David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Howlin' for you.Green & Black’s launch their Velvet Editions collection with a Red Riding reboot.
    • The Seeds of ChangeThis atmospheric film for Prudential explores the work of Jadav Payeng - dubbed the 'Forest Man of India'.
    • If Music Be The Food of LoveThis charming ad from IKEA's French arm depicts a budding romance... impeded by awkwardness, loud music, and fluffy socks.
    • Bennett Johnson joins Park Village.Park Village have bolstered their roster with the signing of filmmaker Bennett Johnson.
    • First blood.AMV BBDO have struck another fierce blow against the orthodoxical coyness used to advertise sanitary protection products with a brilliant commercial for Libresse.
    • Bohemian parody.Bud Light present a knowing spoof of lofty beer commercials in this lyrical ad.
    • Gallivanting Grannies McDonald's reckon their chicken tenders are as good as Grandma's... and Grandma's okay with that.
    • Taste the difference.Fear, elation, and sweat pervade this entertaining Laphroaig commercial.
    • The Littlest VampireTesco show us a Food Love Story with a spooky twist in this Halloween-themed ad.
    • The Bureaucracy of Angels.Commuters who typically bury their heads in tablets, newspapers, and smartphones may wish to look up in King’s Cross St Pancras.
    • Friendly fire.A group of lapsed gamers are drawn together by Call of Duty's World War Two comeback.
    • Cover story.FedEx's delivery service is so affordable it seems too good to be true... if you're a conspiracy theorist, that is.

CRAFTWORKS

Wednesday, 11th October.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

The LSE, Sheffield Street, Holborn, London, WC2.

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How we made... BT Sport.

● Ian Derry.

● The Bake-Off Challenge.

● Believe's Michel & Nico.

● The Dambusters Renuion.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


Green & Black's
"Red Riding Hood"
30s
18 October 2017

Green & Black’s launch their Velvet Editions collection with a Red Riding reboot. This time, Red Riding Hood has more than one Big Bad Wolf to evade. However, it’s going to take more than a lupine threat to thwart her indulgence.

It’s a fetching spin on the classic yarn. Sun rays poke through trees before Red’s pursuers meet their match. Meanwhile, a seductive cover of the Fugees’s ‘Ready or Not’ complements the forest chase.

Having wisely ditched foodies Michel Roux Jr. and co., the premium brand project a more accessible image. The chocolate makers have also ditched the familiar Fairtrade label in favour of their own Cocoa Life stamp so hose with an ethical sweet tooth may need further convincing... but this is a great start and further evidence that Academy's new wunderkinder Dorian & Daniel are going to have a stellar career.

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Prudential
"The Forest Man of India"
2 mins
18 October 2017

This atmospheric film for Prudential explores the work of Jadav Payeng - dubbed the 'Forest Man of India'. After being inspired as a teenager, Payeng has spent the last thirty-eight years planting trees on deserted sandbars near his home - eventually amassing a forest of over fourteen-hundred acres.

His unwavering dedication to improving the environment is depicted lovingly here by director Asif Kapadia. Atmospheric visuals follow Payeng on his solitary mission, while a washed-out grade gives the landscape an almost unearthly look - until the brilliantly green trees bring it back to life.

Payeng's understated voiceover is an excellent accompaniment, particularly when he undersells his huge achievement as having done 'quite a lot'. The 'consistency is the only currency that matters' tagline fits the film well, lending the brand an air of trustworthiness. Visually stunning work.

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IKEA
"Encounter"
1 min 56s
18 October 2017

This charming ad from IKEA's French arm depicts a budding love story... one slightly impeded by awkwardness, loud music, and fluffy socks. While IKEA ads for the Scandinavian and UK market often depict the grim realities of life - divorce, loss, and parental neglect are all fair game - this is an altogether more lighthearted approach.

A bloke moves into a new flat and soon meets his neighbour... by virtue of her inconsiderately loud dinner party. The comic beats here are well timed, as we feel the guy's increasing resignation that he's destined to make a fool out of himself in front of his crush forever. Lucky for him, she decides to make the first move.

Entertaining work from director James Rouse. Even more so if you imagine a super reading: "and that was the last time anyone heard from him" at the end.

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Bennett Johnson joins Park Village.

Park Village have bolstered their roster with the signing of filmmaker Bennett Johnson.

The New York-based director comes from a scholarly background. Having previously studied fine art and political science, Johnson brings a considered approach to each project.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Libresse
"#BloodHonest"
2 mins 22s
16 October 2017

AMV BBDO have struck another fierce blow against the orthodoxical coyness used to advertise sanitary protection products with a brilliant commercial for Libresse. Director Daniel Wolfe's film breezily confronts an audience accustomed to the conventional approach in which red is blue, and women are shown conducting themselves as though in denial of the reality of their menstrual cycles.

Existing advertising in this sector has been consistently attacked by female comedians for its condescension and this ought to have prompted a rethink years ago. Our industry has been slow to jettison an outdated approach, and it's hard not to attribute this to male-dominated creative departments.

Having said that, observant readers may notice that the credit list for this film is skewed towards maleness and deduce that it isn't necessary to have a fairer balance behind-the-scenes to achieve a more enlightened approach. But even if this inference is reasonable, it's probably more accurate to say that creative departments are adept at paying attention to the Zeitgeist and that this commercial is the result of reading the writing on the wall.

Similarly, there are those who will question the decision to hand this task to a male director. Not because anyone could have done a better job than Daniel Wolfe but because of the optics. Somesuch's Sally Campbell has already used social media to pre-empt this criticism in characteristically robust fashion but it's valid to ask whether this was a project that should have been handed to a female director. At the very least it would have avoided the criticism that Campbell anticipates. More than that though, it would have handed useful ammunition to those charged with gaining maximum PR for this project.

In an ideal world where equality reigns we might be able to agree with Campbell that it's: "total, old fashioned, backward bullshit" to focus attention on the gender of the director but as the #MeToo phenomenon has made horrendously plain in the last few days, we are a long way from that world.

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On This Day

Stella Artois
"Le Sacrifice"
60s
19 Oct 2005
Delicious spoof of French Surrealist cinema is a brave move for the consistently brilliant Stella campaign as it departs from its normal course for the first time in many years. The idea that the beer is worth more than anything is retained but the ad asks a lot more of the audience's intelligence.

Debenhams
"Ear Ring"
40s
19 Oct 2009
Paul McGann speaks over Roxy Music's Love Is the Drug in this stylish film for the high street retail chain. At a fashionable soiree, the camera focuses on the carefully designed items available throughout each floor of Debenhams.

O2
"This Is Priority"
60s
19 Oct 2009
An impressive restatement of one of the O2 phone network's USPs... the prioritisation of their customers when it comes to allocating tickets for events at the O2 arena. Well-known acts emerge from the backstage dressing rooms as Sean Bean delivers the reminder.

Debenhams
"Every Department"
60s
19 Oct 2009
Paul McGann speaks over Roxy Music's Love Is the Drug in this stylish film for the high street retail chain. At a fashionable soiree, the camera focuses on the carefully designed items available throughout each floor of Debenhams.

VW
"Woofwagen"
60s
19 Oct 2013
If dogs look like their owners, why not substitute the drivers in this ad for their canine passengers and make things a whole lot more entertaining? That's what VW has done in this disarmingly sweet ad which features pooches of all persuasions enjoying a ride while less fortunate pooch pals look on.

Acura
"The Test"
60s
19 Oct 2015
For anyone who enjoyed 'Humans', this terrific spot for luxury car brand Acura will no doubt have extra resonance. As we watch, an R&D guy carefully places people in a pristine vehicle and belts them in. They comprise a family: mum, dad, a boy and a girl. But strangely, they are completely passive - catatonic, even. What's the deal? Wait for the clever reveal at the end.

Lotto
"Vinnie Jones (Extended)"
1 min 40s
19 Oct 2015
This is the campaign that keeps on giving. It's not often these days that agencies carry on delivering on a promising conceit but you have to hand it to AMV: the second wave of 'please don't let it be them' is every bit as good as the first. Much of the credit for that belongs to director Jeff Low who has coaxed wonderful pieces of self-deprecation from the subjects of these films.

Ford Edge
"Le Fantôme"
8 mins
19 Oct 2016
We wish we were as cool as Mads Mikkelsen, that's what we're getting from this surprisingly funny ad. He spends a lot of his time striking various poses in the dusty countryside as he follows a couple in witness protection he's supposed to assassinate. They nearly slip under his radar too... until he falls in love with their Ford Edge (no seriously, he rubs his face on it to 10CC's 'I'm Not In Love').

Herbal Essences
"Multi Organic"
30s
19 Oct 2004
An elderly couple listen to the young woman next door neighbour as she washes her hair with Herbal Essences and goes through the whole When Harry Met Sally fake orgasm routine. Once she has finished she starts over and the old lady comments that once would have been enough for her.

Fellowes
"Identity Theft"
30s
19 Oct 2004
Very well-timed debut for a paper shredder coming as it did during a drama about identity theft. A man recommends shredding confidential documents before you bin them to prevent them being taken from your rubbish.

Army Recruitment
"Defusing Situations"
40s
19 Oct 2005
Interesting attempt to cover the shortfall in army recruitment inevitably resulting from the genuine prospect of being blown apart by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) has a night-club bouncer being shown to have the same skills as an army officer which is probably true, but not in a good way.

Toshiba
"Oriental Engineer"
30s
19 Oct 2005
My, how Dave Trott's bastardisation of Alexei Sayle's "Hello, John Got A New Motor" has endured. Here a Japanese computer engineer appears to have a strange London accident as he explains the abuse you can put your Toshiba laptop through without it ceasing to function.

Army Recruitment
"Out Of Bounds"
40s
19 Oct 2005
Second in the new series of Army recruitment ads makes its point more successfully than its companmion piece - a young woman's wisely prevents her friends from chasing a lost football in tandem with an equally wise decision not to pursue some lost cargo in a different context.

Woolwich
"Cramped"
30s
19 Oct 2006
House prices in London are going a bit insane again according to this amusing piece in which a man arrives home to the mailbox he has turned into an apartment. As he uncomfortably (and implausibly) climbs in, we hear his wife ask if he has remembered the milk.

Dairylea Cheese Strips
"Ducks"
30s
19 Oct 2006
The Dairylea cows return with a new mission which they achieve by strapping a fake duck to the head of one of their number and getting him to lob the product at a Mum feeding the ducks with her young charge. Sometimes writing these descriptions makes DAVID wonder what he is doing with his life.

Sanex
"Three Rights"
30s
19 Oct 2009
Sanex return to the idea that our skin can be represented by a thousands of smaller naked bodies belonging to people who are far more healthy looking than us. It's an impressive effect but if it were really thus, wouldn't you hope that Sanex killed off the little parasites?

Lloyds Pharmacy
"Dual Tens"
30s
19 Oct 2009
A grandfather who looks worryingly like Robert Kilroy-Silk finally decides to do something about his back pain in this ad for the high street chemist. Apparently, tens machines are available at half price for a limited time... so hobble to your nearest outlet now.

Erskine
"Jack"
30s
19 Oct 2009
An elderly resident of one of Erskine's homes for retired soldiers tells us about Jack... whom he describes as the bravest man he knows. Jack is not a veteran of World War II though, he received his injuries in one of the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. Decent work.

Benylin
"Mucus Monster"
30s
19 Oct 2009
A man is attacked during the night by a small green monster representing the mucus that sits on his chest because of a cold. He's forced out of bed to battle the little gremlin but is probably as perplexed as us by the strains of a Mexican Mariachi band.

June
"To Be A Girl"
45s
19 Oct 2009
A man enjoys watching June so much that it makes him want to be a girl according to this amusing French ad. We see him in a variety of situations where his macho bulk prevents him from looking like he's one of the girls despite his game efforts.

BlackBerry
"All You Need Is Love"
60s
19 Oct 2009
The Beatles hippie anthem All You Need Is Love is being used to advertise a communication appliance which is practically synonymous with corporate greed. Lordy lord. It's like using the Lord's Prayer to advertise a brothel. The musical criminals are Daytona Lights, apparently.

Hobbycraft
"Handmade"
30s
19 Oct 2009
Hobbycraft can help you to make your own stuff and various examples are used to illustrate this claim in this cheery piece of advertising. We're just past the mid-point of October and the slew of Christmas ads is starting to rain down on our TV screens already.

Misfits
"Recap"
60s
19 Oct 2010
This vibrant recap of the first series of Mishaps reminds us of the special powers gained by the protagonists by a mysterious electrical storm. It feels from this trail as though the whole thing was intended to be a spoof of the American series Heroes.

Promomachine.co.uk
"Massive Discounts"
20s
19 Oct 2010
This amusing ad introduces us to a young man who gauchely explains why he's so "ruddy wealthy". The secret to his success is a price comparison website which ensures that he never pays more than he had to when purchasing new stuff. It's highly energetic and succeeds in making its proposition but the branding is weak.

BlackBerry
"Diplo"
30s
19 Oct 2010
Is this for real? It looks like a spoof but we've a feeling that the besuited twat in this ad is genuinely being presented as a 'music innovator'. Is the intention here to underline the idea that BlackBerry users are Apprentice rejects?

On This Day

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