David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • The padawan's progress.‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' receives a spunky commercial courtesy of 215 McCann and director Garth Davis.
    • Fresh wounds.One of sixteen films produced for South Africa's 1st for Women Foundation, this gut-wrenching instalment draws attention to the rape and murder of 19-year-old student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
    • In the bag.It speaks volumes for the quality of the competition at this year's Homespun Yarns that this delightful film directed by Claire Norowzian didn't take the crown.
    • Horror triumph at Homespun Yarns.This short film by Jamie Gyngell was the winner of this year's Homespun Yarns competition.
    • Which election is the Labour Party trying to win?Which election is the Labour Party trying to win?
    • Get Brexit shunned.It's foolish to ignore the skill of this piece of Brexit Party propaganda but there are reasons to believe that it could prove completely counter-productive.
    • Far Beyond The StarsSportswear brand Vollebak create an entire futuristic universe in just sixty seconds in this intriguing commercial.
    • Mistletones and whine.We like to imagine The Fast Show's Louis Balfour would love a piece of Buck Friendly & the Mistletones.
    • They call me the seeker.Director Finn Keenan's new gung-ho commercial for Nike introduces Western viewers to the concept of qiang diao.
    • Bike Not IncludedRyan Reynolds is no stranger to extended cinematic universes, so perhaps it's no surprise that he's created one in Adland.

SISTERHOOD

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1st for Women Foundation
"Uyinene Mrwetyana"
66s
12 December 2019

One of sixteen films produced for South Africa's 1st for Women Foundation, this gut-wrenching instalment draws attention to the rape and murder of 19-year-old student Uyinene Mrwetyana in a Cape Town post office. Released to mark both Mrwetyana's memory and her killer's life sentence, the film is also inextricably linked to the country's #AmINext movement.

As South Africans take to the streets in protest at increasing violent and sexual crimes against women, the advertised foundation demand a safer future for its members. Director Jeana Theron's opaque visuals and a dignified voiceover underline what's at stake here, as a population under threat reaches breaking point.


Homespun Yarns
"Take Me"
5 mins 01s
11 December 2019

It speaks volumes for the quality of the competition at this year's Homespun Yarns that this delightful film directed by Claire Norowzian didn't take the crown. The single mum at its centre has a dilemma when her own mother is unable to fulfil her babysitting requirements as promised. It looks like she'll have to cancel her date... until she comes up with a cunning and highly inappropriate ruse.

It speaks volumes for the skill of this film's makers that the improbable plan she conjures feels both plausible and charming, when - in real life - it would be neither. This has a lot to do with the exceptionally sweet performances which Norowzian has drawn from her actors. 'Quirky' isn't always a word with enormously positive connotations but here it is… every part of this film has an unusual energy which is highly captivating. A really enjoyable tale extremely well told.


Homespun Yarns
"4x6"
6 mins 07s
11 December 2019

This short film by Jamie Gyngell was the winner of this year's Homespun Yarns competition, winning both the jury vote and the audience vote on the night. It is a beautifully constructed horror film with a real sense of unease, and it met the brief very cleverly.

The tone is set in the first few seconds by Benjamin Garrett's unsettling score, and is augmented by highly naturalistic performances, especially from Malcolm Davies as the proprietor of the photography shop at its centre.

Gyngell builds the intrigue towards a satisfyingly macabre outcome in a fashion which belies his status as a director only just breaking through. Everyone who played a part in making this film has a bright future… every element makes a crucial contribution to its chilling impact.


Labour Party
"It's Time for Real Change"
4 mins 40s
19 November 2019

Which election is the Labour Party trying to win? Certainly not this one to judge by this hapless piece of communication. Our country faces the greatest challenge to its democracy since World War II, and the leading opposition party is putting out films so dull that you could reveal the whereabouts of Madeline McCann at the end of it, and the secret would remain intact because no one would ever get to it.

The problem for Labour is that Jeremy Corbyn and his acolytes are under the impression that they won the 2017 election. They didn't. They didn't get crushed in the way that everyone thought that they would, but that doesn't mean anything now.

The threat posed by Boris Johnson's complete disregard for the truth requires a robust and dynamic response. And this film is wildly short of what's required, and there is absolutely no chance of it converting a single wavering voter. Depressing.


Brexit Party
"Don't Waste Your Vote"
2 mins 45s
25 November 2019

This is a very skilful piece of propaganda. It weaves two ideas together: one, that Leave voters have been let down by both of the major political parties. And, two, that the NHS has a funding crisis. Without being explicit, it suggests that these two things are connected. For those who voted Leave because of the simplistic claim that the money currently paid to the EU can be siphoned directly into our ailing health service, this fraudulent conflation provides a motive for supporting the Brexit party. It cleverly reinforces this idea without painting any lies on the side of a bus.

It was shrewd to minimise the presence of Nigel Farage. It's certainly true that the party which emerged like a phoenix from the UKIP bin fire is utterly dominated by the frog-faced bigot, but whoever made this film recognises that he is a divisive figure, especially among the Labour voters in the northern heartlands that this film is aimed at.

The good news from a progressive point of view is that this film has enough weight to split the Leave vote between this party and the Conservatives, and many Labour MPs will benefit from this. Let's hope so. It would be very satisfying to think that this piece of communication was sufficiently well aimed so as to be completely counter-productive.


QUICK SEARCH

On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Shameless
"Thievery"
23s
15 Dec 2005
Inspired trail for the forthcoming series of Shameless, Paul Abbott's comic drama about the lives and loves of Manchester's opportunistic underbelly, has members of the cast lifting the props used to advertise the coming attraction.

Honda
"Astronaut"
40s
15 Dec 2006
Honda demonstrates its cleverness in this ad in which their prototype robot explores a museum. The way the artificial fellow looks land behaves like an adolescent boy artfully suggests this burgeoning technology is on the brink of usefulness.

Honda
"Robot"
90s
15 Dec 2006
Honda demonstrates its cleverness in this ad in which their prototype robot explores a museum. The way the artificial fellow looks land behaves like an adolescent boy artfully suggests this burgeoning technology is on the brink of usefulness.

Honda
"Everything"
60s
15 Dec 2009
This typically clever piece for Honda uses a variety of split screen tricks to illustrate its claim that everything the car company does goes into everything that they do. The effect completely captures the viewers' attention and allows Honda to cunningly sell the proposition.

McDonald's
"Bullies"
50s
15 Dec 2011
This combative German ad for McDonald's features a wily young lad who finds a cunning solution to prevent bullies from stealing his food. If we tell you that the McDonald's main rival have pressed for it to be banned, you may be able to guess the nature of his ruse.

BMW
"Curiosity"
60s
15 Dec 2014
FCB Inferno's first TV work for BMW since they took over the account earlier this year is a stonkingly beautiful film directed by Tarsem. It depicts a figure from prehistory whose curiosity persuades him to jump aboard a stampeding horse. Only by indulging his instinct for adventure and risk will our bearded hero discover how much faster he can go on horseback.

Samsung Gear
"Turn The Bezel"
2 mins 10s
15 Dec 2015
Even if the smartwatch feels like a concept living on borrowed time, it is nonetheless interesting to see how the main e-watchmakers are trying to win over hearts, minds, and wrists. It's Samsung's turn, and this colourful launch ad for the Gear S2 invites to us see what happens when we spin the wheel.

Nike
"The Future Is Fast"
60s
15 Dec 2015
Nike enlist some of Amercian football's leading names for this punchy commercial, but the real stars are the youngsters with no shortage of ambition - they're after a starting place already. In unassuming surroundings, they stare down the camera boasting of their prowess. In the blink of an eye, they're on the field of play and right in the thick of it. Their muscles may not be bulging, but they're ready to duke it out with the biggest and best of them.

Albert Heijn
"Stuck In The Middle"
90s
15 Dec 2015
This latest Christmas ad from the continent shows that it's not so easy for everyone to find their place during the festive season. Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn focuses on a likeable boy who finds his efforts to be a grown-up are frustrated at every turn. When your coat instantly gets relegated to the children's peg, you know your luck's not in.

Royal Navy
"Submariner"
60s
15 Dec 2015
The final instalment in WCRS's excellent series of Royal Navy films focuses on the camaraderie recruits can experience during their stint. While this submariner admits the prospect of working with advanced technology pulled him in, it's the bonds developed with his fellow sailors that have made him stay. Another strong and persuasive piece with personal development at its heart.

Toyota
"Right Light"
60s
15 Dec 2016
We've seen lots of variations on the Christmas lights meme this year. Now Toyota unveil their own bright idea to promote their annual Toyotathon sales event. We see family and friends driving into the countryside on a mission. As dusk approaches, rolls of lights are arranged with purpose. Soon we spot a plane overhead, and one passenger looks out the window onto a luminous greetings card.

Anti Smoking
"Surprise"
40s
15 Dec 2006
A turban-wearing Sikh working in a lab is the latest person to explain what he and his colleagues would do if the dangerous chemicals he works with escaped. He is then genuinely surprised when he learns that benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde are all to be found in cigarette smoke.

Microsoft X-Box
"Aliens"
60s
15 Dec 2006
two young boys are looking at the sky at night while lying on their backs and wondering whether anybody "out there" might be wondering, as they are, what it is like elsewhere. Then follows scenes that suggest such extra-terrestrial speculation might be about to lead to lots of shooting and stuff.

Canon
"Couch"
15s
15 Dec 2009
This cute American ad highlights the ability of the advertised camera to catch any of the "gazillions" of situations that life throws at us. For example, a teenage girl bouncing up and down on a sofa pretends that a fall was intentional when she accidentally trips over the back.

NatWest
"Money Sense For Schools"
40s
15 Dec 2009
One of NatWest's representatives is shown going into a school where she's helping explain to children how to be responsible with money. Don't want to seem picky but, after the bankers managed to lose trillions of pounds on unwise investments, should they be dispensing advice?

Marks & Spencer
"Even More Christmas Necessities"
40s
15 Dec 2009
More 'necessities' for Christmas from the usual suspects including newbie John Sergeant and a contribution from Philip Glenister which serves as a riposte to those who complained that his performance in the first ad was 'sexist' (though, in fairness, it was probably not intended as such).

LG Televisions
"Rare Butterflies"
75s
15 Dec 2010
Comedian Tim Key presents an examination of 3D in this fun commercial for LG's latest generation of televisions. The main sequence appears to be a single continuous shot which is deadly clever even if 99.8% of the audience won't notice.

Gran Turismo
"Race"
3 mins
15 Dec 2010
You can almost hear the denim shifting in Jeremy Clarkson's groin as you watch this ridiculously long ad for a car-based video game. To those who aren't already aficionados, this appears to underline the tedium of playing such games so we assume it's one for the converted.

Water Water Everywhere
"Bottle"
40s
15 Dec 2011
This excellent campaigning film reminds us of the real cost of bottled water. The trick used is incredibly simple but it's immensely effective and it's a superb way of drawing attention to a cause that fires the passion of copywriter Ben Kay who is responsible for this campaign.

Game
"Squirrels"
20s
15 Dec 2011
Another miraculous answer is provided when a man asks aloud what he should buy for his brother this Christmas. This time the deus ex machina is provided by a gang of well-drilled squirrels who spell out the answer on some sheets drying in the wintry wind.

B & Q
"Now's A Great Time"
30s
15 Dec 2011
B & Q's latest advertising salvo reminds us of the extent to which our home is at the centre of our lives. A new bathroom will be the site of some of the events which will become memories we look back on fondly in the future. Sweet and understated.

Finlux
"High Defignition"
60s
15 Dec 2011
A man stood in his underwear explains in his strong Finnish accent that we can use the advertised web site to get hold of electrical goods at a discount. It's a virtuoso performance in its understated way and surely does enough to arouse the average punter's curiosity.

Carphone Warehouse
"Colour Invasion"
60s
15 Dec 2014
A chapter of Hells Angels ride along a wintry sea front to a hard rock track... except that maybe they aren't Hells Angels after all. Despite the Harleys and the grizzly beards, these guys are in vivid shades of pink, blue, green, orange and purple... and they represent the Colour Invasion from Carphone Warehouse. It's a very visually memorable way to inform us that there are more shades to choose from there than pretty much anywhere else.

Channel 4
"Born Risky - Prototype Trail"
40s
15 Dec 2014
This then is the trail for Viktoria Modesta's Prototype that ran during Sunday's X Factor final. At a reported £200K, it was a hell of a gamble but one that appears to have been entirely vindicated by the huge numbers who have taken the time to watch the full clip in all its mesmerising glory.

Broadband Awareness
"Superfast Broadband"
40s
15 Dec 2014
So this is a well made but slightly baffling film promoting the virtues of superfast broadband. The advertised website told us that we could secure superfast broadband via the BT Openreach network but - as everyone who has ever had dealings with BT Openreach will painfully know - they are a shadowy bunch of inbetweeners and it's patently misleading to suggest punters can ask them to supply broadband.

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.