease them.

The presenters tip-toe around the show’s high-octane antics. A question regarding LeBlanc’s driving record prompts a sneak peek at the actor’s James Bond audition tape, while his cohorts are just as evasive about their driving.

We see crashes, corners, and, erm, cracks as the BBC suit continues his audit. Just when it looks like the trio have got away with it, The Stig shows health and safety remains an afterthought.

After last year’s troubled relaunch, this film suggests the show is focusing on its strengths - namely the chemistry between LeBlanc, Harris, and Reid. While many fans will have pledged allegiance to Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour, the Beeb seem confident there’s still plenty of fuel in the Top Gear tank.

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"The Deal"
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"
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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"Quality Assurance"
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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On This Day

"The Race"
25 Feb 2005
Two male flatmates try to trick each other into thinking they will not be hurrying home in an attempt to be the one to nab the last can of Carling in their fridge. Their impressive chase takes place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

"Product Placement"
25 Feb 2011
This film lets viewers know that product placement is soon to be allowed on British television and reveals that a special logo will be used to identify programmes where it's in use. We're certainly looking forward to trying to spot the instances of its use.

The Sun on Sunday
25 Feb 2012
Various 'ordinary' people sing lines from the song 'Tomorrow' in this ad warning us about the new Sunday edition of The Sun. They might run it on subsequent Saturdays but it's perfectly possible that this smart piece of advertising will only run for a day.

NFU Mutual
25 Feb 2013
A series of close-ups of a cup of tea being made is used to illustrate the idea that the advertised financial institution pays attention to detail. The visual aspect supports the notion that the NFU wants to go against the grain and offer considered decision-making to its customers.

Samsung Galaxy
"Tim Burton"
25 Feb 2013
When a project is too 'out there' for Tim Burton, you know that it's gone seriously awry and that's the premise of the gag in this lovely commercial for Samsung which aired during Sunday night's Oscars coverage. The maverick film-maker is roped into the ongoing 'Unicorn Apocalypse' discussion but finds it all a bit too weird.

Save The Children
25 Feb 2014
This is possibly the most powerful ad Save The Children has made. Acclimatised as we are to images of starving children and babies lethargic with illness and malnutrition, this simple spot communicates that they - in some way - are the lucky ones to have survived thus far. The directness of the situation here leaves no room for us to mentally divorce ourselves from what we're witnessing on screen.

Project Literacy
"The Alphabet of Illiteracy"
1 min 40s
25 Feb 2016
It's hard to overstate the empowering importance of reading and writing, and this eye-catching film commissioned by publishers Pearson and made by FCB Inferno connects illiteracy with many other global problems. It cleverly uses the simplicity of the alphabet to make its parallel and further connects it to the process of learning-to-read by using the kind of iconography usually associated with a book for very young readers.

25 Feb 2007
The minute-long version of the ad which featured earlier this month. Stop-frame animation is used to enable a pair of hands to do all kinds of things in an ad which brings to mind Anticipation - the award-winning Irish ad for Guinness from several years ago.

Friends Reunited
"Bird of Paradise"
25 Feb 2007
The best use yet of natural history footage yet in this campaign sets the mating display of a bird of paradise to an appropriate Otis Redding track to illustrate how some creatures go about getting a shag. You don't have to do this because you can use the Friends Reunited Web Site instead.

British Gas
"All Over Britain"
25 Feb 2008
It's good to know that at least some of the record profits recently announced by British Gas are being put to good use. The cheesy ads featuring talking flames seemed to have been dropped in favour of this beautifully photographed compilation of people enjoying their expensive fuel.

25 Feb 2008
Really strange commercial which seems to give us an idea of what might have happened had the geniuses behind Kraftwerk opted for a career in advertising instead of avant-garde music. The outcome is quite pleasing... but unquestionably odd.

"Sarah & Lucy"
25 Feb 2010
In this commercial we meet Sarah who has some strange beliefs. First, she thinks it's possible to grill chicken without using a grill. Second, she imagines that her cat likes her meat to be cooked. Don't listen to Sarah... she's a bit of a nutter.

The Fairtrade Foundation
"We Swap"
25 Feb 2010
This simple film advocates the idea that we should switch to Fairtrade where possible. Each time we swap to something that's been ethically sourced, we make a genuine difference to people in deprived parts of the world.

"Fairtrade Coffee"
25 Feb 2010
Another Fairtrade related commercial marking Fairtrade fortnight. Starbucks apparently sources all of its coffee on a Fairtrade basis so it probably isn't quite as evil a corporation as you thought despite the overall impression that they offer.

"Arctic Sun"
25 Feb 2010
Inside the Arctic Circle, the sun disappears during the winter and Tropicana decided to provide one community in the north of Canada with an artificial sun to provide some temporary relief from the darkness. This ad marks the event.

The Sun on Sunday
"Alton Towers"
25 Feb 2010
This is an excellent way of announcing a special offer. People aboard one of the rides at Alton Towers attempt, with mixed success, to reveal how it's possible to collect free theme park tickets if we buy the Sun newspaper next week.

Rowntree's Randoms
"Parachute Jump"
25 Feb 2012
As in the previous ads, popping the advertised confectionery into your mouth makes you spout random nonsense. This proves especially alarming to a group of people preparing for a parachute jump as it's their instructor who has been afflicted.

BBC HD Channel
"HD Idents"
25 Feb 2012
We've included this series of idents used by the BBC to highlight the benefits of its HD offering to highlight the benefits of our HD offering. All subscribers may already have noticed the improvement in our quality but premium subscribers must particularly enjoy the ability to watch ads in HD when they switch to full-screen.

Alien Nation
"Kiss Me"
25 Feb 2013
Even the BBC's sternest critics know that it's untouchable when it comes to natural history and they're now spreading a little of the magic in BBC4's direction for a series on insects that's to be broadcast on the highbrow station. Perhaps the BBC is hoping to lure some of the impressive audiences it won for 'Africa' over to the under-subscribed channel.

Cheeky Bingo
"Mother's Day"
25 Feb 2013
What will you do to get something for free? That's the question posed by this amusing ad for Cheeky Bingo which depicts a man dressing as his girlfriend's mum to get his hands on a free lunch on Mother's Day. If only he'd known about the advertised online bingo service's 'free' offer.

Life Financial Group
"A Piece of Paper"
25 Feb 2014
This Russian ad for life insurance is quite a surprise to us. We've always assumed Russia to be rather cagey about its history of law enforcement, but this explicitly references earlier times when the course of your life and the lives of those around you depended on having the right pieces of paper. You don't need those any more, the ad says; with us, it's people who decide your fate, not anonymous decrees.

Paddy Power
"Flicky-Whoosh iPad App"
25 Feb 2014
The cheeky tone of the Paddy Power campaign proves no obstacle even when the brief demands the demonstration of an iPad app. The familiar VO reponds to a customer request to stop making funny adverts and give them an iPad app by making a pretty funny advert about their iPad app which, apparently, has all the flicky whooshness you could hope for.

VW Tiguan
"Shark Diving"
25 Feb 2014
How much do you love your children? Enough to let them go on an expensive shark diving experience? Or enough to let them go so long as it doesn't cost too much? This amusing ad shows the, er, depths one dad is prepared to sink to for his thriftiness despite the screamingly obvious pitfalls and his boy's wariness. "What's the worst that could happen?" he asks breezily as the rusty cage door swings open.

"Journey to Surf"
25 Feb 2014
This arresting ad follows a group of young men through the inhospitable terrain of Iceland in pursuit of the ultimate surf experience. It's almost beyond the bounds of belief to think they're voluntarily looking to don wetsuits out there in the arctic weather - but they do, and warm up afterwards with a bonding shot of the liqueur in question.

American Express
"Stop Fraud"
25 Feb 2015
This fun spot from American Express tells us that the company loves patterns, as animated shapes and objects fill up our screens. "We love spotting the little things that shouldn't be there. That's nine so far," the VO observes. What? Where are the things that shouldn't be there? We want a chance to spot them too. But we're just not as hawkeyed as AmEx, whose powers of observation is one thing that makes them so good at spotting fraud.

On This Day

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