David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • 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.
    • A dog's lifeAndrex pick a lovely way of marking their advertising heritage with a warm nostalgia hit.
    • A Very Big House In The CountryApparent Blur fan Ryan Reynolds lives in a very big house in the country in another amusing spot for BT Broadband.
    • In a wizarding world... The spirit of Don LaFontaine lives on in this fun ad for the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
    • Definitely MaybeDanish dynamite Mads Mikkelsen ruminates on why his compatriots are the happiest people on Earth in this amusing ad.
    • A feast for the eyesThis effective trail for CNN’s Original Series strand packs plenty of screen time into 60”.
    • Carlos Font Clos at top Speade.Speade add some Spanish zest to their editing roster courtesy of Carlos Font Clos.
    • Forward-thinking since 1989.With boxing fans eagerly anticipating Anthony Joshua’s bout against Wladimir Klitschko, Lucozade Sport present this gritty ad charting the former’s rise to prominence.

CRAFTWORKS

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.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


Alzheimer's Society
"Society United"
90s
25 April 2017

This is a really interesting way of drawing attention to the indiscriminate nature of dementia. Alzheimer's and other illnesses leading to the loss of our mental faculties do not give a fig about our race, our sexuality or our political views... they'll take us all down with equal alacrity.

Bill Nighy's voiceover reveals that it's time to forget about everything that divides us and - at first - this sounds like an immensely positive message. But the sinister overtones of Will Gregory's soundtrack suggests that there may be a side to this apparent nirvana that we're missing... and so it proves. Our species has a bad habit of abusing the concept of identity but that doesn't mean it isn't an essential component of our humanness. Anyone who has witnessed the slow stripping away of personality in someone suffering from dementia will not doubt this.

Daniel Barber has created an air of dislocation as these people are confronted by their identity opposites and cleverly draws the viewer into thinking they're about to be told we should be more tolerant and understanding about cultural differences.

The misdirection ensures that we pay attention to the reveal and - with luck - will help many to recognise the importance of supporting the advertised charity.

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Short Films
"Sunday Sunday"
1 min 33s
25 April 2017

Local park superstars will appreciate this ode to Sunday league football from My Accomplice’s Lewis Arnold. Forget flash cars and sponsorship deals - it’s about hangovers and step overs in this league.

The film offers an affectionate look at the amateur game. Those who prefer a kickabout to a lie-in will recognise plenty here, including chilly warm-ups and post-match refreshments. You can practically smell the Deep Heat through the screen.

Meanwhile, Dennis Just Dennis’s impassioned lyrics and delivery complement the on-field action well. Even if a 9:30am kick-off doesn’t appeal, Arnold reminds us that a love of the beautiful game can trump any snooze button.

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New York Times
"Bartella"
60s
24 April 2017

As media outlets contend with the onslaught of fake news, the New York Times asserts their authority with a Darren Aronofsky-shot campaign. This 60” commercial charts one day in Bartella, Iraq, as told by photographer Brian Denton.

Denton’s testimony fills in the gaps as this grave slideshow unfolds. Each snap captures a military convoy’s treacherous journey: soldiers peer out from armour; thick smoke contrasts against blue sky; and the immediate aftermath of an explosion produces shattered vehicles and shattered people.

The ad shows due reverence for the photojournalist’s craft. Blurred images are just as crucial as full ones, while Denton’s brief pause underlines the human impact. The newspaper believes such work is what elevates their coverage - and pointedly advocate fact over fiction.

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Dunkin' Donuts
"Marathon Motivator"
1 min 54s
24 April 2017

Lo-fi production values and shaky audio evoke home shopping's golden era nicely in this fun Dunkin' Donuts ad. While the brand has previously struggled in the UK, this London Marathon tie-in suggests they’re keen to win over sweet-toothed viewers.

Smooth-as-you-like presenter Mark introduces the ‘Marathon Motivator’ - a doughnut attached to a head harness. Ably demonstrated by Suzie, we’re told the gizmo comes with a “patented scent flow”. Perhaps David Wyeth could’ve done with one of these.

The performances and dialogue are spot-on. From Suzie’s “motivated” spiel to Mark’s explanation of what PB stands for, the ad revels in deliberate shoddiness. It's worth rewatching for the scrolling text offering naff advice to potential buyers. No luck for fans of Boston cream, though.

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Andrex
"75th Anniversary"
30s
24 April 2017

This a lovely way to mark Andrex's advertising heritage. As a compilation of vintage Andrex ads plays, the camera slowly pans out to reveal an adult Labrador Retriever watching the screen. While the pooch relives its glory days, a puppy shows this household's loo roll is in good hands - well, paws.

It’s a charming reflection of the mascot’s staying power. Having survived a brush with CGI a few years ago, the real thing remains a shrewd choice. Blending nostalgia and a warm, familial vibe, the ad reinforces the brand’s relevance seventy-five years on.

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On This Day

Walkers Sensations
"Charlotte"
30s
26 Apr 2006
Charlotte Church joins the list of co-stars for Gary Lineker in an ad that echoes a classic Campari commercial. The Welsh singer rests languidly in an exotic setting when the jug-eared ex-footballer says: "don't you just love the Orient?" To which she replies, "No. I support Cardiff. Muppet."

Drench
"Fire Engine"
40s
26 Apr 2011
This is one of two new commercials for Drench which are, ironically enough, dryly delivered descriptions of a special institute where they're conducting experiments in rehydration. In this ad, a line of people have a fire hose turned on them to see how well this works when it comes to providing them with the water they need.

O2
"Private Gig"
60s
26 Apr 2011
Tinie Tempah gives a personal performance to a single member of his audience in this charming ad for O2 which aims to show how the telecommunications giant does everything it can for its customers. It's a clever way of turning the T-Mobile conceit on its head and, if you watch the longer version at their website, you'll be left with no doubt that this was done for real.

Marks & Spencer
"Shwopping"
50s
26 Apr 2012
Joanna Lumley introduces a major new marketing initiative for Marks & Spencer. The clothing retailer is asking its customers to recycle their old clothes when they buy something new. Apparently, Oxfam are on board for this pioneering initiative and M&S are plainly hoping that the opportunity to do some good will provide an extra incentive to punters.

Weetabix Biscuits
"Morning In Reverse"
60s
26 Apr 2013
The horror of a woman's morning is shown in reverse in this ad for a new product from the people who brought us Weetabix. After she has finished describing it to a colleague, she's faced by her cheery boss who assures her that there's plenty of work ahead so it's just as well she's fortified herself with the advertised product.

Kellogg's Crunchy Nut
"Silent Ad"
60s
26 Apr 2015
There's some fantastic attention to detail in this crafty commercial for Kellogg's Crunchy Nut which spoofs 1922 horror movie Nosferatu. Our familiarity with this campaign could easily weigh down each new execution but - by coming up with ideas as strong as this - creative Hugh Todd has ensured that the audience can congratulate itself for guessing what's about to happen.

Purdey's
"Thrive On"
2 mins 35s
26 Apr 2016
Even when Idris Elba is at his most genial, his imposing presence still makes you think he's going to break into John Luther or Stringer Bell if you don't give him the answer he wants. Luckily, the participants in this engaging film for health drink Purdey's needn't worry as Elba has an ostensibly simple question to ask: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Save The Children
"Every Last Child"
60s
26 Apr 2016
This astonishing film for Save The Children (STC) is quite unlike any other charity ad we've seen. The frantic pace of the editing and its first person POV is truly visceral: not only does the spot completely immerse us in the action from the start but we feel giddy and breathless at its urgency. Right down to the super at the end assuring us that nearly every penny of our donation goes to the STC, not a single frame or image is wasted. Stunning work.

Hallmark Cards
"No Ordinary Mom"
1 min 40s
26 Apr 2016
Sentimentality is a property mishandled by many. Not that it requires elongated tongs and a hazmat suit, but too much schmaltz is capable of hefty damage. It pays therefore to bring in an expert like Rattling Stick's Pete Riski to handle proceedings, and this moving film for Hallmark delivers a Mother's Day message with just the right amount of sugar stirred in for good measure.

Army Recruitment
"Everest Chapter Two"
30s
26 Apr 2006
The next step in the Army's attempts to conquer Everest via its toughest route is documented here with much emphasis on the need for teamwork and the absolute reliance of one man on another.

Birds Eye
"Salmon Colouring"
40s
26 Apr 2006
The investigations into Birds Eye's food (and fish in general) continues with this ad that examines the use of colouring to make farmed salmon look as pink as the wild salmon found in the Pacific (which is, apparently, the only Salmon that Birds Eye uses in its products).

Foster's
"Cloud Followers"
10s
26 Apr 2006
Brief post script to earlier ad has a whole crowd of Foster's drinkers walking at close quarters to one another to stay in the shadow of a tiny cloud that is helping to keep their beer cold on a hot day at the beach as several women look on in amazement.

EA Sports
"World Cup Dream"
20s
26 Apr 2006
Two lads talk about their World Cup dream with some enthusiasm as we see scenes from a video game made by EA Sports. The two become increasingly animated as they describe the goal and in the end celebrate as if they had scored it themselves.

Toyota Yaris
"Water Fall"
30s
26 Apr 2007
Now here's a thing. Unlike in the other ads in this campaign, the act of revenge this time is perpetrated by a man on another man thus scuppering our theory that the Yaris is marketed specifically at women. Oddly, though, we can't help thinking this would work better if the avenger was female.

Quest
"Bear Grylls"
30s
26 Apr 2010
An excellent trailer for the wilderness enthusiast whose name sounds like a delicious Canadian snack. The overly earnest explorer makes his way across a metal landscape that turns out to be giant letters spelling out the word 'discovery'.

ChemDry
"Get Cleanified"
30s
26 Apr 2010
Two men stood on chairs explain that ChemDry has told them that their carpets will be dry in just one hour after it's been cleaned. Presumably, this is supposed to be a gay couple. Not because of they way they act... just because they care about clean carpets.

Waitrose
"Stilton"
60s
26 Apr 2010
Another charming collection of bumpers advertising Waitrose's sponsorship of food programming on Channel 4. In this series, two children try some Stilton and demonstrate some interesting views on the use of mould.

KFC
"Female Chef"
33s
26 Apr 2010
KFC once again pitches the claim that their food is surprisingly wholesome. A young woman showcases the gadgets that enables the chain to produce coffee and warm buns before explaining that the chicken is coated with flour by hand.

Three
"Cup"
20s
26 Apr 2010
To illustrate the claim that the advertised mobile phone network provides things we never thought possible, we see a young man who has knocked a mug of tea off the table in front of him and is amazed as it freezes in mid-air.

Three
"Jump"
20s
26 Apr 2010
A young man reacts instinctively when he sees a truck approaching a giant puddle as he walks down the street but he doesn't immediately realise that he's jumped on top of a bus shelter to dodge the splash. Anything's possible with the three mobile network.

Three
"Pen"
20s
26 Apr 2010
A young woman can't find a pen in her office and searches frantically for one so she can write something down while on the phone. When she spies one on another desk she's amazed to see it fly gently towards her. Anything's possible with Three.

Thomson Holidays
"Flowers"
30s
26 Apr 2010
Another outing for the campaign which seeks to demonstrate the care and attention paid by Thomson to our comfort when we buy one of their package holidays. This probably works for people attracted to this kind of holiday but it all looks a bit creepy to the rest of us.

Dulux
"Baby Sam"
30s
26 Apr 2010
The voiceover explains that Baby Sam was supposed to be a football hero before revealing that 'he' turned out to be a 'she'. Um, isn't it a bit old-fashioned to suggest a woman couldn't be a star of the beautiful game? Lovingly directed nonetheless.

Watford Creative Advertising Course
"George & Fred"
2 mins 40s
29 Apr 2010
It's always fun when the advertising industry takes a quick look in the mirror and this ad for Watford College's famous advertising course does through a wonderfully darkened piece of glass. Follow the progress of George and Fred as they seek recognition for their work.

Gardaland
"Run"
45s
26 Apr 2011
This ad for an Italian theme park makes it clear that one of their rides is as scary as being chased through the woods by an extra-terrestrial predator. If that's the kind of thing that grabs your fancy then you'll probably find this ad persuasive as it captures the sense of terror rather well.

On This Day

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