David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Move your feet.While the phrase 'toe jam' may not inspire confidence in viewers, we promise that this quirky commercial from Gala Bingo is a lot more appealing than its title suggests.
    • Team effort.The great British pastime of keepy-uppy takes centre stage in this cheerful film from director Jacques Salmon.
    • Virus Crisis Podcast: Jennifer SheridanDirector Jennifer Sheridan talks about her move to Park Village and some recent non-advertising projects.
    • Julien & Quentin join HAMLETFrench directing duo Julien & Quentin have joined HAMLET for representation in Belgium, the Netherlands, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
    • In the picture: Papaya Rocks Film Festival 2020.Bethnal Green’s Genesis Cinema hosted the second annual Papaya Rocks Film Festival on Thursday 27th February, and there was plenty to keep fans of no-budget cinema entertained.
    • Touching From a DistanceThis stripped-back ad from Channel 4 demonstrates how the commercial industry is adapting to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
    • Uncommon enlist Jonas Roth and Rasmus Smith Bech.Danish creative duo Jonas Roth and Rasmus Smith Bech have joined the ranks at Uncommon.
    • Darling Films welcome Daniel Skoglund.New signing Daniel Skoglund brings a “slick visual universe” to the table, according to Darling Films.
    • Virus Crisis Podcast: Sascha Darroch-DaviesWe talk to DLMDD's Sascha Darroch-Davies.
    • Man vs NatureGardening gets the action movie treatment in this enticing outing for Honda.
    • The royal treatment.Cautiously optimistic racing fans can take heart from this 60” plug for Royal Ascot 2020.
    • An important takeaway.Chat shows as we know them have quickly become a thing of the past, but ITV stalwarts Ant and Dec are keeping things ticking over.
    • Virus Crisis Podcast: Steve Davies and Toby TomkinsAs we enter a new week of the virus crisis, we get the lowdown from the APA's Steve Davies and Cheat's Toby Tomkins.
    • Mum's the word.Such unprecedented times make this Not On The High Street commercial all the more affecting.
    • Last call.This emotionally charged short film evokes ‘Bronson’ and ‘Starred Up’ in its depiction of solitary confinement.
    • Going for GoldOlympic sponsors Bridgestone take an unusual approach with this introspective film starring Taekwondo silver medalist Lutalo Muhammad.
    • Virus Crisis Podcast: James Sindle and Sorcha ShepherdIn the second of our virus crisis podcasts, we hear from James Sindle of ETC and Sorcha Shepherd of Caviar.
    • Pundersons Gardens: a view from the bunker.DAVID speaks with Pundersons Gardens executive producer Thomas Viney.
    • Balls to that.Over two years after his acclaimed ‘Madness’ spot for McDonald’s, director Tony Barry returns for another playful jibe at try-hard coffee shops.


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"Apart. But Never Alone."
24 March 2020

Chat shows as we know them have quickly become a thing of the past - live audiences are in lock down, celebrity guests are self-isolating, and topics are limited to survival in the age of Covid-19 - but ITV stalwarts Ant & Dec are keeping things ticking over. This 60” communication sets out their stall in forthright fashion, as they explain their intention to keep the nation talking.

It's a canny move from ITV, providing content without putting production teams at risk while also offering the public a way to raise spirits during these difficult times. Messages of love filmed from quarantine may not be ideal, but they're far more valuable than famous personalities trying to carry on like nothing's wrong. A new normal is being established in television, and this might be the way forward.

Virus Crisis Podcast: Steve Davies and Toby Tomkins

As we enter a new week of the virus crisis, we get the lowdown from the APA's Steve Davies and Cheat's Toby Tomkins.

If you'd like to participate in one of these podcasts then please get in touch and we'll set up an interview. And it doesn't have to be about the crisis... we could all do with something else to think about, so please feel free to spend twenty minutes telling us all the reasons why your dog is "a good boy".


Not On The High Street
"Mother's Day"
22 March 2020

To say that Mother’s Day 2020 was unusual would be a wild understatement. Countless afternoon teas and family get-togethers were scrubbed by the threat of Covid-19, only for technology and improvisation to save the day.

Such unprecedented times make this Not On The High Street commercial all the more affecting, as director Andrea Kapos gathers sons and daughters on a sofa to describe what makes their mums tick. You’d be surprised how many flunk the date of birth test.

The overall result, however, is a warm and well-cast reminder of the brand’s personalised mantra. More crucially, it’s a welcome slice of normality as the concept of family life changes on a daily basis.

Short Films
4 mins 34s
22 March 2020

This emotionally charged short film evokes ‘Bronson’ and ‘Starred Up’ in its depiction of solitary confinement. Co-director Neil Linpow (who also stars and writes) turns a prison cell into a confessional, as a man tries to make peace with his family before a riot knocks on his door.

We don’t know what crime(s) Linpow’s felon has committed; what we do know is that his only defence is the sharpened end of a toothbrush. Over the course of one bittersweet phone call to his son, however, it’s clear whose survival matters most.

Linpow sells this dire resignation well, as the battered and bruised Joyce gauges the approaching storm while putting on his best ‘daddy’ voice when it’s needed most. Aided by some fiercely intimate camerawork, this is a grimly enthralling narrative debut.

"Every Second Counts"
3 mins 20s
22 March 2020

Olympic sponsors Bridgestone take an unusual approach with this introspective film starring Taekwondo silver medalist Lutalo Muhammad. Rather than take a look at the soaring heights of sporting success, the brand instead focus on the disappointment of losing - particularly, what can be learned from failure.

The topic is especially poignant under the current circumstances, as Tokyo 2020 teeters on the verge of being cancelled and it seems increasingly unlikely that Muhammad will get his second shot at gold. Regardless, this film offers an important contrast to the high-octane, achievement focused trend - saying instead that it's not falling that matters, but how you pick yourself back up.


On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Batchelors Deli Box
"Awesome Mums"
30 Mar 2014
Multi-tasking mums march down a suburban street in this amusing ad suggesting that the advertised snack is perfect for women who need to be able to take food in their stride... literally. They solve problems for their less mentally-able menfolk as they move through the streets looking like The Spice Girls on their way to a 25th anniversary gig.

Grief Encounter
"Mother's Day"
30 Mar 2014
This impressive film supporting the work of the charity Grief Encounter offers a timely reminder that Mother's Day is a difficult time for young families who've suffered a bereavement. An apparently self-sufficient yet lonely little boy represents children who've had to get by without the support of a mother.

Spies Rejser
"Do It For Denmark"
2 mins
30 Mar 2014
This commercial for a Danish travel agency has garnered a lot of press attention and little wonder. It suggests to Danes that they should take foreign holidays because it increases the chance that they'll conceive a baby... something that will apparently help to reverse Denmark's population decline. Some dubious statistics are bandied about as evidence but it's all good natured fun.

"Dream Goal"
30 Mar 2015
Every amateur footballer has on one occasion or another held court down the pub with an exaggerated summary of a wonder goal they scored. Budweiser taps into this by offering the chance for Sunday leaguers to have their playing field screamers analysed by the likes of Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp.

Heineken Light
"Grocery Store"
2 mins
30 Mar 2015
This amusing spot for Heineken Light features the drink's celebrity endorser, Neil Patrick Harris, being a victim of his own success in a supermarket. Quietly shopping for Asian pears (which is, for no particular reason, amusing in itself) he is stopped by a man who recognises him. Despite his best efforts to disengage, he merely ends up attracting more people.

"Life Paint"
2 mins 30s
30 Mar 2015
This online commercial for Volvo focuses on LifePaint: a unique, reflective spray that's invisible by day yet shines brightly in the beam of a car's headlights. It's a collaboration between Grey London and a Swedish company called Albedo100 who make the paint, and the ad is one of a series of projects to highlight the main innovations of the new Volvo XC90.

"Alive Inside"
30 Mar 2016
Up-and-coming director Kibwe Tavares helms this electric commercial for Guinness Africa Special with nary a pub nor bar in sight. Instead, the film is a restless celebration of what it means to get that heart-rate pounding - and it's not afraid to get in your face about it.

"The Obstacle Course"
2 mins 15s
30 Mar 2016
This unflinching film from equality collective Inter-LGBT depicts the desire for acceptance amidst discrimination as an endless assault course. Filmed from a first-person perspective, the audience is thrown head first into a frightening gauntlet - one that is still unnecessarily endured by members of 'modern' society.

1 min 50s
30 Mar 2017
Virtual Reality hasn't quite taken off in the fashion many hoped it would but - in this splendid commercial for Samsung - we're offered a super illustration of the impact it has on a creature dreaming of a different kind of take-off altogether, The animal in question is an ostrich who accidentally slips its face into a VR headset and discovers a brave new world in which he's unencumbered by flightlessness.

Grand Designs
30 Mar 2006
Kevin McCloud is distracted as he chats to another parent at a nursery. one of the children's attempts to build something catches his attention and before long he joins and constructs a weird and wonderful structure himself. All in the name of celebrating Britons' taste for unusual architecture.

Asda George
"Doh Wah Diddy Diddy"
30 Mar 2006
Propositions don't get much simpler (or more effective) than this. The clothes at Asda may be cheap but that doesn't mean they don't look good. A woman walking down the street in a £3 top is joined by other similarly inexpensively attired women.

30 Mar 2007
Praise is heaped here on the brave food warrior who first discovered that mushrooms are edible. Which is true enough really as anyone who has ever tried to persuade a young child to eat one will know. Once again terrific photography well used makes for a very effective ad.

The Sun on Sunday
30 Mar 2009
Johnny Vegas voices this ad for The Sun which talks about the success of the newspaper in raising money for returning soldiers. A series of images are shown representing the activities carried out by the public to contribute to the fund.

Microsoft X-Box
"Everyone's Doing It"
30 Mar 2010
A grumpy old man jealously explains how everyone's doing it. From the way he saying it, we are clearly supposed to believe that he's talking about sex... but he's not. He's talking about playing video games on the advertised games console.

"Wedding Photo"
30 Mar 2010
If you've ever found yourself wondering why there's never been a hit German comedy on our cinema screen, look no further than this excruciating piece of business. And while you're doing it... see if you can figure out what the dickens is going on.

Film 4
"Films For Life"
30 Mar 2011
In a scene reminiscent of The Road, a bleak-looking young man crosses a desperate landscape and enters a small hut. Inside, he's able to watch old movies on a cosy looking old sofa... but who's this coming to join him?

Lucozade Revive
"Witness My Revival"
30 Mar 2012
When Channel 4 goes to the trouble to trailing an ad, we expect it to be pretty spectacular. Imagine our disappointment then when we tuned in to The Million Pound Drop (Davina McCall shouting at stupid people) to see this piece of dance vaguely enhanced by a few animated sparkles. Make sure advertised ads are worth it.

Save The Children
"Hawking's Voice"
30 Mar 2014
The distinctive voice of Stephen Hawking is used to bring to life the sad utterances of Syrian children in this touching film for Save the Children. Because the crisis in Syria has rumbled along for so long without any useful intervention from other countries, it would be easy to imagine that the situation over there has eased for the civilian population but - as this film makes clear - it hasn't.

"Paddle of Rebuke"
30 Mar 2014
This tightly-directed commercial for Foster's takes the campaign back to where it started with the Australian protagonists dishing out social advice to awkward UK callers. We're introduced to the 'paddle of rebuke' which sounds like something you might find in the sixth form common room of a public school but is actually a light-hearted reminder not to be too serious on a lads' night out. This ad neatly and simply underlines the brand's 'relaxed' values.

30 Mar 2014
A second commercial in this series suggesting that bad breath can be a terrible distraction for the people around you. The woman attending a job interview appears to be a shoo-in... all they want from her is a few words confirming that they've made the right choice but when she opens her mouth but all they get is 'garlic'.

30 Mar 2014
This amusing commercial is one of two designed to impress on people the importance of clean breath. When a man makes the moves associated with a marriage proposal, his fiancée-to-be couldn't be more excited but all she hears is the word 'salami' repeated over and over again... which would, in fairness, ruin the moment a bit.

"Nickname Service"
30 Mar 2014
Another of the delightful animated films drawing attention to the specially-commissioned services which highlight Three's decision to allow their users to connect for free to 0800 numbers. This one tells us all about a service that enables punters to get themselves an appropriate nickname.

Virgin Media
"Pitch to Rich"
2 mins 56s
30 Mar 2015
Virgin Media Business has created a competition aimed at budding entrepreneurs who are looking for a platform for their business ideas. Richard Branson tells us that fear is a key component in start-ups as images flash past from close calls in his life. It's moody and atmospheric, although the model of him at the end looks like he's been surgically removed from the prow of a ship.

"All You Need Is Love"
30 Mar 2015
This shortened version of Vaughan Arnell's ad for the BBC iPlayer retains the same flair and atmosphere of the original. Rae Morris's cover of "All You Need Is Love" accompanies a montage of viewers displaying their affection for various programmes. Those of a similar disposition are invited to press the heart button on the service to show their appreciation.

30 Mar 2016
Finish note that a broken heart is often swiftly followed by a hearty appetite. These unlucky-in-lovers are shown wallowing in the depths of despair and comfort eating in a nicely OTT sequence, leaving behind a trail of filthy dishes. With their characteristic reasoned approach to life and washing up, the brand boast they can provide the necessary cleaning power... if not a shoulder to cry on.

On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

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