David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Raman Djafari joins BlinkInkBlinkink have added Hamburg-based animator and director Raman Djafari to their roster for representation.
    • Final Cut welcome Justin BrukmanJustin Brukman joins Final Cut as US Managing Director and Director of Global New Business.
    • Lives of LackPoverty is one of the greatest threats to families across the globe, and this touching film highlights the plight of those on the breadline in Romania.
    • Re(re-re-re)-windAmazon takes a cinematic approach in their latest campaign to convince consumers they're missing out on the joys of voice activated technology.
    • Things that go meow in the night.This fantastic short film for Temptations is built around a truth about cats of which many may be unaware.
    • Get ready for what exactly?It's ironic that the propaganda juggernaut should continue to roll even as it appears that actual juggernauts are likely to be stalled in the giant Brexit car park (neé Kent) as the transition phase of the UK's painful departure from the EU comes to an end on January 1.
    • Going the DistanceThis rather charming commercial for Bud Light breathes a little life into such cardboard sport supporters, as it follows one on a quest for refreshment.
    • Dazed DaysVegan bodycare brand Happy Dance are using celebrity power to get in on the craze for cannabis-adjacent products.
    • Living on PauseThis affecting film for ERUK has a sting in the tail which will draw compassion from even the most tuned-out viewer.
    • Trump joins Lincoln in fields.Let's face it, satire isn't going to hasten the end of Donald Trump.
    • Put Hate on HoldWith public tensions at an all-time high due to Covid-19, it feels like a very fitting moment to highlight the abuse that public-facing workers are subjected to on a regular basis.
    • Dog Eat Dog sign Marc BethkeDog Eat Dog have added noted automotive director Marc Bethke to their roster.
    • Mind and BodyThis nifty piece of work for Asics emphasises the importance of mind over matter.


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EU Transition
"1 January"
18 October 2020

It's ironic that the propaganda juggernaut should continue to roll even as it appears that actual juggernauts are likely to be stalled in the giant Brexit car park (neé Kent) as the transition phase of the UK's painful departure from the EU comes to an end on January 1. That date is the only certainty at the moment... and, who knows, maybe that one certainty will become the next uncertainty before you've finished reading this.

It's very strange to watch this film and consider that a whole group of people from the Prime Minister to the lowliest member of the film crew who made it are willing to participate in a bizarre normalisation of the utter chaos which is unfolding. Businesses here are being urged to "get ready" for what's coming, even though the exact nature of what's coming is yet to be agreed. At the time of writing, there are forty-nine working days until the deadline which is mentioned eight times in this ad's thirty seconds. And yet, the UK government is currently refusing to negotiate with the EU, making the terms and conditions of Brexit completely uncertain.

The prettily filmed vignettes direct us towards a website where we can watch this commercial again before filling out a questionnaire about our personal and business circumstances. DAVID completed it and learned almost nothing, so, in reality, it isn't possible to get ready for anything.

One thing we did see though which might be of interest to those who helped to construct this curious piece of communication... apparently, after January 1, and we quote: "You might not be able to take film production equipment into or out of the EU." That'll be handy.

Bud Light
"Cardboard Fan"
2 mins
19 October 2020

Resuming live sport has been understandably contentious as of late, with some teams choosing to go the uncanny valley route and fill their stands with socially-distant cardboard cutouts in place of fans. This rather charming commercial for Bud Light breathes a little life into such static supporters, as it follows one paper bloke on a quest for refreshment.

Director David Shane manages to bring a surprising amount of personality to what's essentially a slightly sheepish looking photograph with legs. Excellent sound design does much of the emotional heavy lifting, with orchestral trills narrating the cutout's journey into the unknown as he traverses stairs, alleys, and even the gutter along the way.

This film is a great example of how whimsy can work alongside the seemingly never-ending list of ways everyday life has changed due to the pandemic - possibly for good. It also provides a look at how the process of filmmaking might shake out under Covid-19: replacing your actors with cardboard seems mighty appealing right about now, after all.

Happy Dance
"Kristen Bell"
19 October 2020

With many US states having legalised or being on their way to legalising the Devil's Lettuce, celebrities aplenty are jumping on the cannabis craze while it's still, er, blazing hot. CBD (weed with the fun bits taken out) infused products have proven popular across the beauty and lifestyle sectors as of late - and vegan bodycare brand Happy Dance are using celebrity power to get a piece of the action.

Kristen Bell is personable as ever in her starring role, playing a frazzled mother who finds the strength to continue dealing with the repetitive demands of her little darlings via some chemical assistance. The humorous and satirical tone of the ad effectively skirts any 'mother's little helper' connotations, and Bell's affectionate performance successfully positions the brand's line as a wholesome alternative to 'wine mom' culture.

"A Life Interrupted"
2 mins 44s
19 October 2020

This affecting film for ERUK has a sting in the tail which will draw compassion from even the most tuned-out viewer. The atmospheric action takes place in Thurso, a small town in the North of Scotland, and focuses on Doug - a formerly lost young man who found his calling via surfboard.

The film is beautifully shot by director Luke Davies, who comes together with DOP David Bird to combine rugged landscapes and steely ocean shots with intimate portraits of Doug and his family. It's a contrast that speaks to the piece's wider narrative: the fragility of man in the face of nature's vast and uncaring panorama.

The twist, when it comes, is gut-wrenchingly unexpected and throws the vital nature of the charity's work into stark relief. There's no shying away from epilepsy's frightening randomness, just a reminder that research is the only way to find a cure. Kudos to Davies for not softening the blow - it's one which deserves to be felt.

Short Films
"Abe and Trump Being Frank"
19 October 2020

Let's face it, satire isn't going to hasten the end of Donald Trump. The cult-like grip he has on his supporters' minds is so tight that, as Trump himself has said, he could begin shooting people in the middle of New York City and it wouldn't loosen at all.

Those opposing Trump are equally convinced of their verdict. And who can blame them? After all, they have borne witness to his moral bankruptcy, intellectual vapidity, venal greed, blatant duplicity, horrific misogyny and obvious racism.

Both sides are baffled by the other's view and there are very few people on the fence, so it's hard to know who is going to watch this excellent piece of lampoonery and find themselves seeing Trump in a whole new light.

To put it bluntly, no one's going to change their vote on the back of this film.

But what does that matter when it's so much fun to watch? The actor playing Trump nails the failed mogul's peculiar speech pattern while the actor playing Abraham Lincoln plays his role with well-concealed contempt.

This is one of a number of entertaining films in this series and we must all hope that they exist to mark the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency rather than - God forbid - its halfway point.


On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

"Christmas Traditions"
23 Oct 2009
This charming commercial looks at some of the traditions which define the modern British Christmas. Made with welcome understatement and with a voiceover from the masterful Geoffrey Palmer, there are enough familiar notes to trigger memories for everyone.

Jose Cuervo
"Who's In?"
23 Oct 2012
Unless we're much mistaken this is a celebration of drunken adventures. Like the current Smirnoff campaign, the advertising on displayed here is stretching the limits of what's permissible. No drunkenness is actually shown, of course, but there's a very strong sense that these people have it behind them... and in front of them.

H & M
"Alexander Wang"
2 mins
23 Oct 2014
The high street fashion retailer has an uneven record when it comes to advertising, but this spot is definitely one to set its standards by. Promoting a new collection by designer Alexander Wang, it focuses on the upmarket, sporty nature of the items by giving the ad a video game vibe where the characters can somersault through walls and perform other impossible feats without breaking sweat.

"Fraserburgh Beach"
23 Oct 2014
This excellent public information film very effectively brings home the fact that weather conditions on our coastlines can change rapidly - indeed, in seconds. Contrasting imagery of a calm, sunny day on Fraserburgh Beach with a frantic recorded call from the same location days earlier, it really does make us think twice about paying better heed to the nature of the sea.

I'm A Celebrity
23 Oct 2015
Those great vaudevillians Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will soon be returning to our screen with another group of fading celebrities willing to trade public humiliation for another shot at the big time. While The X Factor's star continues to wane, ITV's other ratings juggernauts - 'I'm A Celebrity...' and 'Britain's Got Talent' continue to pull in the punters and it's no coincidence that they're both held together by the Geordie presenters while Simon Cowell hasn't (yet) asked them to save his most treasured show.

23 Oct 2018
This fetching commercial for Tilda suggests rice is the ideal leveller in kitchens up and down the country. Scored by Joey Pastrana's ‘King of Latin Soul', the ad celebrates open-minded cooking as friends, families, and flatmates rustle up their own colourful rice dishes - each drawn from a variety of global cuisines.

"Your Voice, Your Way"
23 Oct 2019
Levi's ongoing shift from compulsive divers and Mr Oizo-loving puppets has largely seen the brand promote diversity and freedom of expression instead. Director Jon E Price's film continues this trend with a UK-centric call to arms (and, erm, legs, of course), focusing on some of the country's up-and-coming artists.

Pro Evolution Soccer
"Thierry Henry and John Terry"
23 Oct 2005
When Chelsea's John Terry and Arsenal's Thierry Henry run down the tunnel on to a pitch, you might think they are about to play football. Well, they are, but not in the obvious sense as they jump on to a sofa and play a video game... until the groundsman pulls the plug on them.

Waitrose & Partners
23 Oct 2005
Indian chef Ramesh Shoneth (?) travelled up and down the country of India in order to source recipes for the supermarket chain according to this beautifully-filmed commercial which plays out against a version of Dion's The Wanderer.

British Heart Foundation
23 Oct 2005
The invidious effects of smoking are subtly depicted in this sinister ad which shows a dark pulse moving through the veins of smokers when they take a drag from a cigarette. The image perfectly complements the message that a smoker dies from a blood clot in Britain every thirty-five minutes.

23 Oct 2006
Another of the excellent series of new idents for the BBC has some people on a boat rowing out in the night with parts of the moon which they then add to the glowing orb to make it complete and form the emblematic circle.

Velvet Toilet Tissue
23 Oct 2006
Amusing short in the new series for the toilet tissue made by a company with a toddler as chief executive. This time his PA shows someone called Tony into the office just as the lad has wrapped himself up in a manner more typical of his age group than of his elevated position.

Kit Kat
23 Oct 2006
Colin Montgomerie sends up his reputation as a golfing grouch here as, after being distracted by the click of cameras just as he is about to play three shots, he decides to even things up by cracking open a Kit Kat just as Ian Woosnam is about to play a crucial shot.

"Brain Warehouse"
23 Oct 2006
With the atmosphere of a bad trip, this film offers a stern warning to those tempted by cannabis but delivers its message with a hard-edged humour designed to appeal to the target audience. A man looking around a Brain Warehouse is examining the kind of brain he will need if he wants to partake.

Velvet Toilet Tissue
"Dress Down Fridays"
23 Oct 2006
Increasingly subversive stuff in this campaign for Velvet has the toddler wearing only shoes and a nappy interrupting a board meeting to suggest Dress Down Fridays. The manner in which his adult colleagues are barely tolerating him is getting amusing and offering the potential for more.

"14th November"
23 Oct 2007
The misery of air travel is captured perfectly in this ad for Eurostar which reminds us there is an alternative to the inconvenience of the airport. St Pancras becomes the new hub for rail travel to the continent in November and doesn't the station concourse look magnificent? That's because there's no people on it.

"Answering Machine"
23 Oct 2007
Our hero believes he has been let down by his answering machine in this amusing ad for the American beer made for the Irish market. When he hears an unlikely sound beginning with the letters 'gr' as the named venue for a meeting he begins an earnest search through all the city's bars starting with those letters.

"Pleasure Seeker"
23 Oct 2008
Another of the POV ads which draws attention to the fun that women can have in a pair of Clarks shoes. Given the need for thrift in the current climate, surely it won't be long before women are trying to shift their Jimmy Choos on eBay and look afresh at Clarks... free of snobbish jaundice.

23 Oct 2009
The small steps taken by children on their way to achieving success are the focus of this ad which has a pan-global corporate feel. A dubious comparison is drawn between the dreams of children and the hopes of a multi-national conglomerate.

23 Oct 2009
A collection of young people are caught in a devastating hail storm in this intriguing trail for a new series on E4 which is dark in every sense. The youngsters seek shelter as icy rocks come down all around them but is an even bigger impact likely to be triggered?

BBC Electric Proms
"Shirley Bassey Poster"
23 Oct 2009
One of a series of trails for the BBC's Electric Proms concerts that each use a neat technique to show the breadth of songs available to a particular music act. This trail is devoted to Bond-theme warbler, Shirley Bassey.

23 Oct 2009
An affecting piece aimed at discouraging Mums from drinking too much. A little girl describes her mother as perfect despite the obvious evidence to the contrary provided by the visuals. All the better because the copywriter held his or her nerve and played it straight.

23 Oct 2009
An emotional reminder to parents in the North-East that their children are affected if they drink too much. As in the other ad in the series, a child delivers a genuine tribute to his parent which adds to the poignancy of seeing that Dad is nothing like the glowing description.

Microsoft X-Box
"I Get Around"
23 Oct 2009
The Beach Boys classic I Get Around is sung by various karaoke performers in this commercial for an X-Box game called Lips. The difficulty with advertising games like these is that they look a little bit childish even though they're probably great fun.

23 Oct 2009
There's a little Irish mythologising before our very eyes in this commercial for whiskey. A couple of eighteenth century likely lads have made it to the pub despite hurricane-force winds and they casually reveal the tribulations of their journey to a friend.

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.