David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

Latest Work
    • Straight 8 will make your Cannes experience worthwhile.At this year's Festival of Creativity in Cannes you can make your whole experience worthwhile by attending the marvellous Straight 8 Industry Shootout.
    • Confronting bad behaviour.The Cannes Festival of creativity is a nexus of bad behaviour, and the depicted scene of a woman's taxi ride being hijacked by an older colleague certainly rings true.
    • The Buddy SystemAXA promise to be in their customers' corner with this intriguing film.
    • A Rogue move for Lisa Gunning.Home is where it's at for Lisa Gunning as she returns to the UK with Rogue Films.
    • Under her eye.A new venture from the Free the Bid team aims to broaden the initiative's scope
    • God Save the QueensThis celebratory outing from Channel 4 draws attention to their upcoming makeover show, Drag SOS.
    • I believe I can fly.adam&eveDDB's first piece of work for Virgin Media is a blackly humorous twist on the brand's familiar bombast
    • Yoomin Lee makes the grade at MPC.MPC have added another canny operator to their midst by signing colourist Yoomin Lee.
    • Impossible ObjectsThis perception-bending outing for Deloitte accountancy services does a classy job of tricking the eye.
    • Ian Robertson arrives at tantrum.tantrum's recruitment drive continues to yield results as the company unveil new signing Ian Robertson.
    • Sight and sound.This artfully shot commercial for upmarket cinema chain Everyman is an intriguing three-hander.
    • Against All OddsThis eye-opening film for Sportsbet.io draws attention to the Conifa European Football Cup.
    • Alternate Reality Roche raise awareness about the early detection and treatment of MS in this affecting film.
    • Behind a SmileThis touching film explores the impact of being an unpaid carer on fundamental aspects of life.

SISTERHOOD

Sisterhood is a free resource we developed to provide a platform for women working in roles dominated by men.

Sisterhood is free to join and free to view.

Over the next few weeks, we are expanding its scope to include live events and an annual competition.

We're seeking sponsors for this so please get in touch if you'd like to help and associate your company with this vital mission.

VISIT THE SISTERHOOD.

Straight 8 will make your Cannes experience worthwhile.

As regular readers will know, DAVID is a big fan of Straight 8. The purity of the competition devised twenty years ago by Ed Sayers provides an opportunity for true creativity to shine. And since the advertising industry tirelessly champions the idea of creativity, it should cherish this marvellous event.

If – as you read this – you're waking up in your quarters at Cannes wondering what you can do to justify your presence at the Festival of Creativity, then Thursday morning provides the perfect opportunity to make your whole experience worthwhile.

All you have to do is buy a pair of tickets (£20 each) for the Straight 8 Industry Shootout, and get yourself along to the Cinema Les Arcades and watch the fifteen films made by companies in our industry. Some of them will be great, some of them will be okay, and some of them will be a complete disaster. That's the joy of Straight 8.


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timeTo
"Cannes"
1 min 38s
18 June 2019

Lucky Generals and Steve Reeves have won plaudits for this campaign drawing attention to the problem of harassment within the advertising industry, and the latest instalment is very topical. The Cannes Festival of creativity is a nexus of bad behaviour, and the depicted scene of a woman's taxi ride being hijacked by an older colleague certainly rings true. In order to be truly effective though, it's vital that men recognise their own behaviour when watching films like this, and DAVID isn't entirely convinced that they will.

It still serves an important purpose, not least in vindicating women subjected to this kind of harassment that they are not alone, and that they are not exaggerating the impact of it. The most impressive aspect of this film is the manner of the female protagonist's calculation of her best options. You can see her trying and failing to figure out a graceful retreat.

Women will undoubtedly empathise with her, and a lot of men will too… because they will recognise her plight. But how many of the men who watch this will recognise themselves as the villain of the situation? Instead, it seems likely that they will feel this is the behaviour of 'other men', and their instinct will be to protect the women in their lives from these monsters. This – it seems to us – is where communication like this lets men off the hook. Only by obliging us to truly examine our own worst moments will we begin to provide the circumspection required to start solving this problem, once and for all.


AXA
"Cold Water"
77s
18 June 2019

AXA promise to be in their customers' corner with this intriguing film. Directed by Yags, the ad focuses on a group of open-water swimmers - all women 'of a certain age' who find empowerment and community in their unusual hobby. It's a dangerous sport to undertake solo... and, well, why would they want to with friends like these?

An atmospheric opening in the wee small hours - partly lit by headlamps - transitions into a more upbeat affair with the help of a jazzy soundtrack, as the camaraderie the swimmers have becomes clear through their genuine affection for each other. The focus on texture throughout - sand on skin, wool around fingers, cold waves lapping at feet - is particularly evocative.


A Rogue move for Lisa Gunning.

Home is where it's at for Lisa Gunning as she returns to the UK with Rogue Films.

The editor-turned-director has plied her trade in the United States since 2017, but Rogue's co-founder Charlie Crompton thinks it's high time Gunning reacquaint herself with the British market.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Free the Work
"Mozart"
60s
16 June 2019

Maria Anna Mozart is not as well known as her younger brother Wolfgang and - according to this film promoting a new resource from the people behind 'Free the Bid' - she might have eclipsed his output if she'd been given the same exposure and opportunities.

Ms Mozart is representative of all the women whose ambitions have been thwarted over hundreds of years of patriarchy, and whose artistic potential has been lost to the world. This is not just a tragedy for the women whose lives could have been fulfilled by the freedom to express themselves, but to a wider world robbed of the chance to hear what they have to say.

When director Alma Har'el discovered the extent of the bias against female filmmakers in the advertising realm, she founded 'Free the Bid' - a movement designed to promote positive change. Two-and-a-half years on, she's launching a new online resource which aims to broaden the scope of her movement into the domains of TV and film. It's called 'Free the Work' and its website - which replaces Free the Bid's - was unleashed on the first day of the 2019 Cannes Festival of Creativity.


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On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Ford
"Dog"
2 mins
19 Jun 2011
This amusing French ad brings to mind another car ad with a very similar name... Cog. There are doggy antics in this one and although much of it appears to have been captured in a single shot, it's asking a lot of canine performers to expect them to emulate the flawnessness of the original.

British Airways
"Home Advantage"
60s
19 Jun 2012
London's Calling by The Clash is used to remind Britain's holidaymakers that there's a bit of a shindig happening in London this summer. We should consider staying at home and to illustrate this idea, a jet is shown taxiing its way through the city. It's a triumph of post-production and the viral version (which allows punters to include footage of their own street) is even better.

World Vision
"Kids for Sale"
30s
19 Jun 2013
This Canadian film drawing attention to the plight of children sold into slavery controversially uses the vernacular of the shopping channel to make its point. It's never a good idea to take YouTube comments as a barometer of public opinion but a glimpse of what's being said about this film reveals that many feel its use of satire is inappropriate.

Burger King
"Up The Country"
30s
19 Jun 2013
Having been caught up in the oh-no-it's-horsemeat scandal, Burger King are taking steps to rehabilitate themselves with this spot which aims to get the word 'Angus' in it as many times as possible without sounding Tourettish. To emphasise the fact their burgers are made of Angus beef, they show a selection of stereotypical farmers enjoying said burgers together.

National Centre For Domestic Violence
"Football"
30s
19 Jun 2014
One of the least unedifying World Cup facts to emerge in recent weeks concerns the increase in domestic violence that often accompanies England's matches during the tournament. Whether England win, lose or draw, incidents of domestic violence tend to increase by 25% after one of their games and it's good that charities like the National Centre for Domestic Violence are casting a spotlight on this phenomenon.

Hello Flo
"First Moon Party"
2 mins 18s
19 Jun 2014
This excellent US ad has a girl on the brink of her first period jumping the gun because she wants to keep up with her peer group. But has she thought through the consequences of falsely claiming to begun her journey into womanhood? Her mother is wiser than she thinks and decides to teach her an epic lesson.

O2
"Magic Hat"
60s
19 Jun 2016
For better or worse, children are becoming quite the precocious technology users as they learn to tap, swipe, and browse along with their ABCs. Like all kids, however, they'll sometimes find themselves straying too far from the safe path. With this in mind, O2 and the NSPCC collaborate on this ad highlighting the dangers of unsupervised internet access with a pleasing visual treatment.

Icelandair
"Unstoppable"
80s
19 Jun 2017
The name Margrét Lára Viðarsdóttir might not mean a great deal to you but after watching this sparkling film for Icelandair, you might want to look her up. If you do, you'll discover that with 77 goals from 115 games, she is the leading goalscorer for Iceland's national football team... and she makes a brief appearance in this ad.

Shiseido
"Natural Beauty"
60s
19 Jun 2017
Any filmmaker will tell you nature has no respect for production schedules. However, patience pays off in this elegant ad for Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido. Eschewing beauty models and haughty testimonials, the ad fuses green fingers with sophisticated tech. Sensors and probes capture nature at work before converting their findings into art: a centrepiece which ‘grows' before our eyes.

Audi
"Dream"
40s
19 Jun 2018
Audi buck the car ad trend with this intriguing commercial for their approved used cars. A sultry cover of 'All I Do is Dream of You' accompanies the dreamy visuals, as the camera takes us on a drive through countryside and city alike... the catch is, there's no car in sight. It's a clever conceit, allowing the brand to draw attention to buying their cars second-hand without over-emphasising one particular model.

Nike
"Korobka"
60s
19 Jun 2018
"Ask and you won't receive," says this punky blend of live action and animation for Nike Russia. While conventional wisdom suggests one can achieve anything if they speak up, the young protagonist of this 60" number disagrees. Confronted by an older boy on a korobka (concrete pitches found in urban neighbourhoods), the lad decides to let his feet do the talking instead.

VW Passat
"Open Up"
40s
19 Jun 2005
A boy is very impressed with his Dad's new car after the latter picks him up from school. He especially likes the little added extras (that an onscreen graphic warns may cost extra) and once home he tries to command his cupboard doors to open.

Channel 4
"Guilt"
60s
19 Jun 2006
The various personalities of Channel 4 tell us what makes them feel guilty. For David Starkey, it's being unkind to those who are not as clever as him... by saying that, for example. For Gordon Ramsay it's "sacking individuals" which somehow suggests that he's okay with sacking people en masse.

Club Orange
"Crucial Bits"
40s
19 Jun 2008
A very amusing ad from the Irish Republic has an Evil Knievel wannabe attempting a stunt in a field while watched by a handful of curious admirers. His bid comes to grief when it emerges that some of the spectators are sitting on the ramp he was due to zoom up in order to gain the height needed to clear the obstacles.

Sure
"Futuristic"
30s
19 Jun 2008
Sure seems certain (or sure, if you like) that the biggest problem in the future is going to be our ability to hide from our robotic masters the fact that we sweat. This is quite a relief as, fools that we are, we imagined extremist terrorism, global warming, food scarcity and dwindling energy supplies were going to be the problem.

Health Promotion Agency (NI)
"Little Steps Go A Long Way"
40s
19 Jun 2008
How do you get the attention of people who are tired of being told what they should do to improve their health? An interesting answer is provided here... get cute children to act out a scene precociously using a script better suited to adults. The result is a film much more likely to hold its audience's attention than is usual.

Andrex
"Pour Le Pup"
20s
19 Jun 2009
Andrex craftily manage to get past the fact that their new brand of toilet paper is named Shea Butter (which frankly brings to mind a notorious scene in Last Tango In Paris) by running an amusing spoof of a perfume commercial.

Carling
"The Score: England Vs Algeria"
30s
19 Jun 2010
Another re-voiced version of the most recent Carling ad once again incorporates England's latest World Cup score into the ad. But surely it would have worked a lot better if the score had been read the other way around with Algeria's score first, n'est pas?

United Nations
"Greening The Blue"
2 mins 10s
19 Jun 2010
A series of films funded by the United Nations which usefully remind us that we don't have to be eco-warriors to contribute to energy conservation. The animated style is simple, appealing and does a good job of supporting the messages therein.

Daz
"Super Soap"
30s
19 Jun 2010
Jeff Stark becomes the latest directorial custodian of the poisoned chalice that is Daz's Cleaner Close series. In this episode, Jennifer Ellison faints when she discovers various soapy doings before being resuscitated by Dr Legg from Eastenders (who may be immortal).

Coors Light
"Jean-Claude Van Damme"
30s
19 Jun 2011
Jean-Claude Van Damme, the so-called Muscles from Brussels, sends himself up in this uneven but amusing offering made for online audiences. The beer-makers of his home country must be pretty offended that he's opted to take money for advertising a product that hails from North America.

Peugeot 208
"Your Body"
60s
19 Jun 2012
A man receives his id - a naked uninhibited version of himself - through the post and slowly learns how to get in touch with a more adventurous side of his personality. Unfortunately, the power of this analogy is all but drained by the decision to put the words 'I Am Your Body' on the chest of the newcomer. Give us a bit of credit, eh?

Orange
"Speed Trials"
40s
19 Jun 2012
This ad poses the question: what would happen if Orange and Intel got together to make a smartphone? It then answers its own question by suggesting that the resulting phone would be so fast that it would need to be tested on the salt plains of Utah. It's an impressive claim but, if we're honest, the answer provided doesn't tally with our guess about the outcome of this union.

Panasonic Lumix
"Up Close"
30s
19 Jun 2012
The advertised camera brings you so close to the subjects you're photographing that you appear right next to them in the resulting pictures. This is an entertaining piece of exaggeration but we can't help feeling it might raise punters' expectations to unrealistic levels.

Vauxhall Corsa
"Smoke"
40s
19 Jun 2012
What says fun more than trailing coloured smoke behind your car? Er, quite a lot of things actually but that's what the people behind this ad for the Vauxhall Corsa have decided. The cars speed through the empty streets of a city trailing different colours that are occasionally meaninglessly combined.

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.