David Reviews

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

    • Track and pace.Olympic swimming champion Gregorio Paltrinieri stars in this focused piece of work for Bridgestone tyres.
    • Hail to the mischief.Coronavirus may have spoiled the word 'variant' for good, but Marvel & Disney’s 'Loki' offers a welcome twist on permutations.
    • Global gliding.This delicate film for Facebook makes the most of director FKA twigs' understanding of movement.
    • Criminal kicks.In characteristically provocative fashion, pop pioneer Lil Nas X follows up his controversial promo for 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)' with this short teaser for his next track.
    • Fight for change.Director Hannah Berry George delivers an assured piece of work for the Army.
    • Destination Dirty for Simon Lane.Dirty Films have added quick-thinking director Simon Lane to their enterprising roster.
    • Islands in the streamWhen artists like Billie Eilish, Travis Scott, and Dua Lipa self-isolate, they do it in style.
    • Let's get vaginal.As Maude Lebowski once said, "The word vagina makes some men uncomfortable." It can also make women uncomfortable, regardless of age, body shape, or sexual experience. That’s where eco-friendly sanitary brand Flex come in.
    • Little triumphsThis charming film for American whiskey Gentleman Jack asserts the idea that many of life's real celebrations should be attached to the minor milestones which we encounter every day.
    • London's open for business (and viruses)The message contained in this film for Transport for London is one of a return to normality after the pandemic.

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Bridgestone
"Gregorio Paltrinieri"
30s
26 July 2021

Olympic swimming champion Gregorio Paltrinieri stars in this focused piece of work for Bridgestone tyres. One of three ads directed by Laszlo Kadar, the piece compares Italian Paltrinieri's harsh training regime to the brand's own exacting production process. Don't expect to see tyre-making at the Olympics anytime soon though.

That aside, the 30" commercial engages thanks to Paltrinieri's mix of strength and vulnerability. Whether crumpled on the floor after a training session or pointing to the sky after a triumphant lap, he sets a good example for the sport. Victory in Tokyo may nab him a new set of tyres into the bargain.


Loki
"Trailer"
2 mins 44s
26 July 2021

Coronavirus may have spoiled the word 'variant' for good, but Marvel & Disney’s 'Loki' offers a welcome twist on permutations. Tom Hiddleston returns as the Norse god of mischief in this six-part series, which dabbles in time travel, multiple universes, and space bureaucracy.

All three elements are covered in this pithy trailer that also establishes Owen Wilson (unrecognisable from his Sofology days) as Loki's guide-slash-caretaker. It also proves that everyone will make a Marvel Cinematic Universe apperance at some point.

Coupled with art direction inspired by 'A Clockwork Orange', 'Brazil', and other dystopian classics, director Kate Herron's latest stands out from the franchise's already eclectic output.


Facebook
"Longboard Family"
2 mins
26 July 2021

This delicate film for Facebook makes the most of director FKA twigs' understanding of movement. The action fluidly follows longboarders who have made connections through a social group on the advertised site, as they demonstrate their unique skills and assist each other in perfecting tricks and moves of their own.

Brent Faiyaz's 'Dead Man Walking' provides a dreamy soundtrack, fizzing alongside the visuals as they spool out across continents and countries - all connected by a shared passion. It's a great example of what the social network can offer when used carefully, and works to combat headlines about what can go wrong when it isn't.


Lil Nas X
"Satan Shoes"
2 mins 03s
23 July 2021

In characteristically provocative fashion, pop pioneer Lil Nas X follows up his controversial promo for 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)' with this short teaser for his next track. The young artist's uncanny ability to lampoon pop culture shines through the Tony Yacenda-directed effort, which sees Nas play multiple roles in a courtroom setting.

It's something of a win-win for Nike, who receive double publicity for the sake of a little controversy. Despite having settled their lawsuit against Nas and artist MSCHF over the 'satanic' customised sneakers, the brand have their Air Max 97s passed around the room and thoroughly inspected here.

Far from simply poking fun at the court of public opinion, there's also a deeper narrative going on here about internalised homophobia. Nas is condemned to jail explicitly for his sexuality rather than his shoe crimes, and to serve his sentence at a prison which bears his legal name (Montero). If there are other artists being this brave in 2021... they need to be louder about it.


Army Recruitment
"A Soldier is a Soldier"
60s
23 July 2021

DAVID wonders if the Army planned to include a shot of the Ajax armoured vehicle in their new recruitment film, only for reports of hearing damage and erratic cannons to emerge. That would have a tricky action sequence for everyone involved.

Fortunately, director Hannah Berry George delivers an assured piece of work that questions the term 'female soldier'. According to a rotating cast of narrators, the label has no place in 2021, alongside jokes about "rifles with easy-pull triggers for smaller hands".

Well-conceived props and visual flourishes support the concept, along with some punchy location shifts that emphasise adaptability. All these recruits need now is functioning hardware.


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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

Loki
"Trailer"
2 mins 44s
26 Jul 2021
Coronavirus may have spoiled the word 'variant' for good, but Marvel & Disney’s 'Loki' offers a welcome twist on permutations. Tom Hiddleston returns as the Norse god of mischief in this six-part series, which dabbles in time travel, multiple universes, and space bureaucracy. All three elements are covered in this pithy trailer that also establishes Owen Wilson as Loki's guide-slash-caretaker.

Facebook
"Longboard Family"
2 mins
26 Jul 2021
This delicate film for Facebook makes the most of director FKA twigs' understanding of movement. The action fluidly follows longboarders who have made connections through a social group on the advertised site, as they demonstrate their unique skills and assist each other in perfecting tricks and moves of their own.

Gentleman Jack
"Milestones (Director's Cut)"
1 min 39s
25 Jul 2021
This charming film for American whiskey Gentleman Jack asserts the idea that many of life's real celebrations should be attached to the minor milestones which we encounter every day. After depicting the traditional milestone of a graduation ceremony, director Ian Pons Jewell contrasts its significance with four moments less likely to feature in a Christmas round robin newsletter.

Toyota
"Relax"
30s
22 Jul 2021
There are some proper adverts out there at the moment... this film for Toyota, for example, has a compelling message for existing owners, as well as an incentive for those in the market for a new car, and it delivers the message clearly and stylishly. It's a perfect demonstration of how the cleverest advertising draws attention to a worthwhile proposition - something that you'd think would be Advertising 101, but is often sacrificed because of the preoccupation with the awards circus.

Pedigree
"Vampires"
80s
19 Jul 2021
There's a perfect blend of comedy and pathos in this immensely sweet film for Pedigree designed to remind us that there are wonderful dogs to be found at our nearest shelter, and – by implication – that this should be our first port of call when considering dog ownership.

Method
"Must I Evolve?"
1 min 55s
19 Jul 2021
Uncommon's latest piece of work for Method feels like a good-natured remake of 'The Blob'. Instead of a murderous alien amoeba, citizens are enveloped by soap suds like a hygienic foam party. DAVID never thought he'd use those words in the same sentence. It's a confidently realised premise, with bubbles coating a city street and smothering identikit rivals in the household cleaner aisle.

Virgin Media
"Faster brings us closer - Part II"
90s
15 Jul 2021
There's always something quite gratifying about a piece of work which credits the audience with a little intelligence, and this marvellous film for Virgin Media is a prime example. The story unfolds as much in the head of the viewer as it does on screen as we are invited to join the dots, and piece together an emotional tale of a talented daughter who has lost her father.

Sony PlayStation
"Best Of"
60s
15 Jul 2021
A pair of mates refuse to quit in this sprawling Playstation commercial. The never-ending fight for supremacy takes them from sci-fi battlegrounds to dragon-infested forests, chasing glory on the football pitch, in the Wild West, and while crawling through waterlogged sniper fields in the meantime.

Channel 4 Paralympics
"Super. Human."
3 mins
14 Jul 2021
"To be a Paralympian, there has to be something wrong with you" – these words appearing in a super around two-and-a-half minutes into this superb trail for the delayed 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, and they encapsulate the spirit and genuine bravery of 4 Creative's quadrennial communication advertising their coverage of the event.

BBC Sport
"Ladies Wimbledon Final"
2 mins 40s
14 Jul 2021
Tennis is one of those rare sports where the women's game has parity with the men's. Unlike sports such as football and cricket where female competitors are scrambling to achieve a tenth of the recognition of their male peers, tennis's women have long been considered superstars, and have been handed the same amount of prize money as the men for nearly fifteen years.

Asda
"Arrive Like You Mean It"
40s
12 Jul 2021
While rap tracks written specifically for commercials have a questionable history (see Pepsi's most recent Christmas offering for a cringeworthy example), this Asda campaign swerves embarrassment by virtue of its juvenile cast. Bringing noted music producer KZ on to develop the track can't have hurt either.

Co-op
"First Day Out"
60s
12 Jul 2021
Tom – the old boy at the centre of this lovely commercial for the Co-op – is venturing outside, and we get the impression that it may be his first trip beyond his front door for the entirety of the pandemic. This isn't stated, and it doesn't need to be… we've all experienced some measure of isolation over the past year and a half, and we know that this has been more acute for elderly people living alone.

Irn Bru
"The Good, The Bad and The Orangey"
60s
13 Jul 2021
It's been a while since the last big production for Irn-Bru, but this appropriately silly comeback is worth the wait. Set in a classic Western saloon bar, it opens with a disagreement about the flavour of the advertised drink, with one gunslinger claiming that it taste like "bubblegum" and another picking up notes of "tutti-frutti".

National Lottery
"There’s an easier way"
60s
7 Jul 2021
One of the most visible indicators of the success generated by the charitable funding provided by the National Lottery has been Britain's Olympians at both the regular games and the Paralympics. In the years since the introduction of the National Lottery, the able-bodied British team has gone from a single gold among a modest haul of fifteen medals at the Atlanta games of 1996 placing us 36th in the world, to twenty-seven golds among sixty-seven medals placing us 2nd in the world at the Rio games five years ago.

DAZN
"We ALL Rise With More Eyes"
2 mins
9 Jul 2021
The importance of visibility is intricately explored in this new commercial for streaming service DAZN. The platform encourages potential viewers to show their support for the UEFA Women's Champions League, asserting that the more attention the sport receives, the more opportunities its players will have in line with their masculine counterparts.

International Olympic Committee
"Progress"
58s
9 Jul 2021
Following the success of 'Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2' - remasters of two seminal skateboarding video games from 1999 and 2000 - Hawk stars in this measured piece of work for the International Olympic Committee. He may be one of the least recognized celebrities on the planet, but his impact on the sport about to make its Olympic debut is palpable.

BT Sport
"Hope United (Director's Cut)"
90s
7 Jul 2021
The ubiquity of social media means bullying is now a very different beast than it was only a few years ago, and this unsettling film for BT Sport demonstrates just how insidious it can be. No longer something which can be curbed by physically avoiding one's tormentors, the film depicts cyber-bullying as a literal spectre - one which haunts its victims in increasingly physical ways.

McDonald's
"Laughter"
60s
8 Jul 2021
Face masks have dulled many social interactions over the last sixteen months, whether between loved ones or complete strangers. Facial expressions are harder to read, and smiles are hidden behind polymers and cloth. This 60" McDonald's ad goes to the other end of the spectrum, with a medley of laughs, chuckles, and guffaws that proves, well, infectious.

Toyota
"Breaking Point: Ryley Batt"
75s
8 Jul 2021
Australian wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt stars in this bone-crunching ad for Toyota. Released ahead of the Tokyo Paralympics, the film captures Batt and co. in the midst of a friendly street game... and we say friendly on the assumption that the players enjoy knocking lumps out of each other. Dynamic, expectation-smashing stuff from director Adam Gunser et al.

Vogue
"Happy Pride, From the Middle of Nowhere"
11 mins 13s
30 Jun 2021
This latest instalment of Vogue UK's Pride series makes for an enthralling watch, as it offers insight into the lives of LGBT people who call the countryside home. The film opens with a succinct explanation of the "small town boy story" - the oft-repeated trope of a queer youth striking out for the big city to find themselves, leaving their small-minded town behind.

Three
"Life Needs a Big Network"
60s
5 Jul 2021
This grand commercial for Three has something of a Martin Parr vibe as Gary Freedman's camera carouses around folk at the seaside like a benign voyeur. Each of those captured at play is using a mobile device to enhance their enjoyment of their holiday, and the dynamism of the piece feeds into the idea that life is better when you're connected to the advertised network.

Bellagio
"Joy"
75s
5 Jul 2021
The Bellagio casino pays tribute to old Hollywood in this winsome black-and-white commercial. Shot entirely in-camera by sibling directing duo The Coles, the piece stars South Korean actor Jongman Kim - who brings a touch of magic to the already surreal environment of the Las Vegas Strip.

Genesis Motors
"Free Diver"
60s
28 Jun 2021
This elegiac piece of filmmaking demands a little patience from the viewer as it's not exactly pacey, but – as we'd expect from the sublime Frédéric Planchon – the visual flair provides more than enough interest to grab and sustain the interest of the audience.

BBC Sport
"Tokyo Olympics"
60s
30 Jun 2021
Nothing is certain these days, and that includes the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Exactly how the divisive event will turn out remains to be seen, but at least the BBC's traditional promo is back after a five-year absence. Co-directors Factory Fifteen and Fantasista Utamaro ensure it’s worth the wait, thanks to a seamless, mixed media tour of downtown Tokyo.

SuperValu
"Bring It On"
60s
29 Jun 2021
Irish supermarket chain SuperValu offer a new perspective on Gaelic football in this steely commercial from agency TBWA\Dublin and director Hadi. Yet judging by the deactivated comments section on YouTube, it’s a progressive outlook some would rather ignore. Perceived notions about the sport are swiftly rejected by the next generation of fans and players alike.

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.