David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Emilie Thalund joins HENRY.Danish director Emilie Thalund now has French representation courtesy of HENRY.
    • Let's push things forward.This clean, crisp commercial for the Open University starts at the end, so to speak.
    • Chauffeur, so good.Who better to extol the benefits of an Audi e-tron than someone who drives nearly every day for a living? That’s the logic behind this collaboration with taxi firm Addison Lee.
    • A Collection of PartsThe fundamental idea of what it means to inhabit a body comes under scrutiny in this intriguing short film by Joan Bosch.
    • Monster Mortgages Home-buying needn’t be hell, according to another edgy outing for online mortgage broker Habito.
    • Logic takes a holiday.First Choice take the TK Maxx route with their 2020 campaign, describing their package holidays as “ridiculously good value”.
    • Legally grinding.Business is slow in Marion County, Texas… especially for the local sheriff.
    • Poise on patrol.Twelve months after mobilising snowflakes, binge gamers, phone zombies, etc., the Army switch focus to millennials suffering from low self-esteem.
    • You Are Here are two upYou Are Here have kicked off the new year with a pair of additions to their already impressive roster: Ryan Schude and Jesse Lewis-Reece.
    • Fat Lemon score Dan Castella.Fat Lemon have strengthened their comedy offer by adding Dan Castella to their roster.
    • Where the Heart IsAnother thoughtful ad for HSBC explores the concept of home and what it really means.
    • Starting AnewGillette and director Coral Amy Brown explore the emotional weight of a becoming a monk.
    • Josef Bates reaches giddy new heights at PRETTYBIRD.English comedy director Josef Bates has expanded the directorial options at PRETTYBIRD with the addition of his name to their already impressive roster.
    • Seas of change.Seven out of eight sea turtle species face extinction, according to this joint effort from Greenpeace and Aardman Animations.

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Short Films
"Diary of Hidden Bodies"
3 mins 12s
17 January 2020

The fundamental idea of what it means to inhabit a body comes under scrutiny in this intriguing short film by Joan Bosch. While we all become aware that we're merely grey matter piloting a flesh-covered skeleton from time to time, Spaniard Bosch takes that brief existential crisis and distils it into a far more nuanced examination of what it means to physically be.

With intimate, painterly visuals focused on the human body in different settings - a darkened bedroom, a river - there's a stillness to the piece which makes the viewer suddenly aware of their own presence, breath, and heartbeat. Breaking down the body into its fundamental components, this is an artistic, thought-provoking piece which strikes a melancholy yet not entirely hopeless tone.


Habito
"Go"
30s
16 January 2020

Home-buying needn’t be hell, according to another edgy outing for online mortgage broker Habito. The brand have established a distinctive visual identity with their grisly animated commercials, and this addition to the canon of guts and gore continues the tradition with relish.

A bloke finds himself literally pulled apart during his efforts to secure a home, as his competitors transform into gruesome creatures who rip him to shreds in order to get their dream house first. Such bold visuals and cheeky humour are bound to appeal to the next generation of home buyers... who need all the help they can get.


First Choice
"Ridiculous"
30s
16 January 2020

First Choice take the TK Maxx route with their 2020 campaign, describing their package holidays as “ridiculously good value”. The accompanying visuals by VMLY&R and director Djawid Hakimyar also take a leaf out of the discount store’s book, ramping up the silliness, flying mermen, and watermelon drums to optimum levels.

One can’t accuse the brand of holding back, as weird and wonderful characters enliven each frame. We particularly like the half-submerged judges who offer scores of nine, ten, and, erm, pineapple respectively. How ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ fits into all this is beyond us though, which may be a quirk too far for some viewers.


Short Films
"Present Day Athens"
2 mins 40s
14 January 2020

Business is slow in Marion County, Texas… especially for the local sheriff. Fortunately, he can dance on the empty highway to Ol’ Dirty Bastard with impunity. Even if you’re not a fan of spontaneous body popping, Sheriff Hodges's rhythmic spin on parking enforcement is hard to resist. Stick around for the pyrotechnic finale, too.

Kudos must also go to directing duo The Coles, lead actor Brad Light, and choreographer Lisa Eaton, who between them create a routine that makes you wonder if Hodges is possessed or revisiting his glory days at dance school. Whatever you do, however, don’t call it arresting - that would just be silly.


Army Recruitment
"Confidence That Lasts"
60s
17 January 2020

Twelve months after mobilising snowflakes, binge gamers, phone zombies, etc., the Army switch focus to millennials suffering from low self-esteem. The solution, of course, is a stint in the armed forces, which has naturally drawn mixed responses.

Parents whose sons and daughters have died in conflict, for example, have accused the Army of deceiving impressionable young people. Others have quit their roles due to low wages and, perhaps surprisingly, sheer boredom.

The protagonist of this compelling 60” film, however, sees the Army as an escape from confidence hacks like social media, personal trainers, or a night on the tiles. Astute casting and clever sound design turn these quick fixes into hostiles.

This may chime with those keen to ditch increasingly hollow pursuits in favour of something more structured. Needless to say, top brass hope this turns the tide of an increasingly daunting recruitment battle.


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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

Open University
"Set Your Ambition Free"
30s
20 Jan 2020
This clean, crisp commercial for the Open University starts at the end, so to speak, as former students reap the rewards of their studies. What matters most, however, is the decision to study in the first place. Thus, agency Havas London and director Ivan Bird hit the rewind button and shows the cast’s toil in reverse.

Habito
"Go"
30s
16 Jan 2020
Home-buying needn’t be hell, according to another edgy outing for online mortgage broker Habito. The brand have established a distinctive visual identity with their grisly animated commercials, and this addition to the canon of guts and gore continues the tradition with relish. Such bold visuals and cheeky humour are bound to appeal to the next generation of home buyer.

Army Recruitment
"Confidence That Lasts"
60s
17 Jan 2020
Twelve months after mobilising snowflakes, binge gamers, phone zombies, etc., the Army switch focus to millennials suffering from low self-esteem. The solution, of course, is a stint in the armed forces, which has naturally drawn mixed responses. The protagonist of this compelling 60” film, however, sees the Army as an escape from confidence hacks.

HSBC
"Home"
60s
14 Jan 2020
Another thoughtful ad for HSBC explores the concept of home and what it really means. Spokesman Richard Ayoade is a level presence, as ever, bringing enough gravitas to his delivery to really make ask, "Is home where we're from, who we love, or how we got to where we are?" In addition to these philosophical ponderings, it's an attractively shot piece of work.

Gillette
"Second Shave"
1 min 47s
14 Jan 2020
The Buddhist practice of tonsure - the ritual shaving of the head and face - is part of the ceremony involved in becoming a monk. While little-seen in these parts, Thai culture considers time spent as a monk as one of the most important events in a man's life. That’s the premise of this engrossing ad for Gillette by director Coral Amy Brown.

Zoopla
"Picture Frame"
30s
14 Jan 2020
Sex sells, as the old adage goes, and Zoopla - perhaps surprisingly - are the latest brand to indulge in a bit of rumpy pumpy. One of three new ads by Lucky Generals and directors thirtytwo, this spot introduces flatmates Tia and Jake… well, sort of. The two are actually nowhere to be seen as Diane Morgan’s VO describes the joy inspired by Flat 16 on Savoy Road.

Sport England
"Me Again"
60s
14 Jan 2020
Having encouraged scores of women to get involved in physical activities following its launch in 2015, Sport England’s 'This Girl Can' campaign returns with a typically diverse and dynamic outing. Focused on breaking down preconceptions people might have about what stops them from exercising, the film exudes confidence as it frames a quickened pulse as an act of empowerment.

Subway
"Meatless Meatball Marinara Sub"
90s
13 Jan 2020
Subway’s disruptive streak continues with this 90” plug for the brand’s vegan Meatball Marinara sub. Keen to attract more health-conscious punters through their doors, the brand introduce said sandwich at a tasting session brimming with open-minded diners. Alas, not everything goes according to plan.

BUPA
"It's Normal to Us"
60s
13 Jan 2020
People are encouraged to let their freak flag fly, so to speak, in this comprehensive commercial for BUPA... at least, when it comes to healthcare. The private healthcare provider claim they're equipped to handle whatever your 'normal' is - regardless of whether physical, mental, or emotional help is required.

National Trust
"125 Years"
75s
10 Jan 2020
The National Trust celebrate their one-hundred-and-twenty-fifth year in existence with this compelling ode to stillness. Juxtaposing the brutal pace of modern life with the calmness of the natural world, it may surprise viewers that the accompanying text was written by the organisation's co-founder over a century ago. People, it seems, have always needed downtime.

Vue Cinemas
"Get Lost"
60s
10 Jan 2020
The release of the latest ‘Star Wars’ film - divisive as it may be - is an event which prompts those who don't usually indulge to take a trip to the cinema. So it's no surprise that Vue have tapped Finn himself, John Boyega, to narrate this ode to the power of the big screen. Watching films on phones and tablets is all very well, says the ad, but it's not really watching them.

Skoda
"Made for Ireland"
60s
10 Jan 2020
Czech car maker Skoda aim to re-affirm their status as a major player in the Irish market, courtesy of this Zak Emerson-directed film. As the brand take a cautiously optimistic stance on car sales in 2020, the ad uses bracing photography and a graceful soundtrack to coax motorists from all walks of life into their dealerships.

Adidas
"Reimagine"
60s
9 Jan 2020
Adidas kick off 2020 with this kinetic and shapely piece of work from Iris Worldwide and director Sarah Chatfield, who weaves together an all-female cast, varied camera angles, and Madame Gandhi’s ‘Top Knot Turn Up’ to potent effect. Propelled by Gandhi’s whip-smart lyrics, the ad pays tribute to those who get things done, whether it be in the gym, on the beach, or on a steep incline.

Nationwide
"The Guilt Fairy"
60s
7 Jan 2020
This is one of those rare commercials that captures your attention as you browse Twitter on your phone during an ad break. The conversation taking place is authentic… given the personnel involved and their history of pointing cameras at ordinary people, we don't doubt that this is completely genuine. And it feels it.

Babbel
"Accent Yourself"
56s
8 Jan 2020
Embarrassment can often be a barrier to learning a new language, as people are hesitant to attempt to pronounce something if they can't do it perfectly. It's a common problem that language app Babbel address head-on in their latest campaign, which neatly encourages users to embrace their, erm, unique accent.

Santander
"Stan the Smartbot"
90s
7 Jan 2020
Santander riff on smart home culture with this entertaining outing from chirpy spokes-slebs Ant and Dec. A plagiarism scandal threatens to topple their Antandec venture, leading the pair of harried CEOs to scramble for ways to revolutionise banking and distract the haters. New technology is, of course, a logical port of call.

On The Beach
"John"
60s
7 Jan 2020
Everyone copes with loss differently: some practise mindfulness, others drink themselves into a stupor. John Trowler, however, prefers the sun lounger method. It’s presumably what his late pet goldfish, Gordon, would have wanted. According to narrator Iggy Pop’s gravelly baritone, an ex-goldfish should be the least of John’s worries.

Apple
"Snowbrawl"
87s
6 Jan 2020
Aspiring directors will be delighted to hear that fancy camera rigs are a thing of the past when it comes to shooting for the big screen - at least, according to this whiteout commercial for Apple. And assuming they can afford over a thousand quid for the latest model, of course. The action centres on an all-out snow war, opposing factions of kids pulling out their best moves to try and rescue a kidnapped teddy bear from frozen peril.

Haven Holidays
"Beach Boy"
60s
6 Jan 2020
The triumph of a truly inspiring local vacation fuels this dreamy commercial for Haven Holidays that draws from ‘Chariots of Fire’ and ‘Ben Hur’. A lad rides a Roman chariot through crashing surf, hair and cape billowing in the breeze as he embraces the freedom of his imagination and charges into a world of his own.

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.

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.