David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Fail BetterThis follow-up spot to the highly-acclaimed previous Always ad - ' Like A Girl ' - looks at the notion of failure and puts it in a whole new light.
    • Eva Michon heads to BRFBRF (B-Reel Films) have signed award-winning director Eva Michon to their roster.
    • You bet your life.The betting sector has been going from strength to strength recently and this startling film for Bwin is further evidence that a competitive realm can still prompt a creative surge.
    • Odds and sods.This is a wonderfully daft piece of work from an inspired series of ads for Kwiff which draw attention to a fun proposition... randomly lengthened odds which mean punters will enjoy a windfall if their bet comes in.
    • Relax. Don't Do It.The scene: a fashion show. Models slinking up and down the catwalk. Among them is one with a smile that's electrified rather than electrifying...
    • Music to my fears.Toyota appeal to the paranoia of every parent whose teen is about to hit the road with a freshly minted driving license.
    • Five Favourite... Ad SongsMusical ads have long been an industry mainstay... so here are five of our favourite.
    • What are the odds?Have you ever spontaneously done something so cool you wish you could replay it endlessly for the benefit of those who missed it?
    • Fire storm.If you're aiming for 'over the top' then it's a good idea to go way over the top as director Isaiah Seret has in this marvellously bombastic film for EDEKA.
    • Agile Films won't PanicAgile Films have signed design and animation studio Panic to their roster.
    • Legend in his own LunchtimeMcDonald's have given their latest 'Chicken Legend' the Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards treatment.
    • A power of good.The striking thing about this moving examination of infertility is the way it demonstrates that online communities can be a force for good.
    • Resisting A RestThis amusing ad for Eve Sleep shows the consequences of not getting a decent night's kip.


Wednesday, 6th September.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How We Made... Macmillans.

● Free the Bid.

● Alicia MacDonald.

● Straight 8.

● Fell.

● John Smith's Penguins.


Brought to you by DAVID REVIEWS and the APA.

11 August 2017

After their last Samba-heavy, uh, misstep, Tena have stepped their game back up with the return of their laissez faire campaign. This time the French minx not only ruthlessly breaks her fiancé's heart to demonstrate the absorptive powers of Tena, but we - gasp - actually see a real life sanitary product in an ad. The classy clip maintains the distinctive humour we've come to expect from the brand, bien sur.

For products like this, we often expect to see an older woman cast as spokesperson but it's a case of 'damned if you do and damned if you don't'. Casting a younger, glamorous woman - as they have in this campaign - can feel as though it's increasing the invisibility of older women but casting an older woman can underline a stereotype. So, we say: cast who you damn well please!

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11 August 2017

Visa serve up an excruciating hunt for cash in this summery ad. Assuming he has to pay his cafe bill in the local currency, a hapless holidaymaker hesitates before taking the plunge and reaching for his dosh.

In an astute portrayal of the elaborate lengths tourists can go to in order to conceal their valuables (no family jewels jokes, please), the bloke unzips his trousers and - maintaining eye contact with the unfortunate waiter throughout - delves into the murky depths to fish out the necessary coins.

Director Sam Hibbard has the vibe spot on here, letting the secondhand embarrassment play out with shots of silently disapproving locals which only intensify the awkwardness. The final shot of the waiter laughing hammers the message home: next time, pay by card. Preferably contactless.

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Another superhero for Rogue.

Barney Richard has become the latest high profile arrival at Rogue in their bid to recruit all of London's top sales and marketing people.

It's just a few months since Orlando Wood first parked his scooter alongside Charlie Crompton's silver dream machine at Rogue HQ but with both Carnage - their specialist car division - and US affiliate O Positive to promote, they have added yet more beef to their sales team.


11 August 2017

Slow coaches are overtaken by Mercedes-Benz in this German ad focussing on their servicing department. A woman rouses from her slumber to shut down her absent boyfriend for failing to attend the party of the decade.

It plays to two apparently contradictory German stereotypes: Weimar-decadence and Teutonic-efficiency. Here they rub up against each other as it turns out you can only enjoy the world's most carefree party if you're extremely punctual.

The setting is beautifully-realised: fumes from last night’s cocktails linger in the air, while Martini glasses spin on a turntable in a perfect picture of a hedonistic aftermath. If - as it's often said - the devil is in the detail then the way Beelzebub's seeps over every square inch suggests that director Kai Schonrath travelled the extra mile in a successful bid to deliver more than the script promised.

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Secret Escapes
11 August 2017

We’ve all been stuck next to an interminable bore on holiday. However, the moustachioed gent in this excellent Secret Escapes ad has a story to tell - think Banged Up Abroad meets The Night Manager.

The drama unfolds beautifully. Dapper and dead behind the eyes, subtle winces accompany each dire recollection. As for the “sadistic warden with a cold, black heart?” Too soon.

Droga5’s Ed Redgrave and David Wigglesworth plant the script in an idyllic locale - placing the website’s raison d’etre in plain view. Of course, it’s the performance you focus on.

His ordeal has given him a new respect for life. Nursing a cocktail at this resort bar, he thinks he’s found a kindred spirit - someone who understands how lucky they are to be here. Well, kind of… seventy-percent off a luxury holiday is a steal.

It’s a lovely pay-off. Lord knows where the conversation goes from here, but savvy holidaymakers know where to go. A droll and harrowing addition to this sector.

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On This Day

The Sun on Sunday
"Get Involved"
18 Aug 2012
A bearded man tears his way along a high street in this ad for the maligned newspaper while urging us to 'get involved'. The Sun ought to be careful what it wishes for... the last time this newspaper group asked us to 'get involved' a mob of their readers tried to lynch a paediatrician.

"Priority Sports"
18 Aug 2012
Lots of questions are being asked at the moment about how the momentum generated by the Olympics can be maintained so it's a perfect moment for O2 to step into the breach with a sport-oriented offering in tandem with Nike. This impressive commercial drawing attention to this initiative features some of the stars who shined this August... plus Paula Radcliffe.

Virgin Media
"Peter Crouch"
18 Aug 2013
Lanky Stoke footballer Peter Crouch appears to have signed for the wrong team in this amusing new film for Virgin Media. Don't make the same mistake or you may find yourself regretting your decision as much as the robotic-dancing striker. Director James Griffiths has drawn beautifully understated performances from one and all.

John Lewis
"Things Matter"
18 Aug 2013
Dougal Wilson has worked his usual magic in the latest commercial for John Lewis. When an ad campaign is brimming with confidence, every execution swaggers into our commercial breaks with an aura which ensures we all look up and pay attention, and no current advertiser has more confidence than John Lewis.

"Unleash Your Best"
18 Aug 2014
Forget just doing it - that, it would seem, is for unfocused losers. You need a plan. You need incentives and goals and feedback. You need your best self standing just out of reach, urging you on to catch up. This is the message Adidas are giving us - and it would suggest there's no compromise. So get yourself fixed up with the tools to help every last muscle fibre and brain cell work with maximum efficiency: if you don't, you're just an also-ran.

"Acting Masterclass"
1 min 40s
18 Aug 2016
This year's crop of summer blockbusters may have failed to set the world alight, but this well-performed McDonald's ad hints at a seat-filler with extra bite. One can't help but wonder how the lead in this watery epic manages to summon such raw emotion in each and every take... but the reason has more to do with matters of the stomach than the heart.

"Up For The Challenge"
18 Aug 2016
Ladbrokes swallow a mound of Aussie grit for this ad taking the bookmaker into punchy territory. Enlisting the kind of VO whom you could imagine turning a bedtime story into a hard man's chronicle, the ad is all about laying down the gauntlet as many times as 60" will allow. Lady Luck hasn't received an invite to this particular game; instead, the narrator rams home the idea that a bet is all about using your brain and having the backbone to trust your decision.

18 Aug 2006
Kate Moss gets a good soaking in this ad for Rimmel. Normally you can imagine such a script might get short shrift from a pouting supermodel but let's face it, Moss owes one to both Rimmel and JWT for standing by her during the last twelve months when she has seemed bent on self-destruction.

Channel 4 +1
"Gordon Ramsay"
18 Aug 2007
Gordon Ramsay is trapped in a burning building. God that sounds so good we need to say it again. Gordon Ramsay is trapped in a burning building and his escape is marred when the firemen seeking to break his fall miss him altogether and he hits the pavement instead. Pure wish fulfilment for DAVID.

Renault Clio
18 Aug 2007
This series has really grown on us. Here, our two car-bound surfers sit in complete silence as one follow the movement of those brave enough to actually get out there and his companion contemplates the pasty he is eating. Publicis certainly got their money's worth from this shoot.

Philips Philishave
18 Aug 2007
The Philips shaver is personified as a female robot who takes care of all of the needs of a man who likes to shave in the shower. The impression given is that she's willing to take care of a good deal more and you could easily be fooled into thinking this is an ad for a new Apple product called the iWank.

Ford Fiesta
"Dogbot Wheel"
18 Aug 2007
The stupid dogbot is here to entertain us once again. In the latest instalment, the hapless creature seems intrigued by a rear warning system on the Fiesta that detects objects. The dogbot is in a transparent ball and teases its way towards the car several times before sliding down a ramp.

18 Aug 2008
Yet another super-duper low budget ad has a Kwik-Fit manager demonstrating that he can do more than fix cars. When he has explained a special offer to a waiting customer, she asks what else he can do. What comes next involves her annoying child and is really quite funny.

BBC iPlayer
18 Aug 2008
There's a clever conceit here but it seems to have gone missing between script and finished film and the end result is a little confusing. The idea is that our control over watching the Olympics is so complete that the athletes would become tired from needing to be ready to run day or night but it stretches the point too far.

Persil Small & Mighty
18 Aug 2008
It looks as though all of the effects in this ad have been done in camera and they are all the more charming because of that. Differing perspectives are used to change our sense of how large things are in a bid to communicate the idea that the latest variant of Persil is mightier than the usual stuff.

PG Tips
"Ethical Tea"
18 Aug 2008
This campaign is, er, going off the boil. Johnny Vegas still does his best but the script is not what we have come to expect and we're starting to get seriously worried that Ben Miller is no longer providing Monkey's voice. This should be one of advertising's great comedy partnerships and, at the moment, it's not.

"Stunned Silence"
18 Aug 2010
My... well, that's a surprise. Adam's going to be a dad. Jane unleashes the news as her partner's about to shove a forkful of food in his mouth and he seems filled with a mixture of panic and dread as he strides across the room in a bid to escape his fate.

The X Factor
18 Aug 2010
Shot from the point of view of one of the delusional hopefuls, this trail offers a potted glimpse of The X Factor process. Obviously, they left out the bit where the contenders' voices are adjusted using state of the art technology to suggest they can sing.

FA Umbro Fives
"Dave Bloke"
18 Aug 2010
This is a very amusing way of promoting an amateur football tournament. Michael Owen is continually overshadowed by Dave Bloke because the latter managed to get all the way to Wembley with his Five-A-Side team and score a goal on the hallowed, if troubled, turf.

The Sun on Sunday
18 Aug 2011
Another helping of the winning animation style which manages to suggest that football coverage in The Sun is quite refined. It isn't, of course, but try telling that to the many who excuse themselves for buying it because of its sports coverage.

Talk Talk
"X Factor Sponsorship"
18 Aug 2012
As usual, Carphone Warehouse's sponsorship of The X Factor uses clips submitted by the general public making it a microcosm of the show itself (minus the ritual humiliation). It does allow for a variety of bumpers but there's an overall sameness that nonetheless grates after a while.

Morgan's Rum
"Got What It Takes?"
18 Aug 2012
Four men who've sneaked to the pub to drink Morgan's Spice rum wonder how long it will take for their partners to realised they are missing as we see each discovery made in turn at their homes. From the evidence on display here, we can only assume that 'living like the captain' makes you a bit of a knob.

VW Beetle
"A Previous Life"
18 Aug 2012
VW is cleverly trading on the Beetle's legacy as the car of 1960s Bohemians in this ad suggesting that the newer models of the car owe their excellence to good karma. It's a cute idea... so much so that it's surprising this hasn't been the linchpin of this model's advertising since the re-launch.

Google Nexus
18 Aug 2012
A man and his son have a lot of fun with the help of the advertised tablet. There's no question that Google have their work cut out if they're to challenge the dominance of Apple's iPad but with this approach and a price that many will find attractive, it's clearly a serious proposition.

Channel 4
"Olympics Stadium"
18 Aug 2012
Another of Channel 4's excellent idents in which the figure '4' slowly becomes apparent. This one is filmed outside the Olympic Stadium in East London and manages to advertise the channel's forthcoming coverage of the Paralympics as well as being an excellent piece of branding.

On This Day

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