David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • B-Reel Films become BRF.B-Reel Films have rung the changes in 2017 by rebranding themselves as BRF.
    • Well spotted.This live-action ad for 'Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands' sees a cat chase a mysterious red dot around the room.
    • How to save a life... live.Channel 4 and Cancer Research present television's first live colonoscopy.
    • What Goes Up...This promo for Channel 4's beleaguered reality show 'The Jump' features the smooth, sensual vocal stylings of Westlife.
    • Dancing as you're peeling.Something interesting always happens when an agency like W+K gets into bed with a client like Sainsbury's and so it proves with the agency's début TV work fr its big new client.
    • Bosch Peps Up Friend LondonAward-winning Spanish director Pep Bosch signs to Friend London for UK representation.
    • Tom Noakes flocks to Prettybird.Filmmaker and skateboarding fanatic Tom Noakes has signed for Prettybird.
    • The French connection.This tongue-in-cheek ad from agency Glory Paris and language course website Speak Well offers sanctuary for Americans eager to escape whatever President Trump has in store.
    • Been Here Since ForeverThis year's Australia Day ad features a controversial sped-up re-colonisation of the country... all for the love of a barbie.
    • Laughing with despairSebastien Petretti's short film offers hope, humour and despair in equal measure.
    • Endless runner.Here’s a film you just want to keep running and running and running. Bulgarian parkour artist Ilko Iliev turns the city streets into one endless assault course.
    • Alex Turner arrives at Fat Lemon.Commercial director and documentary filmmaker Alex Turner has joined Fat Lemon’s carefully assembled roster for representation.
    • Andrea Jade Colomb is an OutsiderOutsider have snagged South African-born director AJ Colomb for their roster.
    • Cracking line-up for CraftWorks.Our first CraftWorks of 2017 takes place on January 25th. In the morning. At the LSE Student Union building. It's going to be great. Come along.
    • A budding successThe first advertising push for Apple’s AirPod earphones has a job on its hands.
    • A sleeper hitAn Audi technician ‘tucks in’ the factory’s supercomputer for the night. But what happens when artificial intelligence drifts off to the land of Nod?


On 25th January - between 9.30am and 11.30am - DAVID REVIEWS and the APA are putting on the next CraftWorks show at the LSE Student Union building in Lincoln's Inn Fields.

The event costs just £20 plus VAT per ticket.

We'll be talking Heathrow's bears; meeting director Sebastien Petretti; looking back at Green Wing with Victoria Pile; and reuniting some of the people who made Sony Bravia 'Paint'.


"Save an American"
2 mins
18 January 2017

France and the United States of America have always enjoyed a rather volatile relationship. Despite The Simpsons coining the phrase “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” and Congress turning French fries into ‘freedom fries’, it seems our friends across the Channel aren’t ones to hold grudges.

This tongue-in-cheek ad from agency Glory Paris and language course website Speak Well offers sanctuary for Americans eager to escape whatever President Trump has in store. After all, Canada can’t accommodate everyone.

The website offers English learning materials to potential hosts. If any French viewers are yet to settle on a New Year’s resolution, helping an American through hard times may do the trick.

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Meat & Livestock Australia
"Boat People"
2 mins 36s
13 January 2017

The annual ad from Meat & Livestock Australia encouraging people to celebrate Australia Day with a lamb barbecue has become a cultural event Down Under, and has picked up its share of plaudits and controversies over the years (last year they released 'the most diverse ad ever').

This year's ad is no exception: it opens with indigenous people having a barbecue on the beach, which quickly fills up as a sped-up re-enactment of colonisation takes place. In period costume, the French, English, Dutch, Germans, Chinese, and Serbians all arrive one after another.

So far, so historical. But then things take a turn for the weird when a gay pride float turns up (colonial homosexuals?) and - upon another batch of 'boat people' arriving - MasterChef Australia's Poh Ling Yeow asks "Aren't we all boat people?"

Yeah... apart from the indigenous guys who were having a peaceful barbie in their own spot before everyone showed up and ate their lamb. And then implemented systemic racial discrimination which continues to have knock on effects to this day... but we're sure they finished the lamb first.

The intention of this ad is to illustrate the diversity of modern Australia and say that no matter where you've come from, you never lamb alone. Framing colonialism as benevolent party crashing to deliver that message is a bold move, and while the ad is funny and well executed... it does leave an aftertaste if you think about it too hard.

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Short Films
"State of Emergency"
5 mins 34s
17 January 2017

There is something so audacious about this film by Sebastien Petretti that you may be left unsure whether to laugh or cry but you'll nonetheless know you've seen something extraordinary.

At its heart - in narrative terms - is a story being told by one young man to another. Keen to hear all the sordid details, the second young man urges him on with questions pressing for elaboration about the sexual encounter that may or may not have taken place. Theirs is a conversation that can be imagined between young men anywhere in the world... and - in a different context - it might even be prompting our disapproval.

But there's a whole lot more going on here. As they speak, the two young men are being subjected to continual harassment by the police. Not that they appear to notice... they gamely carry on as though oblivious to the violence they're subjected to.

The message is loud and clear... innocent, ordinary citizens are now on the receiving end of so much discrimination from the authorities that they're completely inured. This pair take what's meted out with unlikely good humour which both makes them all the more heroic and deserving of our sympathy. It's a film which is simultaneously full of hope and weighed down with despair... a quite marvellous balancing act achieved by an exceptional talent.

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Short Films
"2D Run"
5 mins 38s
17 January 2017

Here’s a film you just want to keep running and running and running. Bulgarian parkour artist Ilko Iliev turns the city streets into one endless assault course, sprinting and leaping over every barrier and gap.

There are some breathtaking moments, not least a daring stroll down the side of the Buzludzha Monument. We can imagine various health and safety officials reaching for a glass of the hard stuff watching this.

The top-down view makes the viewer feel like they’re controlling a video game character, and the film isn’t shy about its influences. Fans of Grand Theft Auto will recognise the heads-up display from ‘Grand Theft Auto II’, while it even turns into a ‘Super Mario’-esque platformer at one point.

The film’s computer game sensibilities are dotted throughout. A yellow-jacketed Illiev leaps over himself lying motionless below, as if he hit the restart button for another go. Eventually, the top-down view is broken as he swims back to shore. Treat it as a loading screen… and a chance to catch your breath.

While we’re happy to stick with the pavement for now, this is a brilliantly executed piece of work. We’re sure many will be keen for a chat with the DP, too.

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Alex Turner arrives at Fat Lemon.

Commercial director and documentary filmmaker Alex Turner has joined Fat Lemon’s carefully assembled roster for representation.

His new home describes him as “a lovely chap to work with”, which always helps. He’s got the skills to back it up, as well. Turner is able to interpret projects in unexpected ways, thus ensuring a distinctive outcome. When he’s not on a commercial set, you’ll find him shedding light on hidden stories.



Five Star Work

The Jump
"Flying Without Wings"
18 Jan 2017
This promo for Channel 4's beleaguered reality show 'The Jump' features the plangent vocals of Westlife. 'Flying Without Wings' accompanies shots of this year's batch of celebrities flying over a snowy landscape, with appropriately transcendent expressions as they perform improbable acrobatic feats.

"Food Dancing"
18 Jan 2017
Something interesting always happens when an agency like W+K gets into bed with a client like Sainsbury's and so it proves with the agency's début TV work for its big new client. Orange Supermarket has been placed at the forefront of a new movement called #fooddancing by an ad with an earwormy soundtrack from MysDiggi combined with a montage that's been made to look as though it's been clandestinely filmed in our actual kitchens.

Apple AirPods
16 Jan 2017
The first advertising push for Apple’s AirPod earphones has a job on its hands. Last year’s Apple press conference sparked frenzied reactions online as headphone jacks and wires were consigned to history. Now the tech giant has to convince consumers that cordless earbuds are the future... and they’ve gone about it in typical Apple fashion.

"Believe In More"
2 mins
13 Jan 2017
This short film for Nike was conceived, created, and directed by avant-garde creative powerhouse and musician FKA Twigs. The grungy-beautiful two minute spot advertises Nike's new Spring Zonal Strength Tights, which are shown off to great effect by athletic dance moves from the likes of Olympic fencer Miles Chamley-Watson and krump dancer Saskia Horton.

"Win At Sleeping"
11 Jan 2017
Ikea turn the struggle to get a good night's sleep into a competitive sport in this rousing ad. Featuring the vocal stylings of motivational speaker Derrick Moore, sleepers are framed as athletes gearing up for the biggest test of their careers: eight full hours. The small details are particularly satisfying here: including the 'Snoozin' Jo' boxer-style robe and night cream applied in the manner of warpaint.

"Kyrie 3: Improv"
10 Jan 2017
Well, you won’t see this on the regular NBA fixture list; it’s Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers versus Questlove of, erm, The Tonight Show. While Roots drummer Questlove lays down a free-form beat, Irving responds with his own quicksilver moves. Anything you can do, I can do better. A slick tribute to sporting and musical prowess from Nike and the Hoffman Brothers.

Harry's Shave Club
"Jeff and Andy"
2 mins 40s
9 Jan 2017
This entertaining film for Harry’s Shave Club tells the story of one company’s battle with the big boys. When founders Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield decided a good shave needn’t cost the world, these “American Internet Cowboys” began building an e-shaving giant. Of course, entrepreneurs like Jeff and Andy are always going to encounter some obstacles.

James Allen
"So How Do You Know If A Girl Loves...?"
7 Jan 2017
This Israeli ad for jeweller James Allen explains just why potential fiancés need to be careful about choosing the sparkler they propose with... if she says 'yes' then literally everyone in her life will see it. This ad is humorous and snappy, playing with stereotypes without giving in to them totally. Compelling work.

"Car Karaoke"
7 Jan 2017
Festive traffic jams are no concern for a musical family in this funny ad for VW. It's a familiar scene: kids bored in the back, parents equally bored in the front as the cars around them go nowhere. All that's missing is an 'are we nearly there yet?'. That is, until Dad decides to bust out some tunes and take a creative approach to killing time - one the rest of the family soon join in with.

"Break Free"
1 min 39s
6 Jan 2017
An old man who's not ready to give in to being old just yet is wasting away in a retirement home. Depressed and listless, he remembers his glory days when he catches sight of his old running shoes and makes a decision: he's not going to shuffle off into senility without a fight. This ad for Adidas was created as a student spec film which the brand actually passed on... at least before it went viral.

5 Jan 2017
Sparks fly and antlers collide in this gorgeous-looking Peugeot commercial. A lightning strike causes a chain reaction as a herd of deer flee the resulting forest fire. Nature comes to life as this driver ventures further into the woods, absorbing every detail as the flames rage on. This guy sure knows the right spot for a lively country drive.

6 Jan 2017
A woman expresses herself on the dance floor in this uplifting yet understated BUPA commercial. Opening on her short journey from the drinks table, the array of emotions on her face suggest a far longer journey has taken place in her life. Then we learn she's had successful treatment for cancer, and understand we're witnessing her emergence from a long dark tunnel into the bright, welcome light of day.

"The Dot"
5 Jan 2017
Any ad which manages to use the phrase 'industrial lubricants' without raising a juvenile titter is going to be intriguing, and this brilliantly animated film for Mobil1 definitely hits that mark. The action centres on 'dot' and the many ways it's expressed - making a point (pun intended) about how important little things are.

5 Jan 2017
Money.co.uk eschew a spokesperson in favour of exploring more universal moments with their first major ad campaign. To reinforce the claim that the site checks more financial products than any other, we're shown a montage of situations where people could - or should - check things. Be they horoscopes, shoelaces, lottery numbers, or, uh, prostates.

"Taxi Driver"
1 Jan 2017
The trickery in this clever commercial for Aviva is as multi-layered as a Matryoshka doll. It suggests that the two people in the back of the taxi being steered by ex-Formula One driver David Coulthard have no idea what's in store for them. But, clearly they do. It also suggests that Coulthard did all the driving in this ad and this seems just as improbable. After all, the racer turned pundit is not a stunt driver.

Compare The Market
"Let it Go"
25 Dec 2016
For the latest instalment, we're offered an update on Oleg - the baby meerkat adopted by Aleksandr and Sergei three Christmases ago and taken back to Africa the following year. These updates are perhaps set to become a regular part of a Christmas push by the price comparison site as we rejoin the youngster in a winter wonderland.

1 Jan 2017
McDonald's show how a broken lift becomes a sweet bonding experience for two women. Trapped alone together and awaiting rescue, the women share water, shoes, a scarf, secrets, stories, and a pair of headphones, but not even their new found friendship compels them to share the McDonald's Chicken Selects which is handed to them by their rescuers.

"The Broadcast"
22 Dec 2016
This pleasingly cryptic piece of communication from Thinkbox reminds us how television advertising can enable anyone to punch above their weight. In this case, an alien with intentions unknown begins broadcasting on all frequencies to the people of planet Earth prompting waves of panic as the population awaits its fate.

Below the Belt
"The Success Man"
18 Dec 2016
This is a commercial that has to be seen to be believed. It has echoes of a famous Audi ad from the 1990s which gave voice to a young man who turned out to be a complete cock. In both ads, the voice we hear offers a glimpse into its owner's psyche and it doesn't paint a pretty picture. Self-absorption is the order of the day as an immensely selfish philosophy is revealed.

Lipton Tea
21 Dec 2016
This charming ad for Lipton is as soothing as the hot cup of tea it advertises. To a calm acoustic soundtrack, it tells the story of an unlikely friendship as a lonely young boy and his school bus driver look out for each other. After noticing the perpetually-late kid doesn't have any friends, the kindly driver reaches out one morning to give him a small gesture of solidarity.

Thomson Holidays
16 Dec 2016
This impressively-shot ad for Thomson Holidays captures the feeling of never wanting your holiday to end. A little girl has all the time in the world as she wanders through a beach resort in dream-like stasis. From exotic birds taking flight to a towel mid-flutter, she explores the little moments we might otherwise miss

"Right Light"
15 Dec 2016
We’ve seen lots of variations on the Christmas lights meme this year. Now Toyota unveil their own bright idea to promote their annual Toyotathon sales event. We see family and friends driving into the countryside on a mission. As dusk approaches, rolls of lights are arranged with purpose. Soon we spot a plane overhead, and one passenger looks out the window onto a luminous greetings card.

14 Dec 2016
Nike save us the trouble of watching The Walking Dead (still haven't forgiven you for Glenn, Scott Gimple) and summarise pretty much every zombie movie ever to create more time to run. Although the existence of certain apps suggests the two can be combined quite effectively... if being chased by hordes of the undead is your idea of a good time.

14 Dec 2016
Nike break down the foibles of social media in another entertaining ad. According to the Siri-like voice, forty-five minutes on Facebook amounts to hundreds of baby photos, needy narwhals, and notifications that “someone you don’t remember likes something”. In other words, why not do something more meaningful with your time... like exercise?

Road Safety (Australia)
"Rethink Speed"
14 Dec 2016
There’s some haunting imagery in this well-crafted Australian road safety film. We see a car and a young cyclist frozen in time as a near-miss. As the camera pans round, we see the same scenario escalate in crunching detail. The boy disappears after the third ‘crash’, yet his absence only compounds the horror. If speed can cause this much damage to a vehicle, what chance does a human have?

Five Star Work

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