David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

Latest Work
    • Doesn't time fly?This Jonathan Glazer-directed Apple commercial features a vertiginous lead performance.
    • In for a PennyAddiction charity GambleAware draw attention to 'bet regret' in this engaging commercial directed by Chris Palmer.
    • Papaya double their pleasure.Directors Nicolas Caicoya and Willem Gerritsen are the latest to join Papaya's London roster for commercial representation.
    • Tech off.Surrey-based Caterham Cars celebrate the art of the donut in this 40" ad directed by Wriggles and Robins.
    • Power to the PeopleThis powerful short film from Brent Foster highlights the story of the women of Korogocho, Kenya.
    • Face to FaceThere's a lesson about manners in this amiable commercial for McDonald's.
    • Mum's the word.This taut short film sees a mute teenager drawn into an uneasy alliance with a local tearaway with devastating consequences
    • How many hurricanes?Ford's latest ‘The Beauty of Change' ad sees a new wave of biomechanical butterflies take flight.
    • Swords at the ready.This kinetic Adidas documentary introduces Warsaw's Swords running club.
    • Willing gifts.This compilation of testimonies from people whose lives have been affected by cancer builds in momentum towards a moving crescendo.
    • Everything to lose.Parental paranoia is the order of the day in this hard-hitting American commercial for Subaru.


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19 February 2019

There's a piece of popular wisdom which says one should be careful talking to anyone on the way to a job interview, as hiring managers may ask the secretary or cleaner what a candidate is like away from their assessing eyes. Such advice is updated for the modern era in this McDonald's commercial, which sees a young man gracefully cede his turn at the menu screen.

While the reveal is unlikely to shock, it's slickly executed and offers a valuable lesson on manners for jobseekers: a McMuffin might help kill pre-interview hunger pangs, but it's best to be polite while getting it - you never know who might be next in line.

Short Films
15 mins
19 February 2019

This taut short film sees a mute teenager (Michael Junior Onafowokan) drawn into an uneasy alliance with a local tearaway (Louis Payne) with devastating consequences. Shot in a vignette style by director Jamie Rafn, it balances engaging character work with moments of sorrow and harrowing violence.

At the heart of it all is Onafowokan's lead performance, which relies on facial expressions and body language to convey Daniel's inner turmoil. Only when he's pushed into a dire situation does the audience's sympathy waver.

The final shot is particularly troubling, as it offers an uncomfortable glimpse into a hitherto enigmatic character's mindset. That writer-director Rafn leaves us wanting to explore Daniel's story further is testament to the film's brooding power.

Ford Focus
"The Beauty of Change Continued"
19 February 2019

Ford's latest 'The Beauty of Change' ad sees a new wave of biomechanical butterflies take flight. As director Steve Cope's camera drifts through lush woodlands and the Cinematic Orchestra's backing track swells, nature takes its course the Ford way as the CG flutter transforms into a Focus Active. Call it design by insect committee.

It's a stunning piece of craft and one that really takes the original conceit and enhances it beautifully.

"To Hel and Back"
4 mins 37s
19 February 2019

One of two ‘Recode Running' films released by Adidas, this kinetic instalment introduces Warsaw's Swords - a running club with a headless man for a mascot and a near-superhuman tolerance for blisters.

The group's latest excursion is a four-hundred-and-thirty-kilometre relay from Warsaw to the Hel Peninsula, with a band of visiting French runners in tow. Pounding tarmac and dirt tracks night and day, the convoy invite both admiration and bemusement from their fellow Poles.

Naturally, it's this "punk" attitude that entices curious onlookers and, well, multinational sporting brands. Despite one too many stylised touches, this remains an honest portrayal of camaraderie through blood, sweat, and kilometres.

Cancer Research
"The Pledge"
19 February 2019

This compilation of testimonies from people whose lives have been affected by cancer, builds in momentum towards a moving crescendo. Not all of the lines are delivered perfectly but that only adds to its authenticity and underlines the importance of the statement being made.

While it doesn't always feel appropriate to use words like 'battle' and 'fight' when reflecting on an individual's experience with this awful collection of diseases, they are useful when considering our response as a society. The medics searching for cures and treatments are indeed involved in a battle as they try to outwit the literal malignancy of cancer.

Films like this provide a mechanism which enables people to make a difference and many will surely be persuaded to include Cancer Research when they draw up their wills.


On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

"Adi Dassler"
22 Feb 2008
This commercial tells the story of Adi Dassler - the founder of the advertised sportswear company. We learn how Dassler provided footwear for some of the greatest athletes and teams of all time. Dassler is animated in his office while the sports stars are brought to life in his photographs.

Stella 4%
"Runaway Piano"
22 Feb 2010
A wonderfully surreal ad for Stella 4% shows a series of transformations which occur when a delivery man runs after a loose piano. Styled to look like a French film from the 1960s and with a similarly zany feel, this ad proves there's life in the old dog yet.

EA Sports
"A World In Play"
22 Feb 2012
A variety of gaming enthusiasts address the camera directly as they claim that their world is different from ours. As we've pointed out before, it's disingenuous to claim that those who play these games are living more fully than the rest of us but when it's pitched with such flair... who cares?

"Save the Arctic"
22 Feb 2013
There's always an interesting outcome when advertising's most creative minds turn their attention to genuine problems - rather than trying to shift boxes of breakfast cereal and whatnot - and this film urging the public to pay attention to what's happening in the Arctic is a case in point.

"Miracle Stain"
22 Feb 2013
When a 49ers fan drops a sauce-covered chip on his pristine footie top, he and his fellow fan discover the stain looks like legendary quarterback Joe Montana. 'Stain fever' sweeps the nation, creating a merchandising industry that leads to huge wealth for our sauce-dribbling fan. However, that's not the end of the story...

"Active Kids Memories"
22 Feb 2013
David Beckham lends his charisma to Sainsbury's annual effort to get children exercising inside their schools. Paralympic hero Ellie Simmonds offers her support too and both contribute to a nostalgia-tinged film designed to gain support from a generation with fond (and not so fond) memories of playing sport at school.

Anchor Butter
"A Kitchen's Life"
22 Feb 2013
This utterly charming ad shows the role the advertised product plays in the average family's kitchen over a number of years. Ups and downs, celebrations and wakes all unfold with Anchor as a low-key, bit-part character that's nonetheless integral to the plot. A beautiful script, unfussily directed, this is a pleasure to watch.

Dogs Trust
"Special Someone"
22 Feb 2016
Sentimentality in advertising doesn't always sit well with us and when it's used to sell financial services it can be a bit gag-inducing... but when the aim is to persuade people to adopt a dog rescued by a charity, no one with a heart should question its legitimacy. And this adorable film for the Dogs Trust will melt yours, if it's functioning.

Loud Against Nazis
22 Feb 2016
Even zombies have taste as this terrific ad for Loud Against Nazis shows. A member of the undead explores an underpass hoping to get his exposed gnashers on some tasty brains. He then comes across a vandal spray painting a swastika on the wall. Dinner is served? It would be if the bigot had anything between the ears.

"Unpacking Samsung"
22 Feb 2016
1st Avenue Machine's Asif Mian and Bob Partington direct this clever historical romp through Samsung's product past, starting with the days when a mobile phone smaller than a person's head was the stuff of a mad man's dreams. Like Russian dolls, each gadget and gizmo hides the smaller, more refined leap in technology within.

"Rugby Team"
22 Feb 2016
It'll be hard to watch the Six Nations without thinking of this latest Haribo ad where the adults are the conduits for children's voices. A rugby team take a break from their scrum to enjoy/endure a packet of Tangfastics, with memorable tasting notes including hints of "craziness" and "all of, like, the things in the world". Another charming addition to a consistently entertaining campaign.

Top Gear
"Risk Assessment"
22 Feb 2017
This amusing trail for the latest series of Top Gear sees presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid face a grilling in the BBC insurance department. The humourless pen-pusher (he's stingy with biscuits, as well) has some concerns about the programme's impending return. It's safe to say these three aren't the ones to ease them.

Domino's Pizza
"It's No Secret"
14 Apr 2017
Domino's assure us that all their pizzas are handmade in this amusing ad. Various vignettes suggest what a pizza factory might look like, featuring industrial dough-squishers, tomato sauce paint rollers, and a toppings cannon which we'd quite like to have a go on. All this before revealing that the secret to their handmade pizzas is - drumroll - hands.

Sun Bingo
"Are You Gonna Bingo?"
22 Feb 2018
Bingo goes grime in this entertaining ad for the Sun newspaper's bingo app. 'People Just Do Nothing' director Jack Clough brings his distinctive eye for the absurd into play here, as a boring wait for the bus turns into something far more lively. With intentionally-obvious green screen work and questionable rhymes, this film gleefully takes a trashy aesthetic and elevates it to art.

Centrepoint Mall
"The Boy Nobody Could See"
2 mins 47s
22 Feb 2018
Following their last commercial - an epic which championed embracing greed in all its forms - Centrepoint Mall have stripped things back for their latest foray into film. This ad tells a beautifully quiet tale of unrequited love with a pleasingly timeless feel, as a young man finds himself rendered totally invisible around his peers... especially his crush.

"Follow The Rabbit"
2 mins
22 Feb 2018
After hopping into the spotlight in 2017, O2's blue rabbit is joined by an entire warren. Guess they've been breeding like... well, you get the picture. The mobile network's spirit animal appears before those who need to get out more. Some prove resistant to change; easier said than done when you've got Thumper staring into your soul.

Das Handwerk
"Happy End"
1 min 55s
22 Feb 2018
The age-old conflict between man and boiler inspires this entertaining Das Handwerk commercial. Germany's craft initiative underline the importance of skilled labourers like this bloke. Armed with work boots and a wrench, the engineer goes where homeowners and priests fear to tread. Beautifully shot with a fiery banjo solo for good measure.

22 Feb 2018
Purveyors of sturdy work clothing Timberland have released a collection of amusing Canadian ads for their wares. The films illustrate the fact that work isn't always the most comfortable place to be... in more ways than one. The performances are spot on here, as a simple request for a favour turns out to be something significantly more personal than one of the guys is prepared for.

"Baby, Baby, Baby"
22 Feb 2018
'Pancakes' and 'phone sex' aren't words you often see in the same sentence (or perhaps you do, we're only here to judge ads), but then this ad for Timberland isn't something you see every day either. With a unique premise and great comic performances, it's sure to strike a chord with anyone whose workmates can't stop oversharing. The delivery of '100% pure maple' is going to haunt us for a long time to come.

Pepsi Max
22 Feb 2005
As a prank, some men attach another to a high rise building with sticky pads on his hands and feet and he begins a scary descent. He asks them if is a good idea and they reply as if he has asked after the Pepsi Max drink and reassure him that it has no sugar.

"Skilled Italians"
22 Feb 2006
A number of Italians are depicted as having supernatural skills as they prepare food for us. This includes a old woman chucking a chopping board over her shoulder for her husband to catch and a beautiful woman who twirls pasta as she flirts.

22 Feb 2007
Powerful piece on behalf of the Irish Charity observes that in some parts of the World being born a girl is a greater danger than Malaria or HIV. The imagery of many babies lined up on the floor is a surprisingly powerful image and somehow brings home the tragedy of gender-based infanticide.

Volvo C30
"Hate It Love It"
22 Feb 2007
Another of the ads inviting comment on Volvo's new model hints at the notion that some will love it while other will hate it by casting it in a upbeat sunny setting and then a stormy downbeat setting in quick succession and back again.

Volvo C30
22 Feb 2007
One of those asked about the new Volvo C30 reported that she "didn't like it at first but from this angle it looks good," which inspired one of the commissioned animation directors to come up with these Terry Gilliamesque tribute to the car.

22 Feb 2007
Another in BBC 2's charming new series of idents operates the other way around from the others in that the shape of the two is revealed at the start and then the iconic 2 fades first as the froth dissolves into the coffee and then, even more markedly, when the drink is stirred.

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.