David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Off-off piste.This well-shot commercial for outerwear brand Aigle suggests Parisians have missed a trick with their morning commute.
    • OB Management enlist Tom Bender.OB Management are pleased to announce the signing of US filmmaker Tom Bender to their freelance roster.
    • Sonja Phillips lands at Dark Energy.Well-travelled filmmaker Sonja Phillips is ready to put down roots at Dark Energy after joining for commercial representation.
    • Word play.'Have You Heard George's Podcast?' creator George the Poet aims to get the word out there.
    • Backed into a corner."A jaguar is for life, not just for Christmas" says this piece of stop-motion animation for the World Wildlife Fund.
    • Young LungsThe ever-more pressing issue of air pollution is explored in this striking ad from energy provider E.on.
    • Dragon's zen.The most eagerly-awaited (or should that be Edgarly-awaited) commercial of the year has been released... the John Lewis Christmas ad - brought to you this year in association with their supermarket partners Waitrose.
    • A Double-Hit for Missing Link.Missing Link Films have announced a couple of new additions to their roster: Laura Scrivano and Christophe Dolcerocca.
    • New Land bring Natanael Ericsson into the fold.Former director's assistant Natanael Ericsson is now a director in his own right at New Land.
    • Same difference.Tanqueray's discerning spin on a blind taste test starts in 1830 and finishes in the present day.
    • Destination DignityThe limitations of travelling while disabled are explored in this touching partnership between Tesco and accessibility charity Changing Places.
    • Another Bank in the WallBanking becomes even more of a dystopian nightmare than usual in this ominous commercial for Nubank.
    • James Tupper joins NOMINT.Director, designer, and all-round creative whizz James Tupper has joined NOMINT for representation.
    • You're Saint Nicked.This rollicking two-and-a-half minute ad from Sainsbury's charts the origins of one Nicholas the chimney sweep.
    • Unimpeded Undercarriages This stylish piece of work for bespoke fashion retailer Spoke focuses on what the company does best: making trousers to suit the modern man's needs.

SISTERHOOD

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WWF
"Adopt a Better Future"
60s
13 November 2019

We've already seen Dogs Trust remind viewers that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas; now the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) aim to do the same with another ‘cuddly' beast: the jaguar. The result is a 60" piece of stop-motion animation that takes us deep into big cat territory... and finds one member of the near-threatened species on the run.

Scored by the kind of 'BRAAAM!'-heavy soundtrack used in countless Hollywood trailers, the ad has a couple of striking tricks up its sleeve - including a flamethrower-wielding figure that looms overhead. Just as this underlines the threat posed by mankind, the teenager who leads a human shield around the jaguar emphasises our potential for good.


E.on
"Let's Clean the Air"
60s
14 November 2019

The ever-more pressing issue of air pollution is explored in this striking ad from energy provider E.on. The brand present a wholesome summer scene - families playing in a sunny park - perverted by visible, ominous grey specks of pollution in the air.

It's a smart move to focus on the increased risks children face from poor air quality, with a young narrator and a preoccupation with the fact the contaminants concentrate closer to the ground. Director James Lees astutely keeps the visuals behind the VFX as light as possible, allowing the contrast to speak for itself.

With canny sound design slipping the constant whistle of laboured breathing under the matter-of-fact narration, this is a subtly confronting piece of work which tells watching adults that it's time to speak up - before the kids around them don't get a chance to.


John Lewis & Waitrose
"Excitable Edgar"
2 mins 30s
14 November 2019

The most eagerly-awaited (or should that be Edgarly-awaited) commercial of the year has been released... the John Lewis Christmas ad - brought to you this year in association with their supermarket partners Waitrose.

After last year's departure from the usual template with a celebrity-driven film featuring Elton John, this ad is a return to the fold.

For the fifth time, Dougal Wilson has been entrusted with the director's chair and for the fifth time he has delivered an exquisite tale which is sure to strike a chord with a public who genuinely anticipate this commercial with great excitement.

It is a classic fairytale. A friendship between a little girl and a young dragon, who appears to suffer from a draconic version of Tourette's syndrome - he simply can't help setting fire to things when he gets excited. His human companion is well aware of this unfortunate tendency and does her best to prevent it from being too calamitous. This is not an easy undertaking but, after a moment of inspiration, she hatches a plan to turn his liability into an asset.

That turning point – which you'll find at 1'41" – looks to be a deliberate echo of a very similar moment in one of Wilson's previous Christmas films for John Lewis - Monty the Penguin... and it epitomises his skill for capturing extraordinary tenderness in a child's performance.

The John Lewis Christmas ad is the tallest poppy in advertising's field and there are bound to be those who feel it is too early, too sentimental, too cynical, too derivative and all the rest… but most will greet it as a joyous opportunity to feel good at the time when such opportunities feel scarce.

Already, social media commentary swings both ways but our favourite sentiment was expressed by someone on Twitter who not only adores the new film but considers it – along with the advent of 'I'm A Celebrity' on Sunday – as the real starting point of the festive season. This is the cultural significance of this annual event, and, as an industry, advertising should be pleased that it possesses anything with that much power.


A Double-Hit for Missing Link.

Missing Link have announced a couple of new additions to their roster: Laura Scrivano and Christophe Dolcerocca.

The duo bring a compelling blend of experience and talent to the party at Missing Link, with Scrivano known for her command of narrative and Dolcerocca his slick, polished visuals. Read on for more about what makes Scrivano and Dolcerocca tick...


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

New Land bring Natanael Ericsson into the fold.

Former director's assistant Natanael Ericsson is now a director in his own right at New Land.

The Swede has been with the company since its launch in 2015, and learned his craft at the right hand of directors Niclas Larsson and Gustav Johansson. Four years later, Ericsson's earned his own slot on the New Land roster.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

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On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Citroën C4
"Alive With Technology"
30s
15 Nov 2004
Very impressive special effects make a car come alive and turn into a robot-like figure that then dances around. Music: Jaques Your Body (Make Me Sweat) by Les Rythmes Digitales of the album Darkdancer.

Esso
"Car Wash"
40s
15 Nov 2004
People are shown obsessively cleaning their cars in clever and stylishly filmed that seeks to suggest that Esso's petrols and oils take care of the inside of your car in the same manner as you take care of the outside. All of which works provided you don't, as DAVID does, depend on the outer dirt to hold your car together.

Vodafone
"Cartwheel"
90s
15 Nov 2007
A woman in a red leotard represents all the time we waste in our day in this stylish film from Rattling Stick's Ringan Ledwidge for BBH. The various positions adopted by the woman are sped up to depict her performing an elaborate cartwheel representing the better use of time made by someone browsing the net with Vodafone.

GHD
"The Choice"
60s
15 Nov 2007
Beautifully made viral with a very funny punchline shows three innocent looking children playing in a meadow. The two girls are vying for the attention of the boy and he looks from one to the other as if making the decision of his life. It's certainly seen that way by the girl he rejects as she is already plotting her revenge.

John Lewis
"Sweet Child Of Mine"
70s
15 Nov 2009
A charming montage of superbly photographed sequences of children taking delight in Christmas presents uses a folk version of the Guns & Roses track, Sweet Child Of Mine as a musical accompaniment. John Lewis's Christmas ad, once again, is a cut above the rest.

Sainsbury's
"Perfect Christmas"
60s
15 Nov 2010
Since Jamie Oliver has been such an asset to Sainsbury's, it's quite surprising that this ad appears to be going swimmingly until the TV chef shows up. Maybe it's just a blip but, this time around, he seems to detract from the transformation rather than enhance it.

B & Q
"Snowman"
30s
15 Nov 2012
Just when we thought that everyone had broadcast their Christmas ads, along come B & Q to prove us wrong with their own charming contribution. Their ad has mum and dad baffled by a secret project being carried out by their young daughter... what on earth can she be doing? All is revealed at the end when she unearths some unusual artwork.

Fab.com
"Touched"
60s
15 Nov 2012
In this American-made ad, the central figure seems to have the same malady as Myleene Klass in the Littlewoods Christmas campaign and he's unable to stop transforming his modest bachelor pad into something more assuming when he sees that the woman of his dreams is about to pay a visit. Presumably he's planning to pose as her gay best friend and then pounce when she least expects it.

Baileys
"Nutcracker"
2 mins
15 Nov 2013
Baileys has done some beautiful work this year, but this has to be their most extraordinary spot yet. Contrasting with the executions built around swirling abstractions billowing like silken wreaths of smoke, this is a decidedly corporeal - if fantastical - perspective that brings ballet to the Christmas ball.

Gogglebox
"Monty the Penguin"
3 mins 22s
15 Nov 2014
Is this a commercial? Well, no... it's much better than that. As last year, the denizens of Gogglebox have been asked to assess the John Lewis Christmas commercial and - once again - their responses are as delightful as the ad itself. And when their wry comments are intercut with the ad itself, you end up with a supercharged version of the original film that intensifies its impact and takes it to a whole other level.

Amazon Prime
"Mini Horse"
60s
15 Nov 2015
Sonny & Cher's 'Little Man' provides the musical backdrop to this tale of a small horse struggling to integrate with his equine pals. Newly introduced, the little fella tries to make friends with his stablemates but to no avail. Looking out of her kitchen window, his owner offers an empathic sigh... but what can she do?

Spies Rejser
"Do It Forever"
2 mins 47s
15 Nov 2016
Following a supposedly successful campaign to encourage people to 'do it for Denmark' and raise the rock-bottom birth rate in response to an ageing population, travel firm Spies Rejser return with another bonkers ad encouraging harried parents to, uh, bonk. A lack of sex affects both health and life expectancy, we're warned, and this ad suggests people go abroad and reignite the spark in their relationship.

Birds Eye
"Peas"
90s
15 Nov 2016
Grey London goes green with its first piece of work for Birds Eye. This beautifully shot film pays tribute to the humble pea - not the most obvious launchpad for a campaign, but what's that they say about big things and small packages? We follow pea growers throughout the seasons. Despite the changeable conditions, these workers know what patience brings.

Sony PlayStation
"The King"
2 mins
15 Nov 2016
Sony celebrate the past, the present, and the future with this epic ad for the PlayStation 4. This young king is underwhelmed by castle life. Instead, he revisits his halcyon days slaying demons, exploring strange dimensions, and firing high-powered laser cannons. Poor lad just wants to go medieval on someone's backside.

PhotoBox
"Dog Warrior"
40s
15 Nov 2017
The irrepressible Los Pérez bring a riot of colour to our screens in this entertaining ad for PhotoBox. Capitalising on the current trend for physical photos, we watch a kid gearing up to give his parents a truly album-worthy photo op. It's a great concept, as the camera slowly pans out to show the 'virtuoso of photographic dynamite' in all his glory.

Star Wars Battlefront II
"Rivalry"
1 min 40s
15 Nov 2017
A kid is dismayed when his new neighbour succumbs to the dark side of the Force in this ad for Star Wars Battlefront II. A rivalry soon sparks which plays out over decades - from birthday party posturing to tree house one-upmanship. The narrative is well executed here, and does a good job of making the advertised game a logical next platform for their fun.

Marks & Spencer
"Extraordinary Christmas"
40s
15 Nov 2017
Given Paddington Bear's starring role in the M&S Christmas ad, we're surprised their food commercial doesn't feature a sniff of marmalade. Unless he's scoffed the lot, of course. Whatever the circumstances, this 40" ad provides more than adequate sustenance. Should mobilise discerning party hosts with ease.

John Lewis
"Elton's Piano"
2 mins 20s
15 Nov 2018
The rumours around Elton John's involvement in this year's John Lewis Christmas ad were true then. The 71 year old superstar has lent his voice and his gravitas to the advertising's biggest event as it edges away from its well-established template into a slightly different shape. The film uses a Time's Arrow approach to Elton John's life, opening with a reflective moment on the piano and a glance through his stellar career.

Just-Eat
"Squadron"
60s
15 Nov 2018
Donna Summer's ‘Hot Stuff' provides the apt soundtrack to this 60" Just-Eat commercial, which sees the company's airborne delivery drivers descend on the nation's hungry, sofabound masses. Riffing on pilots' radio chatter and unreliable moped engines, agency Karmarama and director Jeff Low offer a, er, heightened spin on the UK's fast food obsession.

Aldi
"Crash Landing"
90s
15 Nov 2018
Santa gets a helping hand in this charming Christmas ad for Aldi's Australian arm. When a sleigh crash ends his seasonal trip around the world a little earlier than expected, a tight-knit outback community take it upon themselves to get him back in the air. The action is nicely understated, as the townspeople pool their resources and accept St Nick as one of their own.

Martini
"George Clooney"
30s
15 Nov 2004
George Clooney appears in this continental ad for the insipidly sweet alcoholic drink. George turns up to a party but has the door slammed in his face when he failes to bring any Martini. Turning up later with crates of the stuff he is equally disappointed to have a bottle grabbed before the door is once again closed on him.

Finlandia
"Roof Party"
30s
15 Nov 2004
Debut ad for the brand in the Uk has a woman finding herself unable to prevent her lift from making its way to the building's roof where she discovers a party going on. It has an ice bar and a waterfall and loads of Finlandia vodka, of course.

Vodafone
"Snowballs"
30s
15 Nov 2004
A series of people in unlikley places get hit by snowballs. What can be going on? The cause, it emerges, is a fellow who has recorded a video clip of himself hurling a snowball on his mobile phone and has sent it to all his mates.

Marks & Spencer
"Christmas Magic & Sparkle"
40s
15 Nov 2004
Marks & Spencer convene the annual celebrity fest for their annual Christmas bonanza. The featured celebrities include Emma Chambers (Alice from The Vicar of Dibley), Rupert Everett, Des Lynam, Martine McCutcheon, Gordon Ramsay and Helen Mirren.

Argos
"Little Monster"
30s
15 Nov 2005
The ad for parents whose little monsters are so out of control that they dare not unleash them in a public retail environment. The option is to shop online while your little darling thrashes about like a rock star in a hotel room. Makes sense, we guess.

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