David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Ashley Armitage joins PrettybirdPrettybird have signed progressive talent Ashley Armitage to their directing roster.
    • Sam Bould is a Final Cut above.Editor Sam Bould has joined Final Cut for representation in both the UK and the US.
    • Back on TrackThis kinetic Volvo commercial makes the most of early parenthood's frantic pace.
    • Rachel Hough at String and TinsFormer agency producer Rachel Hough has taken her Midas touch to sound studio String and Tins.
    • Greatcoat Films sign Shan Phearon.Greatcoat Films say their new signing, Shan Phearon, brings "an encyclopedic knowledge of film" to 29 Wadeson Street.
    • The show must go on.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.
    • Tomato, tomato.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.
    • Clear the air.Encouraging smokers to quit is more vital than ever in 2020, as this ad viscerally illustrates.
    • Game of thrones.This 90" film announces Eric Cantona as one of FIFA 21's unlockable legends.
    • Court of ConvictionChina's most famous one-on-one basketball tournament calls 2020 players to action with this intriguing film.
    • Zero Sum GameIt'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.
    • Blow and go.This 40" Seat commercial charms thanks to its three inflatable protagonists
    • Step on it.Rhiannon Harper-Rafferty replaces Timothy V. Murphy in the Confused.com driverís seat.
    • Francisco Sendino arrives at Object & Animal.Object & Animal have completed the signing of German filmmaker Francisco Sendino for UK and US representation.
    • No hard feelings.Taskmaster host Greg Davies is a game show host scorned in this 40" promo.

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Volvo
"The Parents"
2 mins 26s
29 September 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.

The film ably captures the feeling of life 'in the trenches', so to speak, that many parents will recognise. It's clear the mother's late-night run to the store for essentials may well have featured in a far more sombre PSA, if not for the advertised tech jerking her awake at a vital moment.

While drowsy driving has received a hefty awareness push over the past few years, campaigns like this make it clear that not every tired trip is avoidable. They also emphasise that the onus is on the driver to employ whatever aids they can to help prevent fatigue-related accidents - neatly making Volvo's case in the process. Canny, relatable work.


Rachel Hough at String and Tins

There are some people in the advertising business who have such a habit of showing up at companies just as they embark on winning streaks, that it can't really be considered a coincidence. Rachel Hough Ė who was installed in a top role at String and Tins earlier this year Ė is such a person, and when she joined DAVID for a coffee recently, it was easy to gauge why she's proven such a magnet for success.


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Greatcoat Films sign Shan Phearon.

Greatcoat Films say their new signing, Shan Phearon, brings "an encyclopedic knowledge of film" to 29 Wadeson Street.

The move follows the release of Phearonís post-lockdown promo for rapper One Acen, which was an odd experience for managing director Simon Oxley: "It was a strange start to our new creative partnership, as we didnít meet Shan in person until One Acen's 'Nigeria' video."

But good things come to those who wait, with Oxley calling Phearon an "extremely driven director with an infectious enthusiasm for his work". Lively Zoom calls with Phearon made the company's decision even easier.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

John Lewis
"For the Joy of Home"
60s
25 September 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 - just a couple of children eager to prove that staying in is the new going out.

Evoking the homespun charm of 2018's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' film (and more than a hint of IKEA's 'The Wonderful Everyday' campaign), it's a fun take on how 'multipurpose' homes have become in recent months. Cue further scattershot speculation about the brand's 2020 Christmas ad.


Uber Eats
"Showdown"
45s
24 September 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.

While the debate over veggie validity will be relatable for many, it's Hamill and Stewartís performances which sell the concept. Hammy and self-aware in equal measure, the two deliver overwrought trash talk with obvious relish. Kudos to director Guy Shelmerdine for adding some transatlantic rivalry into the mix with their respective choice of weapons, too.


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On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Sony
"Soundville"
2 mins 30s
1 Oct 2009
A typically epic piece from Fallon's Juan Cabral which involved wiring up the Icelandic village of Seydisfjordur with a sound system so the residents could listen to music wherever they were. Cabral's ads increasingly give the impression of being the result of drunken bets.

Superdrug
"Take Another Look"
50s
1 Oct 2010
Gavin & Stacey's Joanna Page is the new face of Superdrug and this is a terrific way to introduce her (even if it does make her out to be a bit of a harlot). She sneaks into the bathroom to sort out her make up so she can look pristine when her latest conquest wakes.

Walkers
"It's Raining Ten"
40s
1 Oct 2010
It's a slightly bizarre promotion but it's a terrific commercial. The Walkers campaign appears to have been reenergised and that's really surprising to those of us who have felt that it had become weary. Notwithstanding the lame gag that sees Lineker's ears disappearing upwards at the end, it doesn't put a dance step wrong.

Tetley Tea
"Just The Way You Are"
40s
1 Oct 2011
This ad beautifully combines animation and live action to provide a scene in which one of the Tetley Tea Folk directs a love song towards a cuppa. This has been executed with real tenderness but with just enough humour to prevent it seeming mawkish. Lovely.

Guinness
"The Cloud"
90s
1 Oct 2012
This grand commercial for Guinness has Brian Cox (the actor... not the astronomer) describing the actions of a cloud visiting a city. This is no ordinary cloud as it pays no heed to the wind and appears to be sentient. It's might be designed to represent the cloud in a pint of Guinness as it settles but really this ad is all about the grandiosity of itself.

Chivas Regal
"The Barman"
60s
1 Oct 2013
While we may have seen the 'famous actor in a subservient role' scenario before (Denholm Elliot, John Gielgud, for instance), viewed in an advertising context this may be considered educational in purpose. That is, the people who imbibe such drinks tend to be rather boorish... so here's a gentle nudge to them suggesting they adopt a more civilised approach.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup
"Bring Food To Life"
30s
1 Oct 2014
Heinz have followed up their 2009 commercial for tomato ketchup with another that similarly demonstrates it to be the vital missing ingredient that brings food to life. This time the food it's added to is invisible until the sauce is layered on top. It's actually a more logical metaphor than the previous ad and is another outstanding example of how advertising can underline a product's essentialness.

GE
"Enhance Your Lighting"
2 mins
1 Oct 2014
This spot makes up for all those turgid films that don't know how to reign themselves in because there's no time limit online. Every second of this GE ad from the US entertains - and not least because of Jeff Goldblum's bravura performance as Terry Quattro; the man whose celebrity is down to "really great lighting."

GHD
"Curve"
75s
1 Oct 2014
In this impressive ad for GHD, we're treated to the fleeting recollections of a party as remembered by one woman who was there. Obviously an opulent, possibly slightly debauched, definitely drunken night, she awakes somewhat worse for wear - but her hair remains as demurely perfect as Rebekah Brooks's did as she strode out of court after implausibly getting away with it.

Royal London
"We're All Going to Die"
60s
1 Oct 2014
This fantastic commercial for Royal London not only tackles the taboo of 'death', it laughs in its face. Just look at the opening exchange: "We're all going to die!" warbles an aged soothsayer... only for the brand spokesperson (the marvellous Gethin Alderman) to riposte: "It's true - we are all going to die," before explaining how Royal London have been helping people to make provisions for this inevitability ever since their foundation in 1861, even going so far as to label them "experts in dying".

Booking.com
"Golf Holiday"
30s
1 Oct 2014
It's Peter Serafinowicz's masterful VO performances that make this campaign special and in this golf-themed ad (first aired in April but revived for the Ryder Cup) he once again lifts the script's level well above the words on the page. It has golfers admitting they love the game more than they love their wives as a hawk-like chap practices his swing with palpable intensity. Will he get it out of the bunker or not? Er, no... but he's staying at such a terrific resort that he doesn't care.

Channel 4
"Disability Minefield"
60s
1 Oct 2014
In this era of communication, where most of us (in the West, at least) can express our opinions via social media, we're only just beginning to grasp what that responsibility might mean. And in timely fashion, Channel 4 has made an ad for the Talk Disability section of their site online in which the minefield we face in naming anyone with a disability is discussed.

TNT Couriers
"Human Truck"
50s
1 Oct 2014
This is one of those commercials that puts DAVID into a bit of a quandary. On the one hand, the visual impact of the truck made up of Guantanamo-styled TNT staffers is undeniably impressive but - on the other - there's something slightly sinister about its implication of suggesting that the people who work for the company are obedient drones.

Waitrose & Partners
"The Warmest Season"
60s
1 Oct 2015
When the most obvious choice is also the smartest choice it always sounds a bit denigrating to describe it as a 'no-brainer' but when the John Lewis Partnership decided to extend its relationship with adam&eveDDB by asking the agency to create Waitrose's advertising, it really couldn't be described any other way.

Spies Rejser
"Do It For Mom"
2 mins 30s
1 Oct 2015
Judging by the number of times we've seen this shared on Facebook (vital research done on our break, you understand), this cheeky ad for Danish travel agency Spies looks set to amuse and bemuse just as much as last year's outing. It's seems all still isn't well with our Nordic neighbours and it's down to a lack of babies being born. Fewer babies mean fewer Danish grandmothers. Luckily, Spies have the answer: sexy holidays.

Bulldog
"Bank Robbery"
60s
1 Oct 2017
Skincare brand Bulldog provided one of Christmas 2016's surprise ads. Socially-awkward elves exchanging gifts underlined the brand's appreciation of male hang-ups. This latest outing now brings their eponymous mutt to life - and he aims to turn this would-be bank robber's life around. Perma-grumpy expression aside, the bulldog provides likeable moral support.

E4
"New Idents"
2 mins 34s
1 Oct 2018
Channel 4 have unveiled a network-wide rebrand - including these enthralling idents for E4. Ranging from movie tributes to delightfully weird outings into the great beyond, each clip offers its own distinctive character and sense of humour. Featuring a mixture of animation, CG, puppetry, and stop motion, the idents bring an edgy sense of the surreal to the channel's identity.

Department for Education
"Every Lesson Shapes a Life"
1 min 40s
1 Oct 2018
The Department for Education is fighting a losing battle at the moment, as teachers leave the profession in droves due to low pay, long hours, and little thanks. New agency Havas London hopes to turn the tide, with this lovely ad about how important good teachers are to a child's life. The film follows one kid's progress through the education system - from articulating words to sitting GCSEs.

Great Western Railway
"The Famous Five Ride Again"
60s
1 Oct 2018
In pursuit of a moustachioed jewel thief? One could do a lot worse than hopping on a Great Western Railway train, according to this latest 60" caper starring Enid Blyton's Famous Five. Sure enough, Julian, Dick, Anne, George, and Timmy must track a fugitive crook - complete with Villain 101 whiskers - across the land.

Levi's
"Use Your Vote"
30s
1 Oct 2018
With just a few weeks to go until the mid-term elections determine whether the US has learned its lesson from the ongoing Trump clusterfuck, Levi's offer a timely reminder of the importance of voting. Disguised as a message to the wider world, this is clearly a clarion call to progressive thinkers within the boundaries of the United States, as their country approaches the November ballots.

Healthier Scotland
"Survivors"
40s
1 Oct 2018
We heartily applaud this spot for Healthier Scotland. It confronts the fear and shame we have about certain health issues and makes them something to laugh about. If the folk north of the border can survive beach holidays in Arctic temperatures and Andy Stewart every Hogmanay, they can survive getting checked out for cancer.

Entelechy Arts
"Ted"
3 mins 01s
1 Oct 2019
One of two heart-rending films that promote the work of Entelechy Arts, this instalment focuses on Ted - an elderly man stricken by loneliness after the death of his wife. Like Rosaline before him, Ted is all too aware of the pain that isolation brings. Sat next to a photo of his beloved, Ted cuts a frail yet engaging figure as he describes their whirlwind courtship.

Magic: The Gathering
"Training Montage"
2 mins 40s
1 Oct 2019
Old-school fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering reaches out to a new generation of nerds in this entertaining commercial. A teenager (played by 'IT''s Sophia Lillis) is disheartened after being told to git gud by an online opponent, only for a fantastical mentor (Carl 'Apollo Creed' Weathers) to lead her through an offbeat training montage for the ages.

Cadbury Dairy Milk
"Gogglebox on 'Fence'"
2 mins
1 Oct 2019
Love it or loathe it, Channel 4's Gogglebox has developed a symbiotic relationship with advertising in recent years. Brands such as John Lewis, Sainsbury's, and the Electoral Commission (the less said about the latter, the better) have each tapped the show's eclectic cast at one time or another - now it's the turn of Cadbury Dairy Milk.

DNB
"Girls Invest"
60s
1 Oct 2019
Beyonce's 'Run the World (Girls)' provides a seemingly ill-matched soundtrack to this smartly-conceived film for Norwegian financial services group DNB. One vital part of the lyrics is missing, however, seemingly explained by the distinct lack of any women in the film. It opens on an abandoned city - one where dancing has taken over.

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.