David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Campaign to End Loneliness
3 mins
26 September 2017
UK Lobby Groups

This fascinating depiction of an experiment designed to highlight the corrosive power of loneliness pits a young man against himself by placing him in solitary confinement for a week. As prisons go, this one isn't bad. He has a television and he can feed himself but he pretty rapidly comes apart at the seams for want of human interaction.

Once the 'self-filmed' part of proceedings is over, he's introduced to an elderly man who has been similarly isolated since he was widowed.

Rather sweetly, it is the older of the two who exhibits sympathy more than the other way around, and this conveys his familiarity with loneliness.

Campaigning films are often at their best when they remind us of a situation we already know about, and this is a great example. As we busily go about our lives, we're often guilty of overlooking people we can help with the smallest of gestures and this film starkly draws attention to our ability to make a difference.

"Drive On"

Chris said:

looks a bit in-house



Five Star Work

"Roger Ballen x The Skateroom"
1 min 38s
6 Dec 2017
Skate art meets psychological horror in this collaborative film. Launching on the Arts Council’s online platform, boutique deck designers The Skateroom partner with photographer Roger Ballen for a monochrome fever dream. Luckily, art-conscious skaters won’t have to navigate this Saw-esque labyrinth themselves.

1 Dec 2017
It's difficult to stand out at Christmas and with 99% of clients pointing at the John Lewis showreel and asking their agency to reproduce something on it, it's incredibly hard to steer away from sentimentality... but Iceland has found a way. The heavy-handedness is perfectly judged as we witness the subversion of a familiar Christmas scene which - crucially - has been executed in a fashion which feels certain to ensure turkeys will fly from the retailers shelves.

Age UK
"Just Another Day"
4 mins 32s
5 Dec 2017
This emotional film for Age UK highlights an important issue facing our ageing population - elderly people spending Christmas alone. The charity estimates almost 1.4 million older people find the festive season completely passes them by. The spot captures the monotonous daily life of John, a dignified elderly gent who - it's implied - has become lonely since losing his wife.

Dancing On Ice
"Polar Bears"
3 Dec 2017
ITV announces the latest season of Dancing On Ice in style with this fantastic animated ad. A polar bear takes its first tentative steps onto the ice and hits the deck almost immediately, but it's not long before a pal turns up to help out... Andy Williams' 'The Impossible Dream' provides a fitting soundtrack, as we see the furry friends put on a show for other woodland critters.

Co-op Supermarkets
"Christmas is Coming Together"
2 Dec 2017
The Co-op party like it’s 1999 in their Christmas ad. Choirs, school bands, and rugby teams cover snippets of Blur’s ‘Tender’ before joining forces. Despite such disparate styles, the supergroup does Damon Albarn and co. proud. Diverse and melodic, the film brims with community spirit. There’s plenty of mouths to feed - fortunately, the supermarket have the catering sorted.

"The Supporting Act"
2 mins
2 Dec 2017
While many distract themselves with the need to create an entirely new approach at Christmas, others recognise the value of an old story... when it's retold really well. The BBC's pièce de résistance this year is exactly that - a familiar tale that's been told so beautifully that it will bring tears to many an eye when it's broadcast over the festive period.

Air New Zealand
"A Very Merry Mistake"
2 mins 47s
1 Dec 2017
Santa mixes up his present orders in this highly amusing ad for Air New Zealand. Putting the Kiwi accent on trial, the film displays a wonderfully self-deprecating sense of humour as children ring the man in red to place their gift requests... only for things to get a bit lost in translation. The comedy is spot on here, as each punchline builds on the last.

"Ed O'Brien"
3 mins 25s
1 Dec 2017
Keen to develop his “sonic palette”, guitarist Ed O’Brien has joined forces with instrument makers Fender to produce a new Stratocaster - one with extra staying power. Radiohead’s O’Brien points to the band’s shift from traditional guitar music. Despite initial concerns (“What am I going to do here?”), he decides to upgrade his weapon of choice.

3 mins 53s
1 Dec 2017
German supermarket EDEKA travel one hundred years into the future for their Christmas ad. Not much has changed… well, aside from robots taking over the planet. As droids patrol the city streets, one breaks formation to investigate an abandoned cinema. Inspired by a festive matinee, the robot arranges its own Christmas do. Despite its best efforts, some things require the human touch.

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.

"We're Open"
29 Nov 2017
Smirnoff continue to champion diversity and inclusivity in their latest ad, created in partnership with the LGBT Foundation. The 30" piece is a glittering affair, starring a number of prominent LGBT figures. Celebrating the community aspect of nights out, the visuals are packed with vibrant colour, sparkle, and play fast and loose with the concept of binary gender expression .

28 Nov 2017
A dedicated concierge gets the appreciation he deserves in this heartwarming ad for Samsung. We see the guy going the extra mile for the residents of his apartment building, ensuring that everybody feels at home. From Diwali to Hanukkah, the guy painstakingly decorates the lobby according to the season, putting in the effort to celebrate everyone's culture.

New Zealand Police
"Recruitment Video"
3 mins
27 Nov 2017
This unconventional film for the New Zealand Police has been dubbed the 'most entertaining recruitment video ever' by several outlets - and we can see why. Featuring over seventy real police officers, sniffer dogs and cats, a helicopter, and numerous stunts, the film has captured attention with its very Kiwi sense of humour.

"Above The Noise"
4 mins 30s
27 Nov 2017
Michael K Williams tells a weighty bedtime story in this Beats commercial. When a little girl struggles to doze off, Williams tells her to ignore the noise. Easier said than done when the global volume keeps rising. At four-and-a-half minutes long, Terence Neale’s film rewards patient viewers. A charged communication from a brand keen to endorse progressive, well, beats.

VW T Roc
"Born Confident"
26 Nov 2017
This excellent ad for VW stars the world's most badass ram. From the moment the little guy is born - fully equipped with a handsome pair of horns - he struts through life as though he was born to be the best. From standing up to sheepdogs to breaking out of barns, the woolly winner oozes confidence with every action... at least until he runs into a car which might just out-confidence him.

"Lost Panda"
1 min 45s
24 Nov 2017
One typically associates tracking devices with Orwellian surveillance and paranoid spouses. Cuddly pandas? Not so much. Sure enough, Tile aim to soften tracking tech’s image with their own toy story. One would think people would be more inclined to help a lonely plush animal, but these are harsh times we live in.

24 Nov 2017
It’s been a strong year for one-word Apple commercials; first ‘Stroll’, then ‘Roll’, now ‘Sway’. Rogue’s Sam Brown once again takes the helm as the brand enter the Christmas spirit. Two strangers share the brand’s AirPod earbuds. While the world walks by, the pair dance through a private winter wonderland. No sign of 2016’s baritone Frankenstein’s Monster, though.

The North Face
4 mins 30s
24 Nov 2017
This stunt-filled ad for The North Face is one of the coolest we've seen this season... and not just because of the snow. Part music promo, short film, and branded content, the hybrid ad shows a kid sitting in the back seat of a car, bored as his family drives around town. Soon, however, his daydreaming takes on a very physical dimension.

Sick Kids
"All In"
2 mins
23 Nov 2017
This black and white ad for Canadian charity Sick Kids combines the exuberance of youth with the struggles faced by children who are seriously ill... all without ever descending into melancholy. It's a tough brief, and director Mark Zibert pulls it off with aplomb. 'I'd Do Anything' from the musical 'Oliver' provides an unconventional soundtrack, as we see kids collecting materials to build something special.

"Predator is Back"
1 min 34s
23 Nov 2017
Adidas talisman Paul Pogba marks his return from injury with an afternoon stroll. Accompanied by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s ‘I Put A Spell On You’, the tracksuit trickster indulges in some street magic. When he’s not providing instant makeovers, the Manchester United and France midfielder pays tribute to past masters.

"Hide and Seek"
23 Nov 2017
BlinkInk’s Jonny and Will conclude their fun IKEA Australia series with this 30” game of hide and seek. With Grandpa Cushion fast asleep, four Mammut stools enjoy some bonus playtime. The youngsters explore every nook and cranny and all they have to do is stay quiet. Unfortunately, one hasn’t quite mastered the art of tip-toeing yet.

International Olympic Committee
"Become the Light"
22 Nov 2017
This fetching Olympic film was shot at minus twenty degrees celsius. Think about that the next time you complain about the heating. Despite flirting with hypothermia, Smuggler’s Jaron Albertin and DP Tom Townend have returned with something special. Against glistening snow and pitch-black skies, the ad highlights various disciplines.

David Jones
"Gingerbread Man"
22 Nov 2017
This charming ad for Aussie department store David Jones stars a globetrotting gingerbread man heading home for the holidays. The little guy collects presents for his family on his travels, passing through London, Paris, and New York on his travels. The snowy adventure comes to an abrupt climax, however, when an overenthusiastic dog gets involved.

Tech Will Save Us
"Side Effects"
21 Nov 2017
Unconventional brand Tech Will Save Us launch their range of toys for budding engineers in this excellent ad, directed by Somesuch's Raine Allen-Miller. The brand aims to give kids an early start in STEM fields, creating toys which encourage them to code and customise to their heart's content. The film plays with a familiar 'warning' message, twisting it to express some of the things creative kids can do with the right tools.

Adagio Skyr
20 Nov 2017
Well, this is one way to fight the dreaded mid-morning slump. Adagio Skyr promote their new range with some excitable yogurt preparation. Nothing comes between this office worker and elevenses - paperwork be damned. While her colleagues look on, the protagonist raids her private stash. We're sure office managers will heartily embrace such behaviour.

Five Star Work

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