David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • This is my life.US make-up brand CoverGirl assemble a strong cast in this classy ad.
    • Pick a WinnerA playful voiceover narrates the adventures of Snot, a hapless ball of yuck who's been sent down life's reject chute.
    • One appy passenger.This latest outing suggests the joy of saving with the online ticket office.
    • Five Favourite... DogsIt's often said that the British public love dogs more than people... so here are five of our favourite films featuring furry friends.
    • Like ads in rain.Say what you will about Blade Runner 2049’s ravaged ecosystem and irradiated landscapes - at least advertising is still booming.
    • Snap HappyThis compelling, dance-focused ad from LEZ Creative's Holly Blakey creatively explores the 'Style Seeker' app.
    • Shine on.Range Rover summon a swarm of fireflies who seem rather taken with the advertised jeep.
    • A piece of my mind.This vivid short film marks World Mental Health Day with an eloquent insight into troubled minds.
    • Broadcast blackmail.Orange prove knowledge is power in these 20” ads which take spoiler alerts to cunning extremes.
    • Let Freedom Ring2017's Project Everyone film is a confronting, inspiring call to arms which M J Delaney executes with her usual panache.
    • Pulse strike it lucky with LuckyMe.Pulse Films have added directing duo LuckyMe to their promo roster.
    • Homespun Yarns Vol. 4London’s Ministry of Sound will host Homespun Yarns for the second year running.
    • Cadence Films sign Clemens Purner.Clemens Purner has joined Cadence Films for commercial representation.
    • To Crispfinity and BeyondGary Lineker fails to learn the importance of sharing in this funny ad for Walkers Tear 'n' Share.
    • Fancy a bite?Leo Burnett demonstrate once again an uncanny ability to make the most of McDonald's cyclical propositions by injecting a little humour.


Wednesday, 11th October.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How we made... BT Sport.

● Ian Derry.

● The Bake-Off Challenge.

● Believe's Michel & Nico.

● The Dambusters Renuion.


Like ads in rain.

Say what you will about Blade Runner 2049’s ravaged ecosystem and irradiated landscapes - at least advertising is still booming.

Fans of Ridley Scott's 1982 original will be glad to know Coca-Cola, Pan Am, and Atari still dominate future Los Angeles in Denis Villeneuve’s sequel.


"Style Seeker"
12 October 2017

This compelling, dance-focused ad from LEZ Creative's Holly Blakey imaginatively explores the Brent Cross PLUS 'Style Seeker' app. The app allows shoppers to snap a picture of someone else's outfit and find out where they can get it themselves... although probably not as quick as they do here.

Blakey's masterful choreography is at full power in this film, as pairs of dancers acquire items of each others' clothing as if by magic. The fluid synchronicity of their movements - along with the pulsing soundtrack - make for hypnotic viewing. Shots of the app itself are integrated nicely, giving the performance a satisfying structure. Extremely watchable stuff.

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Land Rover Range Rover
12 October 2017

With Planet Earth 3 still a way off, this Land Rover campaign should keep animal lovers satisfied. Having recently recruited dogs and goats, Range Rover now summon a swarm of fireflies who seem rather taken with the advertised jeep.

Natural imagery and luminous VFX combine to good effect. Slow-motion captures bioluminescent trails in arresting fashion, too. The VO tempers the spectacle, but flattering photography ensures the vehicle’s premium status holds true.

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Short Films
4 mins 40s
11 October 2017

This vivid short film marks World Mental Health Day with an eloquent insight into troubled minds. These individuals come from a variety of backgrounds. Whatever their differences, they share a common foe: anxiety.

Directors Lily Rose Thomas and Stephen Isaac-Wilson craft an intimate portrayal of the condition. Handheld interviews are interspersed with lucid snapshots of 24/7 triggers.

Thoughtful set design and prop work convey an inability to switch off - thus, telephone wires constrict and lives are bathed in electric blue.

Canny pacing keeps the viewer on edge, too. Just when we’re taken to the brink, the film takes a breather. The relief is palpable for all involved. During tough times, everyone can do their bit: lending an ear and an open mind is a good start.

While mental health awareness campaigns make positive strides, this is a potent reminder of what many people endure behind closed doors. Heartfelt and optimistic, the film vocalizes anxiety and its coping mechanisms.

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11 October 2017

Orange prove knowledge is power in these amusing 20” ads. A group of workmates enjoy boardroom privileges, Bangles on-demand, and infinite cake. No brute force required - mere hints of plot twists and cliffhangers are enough to turn any situation in their favour.

Each vignette takes spoiler alerts to cunning extremes. We like the bakery potentially driven to bankruptcy on account of avoiding Walking Dead giveaways. Meanwhile, the telecom company suggest their telly service can give wily viewers the upper hand.

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Five Star Work

"Made in the Mirror"
1 min 40s
13 Oct 2017
Cosmetics advertising is undergoing something of a, well, makeover. Boots No 7’s recent fencing bout delivered style and substance - now it’s US brand CoverGirl’s turn. This classy ad gathers a strong cast: diverse, dynamic, and in control of their identities. Contrasted with the modish cast and cinematography, the soundtrack provides old-school satisfaction.

13 Oct 2017
Smyths' 2017 Christmas campaign has big shoes to fill. Last year's effort - featuring a rewrite of Beyoncé's 'If I Were A Boy' and a whimsical dive into a kid's imagination - went down a storm. It's a tough ask, and this excellent animated ad meets the challenge with relish. A playful voiceover narrates the adventures of Snot, a hapless ball of yuck who's been sent down life's reject chute.

Project Everyone
2 mins 57s
11 Oct 2017
Project Everyone's 2016 film - an in-your-face piece of work which recreated the energy of the original promo for the Spice Girls' 'Wannabe' with a serious message - showed women and girls around the world having fun while asking to be given the rights they deserve. This year they're no longer asking - they're demanding to be heard.

9 Oct 2017
Leo Burnett once again demonstrate an uncanny ability to make the most of McDonald's cyclical propositions by injecting a little humour into the script. And by asking Tony Barry to direct, they gain hugely from his innate understanding of how a joke should be weighted.

"Still Got It"
6 Oct 2017
Ian Derry is no stranger to exertion. His profile of ice diver Johanna Nordblad captured the physical and mental rigours of pushing one’s limits; this Fitbit commercial reminds us it’s never too late to challenge ourselves. We see thirty, forty, and fiftysomethings throw themselves into various pursuits: running, swimming, cycling, even lifting ruddy big tires.

"Pride and Breadjudice"
3 mins
4 Oct 2017
Peter Kay stars in this brilliant Jane Austen spoof for Warburtons created by WCRS and directed by Declan Lowney. It's the third outing in a highly ambitious campaign which is rapidly establishing itself as an advertising institution. With previous instalments starring Sylvester Stallone and the Muppets establishing a broad eclecticism, it was very hard to anticipate where Warburtons might go next in their annual bid to create the most noteworthy commercial of the year.

"Lesson of Love"
1 min 35s
4 Oct 2017
This curious love story for Instrumentarium sees a young man infatuated with his lecturer. The period piece is beautifully constructed, with spot-on styling and a sepia-tinged grade which screams retro. Why the student decides to make his move via specs remains mysterious, and raises the question of how he found the teacher's prescription. A surreal twist on classic romance tropes from Pete Riski.

Campaign to End Loneliness
3 mins
26 Sep 2017
This fascinating depiction of an experiment designed to highlight the corrosive power of loneliness pits a young man against himself by placing him in solitary confinement for a week. As prisons go, this one isn't bad. He has a television and he can feed himself but he pretty rapidly comes apart at the seams for want of human interaction.

2 Oct 2017
Independent’s Philippe André hits the desert in this attractive BMW ad which launched their new M5 model by paying tribute to their motorsport heritage. As the saloon reaches top speed, it literally leaves its predecessors in the dust as dIrector André, DP Óttar Guðnason and their crew craft an elegant sandstorm.

Period Equity
"Not A Luxury"
2 Oct 2017
Amber Rose stars in this excellent film for Period Equity - an organisation which lobbies for the removal of a luxury tax on sanitary products in the USA. Director Melanie Bridge helms a spot-on parody of a deluxe ad, diamond sparkle dominating the screen as Rose caresses herself and provides a sultry voiceover narrating just how expensive her jewellery is... and what it conceals.

"Bank Robbery"
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.

"El Tornado"
2 mins 07s
29 Sep 2017
Rabonas, Cruyff turns, Marseille Roulettes… now FIFA 18 adds ‘El Tornado’ to football’s bulging trick book. The specially-created manoeuvre encompasses a drag back followed by a swivel and volley. Easy enough for pixelated superstars, but can real-life players replicate it? The results are, well, mixed. Riffing on social media reactions and gameplay sharing, the football sim advocates self-expression.

"Miss You"
2 mins 25s
29 Sep 2017
This emotive film for Finnish telecommunications provider Elisa shows the deterioration - and subsequent reconciliation - of a relationship between father and son. Director Pete Riski is a master of creating touching content, and his talents are beautifully exhibited in this poignant film. This is excellent, emotionally honest work which many parents will relate to.

28 Sep 2017
We meet the brains of the operation in this surreal MailChimp commercial. The e-marketers suggest their online tools are like having a second brain - ably demonstrated by their idiosyncratic spokesperson. Arch yet playful, Fliss Russell's other-worldy performance lends e-commerce a light touch.

29 Sep 2017
Next time someone is bemoaning the lack of creativity in modern advertising, stick this under their noses. This isn't just a brilliant execution by Ringan Ledwidge, it's a superb idea based on the really excellent insight that it's not our driving that endangers us on the road, it's all the other clowns out there.

27 Sep 2017
This bold film from the newly branded Y (formerly YMCA) serves as a statement of intent, a promise that the organisation will work to bring communities together during this divided time. Director Malik Vitthal doesn't shy away from the grim realities of life in modern America, as gritty shots address racism, violence, and police brutality with unblinking frankness.

"Drive On"
26 Sep 2017
Given their mascot’s limited movement capabilities, Churchill have rarely pursued high-octane scenarios. This online film marks an ambitious shift for the insurer - one which gives their write-off scheme some blockbuster oomph. Stuntwoman Jess Hooker makes a leap of faith between her old banger and a pristine replacement.

Parasport Denmark
"How Hard Can It Be?"
27 Sep 2017
This Danish film demonstrates the universality of the 'superhumans' phenomenon that we've come to associate with Channel 4 through their coverage of the Paralympics. It follows the well-established path of introducing us to individuals who are utterly determined to overcome their disabilities.

Great Western Railway
"The Famous Five"
25 Sep 2017
adam&eveDDB are no strangers to reviving childhood favourites. Having tapped Hanna-Barbera’s animated roster for Halifax, the agency stick closer to home for this Great Western Railway ad. Enid Blyton fans, rejoice - the Famous Five ride again. Rollicking and painterly, the ad offers an idyllic vision of train travel.

Old Spice
22 Sep 2017
Old Spice knock it out of the park again with another excellent ad. Directed by Andreas Nilsson, we see US football player Von Miller hatch from an egg in a dry wasteland. He staggers towards a source of hydration - Old Spice sports body wash, naturally - and then things get really dramatic... Great work which makes the most of the self-aware humour we've come to expect from the brand.

"The Faith of a Few"
1 min 43s
21 Sep 2017
This fantastic vintage film for Mini by Daniel Wolfe feels as timeless as it is compelling. We watch John Cooper oversee the building of the first racing Mini, even as he's told it will never work. This becomes a mantra, a soundbite repeated along with others which build up into a cacophony of doubt... all accompanying footage of the car proving the haters wrong.

"Share the Drama"
20 Sep 2017
Heineken and Sonny’s Fredrik Bond have good form with on-foot capers. With the Champions League underway again, the two reunite for this 60” foot chase. Former Real Madrid and Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy summons his inner action hero as he evades capture. He may be outnumbered, but van Nistelrooy has his own particular set of skills.

Taylors of Harrogate
19 Sep 2017
Taylors of Harrogate offer another fetching insight into their craft. Patrick Stewart reveals how far the brand will go for quality tea leaves before their “flavour wizards” take over. The end result? A rose lemonade brew to make any cat owner swoon. Striking visuals and a homely pay-off widen the brand’s appeal.

Taylors of Harrogate
19 Sep 2017
This excellent ad for posh coffee boffins Taylors of Harrogate shows just how much finesse goes into making great coffee... or decent coffee, as the case may be. We see beans growing into their 'astonishingly magnificent' potential, demonstrated by some great animation and a perfectly over the top voiceover. Standout work from Erik Morales and Lucky Generals.

Apple Watch
19 Sep 2017
Since its 2015 launch, the Apple Watch has struggled to justify its existence. Forgettable advertising hasn’t helped matters. Launched during Sunday’s Emmy Awards, this 60” commercial bucks the trend. While Labrinth’s ‘Misbehavin’ plays through Kilian Martin’s AirPods, the Spaniard turns this train station into a skate park.

Five Star Work

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