David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Pensions in ParadiseSwedish insurance providers AMF take a surreal approach in this entertaining ad for their pension plan.
    • (Un)dead useful advice.It’s a modern conversation staple: “What would you do in a zombie apocalypse”? Well, Joe Wilkinson has got us covered.
    • City of stars.With ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ on the horizon, this Broadway-inspired commercial urges us to “do the Odyssey”.
    • Follow The LeaderMars have released a series of short horror films to coincide with the spookiest month of the year.
    • By 'eck, it's Melanie Sykes!Here's a blast from the past. Boddingtons is back on the telly and they've brought Melanie Sykes along en'all.
    • Howlin' for you.Green & Black’s launch their Velvet Editions collection with a Red Riding reboot.
    • The Seeds of ChangeThis atmospheric film for Prudential explores the work of Jadav Payeng - dubbed the 'Forest Man of India'.
    • If Music Be The Food of LoveThis charming ad from IKEA's French arm depicts a budding romance... impeded by awkwardness, loud music, and fluffy socks.
    • Bennett Johnson joins Park Village.Park Village have bolstered their roster with the signing of filmmaker Bennett Johnson.
    • First blood.AMV BBDO have struck another fierce blow against the orthodoxical coyness used to advertise sanitary protection products with a brilliant commercial for Libresse.
    • Gallivanting Grannies McDonald's reckon their chicken tenders are as good as Grandma's... and Grandma's okay with that.


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.


"Tour de Formby"
18 October 2017

Here's a blast from the past. Boddingtons is back on the telly and they've brought Melanie Sykes along en'all. Older viewers and students of advertising will probably recall a series of classic commercials featuring the model-turned-TV presenter. In each - as here - the viewer was fooled into thinking they were watching something earnest before the rug was pulled from beneath their feet by Sykes's broad northern vowels.

Danny Kleinman - who directed some of the original ads twenty years ago - brings a few modern flourishes to the campaign but essentially the formula is the same as ever... and that's a good shout. The reunion has already sparked national press coverage and seems sure to prove a winner for the Manchester-based beer.

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Green & Black's
"Red Riding Hood"
18 October 2017

Green & Black’s launch their Velvet Editions collection with a Red Riding reboot. This time, Red Riding Hood has more than one Big Bad Wolf to evade. However, it’s going to take more than a lupine threat to thwart her indulgence.

It’s a fetching spin on the classic yarn. Sun rays poke through trees before Red’s pursuers meet their match. Meanwhile, a seductive cover of the Delfonics's ‘Ready or Not’ complements the forest chase.

Having wisely ditched foodies Michel Roux Jr. and co., the premium brand project a more accessible image. The chocolate makers have also ditched the familiar Fairtrade label in favour of their own Cocoa Life stamp so hose with an ethical sweet tooth may need further convincing... but this is a great start and further evidence that Academy's new wunderkinder Dorian & Daniel are going to have a stellar career.

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"The Forest Man of India"
2 mins
18 October 2017

This atmospheric film for Prudential explores the work of Jadav Payeng - dubbed the 'Forest Man of India'. After being inspired as a teenager, Payeng has spent the last thirty-eight years planting trees on deserted sandbars near his home - eventually amassing a forest of over fourteen-hundred acres.

His unwavering dedication to improving the environment is depicted lovingly here by director Asif Kapadia. Atmospheric visuals follow Payeng on his solitary mission, while a washed-out grade gives the landscape an almost unearthly look - until the brilliantly green trees bring it back to life.

The understated voiceover is an excellent accompaniment, underselling Payeng's huge achievement as having done 'quite a lot'. The 'consistency is the only currency that matters' tagline fits the film well, lending the brand an air of trustworthiness. Visually stunning work.

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1 min 56s
18 October 2017

This charming ad from IKEA's French arm depicts a budding love story... one slightly impeded by awkwardness, loud music, and fluffy socks. While IKEA ads for the Scandinavian and UK market often depict the grim realities of life - divorce, loss, and parental neglect are all fair game - this is an altogether more lighthearted approach.

A bloke moves into a new flat and soon meets his neighbour... by virtue of her inconsiderately loud dinner party. The comic beats here are well timed, as we feel the guy's increasing resignation that he's destined to make a fool out of himself in front of his crush forever. Lucky for him, she decides to make the first move.

Entertaining work from director James Rouse. Even more so if you imagine a super reading: "and that was the last time anyone heard from him" at the end.

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Bennett Johnson joins Park Village.

Park Village have bolstered their roster with the signing of filmmaker Bennett Johnson.

The New York-based director comes from a scholarly background. Having previously studied fine art and political science, Johnson brings a considered approach to each project.



On This Day

The Conran Shop
"Free Range"
2 mins
22 Oct 2010
This ad takes the idea that The Conran Shop is a provider of 'free-range furniture' and has a lot of fun with it. It opens with a sequence designed to remind us of break-ins at animal research labs but instead of nicotine-addicted beagles or monkeys with half their skulls missing, we are shown neglected office furniture in appalling conditions.

Thomson Holidays
"Quality Time"
22 Oct 2011
A beautiful reminder of the importance of holidays from one of the country's leading providers of trips abroad. The decision to have the script narrated by a child proves inspired and his performance perfectly complements the understated sense of relaxation generated by the imagery.

"Do More New"
22 Oct 2012
This impressive-looking new commercial for Honda is the first TV work for the car made by mcgarrybowen. A portal inside a house opens up and the car driver decides to accelerate towards it in the spirit of "do more new". The new he's doing isn't explicit (or even implicit) but that's one cool garage door.

Doctor Who
"The History of Who"
22 Oct 2013
One of the most noticeable attributes of Doctor Who when it was revived by Russell T Davies was the respect the showrunner had for the programme's origins. As we approach next month's fiftieth anniversary and with a new incarnation in the offing, Red Bee Media have demonstrated that they too understand the fans' relationship with the long running science fiction programme by creating a fantastic trail which uses imagery from five decades of Doctor Who.

Google Glass
"FKA Twigs"
2 mins 12s
22 Oct 2014
FKA twigs has pretty much defined the blurry boundary between promo and commercial with this collaboration between herself and Glass from Google. Despite the meltdown of the traditional business model in the music industry, we've still tended to perceive the idea of an artist receiving money in exchange for the use of their work in advertising as a sell-out.

Direc TV
"Creepy Rob Lowe"
22 Oct 2014
Direc TV keeps nailing it... once again, they've served up a delicious feast of an ad rather than a nuked TV meal. Rob Lowe is in fine form as his mature, respectable self with a Direc TV subscription - and the self he could have been if he were a cable TV viewer. While the first Rob is a clean cut, suit-wearing coffee drinker, the second is a supercreep who probably makes his own moonshine in hubcaps. Excellent.

"Jane Goodall's Footsteps"
2 mins 40s
22 Oct 2014
Google's ambition knows no bounds and one of their recent projects enables us to take a 'street view' of the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. This bewitching film by James W Griffiths illustrates the beauty of the place. The words of Jane Goodall lend a certain gravity to Griffith's marvellous pictures and - together with a suitably stirring score - they create an immensely moving piece of film.

Coors Light
"Frozen Pint"
22 Oct 2014
Having built his Ice Bar in the previous - and fantastic - ad, Jean-Claude Van Damme continues his search for something that matches the refreshment offered by a Coors Light. So we see him inside the bar itself, lovingly tending its surfaces and shimmying to a track on the ice jukebox. Satisfied with his moves, he goes to fetch his glass of the beer in question - only to find it's frozen solid.

Amazon Fire
"Fast and Furious 6"
22 Oct 2014
This ad for Amazon Fire not only entertains but has its message firmly at the heart of the aspect that's most amusing. It focuses on the fact that the service responds to voice commands, and so has an array of unlikely people requesting Fast and Furious 6 as authoritatively as they can. Astutely, it acknowledges the novelty of this feature by showing the self-consciousness some have in behaving this way - if everyone onscreen were comfortable with it, we'd merely find it immensely irritating.

Boots No 7
"Makeup Doesn't Mean Anything"
22 Oct 2016
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author and celebrated feminist speaker, is the new face of Boots No. 7 range of cosmetics. In between featuring on Beyoncé albums and writing thank-you notes to Michelle Obama, the woman often identified as the most influential in Africa finds time to give us her thoughts on cosmetics and their function in the world: 'Make-up is just make-up, it's how you feel wearing it that matters.'

"Splash Mobile"
22 Oct 2006
A boy splashing in a puddle on a dark, wet street seems to trigger the Blue Man Group to start some splashing of their own in a shop window. Hitting what appear to be liquid drums the trio soon attract a large crowd who are fascinated by the impromptu show.

22 Oct 2006
One of eight new idents introducing a new look for the BBC features hippos who form the circle (a reference to the globe icon of yesteryear) which is the basis of BBC One's new identity. Hippos are an excellent choice as they also remind of the natural history programmes the BBC still does best.

"Basketball Is A Brotherhood"
1 min 40s
22 Oct 2007
Part of an integrated campaign between TV and online that's running in the US, this ad takes a group of youngsters who have been selected to attend a camp for aspiring basketball players. What they don't know, until they get there, is that they are to be taught and mentored by established NBA stars.

Green Thing
22 Oct 2007
Clever piece for a campaign which aims to persuade people to do their bit for the environment by walking when they might otherwise journey in a car. People are represented by a pair of fingers 'walking' their way through a series of landscapes which enable references to The Simpsons, James Bond and much, much more.

Gala Bingo
22 Oct 2007
Another outing for the stay-at-home husband and his fully occupied wife. This time he is doing an inventory of all the gadgets she has abandoned in the garage and ponders all the money she must have spent on them. He compares it with all the fun he's had playing bingo for free.

22 Oct 2008
Women would rather have chocolate than sex. Men collapse into a pile of snotty uselessness when they have a cold. Women can multi-task while men cannot. There may come a time in the near future when every single TV commercial is built on one of these three notions.

Westfield London
"Shopping In A New Light"
22 Oct 2008
A beautifully-made commercial shows shoppers being transformed into fairy like creatures as they are drawn to the light of the new shopping centre in west London. If this is the structure DAVID saw last time he was in the vicinity then he suspects shoppers are being sold a pup... but it's a gorgeously-filmed pup.

5 Seeds Extra Dry
"Birds v Humans"
22 Oct 2009
This strange Australian cider ad shows how a collection of prehistoric humans battling for an apple core dropped by a crow prompts a woman to climb up a tree to nab an apple before the birds can get it. Silly nonsense.

"Eva Mendes"
22 Oct 2009
This amusing Argentine ad is a stalker's guide to meeting your favourite celebrity. The protagonist describes the extraordinary lengths to which he goes in order to track down the mobile phone number of Eva Mendes. But is he brave enough to use it?

"Strange Combinations"
22 Oct 2009
French chef Raymond Blanc inspects a series of dishes made from strange combinations in this trailer for the virtual TV in which couples attempt to demonstrate that they have what it takes to run a successful restaurant. The music is the theme from The Odd Couple.

22 Oct 2009
Although the photography is very striking, it's actually the sound design that grabs the imagination in this commercial for Peugeot which appears to demonstrate that any day can be a beautiful day from the comforting innards of the advertised vehicle.

"Can I Kick It?"
22 Oct 2011
A geriatric choir knocks a version of the rap classic "Can I Kick It?" (once used to brilliant effect in a Nike ad). The idea is to underline the product's position as a healthy alternative to butter generating a positive response to the answer to the question: "can I have it?"

British Airways
"The Happy Jumper"
22 Oct 2012
Oh British Airways, why did you choose today of all days to have your new commercials ready to be reviewed on here? On any other day DAVID would be prepared to compliment the simplicity of this ad showing a woolly jumper falling slowly into a suitcase but after the airline's incompetence buggered up a trip to London this morning, we can only do so through gritted teeth.

British Airways
"The Friendly Lemon"
22 Oct 2012
Now that Easyjet have begun assigning seats, British Airways is limited in its points of difference with the budget airline and the decision to focus on those that remain serves only to remind the public that there aren't many reasons for choosing them. Here, it's suggested we should fly BA for a free gin and tonic with a slice of lemon... hmmmm.

Red Cross
22 Oct 2012
There's a great performance at the heart of this film for the British Red Cross from an actor playing a man compiling his will. After leaving family members with the lion's share of his estate, he thinks of the advertised charity and speaks of their good works with impeccable clarity and passion.

On This Day

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