David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Breaking BinaryThis striking short film stars poet Hollie McNish, as she dissects the ridiculous concept of gender stereotypes.
    • Podcast - Brown BrothersFergus and Ewen Brown describe their journey from rural Scotland to seedy Soho.
    • The importance of kindness.This film was created by The Samaritans and Network Rail to persuade us to look out for one another and offer reassurance about the value of intervening if we think someone looks troubled.
    • Wire straits.Following 2015’s chaotic cord fail, this latest JBL commercial is a 30” comedy of errors.
    • Dasher, Dancer, PrancerMcDonald's draw on festive traditions in their charming Christmas offering for 2017.
    • A Place of One's OwnGirlguiding turn a demeaning admonishment into an empowering message in this excellent ad.
    • Take control.This Xbox commercial offers a luminous alternative to in-game tutorials.
    • Step by StepFamily reconciliation is at the heart of this unusual Christmas ad from German supermarket Penny.
    • Setting the stage.Given Paddington Bear’s starring role in the M&S Christmas ad, we’re surprised their food commercial doesn’t feature a lick of marmalade.
    • Nice Shirt Films sign Lucy Bridger.Up-and-coming director Lucy Bridger has joined Nice Shirt’s tailored roster.
    • Richard Peter Hunter joins Blink.Comedy director Richard Peter Hunter has joined Blink for commercial representation.
    • Back to humanity.The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness urge viewers to look beyond their own four walls and help a neighbour in need.
    • Frequently asked questions.Ask and you shall receive, says this entertaining Google Pixel ad from Droga5 and director Ian Pons Jewell.


Wednesday, 15th November.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How We Made... Oxfam.

● Homespun Yarns.

● Christmas Crackers.

● Tango Reunion.


"I Know My Place"
16 November 2017

Girlguiding turn a demeaning admonishment into an empowering message in this excellent ad. We see girls and young women taking part in activities across the country - from outdoor fun to science experiments - as they find their place among the guiding community.

The action here is never overstated, giving the film an authentic vibe and leaving us with an understanding of how much the girls get out of their involvement - and how much women can take from being a volunteer. The chugging, electronic soundtrack gives things a nice pace without rushing. Polished work with a great message - girl power.

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"A Beautiful Combination"
16 November 2017

Tutorials are second-nature to video gamers. Muscle memory and impatience often leave training aids irrelevant. However, this Xbox commercial offers a luminous alternative: watch and learn.

While Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, and Isco demonstrate their skills, the Xbox controller’s symbols light up in unison: A for pass, B for shoot, and so forth. Easy enough… though skill moves are a different story.

Fans of simulated footie are encouraged to think Xbox over PlayStation. Notably, the button combinations are geared towards FIFA 18 rather than the competing Pro Evolution Soccer. Guess we know which team Microsoft support.

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"The Walk"
1 min 45s
16 November 2017

Family reconciliation is at the heart of this unusual Christmas ad from German supermarket Penny. German retailers have become known for putting a darker spin on the festive season - most notably a controversial outing for EDEKA in which an elderly man fakes his death - and Penny joins the heartstring-tugging trend with relish.

We see a woman who's not looking forward to the holidays, depressed about being estranged from her daughter. She decides to seek out her child with an olive branch in the form of a familiar blanket, and takes the first step of what turns out to be an arduous journey.

The reveal raises some questions (how long have the pair been estranged?), but puts a neat twist on the more fantastical elements of the mother's trek. The wolves and mountains may be symbolic, but they can feel just as arduous to face as the real thing. The holidays can bring up sometimes painful family relationships, and this piece suggests we fix things while we can. Thought-provoking work.

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Marks & Spencer
"Extraordinary Christmas"
15 November 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.

Grey London iterate on a familiar recipe. Thus, pears unravel, bone marrow stands proud, while raspberries receive a sugar dusting. While this campaign’s jingle receives a standard festive remix, the photography remains strong as ever. Should mobilise discerning party hosts with ease.

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Nice Shirt Films sign Lucy Bridger.

Up-and-coming director Lucy Bridger has joined Nice Shirt’s tailored roster. Early promise with her dad’s camcorder led Bridger to pursue various creative outlets. While a broken arm curtailed her dance career, contemporary dance’s loss has been film-making’s gain.



On This Day

Blood Donation
"I Want"
21 Nov 2013
So often, spots for good causes can be mired in sentimentality and button-pressing. Here, then, is a salutary lesson in how to fire home a message without any of the guilt-inducing gubbins getting in the way. The children are a delight; and the revelation at the end is delivered with just the right balance of brevity and feeling. Lovely.

5 mins 50s
21 Nov 2014
Following last week's opportunity to boost our love for Monty the Penguin by watching the John Lewis Christmas commercial through the eyes of the Goggleboxers, the Channel 4 programme offered us the chance to see what its charismatic regulars made of Sainsbury's Christmas ad. The result was electrifying and offers a perfect counterweight to some of the criticism levelled at this superb piece of work.

21 Nov 2016
McDonald's give hope to toys nationwide with their Christmas film. We're introduced to Juliette - a vintage doll who's never experienced playtime and has learnt to endure her loneliness with silent fortitude. Each day from her toy shop window she wistfully watches people meet up to share food and laughter in the McDonald's across the street... and she resolves to act.

21 Nov 2016
Who will take the coveted Christmas number one spot this year? On the animated critter chart, that is. So far, we’ve had boxers, foxes, robins, (teddy) bears, and even carrots. Now the WWF up the ante with a tiger. Unfortunately, this big cat isn’t in the best of health… or in its rightful home. Instead, it’s lying wounded in a semi-detached house. Rather than dial animal control, this family decides to nurse the creature back to health.

"Under The Tree"
21 Nov 2005
A number of ordinary folk and luminaries gather under a tree in the snow and then hold their phones aloft as if listening to a soppy song at a heavy metal concert. Michael Schumacher and Ruud van Nistelrooy are amongst those showing up... interestingly (and perhaps to ensure we recognise them) they are wearing their work clothes.

Kellogg's Corn Flakes
"Clocking In"
21 Nov 2006
Charming ad for Kellogg's depicts bees on their way to work at the Kellogg's factory which, according to this film, is situated in some kind of rural paradise. The bees are needed because a new variant of the popular cereal contains honey. The music is a re-record of an old Ella Fitzgerald track... a perfect fit.

John West
"Cuddly Bear"
21 Nov 2007
John West seem extremely chuffed about the popularity of their vintage ad with the You Tube generation and to celebrate its success they have 're-made' the ad using a cuddly toy which is available with the product. We want to know why they are not also giving away the fisherman doll so we can recreate the fight ourselves.

"Remember When?"
21 Nov 2008
This ad asks us to remember various things we might have said in our pasts... apparently, they might include having said: "I'll never get a Renault". Er, actually, we think they overestimate our indifference... we never said "I'll never get a Renault"... we never gave them a second thought.

21 Nov 2008
The subversive Santa idea has been done before but it's been carried off especially impressively here. The disgruntled gift distributor moans about his workload and complains that Staples's claim that Christmas has been made easy doesn't apply to him.

Home Office - The Policing Pledge
21 Nov 2009
This film puts something called 'The Policing Pledge' at the forefront of its message. A thief climbs the words to steal the crown on top of the police's logo which inadvertently suggests that 'The Policing Pledge' makes theft easier. Though, to be fair, he is caught.

Energy Saving Trust
"Ask The Right People"
21 Nov 2009
This amusing ad takes a familiar scenario and gives it a twist. A young man nervously steps to the counter in a pharmacy and it's clear we're supposed to think he has an embarrassing question. But he's not after condoms or advice about a rash on his penis.

Pepsi Max
"Octopus Attack"
21 Nov 2009
A man's attempt to chat up a woman on a tropical island isn't going well until he rescues a swimmer from the clutches of a killer octopus. It's all a cunning stunt, of course. Perhaps the end copy should be: "Pepsi Max... because Rohypnol's illegal"

Fire Safety
"Get Round to It"
21 Nov 2009
This ad reminds people who live in shared households that it's vital that they get around to fitting a smoke alarm rather than allowing it to become one of those tasks that they leave to someone else. It's a clever way to get this message across.

Dolce & Gabbana
21 Nov 2010
This is a bit different. Although there's the pre-requisite number of beautiful young people in this film... for once, they're not behaving like dicks in a mansion. It's visually arresting and generates a beguiling energy with carefully crafted movement. Shame about the music though.

Compare The Market
21 Nov 2011
Barry Greendale is a little surprised when he discovers a meerkat on the conveyor belt as he cheerfully passes shopping through his checkout at the supermarket where he works. It turns out that he's being presented with a soft toy after using the advertised price comparison site.

"Fan Zone"
21 Nov 2011
This series of bumpers advertising Budweiser's involvement with something called Fan Films has a number of football supporters getting the opportunity to handle the FA Cup. It's probably hard for those who aren't aficionados to understand the appeal of the iconic trophy but if you don't get it then you probably never will.

"The Honeymoon's Over"
21 Nov 2012
This dramatic trail suggests that the soap is continuing to treat its viewers to edgier storylines... quite literally here as one of the characters teeters on the edge of catastrophe. From the look of some of this footage, we're guessing that this is a specially filmed trail rather than mere excerpts.

21 Nov 2012
This extraordinary film has two daredevils skiing over the edge of a cliff... and being followed by a car. All three fall freely for a while before parachutes open to assist a safe landing. It's been filmed with an intimacy that makes it all seem very real and we have a feeling in the pit of our collective tummies that these folk more or less did what we see on screen.

"Ice Queen"
21 Nov 2012
A woman's cold symptoms are represented as ice all about her person as she walks into a freezing home. Only the advertised product can make her feel comfortable and happy again and it starts putting the colour in her cheeks from the very first sip. Not, strictly speaking, how a cold feels but the analogy works nonetheless.

Coca Cola
"Giant Santa"
21 Nov 2012
DAVID will never understand why the annual return of the shit Coca Cola ad with all the lorries generates such excitement year after year but after watching this amazingly creepy new film for the soft drinks giant, we're starting to understand why they have such faith in the older work... at least it isn't scary.

"Winter Tale"
1 min 45s
21 Nov 2012
If you're going for the whole 'magic of Christmas' angle then you might as well go for it with all your might. That appears to be the thinking behind this garish ad out of America which charts the progress of a couple of animated panthers exploring a winter wonderland. Could do with being shortened... a lot.

Balance North East
21 Nov 2013
There are so many things we're advised not to do that it can be hard to keep track of all the reasons not to do them. But that makes it more important than ever that we find the right mechanism for conveying information and it turns out that it's still possible to be surprised.

JD Sports
"Kings of Style"
21 Nov 2014
One of three very stylish and confident spots for JD Sports featuring various brands of sportswear. Distinctively edited, atmospherically lit and featuring an unusual version of Jingle Bells, to say the least - it manages to feel festive, feisty and übercool all at once. We suspect it'll do a great job of appealing to its young target audience while making older folk - and teenies - wish they were that achingly hip.

J D Williams
21 Nov 2014
Crikey - JD Williams may not be a fashion brand women under a certain age might entertain as a viable addition to their wardrobes, but for those who do - and there must be a few, as the name's been going long enough - this is quite a pzazzy ad. A formal dance in a rather grand venue becomes a full-on fun number - with glittery-frocked women being flung around by suave silver foxes, and even Lorraine Kelly gets in on the action.

JD Sports
"Kings of Style Fresh"
21 Nov 2014
One of three very cool spots for JD Sports featuring various brands of sportswear. The stylised movements, broken up by some lovely editing, is both fluid and robotic; intercut with close-ups of product detail and lit in a way that suggests designer but hints at industrial. The production design is excellent overall - love the Christmas tree made from boxes.

On This Day

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