David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • All the king's horses and all the king's men.Clarins gallop into the Christmas season with this festive animated commercial.
    • As Long as There's Light, We've Got a ChanceOn the eve of Episode IX release comes this adrenaline-fuelled Star Wars fan film: 'Origins'.
    • 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.

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Nike
"Qiang Diao"
2 mins 17s
12 December 2019

Director Finn Keenan's new gung-ho commercial for Nike introduces Western viewers to the concept of qiang diao, or "confidence, swagger, or flair" in Mandarin. Everybody wants some; not least a certain nouveau riche tool in a pool.

From the comfort of his electric water-throne, the Shanghai big shot instructs one of his lackeys to find qiang diao and bring it back post-haste. Cue a madcap dash into China's biggest city and a sweaty journey of self-discovery.

Sure enough, as the attendant pleads with gymnasts, basketballers, skateboarders et al for help, he finds that - in the parlance of Thierry Henry - va-va-voom comes from within, not a catalogue. Good news for him, bad news for his deluded boss.

It's also good news for the audience, as the film chucks all manner of sporting flourishes and OTT sound effects their way. The elongated victory yell from the newly qiang diao'd protagonist is an especially fab touch.


Aviator Gin
"The Gift That Doesn't Give Back"
30s
11 December 2019

Ryan Reynolds is no stranger to extended cinematic universes, so perhaps it's no surprise that he's created one in Adland for Aviation Gin. The now-infamous 'Peloton Woman' (played by Monica Ruiz) has been enlisted to reprise her much-maligned role... except this time, there's no exercise bike in sight.

It's a clever conceit, piggybaking on Peloton's viral fame as the woman sits shellshocked at a bar with friends - presumably having kicked her arse of a husband to the kerb. Very few words are spoken - all we need to know is communicated by the friends' concerned glances and liberal application of drink.

It feels like a satisfying rebuttal to the sexist undertones of the original commercial, in addition to getting in a mention of how smooth the gin drowning her sorrows is. Savvy work for Reynolds's fledgling brand.


Jon Hozier-Byrne signs to Russell Curran

Irish filmmaker Jon Hozier-Byrne has signed to Russell Curran's roster of directors.

The Dublin native taught film at University College Dublin before founding his own production company in 2014, and has since become an in-demand director of music promos and commercials alike - in addition to his debut short film premiering at Cannes.


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Conservative Party
"Love Actually"
3 mins 01s
11 December 2019

The more dangerously right-wing elements of society have discovered and fully embraced the power of the meme in the past few years. From Pepe the Frog to the Cheeto-in-Chief tweeting photoshopped pictures of himself as Thanos, what seems to be a joke is actually an insidious, calculated move. Look how harmless we are, it says, how could we possibly set out to cause any trouble?

So when the Conservative Party release this odious parody of Love Actually on the eve of the election, don't mistake it for anything other than what it is: an attempt to further meme-ify the image of a bumbling, civic-minded politician who just wants to, as he can't stop telling us, get Brexit done. Look at his fluffy hair, look at his terrible acting - how could he be a threat to this country?

Coming from a party who have lied (in 88% of their ads, no less), slandered, and demonstrated a level of empathy for people earning under £80,000 a year that Patrick Bateman would find appalling, this joyless effort to tug on the nostalgic heartstrings of Brits feels particularly slimy.

Johnson isn't a romantic hero, approaching the nation's door with humble intentions - he's a self-interested snake who would sell any of his innumerable children if it got him another inch of power. We've already seen what being underestimated did for his American equivalent, and it's vital that the same doesn't happen here. It's vital that he's told to take his signs and carols and fuck directly off into obscurity.

Enough now, Boris. You've done quite enough.


Thinkbox
"Tooth Fairy"
60s
11 December 2019

Mother's fun debut ad for TV marketing body Thinkbox extols the magic of advertising through a highly successful entrepreneur. Thinkbox being Thinkbox, however, this is no ordinary entrepreneur. Simply put, she's the Tooth Fairy.

Shot like a corporate video with extra fairy dust, the ad charts the Tooth Fairy's journey from a co-working space ("I was a bit of a one-woman outfit at first") to magazine covers and her own skyscrape... with the odd recruitment snafu along the way.

As expected, the film really gathers pace when the dentophile embarks on a TV ad campaign and gives the deliveries and collections sector an overdue kick up the jacksy. Who knew there was so much moolah in molars, eh?

Thinkbox's goal, of course, is to persuade more non-fictional brands to hit the airwaves. While it may not reach the same heights as Harvey the dog or 2009's hypnotherapy session, this 60" outing should give potential converts something to think about over the Christmas period.


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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
"Become a Jedi"
1 min 34s
13 Dec 2019
Despite the clunky title, ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' has gone some way to repairing the damage done by EA's controversial ‘Battlefront II'. Devoid of microtransactions or loot boxes, the game's relative innocence is reflected in this spunky commercial from 215 McCann and director Garth Davis. A warm-hearted blast of escapism.

Nike
"Qiang Diao"
2 mins 17s
12 Dec 2019
Director Finn Keenan's new gung-ho commercial for Nike introduces Western viewers to the concept of qiang diao, or "confidence, swagger, or flair" in Mandarin. Everybody wants some; not least a certain nouveau riche tool in a pool. Cue a madcap dash by his servant into China's biggest city and one sweaty journey of self-discovery.

Aviator Gin
"The Gift That Doesn't Give Back"
30s
11 Dec 2019
Ryan Reynolds is no stranger to extended cinematic universes, so perhaps it's no surprise that he's created one in Adland for his Aviation Gin brand. The now-infamous 'Peloton Woman' (played by Monica Ruiz) has been enlisted to reprise her much-maligned role... except this time, there's no exercise bike in sight.

Thinkbox
"Tooth Fairy"
60s
11 Dec 2019
Mother's fun debut ad for TV marketing body Thinkbox extols the magic of advertising through a highly successful entrepreneur. Thinkbox being Thinkbox, however, this is no ordinary entrepreneur. Shot like a corporate video with extra fairy dust, the ad charts the Tooth Fairy's journey from a co-working space to magazine covers and her own skyscraper.

Prada
"Limited Edition"
60s
10 Dec 2019
Delicacy is the name of the game in this quietly satisfying commercial for Prada's limited edition collaboration with Adidas. Filmed with maximum detail on a minuscule scale, every step in the process of creating a bowling bag and a pair of sneakers is shot with a forensic attention to each stitch, loop, and loose thread.

Re-engage
"Stella"
2 mins 03s
10 Dec 2019
Christmas can be a time when families come together, some travelling great distances to reconnect with relatives they rarely see. However, the festive period can be an isolating time of year for many elderly people, with increasing numbers spending the big day alone. This touching animated film from Passion Pictures sheds further light on the issue.

H & M
"Moments in Between"
90s
9 Dec 2019
Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) celebrate the quieter moments of the Christmas season in this charming festive offering. From spending low-key time with loved ones to travelling to highly anticipated events, the film proves that not every minute of the holidays needs to be packed with distracting tinsel. Director Max Vitali handles the low-octane action nicely here.

Ancestry
"You Are Your Story"
90s
9 Dec 2019
Ancestry.com exploit Germany's divisive history to compelling effect with this 90" commercial from director Michael Lawrence, who charts one family's turbulent lineage from the late-nineteenth century to the present day. The costumes and set design boast plenty of beautiful period detail as you might expect, but there's also a theatrical quality to the piece.

Chilly's
"DNA"
60s
6 Dec 2019
The recent popularity of DNA testing kits has ruined many a Christmas across the nation, exposing family secrets before the sprouts are even served. However, a hapless bloke takes things one step further in this entertaining ad for Chilly's water bottles. The man's delivery is deliciously awkward as he presents his in-law's Christmas gift - complete with a lengthy backstory.

Dancing On Ice
"Music Box"
60s
6 Dec 2019
ITV announce the new season of wintry competition show Dancing on Ice in charming style with this animated commercial. A music box ballerina comes to life ‘Toy Story'-style and finds herself longing for companionship, only for an enterprising spaceman to strap on his skates and step up to the plate.

Azimo
"Migrants"
45s
5 Dec 2019
Money transfer business Azimo go against the grain of current anti-immigrant rhetoric to remind viewers of the arduous journey many indviduals take to provide for their families back home. No matter where your money is going, the brand say, you deserve to get the most from every hard-earned penny. Well cast and strikingly shot.

Spark
"Play"
60s
4 Dec 2019
How do you let a hulking, clingy robot down gently? That's the premise of this slow-burning ad for Spark New Zealand, featuring a boy wise beyond his years and concerned about his his screen time. The latter is represented by a Transformers-style mech, who just about fits into the lad's bedroom and clearly plays a huge role in his life. As director Mark Albiston's playful spin on adult break-ups shows, however, it is easily cut down to size.

Posten Norge
"Miracle"
78s
4 Dec 2019
This cheeky commercial for the Norwegian postal service offers an alternative take on a familiar Christmas story. The audience is transported to approximately nine months BC, following a conspicuously blonde postman as he goes about his scroll deliveries in the dusty town of Nazareth... at least, until a familiar set of names appear on the latest package.

Apple
"The Surprise"
3 mins
3 Dec 2019
The track 'Married Life' by Michael Giacchino is so firmly attached to the 2009 Pixar film 'Up' that you'd think it'd be necessary to cut an umbilical cord to use it anywhere else. But its use in this fantastically emotional film for Apple by Mark Molloy is simply perfect. It's a very deliberate nudge to the audience that the story they're watching has echoes of the famous sequence in 'Up' which delivers the back story of its cantankerous elderly protagonist.

Hafod Hardware
"Be A Kid This Christmas"
2 mins 03s
3 Dec 2019
Each year, something unexpected and delightful shows up on our radar at Christmas, and 2019 is no exception. According to the Daily Mail, this film for Hafod Hardware cost just £100 to make. In many respects, it looks like it only cost £100 to make but that is actually part of its charm. And while the production budget may have been extremely modest, the idea is priceless.

Easyjet
"Hide and Seek"
60s
3 Dec 2019
A game of hide and seek goes global in this smartly scripted commercial for Easyjet. A woman relaxing on the beach begins to count to a hundred while her companions dive for cover, but all is not what it seems... and she has a lot further to look than we expect. Sure enough, deft scene transitions take her to different locations all over the world.

Hobby Lobby
"Christmas Is What You Make It"
75s
2 Dec 2019
This beautifully measured film for US craft retailer Hobby Lobby skirts the margins of mawkishness without ever crossing the line. Christmas is, or at least ought to be, a moment for reflection, and the teenage boy in this commercial has nothing short of an epiphany as herecognises everything that his mother does for him.

Sky
"A Holiday Reunion"
2 mins
29 Nov 2019
Just when you thought it was safe to go back outside, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial returns to Earth in this two-minute ‘sequel' for Sky that also sees Henry Thomas reprise his most famous role. Fortunately, that whole near-death experience thing hasn't scarred Elliott too much. In fact, he's got his own family to impress E.T. with this time around, as well as a, er, Sky Q box

Vodafone
"The Joy of Connection"
60s
28 Nov 2019
For all some members of the older generation like to gripe about smartphones preventing 'real' interaction, Vodafone prove the opposite in this poignant commercial. Celebrating the power of modern technology to bring people together even over vast distances, the ad sees an elderly father keep up tradition even when his daughter can't be with him in person.

ClearScore
"Zebra"
30s
28 Nov 2019
ClearScore's uncanny streak continues with a deceptively simple ad that shows while a zebra can't change its stripes, it can pursue a career in a hospital's A&E department. After all, life at the end of the alphabet isn't all it's cracked up to be. his is cheerfully explained by a zebra who can walk on two legs and perform basic medical procedures (hooves make some duties harder than others, you understand).

Squarespace
"Oscar the Grouch"
2 mins 33s
27 Nov 2019
The Muppets have been getting a new lease of life in the ad world recently, and this time it's their grumpiest member's turn to shine. A passing art connaisseur catapults Oscar the Grouch and his beloved piles of trash into the mainstream with a few brief clicks, letting a page from the advertised website builder do the talking for him.

Aston Martin
"Beautiful is Relentless"
60s
25 Nov 2019
This is a visually striking piece of work from director Daisy Zhou, who brings shades of red and black and more than a hint of shamanism to proceedings. The result is nimble, stylish, and aesthetically daring, as the ensemble cast dance to their own mysterious rhythm. It feels like an out-of-body experience... which is the sort of thing a £150,000 price tag will do to you.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
"Wait"
2 mins 48s
26 Nov 2019
This intense communication for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) highlights the lack of trained support workers currently available in American hospitals. Director Samantha Scaffidi ratchets up the tension from the word go, as ominous sound design and jolts of unexpected noise begin to wear on a woman in a waiting room.

1850 Coffee
"Quality That's Criminal"
1 min 54s
25 Nov 2019
"Four filthy numbers" threaten to bring a city to its knees in this entertaining spoof of police procedurals by 1850 Coffee. As a pair of grizzled cops - both of whom have seen, heard, and smelt too much over the years - discuss a citywide caffeine hit, we catch a glimpse of some of the prime suspects… and no-one is safe from a thorough bean-grinding.

Myer
"Christmas is Where We Are"
90s
22 Nov 2019
An enterprising grandpa saves Christmas in this charming ad for Aussie department store Meyer. A young girl becomes concerned about Santa's ability to find her during the family's holiday camping trip, and does her best to leave a trail - Hansel and Gretel style - for him to follow. Despite her naysaying brother's assertion that it won't work, an unexpected ally ensures their tent is impossible to miss.

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.