David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Sonja Phillips lands at Dark Energy.Well-travelled filmmaker Sonja Phillips is ready to put down roots at Dark Energy after joining for commercial representation.
    • Word play.'Have You Heard George's Podcast?' creator George the Poet aims to get the word out there.
    • Backed into a corner."A jaguar is for life, not just for Christmas" says this piece of stop-motion animation for the World Wildlife Fund.
    • Young LungsThe ever-more pressing issue of air pollution is explored in this striking ad from energy provider E.on.
    • Dragon's zen.The most eagerly-awaited (or should that be Edgarly-awaited) commercial of the year has been released... the John Lewis Christmas ad - brought to you this year in association with their supermarket partners Waitrose.
    • A Double-Hit for Missing Link.Missing Link Films have announced a couple of new additions to their roster: Laura Scrivano and Christophe Dolcerocca.
    • New Land bring Natanael Ericsson into the fold.Former director's assistant Natanael Ericsson is now a director in his own right at New Land.
    • Same difference.Tanqueray's discerning spin on a blind taste test starts in 1830 and finishes in the present day.
    • Destination DignityThe limitations of travelling while disabled are explored in this touching partnership between Tesco and accessibility charity Changing Places.
    • Another Bank in the WallBanking becomes even more of a dystopian nightmare than usual in this ominous commercial for Nubank.
    • James Tupper joins NOMINT.Director, designer, and all-round creative whizz James Tupper has joined NOMINT for representation.
    • You're Saint Nicked.This rollicking two-and-a-half minute ad from Sainsbury's charts the origins of one Nicholas the chimney sweep.
    • Unimpeded Undercarriages This stylish piece of work for bespoke fashion retailer Spoke focuses on what the company does best: making trousers to suit the modern man's needs.
    • Attendance for AllUK charity Freedom4Girls draw attention to the increasingly prevalent issue of period poverty in this hard-hitting short film.

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Sonja Phillips lands at Dark Energy.

Well-travelled filmmaker Sonja Phillips is ready to put down roots at Dark Energy after joining for commercial representation.

The London-based director's career has brought her to the likes of Bosnia-Herzegovina and LA's impoverished Skid Row district, with Phillips keen to raise awareness of social and humanitarian issues through the medium of film.


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BBC Sounds
"Have You Heard George's Podcast?"
30s
14 November 2019

One of several films promoting BBC Sounds podcasts, this engaging piece of work is all about, well, getting the word out there. The spokesman in question is ‘Have You Heard George's Podcast?' creator George the Poet, and he prefers substance over style.

This is illustrated by George sliding onto the set of the cheapest, tackiest game show around - the kind even the late Dale Winton would turn his nose up at. "What does is take for the word to be heard?" George asks. Simply put, not this.

Accompanied by some neat set deconstruction, the host encourages us to ditch distractions like a widescreen TV and focus on what's actually being said. It would be ironic if viewers catch this on a 75" telly of all things, but that doesn't detract from a slick, personality-driven outing.


WWF
"Jaguar"
30s
13 November 2019

We've already seen Dogs Trust remind viewers that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas; now the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) aim to do the same with another ‘cuddly' beast: the jaguar. The result is a 30" piece of stop-motion animation that takes us deep into big cat territory... and finds one member of the near-threatened species on the run.

Scored by the kind of 'BRAAAM!'-heavy soundtrack used in countless Hollywood trailers, the ad has a couple of striking tricks up its sleeve - including a flamethrower-wielding figure that looms overhead. Just as this underlines the threat posed by mankind, the teenager who leads a human shield around the jaguar emphasises our potential for good.


E.on
"Let's Clean the Air"
60s
14 November 2019

The ever-more pressing issue of air pollution is explored in this striking ad from energy provider E.on. The brand present a wholesome summer scene - families playing in a sunny park - perverted by visible, ominous grey specks of pollution in the air.

It's a smart move to focus on the increased risks children face from poor air quality, with a young narrator and a preoccupation with the fact the contaminants concentrate closer to the ground. Director James Lees astutely keeps the visuals behind the VFX as light as possible, allowing the contrast to speak for itself.

With canny sound design slipping the constant whistle of laboured breathing under the matter-of-fact narration, this is a subtly confronting piece of work which tells watching adults that it's time to speak up - before the kids around them don't get a chance to.


John Lewis & Waitrose
"Excitable Edgar"
2 mins 30s
14 November 2019

The most eagerly-awaited (or should that be Edgarly-awaited) commercial of the year has been released... the John Lewis Christmas ad - brought to you this year in association with their supermarket partners Waitrose.

After last year's departure from the usual template with a celebrity-driven film featuring Elton John, this ad is a return to the fold.

For the fifth time, Dougal Wilson has been entrusted with the director's chair and for the fifth time he has delivered an exquisite tale which is sure to strike a chord with a public who genuinely anticipate this commercial with great excitement.

It is a classic fairytale. A friendship between a little girl and a young dragon, who appears to suffer from a draconic version of Tourette's syndrome - he simply can't help setting fire to things when he gets excited. His human companion is well aware of this unfortunate tendency and does her best to prevent it from being too calamitous. This is not an easy undertaking but, after a moment of inspiration, she hatches a plan to turn his liability into an asset.

That turning point – which you'll find at 1'41" – looks to be a deliberate echo of a very similar moment in one of Wilson's previous Christmas films for John Lewis - Monty the Penguin... and it epitomises his skill for capturing extraordinary tenderness in a child's performance.

The John Lewis Christmas ad is the tallest poppy in advertising's field and there are bound to be those who feel it is too early, too sentimental, too cynical, too derivative and all the rest… but most will greet it as a joyous opportunity to feel good at the time when such opportunities feel scarce.

Already, social media commentary swings both ways but our favourite sentiment was expressed by someone on Twitter who not only adores the new film but considers it – along with the advent of 'I'm A Celebrity' on Sunday – as the real starting point of the festive season. This is the cultural significance of this annual event, and, as an industry, advertising should be pleased that it possesses anything with that much power.


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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

BBC Sounds
"Have You Heard George's Podcast?"
30s
14 Nov 2019
One of several films promoting BBC Sounds podcasts, this engaging piece of work is all about, well, getting the word out there. The spokesman in question is ‘Have You Heard George's Podcast?' creator George the Poet, and he prefers substance over style. This is illustrated by George sliding onto the set of the cheapest, tackiest game show around.

E.on
"Let's Clean the Air"
60s
14 Nov 2019
The ever-more pressing issue of air pollution is explored in this striking ad from energy provider E.on. The brand present a wholesome summer scene - families playing in a sunny park - perverted by visible, ominous grey specks of pollution in the air. Director James Lees astutely keeps the visuals behind the VFX as light as possible, allowing the contrast to speak for itself.

John Lewis & Waitrose
"Excitable Edgar"
2 mins 30s
14 Nov 2019
The most eagerly-awaited commercial of the year has been released... the John Lewis Christmas ad - brought to you this year in association with their supermarket partners Waitrose. After last year's departure from the usual template, this ad is a return to the fold. For the fifth time, Dougal Wilson has been entrusted with the director's chair and for the fifth time he has delivered an exquisite tale sure to strike a chord with a public who genuinely anticipate this commercial with great excitement.

Tesco
"Changing Places"
85s
13 Nov 2019
The limitations of travelling while disabled are explored in this touching partnership between Tesco and accessibility charity Changing Places. Blue Supermarket have teamed up with the organisation to install more accessible toilets at their locations across the UK, and one family's story explains why it's such an important move.

Nubank
"Now You See"
1 min 38s
13 Nov 2019
Banking becomes even more of a dystopian nightmare than usual in this ominous commercial for Brazilian financial institution Nubank. People's faces are replaced with blank, featureless masks as a woman makes her way to work, unimpeded by the anonymous masses as she, too, is one of them. An unusual customer, however, makes her see things differently.

Sainsbury's
"Nicholas the Sweep"
2 mins 30s
12 Nov 2019
One can hardly move for origin stories these days. From Han Solo to the Joker (and, erm, Alfred Pennyworth), seemingly any character is fair game. Even a certain Father Christmas. That's the premise of this rollicking two-and-a-half minute ad from Sainsbury's, which draws inspiration from the likes of Charles Dickens, Monty Python, and any superhero coming-of-age story you'd care to mention.

McDonald's
"Ralphie"
60s
11 Nov 2019
This German McDonald's ad suggests the notorious velociraptor has a bad rap, so to speak, and that a boy's real best friend is a bipedal carnivore with razor-sharp teeth. Oh, and a secret love of seesaws. Like a U-rated version of ‘Jurassic Park', director Sune Sørensen's charming film trades gore for larks as a child explores the woods with his scaly new friend.

Boots
"Gifting is Hard"
90s
11 Nov 2019
It's that time of year again - time to try and work out what to give friends, family, and what feels like everyone else under the sun for Christmas. Does your nephew still like videogames? Does your vegan co-worker make exceptions for chocolate? Does your mum really need yet another scarf? These questions, and more, are addressed in this amusing commercial for Boots, who acknowledge the gifting minefield of the season.

Renault Clio
"The French Exchange"
2 mins 10s
9 Nov 2019
Renault chart the evolution of a relationship through the years in this touching commercial for their Clio model. A reluctant exchange student finds herself increasingly taken with the child of her home-stay family - a friendship which evolves into more as the pair stay in touch and grow up together. It's enough to stir what romance is left in DAVID's jaded soul, no less.

IKEA
"Silence the Critics"
90s
8 Nov 2019
House-shaming takes a curious new form in this entertaining outing for IKEA. When a woman hesitates on inviting friends over due to the state of her abode, knickknacks around the room take up a call for the family to get the place spruced up sharpish. Figurines rapping criticism over a Grime-inspired beat is sure to cut through the Christmas chatter, particularly for viewers getting twitchy about hosting holiday gatherings for judgemental relatives.

Leroy Merlin
"A Life to Build"
1 min 42s
7 Nov 2019
This CG-heavy epic from home improvement retailer Leroy Merlin suggests life in a post-apocalyptic world is nowhere near as bad as books, films, and video games make out. In fact, it's the ultimate blank canvas. This is illustrated by a family who use a ramshackle house in the middle of nowhere for shelter.

Aldi
"Leafy Blinders"
70s
7 Nov 2019
Kevin the Carrot makes his triumphant return in Aldi's 70" Christmas film, and the brand have sneaked in two pop culture references for the price of one. Perhaps astutely realising that a outright Peaky Blinders parody might be a little dark for the season, things launch into full 'The Greatest Showman' territory once Kevin escapes the flat cap-wearing sprouts' clutches.

Dogs Trust
"Corky"
60s
7 Nov 2019
A dog made of champagne corks may sound like Dom Pérignon's dream pet, but it's actually the star of the Dogs Trust's splendid Christmas ad. The aptly-named Corky is an understated feat of animation, as well as a hit at the Christmas table - alas, only a fleeting one. As the charity have been at pains to show over the years, many dogs like Corky have their day in the worst sense possible.

Zalando
"Granny Goes Out Out"
1 min 33s
6 Nov 2019
Family values are the order of the day in this touching, light-footed commercial for online clothing retailer Zalando. A considerate young man takes his grandmother out to an old-fashioned knees-up, complete with dancing, pinball, and a jukebox soundtrack - streaming be damned. It's a marked shift in tone from many previous Christmas ads to have featured the elderly.

DAZN
"The World Got Game"
60s
6 Nov 2019
This colour-saturated promo for sports streaming service DAZN draws attention to their coverage of the 2019 Basketball World Cup… and shows how Google Earth might function on psychotropic drugs. The aforementioned software is a key player in RUFFMERCY and Raphaël Levy's commercial, as the camera dives into cities across the globe and delivers a hyper-stylised look at the sport.

Amazon Prime
"Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"
90s
5 Nov 2019
Amazon's bid for festive domination sees their iconic cardboard boxes once again burst into song. To the tune of Solomon Burke's 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love', a bunch of friends, families, and lovers are brought together by exchanging gifts for the holidays. Tying everything together is a cheery delivery driver, who takes joy in handing over orders on time.

Bosch
"Spit"
80s
5 Nov 2019
This intriguing ad for Bosch from director Matthew Swanson shows that terror can strike at any time. A bloke finds himself stalked by a threatening llama, constantly looking over his shoulder only to be greeted with a cold stare and a targeted wad of spit. Swanson and DP Bobby Shore nail the horror vibe, creating a sense of increasing dread while sprinkling moments of levity throughout to ease the tension.

Toyota Rav4
"Push The Limit"
60s
4 Nov 2019
Kinetic visuals and crunchy sound design propel this impressive Toyota RAV4 commercial from director Nigel Simpkiss. Featuring a cast of mountain-slash-dirt bikers and wakeboarders, the ad intends to show the marque enjoy a bit of rough and tumble... and does so with aplomb. Unlike some of Toyota's recent outings, this 60" film grips from the start.

Asda
"Northern Lights"
2 mins
4 Nov 2019
Christmas kicks off with a bang at Asda, with a two-minute film which does its best to hit every emotional soft spot possible. Sibling dynamics, holiday spirit, dead grandparents - there's nothing Green Supermarket haven't added into the mix to attempt to aggressively tug audience heartstrings. Director Tom Green balances wintry wonder with moments of levity throughout, as a brother and sister capture the magic of the Northern Lights.

Argos
"The Book of Dreams"
2 mins 46s
1 Nov 2019
The Argos catalogue used to be a staple feature of Christmas throughout a British childhood - studying, circling, conspicuously leaving open at a particular page for parents to see. While the brand have moved mainly online and their catalogues are generally nothing more than glossy doorstops these days, they revive some of the magic with this sweet commercial.

Canal+
"The Big Set"
90s
1 Nov 2019
Director Martin Werner has navigated a tricky situation here: after dedicating a campaign to trashing Netflix, Canal+ signed a deal with them at the last minute. Thus, this latest instalment of their streaming platform launch has to tread the precarious line of announcing the new partnership without rendering the previous ads redundant... and manages beautifully.

The Joy of Plants
"Thanks, Plants"
1 min 35s
31 Oct 2019
Plant lovers rejoice: you now have a short film with which to communicate the sheer joy your green friends bring you. 'Thanks, Plants' combines hipster musical stylings with chic production design, creating an eye-catching tribute to the indoor and outdoor greenery of the world. The attractive film is bound to entice more people to see if they can keep a plant or two alive. Or perhaps start with a cactus, at least.

International Fund for Agricultural Development
"Still I Rise"
2 mins
31 Oct 2019
There is a visual freshness to director Camille Summers–Valli's piece for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) that is complemented by some old-school poetic flair. The latter is provided by Maya Angelou's 'Still I Rise', which remains a vital and melodious statement of defiance over forty years after publication.

Ovarian Cancer Action
"I Will Survive"
60s
30 Oct 2019
Ovarian Cancer Action are the latest brand to enlist Gloria Gaynor's services as the charity bid to safeguard the next generation - represented here by a young cast performing a spoken-word version of ‘I Will Survive'. Some of the children sound more confident than others - one girl never rises above a whisper - but this only adds to the film's careful mix of vulnerability and strength.

Squarespace
"Restaurateur"
60s
29 Oct 2019
Another elegant commercial for Squarespace by director Patrick Daughters shows how a would-be restaurant owner like Claire Williams can make their dream a reality. Step one? Sit alone in a dusty room with only your laptop for company. As with previous instalments in this campaign, however, it's step two where things get interesting.

Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

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