David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Rise of The MachinesIn the midst of the apocalypse a man falls to his knees and howls in anguish... for a reason we're not expecting.
    • A shared goal.World Cup heroes Gordon Banks and Geoff Hurst appeal for help on behalf of the Alzheimer's Society.
    • Like watching paint fly.Those who’ve recently given their house a fresh lick of paint may be tempted to go again thanks to this vivid Sherwin-Williams commercial.
    • Be a LegendRussell Brand is doing his bit for the Teenage Cancer Trust in quite possibly the most meta way he can.
    • ADCAN Awards 2017 open for entries.Aspiring filmmakers and animators take note: this year’s ADCAN Awards are looking for entrants.
    • Truly, Madly, DeeplyA teenage boy enjoys 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' a little too much at the dinner table... but not as much as his parents did.
    • Taking a strollThis moody piece for Hugo Boss is keen to get a move on. A restless man ventures into the city after-hours - of course, he cuts a rather dapper figure while he’s at it.
    • When intolerance is better than nothingThis ad for the Alzheimer's Society uses a clever trick to draw attention to the indiscriminate nature of dementia.
    • Morning gloryLocal park superstars will appreciate this ode to Sunday league football from My Accomplice’s Lewis Arnold.
    • Facts from the frontlineAs media outlets contend with the onslaught of fake news, the New York Times assert their authority with a Darren Aronofsky-shot campaign.
    • Running ringsLo-fi production values and shaky audio evoke home shopping's golden era nicely in this fun Dunkin' Donuts ad.


Wednesday, 26th April.
Betwen 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20 plus VAT.

● McDonald's McCafe.

● Crossover Club: Peter Souter.

● Nationwide's Mothering Sunday.

● Seb Cardinal of MindsEye.

● The Reunion: Johnny Walker.


28 April 2017

It's not difficult to imagine a world in which artificial intelligence outsmarts us on all fronts (robots weren't responsible for Trump and Brexit, after all, so perhaps they're already top dog), and this ad for StubHub presents a nightmarish vision of a future where technology has had enough of humanity's bullshit.

As the machines rise and jump-start the apocalypse - toasters revolt, cars refuse to drive, and washing machines fall from the sky - a man falls to his knees and howls in anguish... for a reason we're not expecting.

The reveal offers a complete contrast to the cinematic tone of the rest of the ad, which makes it all the funnier. It's a vaguely threatening way to sell concert tickets - 'go before you die' is a bit sinister - but this entertaining film certainly makes it work.

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Alzheimer's Society
"Spirit of '66"
27 April 2017

Wembley may have changed since Gordon Banks and Geoff Hurst's day, but the memories of their 1966 World Cup victory remain. Unfortunately, this isn't the case for some of their teammates. We’re told dementia has stricken Nobby Stiles, Martin Peters, and Ray Wilson. For Banks and Hurst, it’s a team game till the end - and we can play our part, too.

The ad builds on the charity’s collaborative message, and the presence of two footballing greats will stir emotions even further.

It's a timely communication, too. With the long-term effects of heading a football under increasing scrutiny, the Alzheimer’s Society hopes more can be done to safeguard future generations while comforting past ones.

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27 April 2017

Those who’ve recently given their house a fresh lick of paint may be tempted to go again thanks to this vivid Sherwin-Williams commercial. Plumes of paint surge through space before colliding in spectacular fashion. As hues mingle, the camera glides through clouds and cyclones of colour. Not a bad view, eh?

Psyop’s palette consists of the brand’s Emerald range, and this artful execution does the product justice. What’s more, it’s all achieved in-camera - be sure to check out the making-of video to see how it’s done. Stylish and expressive, the ad suggests our walls deserve a better class of paint... and it's an attractive argument.

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Teenage Cancer Trust
"Be a Legend"
1 min 48s
27 April 2017

Russell Brand is doing his bit for the Teenage Cancer Trust in quite possibly the most meta way he can. It's refreshing to see a celebrity being so frank about his charitable motivations, and Brand's frenetic delivery means he packs an awful lot of observations about charity advertising in less than two minutes.

While Brand's exaggerated, self-aware ego can be too much for some, he fits the self-referential nature of this film perfectly. He draws attention to the nature of their work (the white background of an appeal film, the fact most marathon runners are trying to look charitable on social media, referring to himself as 'the new Diana'), leaving it to cancer sufferer Chris to be professional and make sure slogans are delivered succinctly.

This film offers a satisfying counterpoint to the typical interaction between sufferers and spokespeople in charity ads - there's no trying to guilt trip the viewer, no attempt to inspire via the suffering of others, and nobody will pity Chris after watching this. Well, maybe only for being stuck in a room with Russell Brand all day.

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ADCAN Awards 2017 open for entries.

Aspiring filmmakers and animators take note: this year’s ADCAN Awards are looking for entrants.

Now in its fourth year, the show aims to bring more untapped talent to the fore in 2017. For those unfamiliar with ADCAN, the organisation encourages unsigned talent to show creative leaders what they’re made of.

As well as giving the next generation of filmmakers a leg-up, the competition gives charities and worthy causes some welcome exposure.



On This Day

Samsung Televisions
"New Dimension"
28 Apr 2010
This ad has been hyped as the new Sony Bravia and you can see why as it uses the same combination of impressive spectacle and public event. More importantly, it also has an impressive central claim which is made extremely persuasively.

Lipton Tea
28 Apr 2010
This wonderful ad by Noam Murro highlights the inspirational quality of the advertised drink. A young Lalo Schifrin is shown attempting a new composition in 1966 with various musical instruments coming in and out of his mind.

Halo Reach
"Birth Of A Spartan"
28 Apr 2010
This visually striking commercial shows a man being transformed into a Spartan soldier so he can participate in the advertised video game. He receives some nasty injections in his head and gets his muscles enhanced making him ready for action.

"A Different Drummer"
28 Apr 2014
This commercial riffs on a theme that's very familiar to us in the West. It's one that encourages us to reject others' notions of what it is to be successful and invent our own measure instead. The pitch is designed to trigger feelings of both spiritual rebelliousness and material aspiration with the apparent paradox of this glossed over beautifully by typically stunning photography by director Stuart Douglas.

"I Love What You're Wearing"
2 mins 12s
28 Apr 2015
Janelle Monae's 'Tightrope' is a fantastic track choice for this South African ad, which comprises a group of dancers doing a cool routine to promote the idea that Skip washing detergent keeps whites bright and colours undimmed. But the brilliance lies in the interactive version which lets you change the dancers' outfits mid-move.

Canon IXUS
"Bring Them Together"
28 Apr 2005
Both gadgets and people are brought together by Canon's technology according to this ad for Canon's photography products. The ad is very stylishly filmed and backed by music we have provisionally identified as being from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.

British Airways
28 Apr 2006
British Airways's latest attempt to hit back at budget airlines places most of its emphasis on the idea that their passengers get better treatment than those of Easyjet et al. The holiday starts with the flight as the clouds form dolphins for your entertainment. But the prices are good too.

"Bicycle Ride"
28 Apr 2009
A man climbs aboard his bike and pedals but he remains stationary while the background moves along in this pleasingly gentle ad. Is this an unintentional metaphor for the nutritional value of food from McDonald's? It seems to be doing the job but it's all a bit of an illusion.

"Good Stuff"
28 Apr 2010
The Spanish car company is backing a new tour by Shakira so we're offered an animated version of the Colombian singer singing Good Stuff which is taken from her album She Wolf. Look, don't ask for more information... we didn't even know who she was 'til we asked our mate Google.

"Good Old Basket"
28 Apr 2010
Slow motion is used to good effect to draw attention to a new guarantee from green supermarket. Apparently, if anything you buy from Asda can be bought elsewhere for less money then they'll make up the difference next time you shop there.

"Tommy Flynn"
28 Apr 2011
In this dry ad for Magners, we're introduced to heavy-handed Tommy Flynn. The people of Clonmel in Ireland don't mind the damage he wreaks though because he's the only man who has the strength to press the small apples used to make the advertised cider.

Jammie Dodgers
"Vote For Your Favourite"
28 Apr 2012
Another helping of surrealism on behalf of the biscuits with a selection of different fillings. As a boy watches on, three terrifying monkeys representing each of the variants on offer attempt to persuade us using song and dance that the biscuit they champion is the one we should go for.

Agent Provocateur
"The Chase"
28 Apr 2012
A young woman gives chase when a man snatches a handbag from an older woman. Her clothes come loose and by the time she catches up with the young reprobate, she's down to her bra and panties (which adds a certain frisson to her shout of: "you're going down").

28 Apr 2012
This amusing ad has a javelin thrower going completely ballistic after releasing the spear-like object around which his life revolves. It's been made to look extremely authentic which makes the punchline very effective... a cut above the kind of thing we've come to expect from this advertiser.

"New York"
28 Apr 2013
A man thinks his luck's in when his attractive female boss announces to the whole office that he's to accompany her on a trip to New York. But he hasn't quite read her eyeline correctly and she's actually addressing her husband who is sat just behind him. A diverting way of drawing attention to special offers on Atlantic travel.

William Hill Casino
28 Apr 2013
This visually-impressive commercial for William Hill's casino game gambling site appears to inadvertently concentrate on men displaying signs of addiction. If coins become gambling chips and all you can see when you close your eyes is the baize of the gaming table then you may need help.

Front Row
"To Kill A Mockingbird"
28 Apr 2013
Another of the short animated films pushing Radio 4's early evening arts programme has Meera Syal revealing her love of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Presumably, having someone best known for comedy describing a book is designed to emphasise the breadth of Front Row's coverage.

28 Apr 2014
A lovely bit of casting has an ordinary woman getting into her beach resort holiday with unfettered relish in this spot for Booking.com. Her chap doesn't like all the holiday stuff she enjoys, so she's gone alone and is having a great time. It's a terrific way to suggest that taking a break by yourself needn't be at all intimidating... especially if you can dance like she can. Out of the way, everyone.

"Roast Chicken"
28 Apr 2014
Asda even make roasting a chicken simple - just choose one of seven 'in the bag' flavours and you're on your way. There's no need to baste, no need to add seasoning, no need to do anything except take it out of the oven at the end and eat it. A nice job has been done of making the meat look positively delicious with crispy skin and a smattering of herbs.

"The Ladbrokes Life"
28 Apr 2014
A clever commercial making betting look like a savvy art form; a colourful world inhabited by larger-than-life characters introduced to us like the protagonists of a film. "The Ladbrokes life" is a shrewd, insightful creation. It invokes a brotherhood of the cool and streetwise; initiates into an existence not everyone would understand. This isn't about loners and desperation - it's about exclusivity, and more importantly, loyalty to a brand.

28 Apr 2015
You wait all your life for a commercial featuring Sylvester Stallone... and then two come along at once - is there an expensive divorce in the offing? The venerable action icon has proved on more than occasion that he has the comedy chops to make commercials work, and this series of ads for Tecate makes great use of his intimidating presence.

"Home At Last"
1 min 35s
28 Apr 2015
As this was made for an Italian audience, we're going to assume the leaden VO is not something the target market has to put up with... but we'd certainly prefer a version that allows the attractive imagery speak for itself. Or - if there have to be words - we'd sooner they were in a language we can't understand so we can pretend they don't sound like they've been culled from a collection of Hallmark cards.

Daimler Smart eBike
"I Skip Leg Day"
2 mins 23s
28 Apr 2015
This is a very entertaining piece for Daimler, which celebrates the daft notion that muscular legs are now redundant thanks to the manufacturer's new electric bike. The power it gives to your hams, quads, calves et al means you don't have to rely on your own efforts... hence the myriad macho men with huge upper bodies and weedy legs.

28 Apr 2015
Another in a series of ads for Mexican lager Tecate which sees a dapper Sylvester Stallone offering a disapproving grunt to those needing to man up. In this film, a man attempts to brave a snowstorm with fluffy ear muffs. He's greeted at the door by Sly himself who commands him to watch more boxing and lose the layers. Down to his vest, the man finally receives a fist pump of respect from Stallone.

Apple Watch
28 Apr 2015
So Apple have made a watch... who knew? This US ad shows off the range of intuitive and customisable features punters can access through their wristwear. Its longevity remains in question, but - as the slick editing and pulsing soundtrack here demonstrate - Apple's formulaic product launch gets the job done.

On This Day

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