David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Dog Eat Dog sign Marc BethkeDog Eat Dog have added noted automotive director Marc Bethke to their roster.
    • Mind and BodyThis nifty piece of work for Asics emphasises the importance of mind over matter.
    • The time is now.5:10 is the real number of the beast in this super piece of work for EA's Need For Speed franchise.
    • Meet Factory's new creative directors.Seasoned sound designers Dan Beckwith and Jon Clarke have been sworn in as Factory’s new creative directors.
    • Unmasking selfishness.This Swedish film for Volvo accidentally offers a perfect commentary on those objecting to public health measures during the current pandemic.
    • Reynald Gresset heads to The SweetshopThe Sweetshop's UK arm have added London-based director Reynald Gresset to their roster.
    • Railing cry.This 30" London North Eastern Railway film aims to put bums on train seats again.
    • Hola from 1stAveMachine Buenos Aries.1stAveMachine have expanded into Argentina with the launch of their new Buenos Aries office.
    • No Pain, All GainVR workout programme FITXR dismiss the notion that one has to suffer in order to get in shape in this satirical ad.
    • Molly Burdett arrives at Spindle.Director and photographer Molly Burdett is the latest to join the forward-thinking roster at Spindle.
    • Heart and beyond.Now that most of life takes place in doors, Dunelm suggest our confines should be as comfortable as possible.
    • Sea change.This atmospheric film for Mercedes shines a light on the way time and climate are changing the shape of life in Thailand.
    • Believe Media welcome Fredrik Bäckar.Swedish director-cum-cinematographer Fredrik Bäckar is now on the books at Believe Media.
    • He's such a player.Actor, producer, and Animal Crossing resident Elijah Wood stars in this endearing 30" ad for AFK Arena - a mobile role-playing game (RPG) and apparent homewrecker.
    • The drive of your (West)life.This beautifully judged McDonald’s ad nails the first car experience.
    • Max Hemmings joins RadicalMediaRadicalMedia have expanded their roster with the signing of Max Hemmings for representation in the UK and Germany.
    • Cover story.As cases skyrocket and government guidance on Covid-19 restrictions remains as muddy and meandering as ever, frustrated viewers will appreciate this spunky short film.

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McDonald's
"The Gift"
60s
13 October 2020

First cars rarely meet expectations. Young DAVID, for example, wanted a Batmobile - what he got was, erm, less than heroic. It’s a rite of passage familiar to many (except Batman, of course) and this beautifully judged McDonald’s ad nails it.

Shot by directing duo thirtytwo, the ad centres on a seventeen-year-old boy and his new motor—his mum’s old motor, to be precise. Both performances are spot on here, as anticipation meets reality in a “well tied-up” gift box.

There’s no teenage tantrum or off-road rage - the lad simply adjusts the seat, ignores the jokes from his pals, and completes that most essential of all driving manoeuvres: ordering at a McDonald's drive-thru. Somehow, it tastes better in the driver's seat.

Most importantly, the ad gives mum the recognition she deserves with a shrewd finale and an even better soundtrack choice. The result is a winning blend of old and new for the brand.

This represents a new phase in advertising's response to the pandemic - the difficulties we're facing are implicit rather than being spelled out constantly. This is much, much better and the unstated association with the woes of 2020 strengthens the idea that a meal McDonald's has become an oasis which enables us to park our troubles for a little while.


Max Hemmings joins RadicalMedia

RadicalMedia have expanded their roster with the signing of Max Hemmings for representation in the UK and Germany.

The writer and director first broke into the industry as an editor, working in London after previously studying film and television in his native Australia. It didn't take long for him to earn his stripes, and helming his own projects soon became a priority.


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Short Films
"Put Some Clothes on Man Jesus Christ"
70s
13 October 2020

As cases skyrocket and government guidance on Covid-19 restrictions remains as muddy and meandering as ever, frustrated viewers will appreciate this spunky short film. Director Jim Owen's film satirises characters we've become all too familiar with of late - those wankers among us who waffle on about their 'civil liberties' to gloss over the fact they really don't care about other people's lives.

It's a lovely two-hander—an argument between a guy in a queue and the masked nudist behind him who doesn't see why it's anyone else's business if he covers his bits or not. Owen's canny script makes its intentions clear without being too on the nose, while a late gag about masking at least one body part hammers the film's point home nicely. Even if you show your prick, don't be one.


Aldi
"The Aisle of Aldi"
60s
13 October 2020

Aldi's middle aisle is the retail equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle: customers may disappear without a trace and return utterly transformed (or with a random piece of garden equipment, at least). This tongue-in-cheek commercial riffs on the aisle's cult appeal, aided by a travel film aesthetic and a mock-epic voiceover.

Thus, we hear sausages echo in the wind and see stepladders sit atop mountain ranges ("Don't fall off", the hushed voiceover warns). Just as the ad threatens to run away with itself, director Henry Littlechild neatly shifts to the more familiar surroundings of an Aldi car park - the site of many post-impulse purchase inquisitions.


Very
"Life is This Very Moment"
60s
12 October 2020

An unlikely friendship takes centre stage in this whimsical ad for online retailer Very. A young girl discusses the changing seasons with her favourite Avenger, listing her favourite things about autumn and supplying Hulk-appropriate replies when her action figure doesn't hold up its end of the conversation.

Director Gary Freedman has captured a wonderfully understated moment here, coaxing a lovely performance from his young lead which feels entirely natural. Throw in a humorous comment about mum and dad swapping "the white stuff for the red stuff" and a conker hat and it makes for a charming snapshot of juvenile imagination.

As more Covid-related restrictions loom and the weather gets colder, this film provides a salient reminder that for now, the best thing we can do is live in the moment. An appealing bit of playground philosophy to muse on in troubled times.


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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

Asics
"I Move Me"
60s
16 Oct 2020
This nifty piece of work for Asics emphasises the importance of mind over matter. Nimbly shot by director Fabio Jansen, the film offers an insight into the mental and physical fortitude it takes to keep moving even when one's resources are all but depleted. With kinetic visuals accented by moody lighting and driven by a dynamic soundtrack, it's enough to get even the most committed couch potato's heartrate up.

Need For Speed
"Hot Pursuit Remastered"
2 mins 14s
16 Oct 2020
Forget 666 - the real number of the beast is 5-10. That’s the premise of this super piece of work for EA's Need For Speed franchise: namely, a remaster of 2010 fan favourite 'Hot Pursuit'. The protagonist is haunted by defeat a decade later, his mate’s winning time of five minutes and 10 seconds mocking him at every turn, business meeting, and café.

Volvo
"A Million More"
1 min 53s
15 Oct 2020
This moving film opens by describing public and media resistance when Volvo introduced the three-point safety belt. It could hardly be more timely, as it encapsulates the dissent faced by those advocating various public health measures in our fight to control coronavirus… not least, the encouragement to wear face coverings in a public setting.

AFK Arena
"Belinda Who?"
30s
15 Oct 2020
Elijah Wood and Uzgahk the Horrid’s relationship crisis continues in this AFK Arena film, as the former blurts out the wrong name in the kitchen. He tries to conceal his mobile RPG indiscretion, but the hulking, emotionally fragile Uzgahk won’t get fooled again. Another droll, well-executed spin on the 'video games ruin relationship' meme.

Dunelm
"Home. We Get It (Director's Cut)"
90s
14 Oct 2020
Home is now not only where the heart is, but where almost all of our day-to-day lives take place. Work, school, socialising - 90% of it happens within our own four walls. This charming commercial for Dunelm argues that these confines should at least be as comfortable as possible. Director Jesper Ericstam's film skilfully blends both quirky and familiar moments of life at home.

AFK Arena
"Caught in the Act"
30s
14 Oct 2020
Actor, producer, and Animal Crossing resident Elijah Wood stars in this endearing 30" ad for AFK Arena - a mobile role-playing game (RPG) and certified homewrecker. Well, that's if you believe Uzgahk the Horrid. He stars in a rival, 'World of Warcraft'-style RPG that no longer scratches Wood's gaming itch. One-hundred-and-fifteen hours spent upgrading a loincloth seemingly does that to a relationship.

McDonald's
"The Gift"
60s
13 Oct 2020
First cars rarely meet expectations. Young DAVID, for example, wanted a Batmobile - what he got was, erm, less than heroic. It’s a rite of passage familiar to many (except Batman, of course) and this beautifully judged McDonald’s ad nails it. Shot by directing duo thirtytwo, the ad centres on a seventeen-year-old boy and his new motor—his mum’s old motor, to be precise.

Very
"Life is This Very Moment"
60s
12 Oct 2020
An unlikely friendship takes centre stage in this whimsical ad for online retailer Very. A young girl discusses the changing seasons with her favourite Avenger, listing her favourite things about autumn and supplying Hulk-appropriate replies when her action figure doesn't hold up its end of the conversation.

Sick Kids
"Bravery Beads"
75s
9 Oct 2020
Canada's Sick Kids hospital has a unique programme to help the young people in their care document and process their medical journey: Bravery Beads. Rather than incentives or rewards, this method of tracking treatment allows kids to create a tangible reminder of what they've overcome, and how much progress they've made.

Water Wipes
"Skin"
45s
7 Oct 2020
Despite being the body's largest organ, skin often gets short shrift when it comes to being treated gently. Water Wipes, however, intend to ensure their customers' skin gets the five-star experience from the word go - eschewing harsh chemicals and sticking to little more than natural H2O. This intimate film communicates that commitment nicely, as it encompasses parents and babies of all skin types.

Nike
"Mercurial Dream Speed"
60s
7 Oct 2020
It seems only yesterday that Cristiano Ronaldo became the most expensive teenager in English football history. Now thirty-five, the Juventus and Portugal forward speaks to the only person capable of replicating his success: himself, of course. What makes this 60” Nike commercial stand out from the fawning crowd is Richard Swarbrick’s painterly animation.

Samsung Galaxy
"Onions"
60s
2 Oct 2020
This engaging love story from Samsung Galaxy may bring audiences to tears... though not for the reasons one might expect. The star-crossed couple in question work at neighbouring eateries and are brought together via an unexpected passion for vegetables - namely, onions. Clinically soppy viewers may be left feeling a bit, er, raw by the end.

Mont Blanc
"What Moves You, Makes You"
60s
2 Oct 2020
This biographical Montblanc ad provides a zippy recap of the life and career of director Spike Lee, incorporating archive footage and shots of the man at work. Aptly enough, Zeynep Orbay and Macie Soler-Sala’s script is narrated like a table read. This may be distracting for some, but the main draw is footage of New York City before, during, and after the 1977 blackout.

BBC Sounds
"To Be Moved"
60s
1 Oct 2020
Fluid VFX and canny sound design make this commercial for BBC Sounds a treat for both the eyes and ears. Director Sam Brown’s camera moves down a busy street, slinking off a bus and into a cafe as people undergo different visual tweaks according to their listening habits. While some characters receive flashy enhancements like zero-gravity hairstyles, it's arguably the more subtle effects that have the most impact.

Yorkshire Tea
"Socially Distancing Teapot"
80s
1 Oct 2020
While it's a ridiculously unnecessary risk to cram workers back into offices mid-pandemic, this fun outing for Yorkshire Tea at least hopes we'll do so safely. Having a cuppa with one's co-workers looks very different in 2020, and the film creatively imagines the, er, lengths one might go to share a proper brew.

Apple Watch
"It Already Does That"
2 mins
25 Sep 2020
Helena Bonham Carter delivers a memorable VO performance in this two-minute Apple Watch commercial, evoking Oscar Isaac’s Nike work from 2016. On paper, Bonham Carter has an easy job...if only the supporting cast would let her get on with it. As The Crown star tries to weave a tale of wrist-based science fiction, she’s constantly thwarted by Apple devotees.

Volvo
"The Parents"
2 mins 26s
29 Sep 2020
This kinetic Volvo commercial makes the most of early parenthood's frantic pace to promote the marque's lane assistance feature. The concept is beautifully realised by director Niclas Larsson, as a couple discover they're having twins and are thrown head-first into childcare. The one constant of their hectic family life? A perpetual shortage of nappies.

John Lewis
"For the Joy of Home"
60s
25 Sep 2020
Despite using The Muppet Show's venerable theme song, this playful 60" John Lewis ad features nary a Kermit, Miss Piggy, or Rowlf the Dog. Instead, the embattled department store presents a game of musical chairs. And tables. And cushions. Like a good-natured haunting, these inanimate objects sneak around the house while the adults furrow their brows. Yet this is no supernatural occurence...

Uber Eats
"Showdown"
45s
24 Sep 2020
Uber Eats have triggered a battle for the ages in their latest ad, as two giants of sci-fi face off about their dinner choices. Perennial internet darling Mark Hamill and glabrous legend Patrick Stewart take opposing stances regarding vegetables: Hamill favours an absolutely tomato-free sandwich while Stewart tauntingly asserts his choice of pasta - liberally adorned with the little red blighters.

FIFA 21
"There is Only One King"
90s
24 Sep 2020
FIFA 21 may be a mixed bag for Leeds United fans this season. On the one hand, United’s Elland Road stadium is, er, missing from the upcoming game. On the other hand, supporters can play as former striker Eric Cantona and pretend he never left for rivals Manchester United. Swings and roundabouts, really.

The King of Underdogs
"1v1"
1 min 33s
23 Sep 2020
China's most famous one-on-one basketball tournament calls 2020 players to action with this intriguing film. The piece adopts a determined tone from the word go, as the narrator discusses self-belief, commitment, and bringing one's A-game despite the naysayers. Director Lennart Brede's visuals are spot-on, leading viewers from rainy, neon-lit streets to sterile libraries, smoggy skylines, and finally, the basketball court.

EDF Energy
"Busy Doing Nothing"
60s
21 Sep 2020
It's hard to describe keeping the nation's lights on during a pandemic as 'doing nothing', but EDF Energy have a different take on the concept in their latest commercial. The 60" film explores what comprises a day in the company's life - from servicing offshore wind turbines to visiting customers in their homes.

confused.com
"Passers-By"
30s
22 Sep 2020
Rhiannon Harper-Rafferty replaces Timothy V. Murphy in the Confused.com driver’s seat, as the brand continue their anti-bedfuddlement campaign. Needless to say, both the website and Harper-Rafferty have their work cut out for them at the moment.

Taskmaster
"Back for Good"
40s
19 Sep 2020
Taskmaster host Greg Davies is a man on a mission in this 40" promo, as the popular game show prepares to make its Channel 4 debut at the second time of asking. Needless to say, Davies has thoughts about his new home's previous rejection. Yet it's perennial lackey Alex Horne who steals the show here as his employment status arguably worsens.

UNICEF
"Reimagine: Gaming"
50s
18 Sep 2020
Video games have very much become the national pastime in lockdown, so this graphic-heavy outing for UNICEF should grab the attention of both competitive and casual audiences. The film explores life for refugee children in colourful fashion, particularly how their 'stats' improve with the charity's support. Whether they want to be pilots, doctors, or world-changing authors, the bright-eyed ambition of the kids here is admirable.

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.