David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

    • Riff Raff Films enlist Tanu Muiño.In-form promo director Tanu Muiño has completed her move to Riff Raff Films for UK/Dutch representation.
    • Make films like no-one's watching... because they aren't.This immensely dull film for Volvo is being trailed during ad breaks in 'Succession'. Volvo can and should do better.
    • Building a better future brick by brick.This charming commercial for Lego turns a familiar idea on its head.
    • Taking a stand against domestic violence.This important film made on behalf of Juventus FC in Italy illustrates a point about the extent of domestic violent by asking us to imagine a football stadium entirely occupied by women.
    • Master Chief: The ProfessionalThe latest instalment in the Halo series has the fans writhing with anticipation.
    • Dreaming of a non-white ChristmasEtsy caters to all Christmases in the gift stakes, according to this charming ad for the online retailer.
    • Icy embraces.This French commercial for Orange is built around a very similar idea to the recent Apple Christmas commercial... It must be a fruit thing!
    • Everybody needs good neighbours.Lithuanian Telia ad is a contender for the unlikely Christmas ad which captures the UK public's imagination.
    • Space OdysseyThis fluid offering from Velux windows demonstrates transformation in artistic fashion.
    • Tech a good game.The RAF appeal to a previously under-tapped resource when it comes to military recruitment: nerds.

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Riff Raff Films enlist Tanu Muiño.

In-form promo director Tanu Muiño has completed her move to Riff Raff Films for UK/Dutch representation.

The Ukrainian brings an enviable showreel to her new home, as well as the 2021 MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction. Few would bet against her winning more gongs in the future.

Key to Muiño's appeal is her ornate and punchy aesthetic. Fans of Cruel Intentions and Romeo + Juliet will appreciate the Odessa native's heightened approach, with nods to Hieronymus Bosch and Sandro Botticelli for good measure.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Volvo
"Sustainability"
4 mins 19s
28 November 2021

DAVID took the bait after seeing a trailer for this film on Sky Atlantic. It has to be said that he was among very few who have.... it's had a dismal 247 YouTube views (at the time of writing) in the four weeks since it was posted on Volvo's channel – though, doubtless, Volvo and Sky would point out it's had a few more than that on their platform, but we'd be astonished if it's hit four figures.

It is terrible. The conversations in it feel staged, and the insights are non-existent. It leaves Volvo's effort to underline its status as an environmentally responsible car manufacturer looking pretty ropey, and you have to wonder about the value of films like this. It's a real shame, because the issue is an important one, and somewhere in this film there are valid points about making better retail choices.

Volvo's sponsorship of Sky Atlantic has them attached to modern cultural classics such as 'Succession'... surely they'd be better off building on that relationship rather than making films that nobody has the slightest motivation to watch.


Lego
"Moms of Girls"
60s
28 November 2021

This charming commercial for Lego turns a familiar idea on its head by urging us to reverse the question when we're asked how we should prepare girls for the world... the question we should be asking, it contends, is how do we get the world ready for girls. It's a sure-footed rhetorical device – just ask JFK – and it's particularly effective here.

Gemma Yin's imagery supports the idea beautifully, and we're left in no doubt that girls should not be patronised as they consider their own futures. The music is a bit pedestrian... it would be good to see this matched with something edgier, but all-in-all a striking contribution to an important part of the discourse in 2021.


Juventus
"Don't Sit and Watch"
80s
28 November 2021

This important film made on behalf of Juventus FC in Italy illustrates a point about the extent of domestic violent by asking us to imagine a football stadium entirely occupied by women. In this hypothetical, because one in three of those seated in the ground would be affected by this ubiquitous threat, it would mean that nearly 14,000 of the 41,000 occupants would be victims of it.

Italian footballer Giorgio Chiellini is among those sombrely helping to draw attention to this damning statistic by placing a notice on a third of the seats at the Turin club's home ground. Each representing those who experience this appalling violence.

The message is not directed towards the victims or the perpetrators though... it's aimed at everyone else, because silence is complicity.


Halo
"Forever We Fight"
2 mins 20s
28 November 2021

After making the fans wait a whole year because of delays, it was imperative that the developers behind the latest instalment of the Halo franchise landed their offering with sufficient vim to get everyone on board... and they've done that and more with this spectacular live-action trail which has got devotees of this series frothing at their keyboards with excitement.

Four different scenarios – all mired in violent combat – are depicted in the ad's 140", starting with a young shepherd caught up in a conflict where he and his kin seem to be desperately outgunned. From there, we find ourselves in the midst of a Second World War setting where a young woman is getting ready to defend her injured comrades... and then suddenly we're in the midst of a sea rescue with a drone hovering over capsized people in the sea (A scenario which is a little close to home after last week's tragedy in the English Channel)... from there we leap into the cockpit of a spacecraft that's in trouble. All appear to turn toward the Master Chief – the game's ubiquitous hero – whom they hope will save the day.

It's chaotic and, to those hoping to immerse themselves in this universe, immensely exciting. The gaming market is huge, and a launch like this is certainly more culturally significant to those younger than thirty-five, than a James Bond movie or a new album from Adele.

This trailer heaves with the weight of that significance, and between now and Christmas, it will play its part in persuading an awful lot of people to dig deep into their pockets to join in the mayhem.


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On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

US Air Force
"Rescue"
60s
30 Nov 2009
Joining the American armed forces is made to look even sexier than joining the British armed forces in this amazing ad. On both sides of the Atlantic there appears to be a deliberate attempt to suggest that armed conflict is similar to playing a video game.

Nokia N8
"The Dot"
90s
30 Nov 2010
All the way through this commercial, you find yourself wondering where the advertised product fits in. When this puzzle is resolved, however, it proves genuinely astounding. A cracking piece of advertising.

Martini
"Luck Is An Attitude"
2 mins
30 Nov 2011
This lovely piece of work from Gorgeous's Peter Thwaites illustrates the power of positive thinking. As the lucky among you already know, you make your own luck in this life and seldom have we seen a better exposition of this idea than this clever, clever ad.

VW
"Grandpa"
45s
30 Nov 2012
A young man takes his grandfather for a ride in his new car in this Australian commercial for VW. The old boy is delighted to discover that the youngster has such an impressive motor... and we slowly realise that he is under the impression he's in a much more substantial vehicle. Cleverly done.

Sky Movies
"Star Wars Saga"
30s
30 Nov 2015
Sky Creative prove there's still a fresh interpretation left in the marketing build-up for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' with this vivid trail for the broadcaster's Star Wars channel. Like a storyboard come to life, iconic moments and settings from the series are compiled into one seamless piece of storytelling. Even the divisive prequels benefits from MPC's impressive lick of paint - something George Lucas will no doubt be thankful for.

Lego Dimensions
"Alison Brie"
1 min 35s
30 Nov 2015
Having found fame in television series like 'Mad Men' and 'Community', actress Alison Brie gained many more fans with her portrayal of ticking time bomb Unikitty in 'The Lego Movie'. As this enjoyable ad for the 'Lego Dimensions' video game shows, the line between actor and character becomes a little blurred. Surely one little block of Lego isn't enough to throw Brie's positivity off-track?

The New Yorker
"Train"
60s
30 Nov 2015
There's a terrific sense that something strange is going on in this commercial for the world's greatest journal. Brilliant sound design and intimate camera angles put us inside the headspace of a young man as he walks through a Los Angeles railway station. It's as though his curiosity is aroused by everything around him, and this appears to be how The New Yorker is positioning itself.

Honda
"The Great Untried"
60s
30 Nov 2015
The opening of a garage door creates a world of possibilities according to this superbly crafted ad for the Honda Jazz. Once the open road lies ahead for this couple, anything and everything is worth a shot. Bach, beekeeping... throw in stargazing, archery, and kite flying and you've got enough pursuits to trump everyone in the "so what did you do at the weekend?" stakes.

UGG
"Jeff Bridges"
30s
30 Nov 2016
Jeff Bridges stars in this festive UGG commercial directed by Biscuit's Jeff Low. We catch the actor at home sorting presents for under the Christmas tree. Suddenly, the tree gives Bridges his own present - a pair of UGG slippers. The man's grateful for his fur-lined gift, though he's oblivious to the tree's toasty predicament. Read the subtitles, man!

H & M
"A Magical Holiday"
3 mins 19s
30 Nov 2017
Following their last epic Christmas ad (directed by Wes Andersen), H & M employ director Johan Renck to conjure a very modern fairy tale for this year's festive offering. Starring Nicki Minaj, Jesse Williams, and John Turturro, the film features a father telling his daughter a bed time story... which comes to life. The execution is delightfully quirky, and we'd happily come back for multiple viewings.

Apple
"A Little Company"
60s
30 Nov 2018
This affectionate iPhone commercial proves the Elvis impersonator trade is in rude health as a group of multinational Presleys share their passion via Group FaceTime. As the troupe cover Presley's 1961 ballad ‘There's Always Me', viewers are treated to a world tour with extra "uh-huh-huh".

LG Mobile Phones
"In Hiding"
30s
30 Nov 2005
In a theme quite similar to a Peugeot ad that ran earlier this year (not to mention a series of Phones 4 U commercials from a few years back), various people try to hide the shame of their terminally untrendy mobile phones by using them in a variety of hiding places.

Burger King
"Give Me The Hunger"
30s
30 Nov 2007
A group of men performing a strange ritual in a garage belonging to one of them are interrupted when his wife comes in with a basket full of washing for the machine. Pleasant, if awkward, exchanges then take place between the woman and some of the men she recognises.

The Sun on Sunday
"iPhone Spoof"
60s
30 Nov 2009
This spoof of the ongoing campaign for Apple's iPhone suggests that The Sun newspaper is the nation's favourite hand-held source of information. Commercials which reference other commercials in this fashion always feel quite wry and clever and this is no exception.

Saint Vincent De Paul
"Helper"
30s
30 Nov 2009
This Irish film for a charity demonstrates in a simple and effective fashion how people sometimes need a helping hand. It also reminds us that by providing a little help we can also offer hope to people who are troubled.

Nokia 6760
"Katrin"
3 mins 20s
30 Nov 2009
This lengthy piece for Nokia introduces us to Katrin who interviews people using a mobile phone for her Web Site which she then uses to connect people who may benefit from knowledge on one another's endeavours.

Nokia E72
"Kyra"
2 mins 37s
30 Nov 2009
An American teacher explains how technology can be used to improve people's lives across the world. Her students from various different countries help her try to engage people and secure their support for her ambitious project.

Nokia E72
"Tin-Ho"
2 mins 39s
30 Nov 2009
Another worthy individual tells us about his efforts to make the world a better place. Tin-Ho is cycling across the United States to spread his gospel about building new homes and he's using Nokia's technology to Blog about his experiences.

63336
"Text Any Question"
30s
30 Nov 2009
This amusing ad introduces us to the oracles of wisdom providing answers to questions texted to the advertised service which challenges us to ask them absolutely anything. "How much pay are you getting per hour?" might be an interesting one to pose.

The Black Grouse
"Piano"
20s
30 Nov 2011
The black grouse shows off his musical skills in this animated ad for the whisky. Sadly, the idea of this whisky being a darker alternative to Famous Grouse appears to have been dropped... otherwise the music could have been a bit more demonic.

Tesco
"Get It On"
30s
30 Nov 2012
A young man is teased by every other diner at the Christmas table when he declines to put on his paper hat. With everyone chanting "hat" (and Marc Bolan singing 'Get It On' in the background) he finally relents with a sly smile that suggests he might actually have enjoyed the attention. Lovely work.

Boots
"Mum Gets Back Out There"
30s
30 Nov 2012
This sweetly told tale shows mum getting "back out there" with the encouragement of her daughters. It is one of the stories briefly glimpsed among the vignettes of the main Christmas ad but it actually works better in isolation. This work has its critics but we really like it and hope it does the job for Boots.

The Range
"Christmas Pudding"
30s
30 Nov 2012
The brand spokesman from the previous commercials uncloaks another festive offering that's surplus to requirements. It's a self igniting Christmas pudding and it's every bit as alarming as you might expect from that description. Not necessarily that persuasive about this chain's attributes but an amusing film.

Urbanara
"Cottonball"
20s
30 Nov 2012
This rather lovely German commercial was made by Aardman Animation - the national treasure located in Bristol. For an interesting explanation of the tricks used to make this take a look at this 'making of' film on YouTube. The complexity of making something look simple is always fascinating.

Morrisons
"Christmas Pud"
20s
30 Nov 2012
This commercial taps cleverly into a universal truth... not everyone likes Christmas pudding. Two boys conspire with the family dog to get rid of a slice of the offending patisserie and, it turns out, not even a potted plant can abide it. A neat postscript to Morrisons' main Christmas ad.

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