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.


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.


ITV Racing
"Grand National"
26 March 2017

John Cooper Clarke and The Maccabees's 'Pelican' combine to give this ITV Racing promo terrific energy. The broadcaster taps into how the annual Aintree meeting captures the nation's imagination - and turns us all into racing savants.

Form goes out the window when it comes to picking a contender; instead, it's all about "their colours and their funny names". Whether we meet Triumph or Disaster, everyone starts the race with one thought: this could be the year.

The film weaves together racing footage, eccentric personalities and visual stories beautifully. It boils down the race's multi-faceted relationship with the nation's seasoned and novice punters alike.

Cooper Clarke's words and voice convey the Grand National's enduring appeal, a blend of tradition and superstitions. The lyrical script also incorporates the channel's "nothing comes close" mantra, further strengthening ITV's revived association with horse racing.

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Tesco Mobile
"Family Perks"
27 March 2017

Tesco Mobile follow last year's entertaining montage of holiday foibles with these minor domestic calamities. Dick van Dyke's 'Put on a Happy Face' accompanies such incidents as a blender eruption, a Lego demolition job, and a bedroom sight that cannot be unseen.

Familiar tropes like an extra smoky barbecue and a DIY goof are handled well, while the final gag reminds us that anything has the potential to become a viral hit these days. Good thing the girl filming can enjoy extra data, then.

This age of interconnected households means big business for the likes of Tesco Mobile, and the carrier makes a chirpy bid for our attention. You can't choose your family, but you can choose a mobile provider with extra rewards.

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27 March 2017

A heart-warming tale of parental devotion is used to illustrate the support offered by HSBC when you need a mortgage in a hurry. The protagonists are a father and daughter who rise early each morning so the former can get the latter to the local swimming pool for her daily training session.

It appears to be an eye-wateringly exhausting regime but they are each dedicated to it and they plough on despite the tiredness. Director Louis Sutherland has beautifully captured the pair's strong relationship and there is little doubt this dad is willing to maintain this routine until his daughter has achieved her goal... but he also has a Plan B.

He's been keeping an eye out for a new house and when he opportunistically finds one, the advertised bank are apparently standing by with the loan he needs to buy it. But what's so special about this house and why hasn't he discussed it with his daughter?

The answer is provided by the swimming pool in the garden. In truth, it looks much too small but, hey, it's the thought that counts and this attractively put-together film certainly has its heart in the right place.

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B & Q
"New Brothers"
23 March 2017

B & Q's spin-the-bottle approach to appointing advertising agencies has made Leo Burnett the latest custodian and this film is the first TV work this new relationship has produced. It's a modern take on sibling rivalry as two boys roughly the same age are thrown together by the coming together of their parents.

Rather than make one the villain and the other the victim, the script apportions blame equally. This even-handed approach makes it slightly harder to 'get it' but it underlines the authenticity and - as you might expect if you've seen his feature films - Dexter Fletcher draws ace performances from his young actors.

It's a good conceit and should give B & Q a decent boost in the run-up to the Easter holiday which famously provides them with their busiest period. Let's hope they've gained the courage to run a sustained campaign rather than steering away from quality executions towards orange-overalled announcements at the earliest opportunity.

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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.