David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • All the king's horses and all the king's men.Clarins gallop into the Christmas season with this festive animated commercial.
    • As Long as There's Light, We've Got a ChanceOn the eve of Episode IX release comes this adrenaline-fuelled Star Wars fan film: 'Origins'.
    • The padawan's progress.‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' receives a spunky commercial courtesy of 215 McCann and director Garth Davis.
    • Fresh wounds.One of sixteen films produced for South Africa's 1st for Women Foundation, this gut-wrenching instalment draws attention to the rape and murder of 19-year-old student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
    • In the bag.It speaks volumes for the quality of the competition at this year's Homespun Yarns that this delightful film directed by Claire Norowzian didn't take the crown.
    • Horror triumph at Homespun Yarns.This short film by Jamie Gyngell was the winner of this year's Homespun Yarns competition.
    • Which election is the Labour Party trying to win?Which election is the Labour Party trying to win?
    • Get Brexit shunned.It's foolish to ignore the skill of this piece of Brexit Party propaganda but there are reasons to believe that it could prove completely counter-productive.
    • Far Beyond The StarsSportswear brand Vollebak create an entire futuristic universe in just sixty seconds in this intriguing commercial.
    • Mistletones and whine.We like to imagine The Fast Show's Louis Balfour would love a piece of Buck Friendly & the Mistletones.

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Labour Party
"It's Time for Real Change"
4 mins 40s
19 November 2019

Which election is the Labour Party trying to win? Certainly not this one to judge by this hapless piece of communication. Our country faces the greatest challenge to its democracy since World War II, and the leading opposition party is putting out films so dull that you could reveal the whereabouts of Madeline McCann at the end of it, and the secret would remain intact because no one would ever get to it.

The problem for Labour is that Jeremy Corbyn and his acolytes are under the impression that they won the 2017 election. They didn't. They didn't get crushed in the way that everyone thought that they would, but that doesn't mean anything now.

The threat posed by Boris Johnson's complete disregard for the truth requires a robust and dynamic response. And this film is wildly short of what's required, and there is absolutely no chance of it converting a single wavering voter. Depressing.


Brexit Party
"Don't Waste Your Vote"
2 mins 45s
25 November 2019

This is a very skilful piece of propaganda. It weaves two ideas together: one, that Leave voters have been let down by both of the major political parties. And, two, that the NHS has a funding crisis. Without being explicit, it suggests that these two things are connected. For those who voted Leave because of the simplistic claim that the money currently paid to the EU can be siphoned directly into our ailing health service, this fraudulent conflation provides a motive for supporting the Brexit party. It cleverly reinforces this idea without painting any lies on the side of a bus.

It was shrewd to minimise the presence of Nigel Farage. It's certainly true that the party which emerged like a phoenix from the UKIP bin fire is utterly dominated by the frog-faced bigot, but whoever made this film recognises that he is a divisive figure, especially among the Labour voters in the northern heartlands that this film is aimed at.

The good news from a progressive point of view is that this film has enough weight to split the Leave vote between this party and the Conservatives, and many Labour MPs will benefit from this. Let's hope so. It would be very satisfying to think that this piece of communication was sufficiently well aimed so as to be completely counter-productive.


Vollebak
"Deep Sleep Cocoon"
60s
12 December 2019

Sportswear brand Vollebak create an entire futuristic universe in just sixty seconds in this intriguing commercial. A man on a ship somewhere in the far darkness of space comes back to his pod wearing - for lack of a better phrase - a sleeping bag, and goes about the process of what passes for a nightly routine among the stars.

The design work here is lovely, hinting at winder context without giving the audience too many unnecessary details. From casual acceptance of asteroid strikes to custom-delivered vitamin supplements and inter-galactic message transmission, this is a delicately executed slice of sci-fi which suits the brand's tech-focused output.


Short Films
"Buck Friendly & the Mistletones"
1 min 32s
12 December 2019

We like to imagine The Fast Show's Louis Balfour would love a piece of Buck Friendly & the Mistletones. After all, who else would tackle Irving Berlin's ‘White Christmas' with a piano, a choir, and, er, a theremin?

That's the premise of this amusing piece of work from director Uncle Friendly, who imbues the 1942 classic with egotistical solos and a professional rivalry that boils over into straight-up violence.

It's the pianist's constant looks to camera that make the scene - his smug smile and debonair bemusement soon giving way to pure rage. Let's see if this triggers a spike in theremin sales before December 25th.


Nike
"Qiang Diao"
2 mins 17s
12 December 2019

Director Finn Keenan's new gung-ho commercial for Nike introduces Western viewers to the concept of qiang diao, or "confidence, swagger, or flair" in Mandarin. Everybody wants some; not least a certain nouveau riche tool in a pool.

From the comfort of his electric water-throne, the Shanghai big shot instructs one of his lackeys to find qiang diao and bring it back post-haste. Cue a madcap dash into China's biggest city and a sweaty journey of self-discovery.

Sure enough, as the attendant pleads with gymnasts, basketballers, skateboarders et al for help, he finds that - in the parlance of Thierry Henry - va-va-voom comes from within, not a catalogue. Good news for him, bad news for his deluded boss.

It's also good news for the audience, as the film chucks all manner of sporting flourishes and OTT sound effects their way. The elongated victory yell from the newly qiang diao'd protagonist is an especially fab touch.


QUICK SEARCH

On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Guinness
"Dark Life"
60s
16 Dec 2010
Dark clouds gather above a variety of different landscapes in this Irish ad for Guinness which isn't afraid to use imagery that many will find quite disturbing. It's used to illustrate the idea that there's life in "there's more life in the dark".

Stitch
"Christmas Message"
1 min 45s
16 Dec 2012
This delightful Christmas message from the lovely people at Stitch Editing uses 'Only You' by The Flying Pickets to provide an excuse for some sublime seasonal antics. Personnel from the company have had their visages superimposed on Christmas paraphernalia in a fashion that simultaneously shows off their skills and makes you laugh.

Christmas on BBC
"Miranda and the Doctor"
60s
16 Dec 2012
Another delicious helping of nostalgia courtesy of David C Kerr (from Hotspur & Argyle). No fan of Miranda Hart's eponymous sitcom will be able to resist the site of 'Queen Kong' chasing after Matt Smith as 'the Doctor' while even the most avid defender of Eastenders may have to concede that the row in the Queen Vic about mince pies strikes a satirically familiar note.

Hillbilly Handfishin'
"Staying Alive"
30s
16 Dec 2012
Another terrific trail from the inventive team at Discovery UK. They've knitted together footage from a forthcoming programme about an unusual fishing method to make it appear as though the participants are combining to perform 'Staying Alive' by the Bee Gees using shrieks of surprise.

Strategy Online
"The Marketers’ Anthem"
90s
16 Dec 2013
When it's not bringing a wry smile to the lips of viewers, this will have many in the industry laughing in (slightly uncomfortable) recognition. This spot for the Marketer of the Year awards is packed with affectionate self-referential jokes about time-saving acronyms and brand guardianship - and it's all done using the stock footage it mocks.

REMA 1000
"Brothers"
75s
16 Dec 2015
This well-judged Christmas ad for Norwegian supermarket REMA 1000 deals with another elderly man in isolation... only this time, it's self-imposed. It seems brotherly love is in short supply up Scandinavia way. A man enlists the help of his granddaughter in writing a reconciliation letter, but progress is hampered by his refusal to forget old scores.

Thomson Holidays
"Moments"
60s
16 Dec 2016
This impressively-shot ad for Thomson Holidays captures the feeling of never wanting your holiday to end. A little girl has all the time in the world as she wanders through a beach resort in dream-like stasis. From exotic birds taking flight to a towel mid-flutter, she explores the little moments we might otherwise miss

Bross Bagels
"Mama Bross"
1 min 44s
16 Dec 2018
This film by freelance director Charlie Parker is a perfect example of how stuff created on a shoestring can sit alongside much better financed films these days. Written and performed by Larah Bross and Keir McAllister, this ad for a small chain of Edinburgh bakeries demonstrates an astute understanding of what will fly on social media and looks certain to generate a ot of friendly interest in the brand.

American Express
"Antarctica"
30s
16 Dec 2002
With an old sea shanty playing in the background, two men, warmly dressed, set up camera and tripod amongst some penguins. They stand in front of the camera and wait for the timer, when it eventually takes the shot one of them says 'he blinked'.

Kellogg's Corn Flakes
"6:45 BC"
30s
16 Dec 2002
6:45 BC, before cornflakes the alarm wakes a man, who stumbles out of bed with pants back to front. It's only when he's had his cornflakes that he emerges from early man, shown through stages, to the upright man.

MasterCard
"Oxfam Alpacas"
60s
16 Dec 2006
MasterCard's usual schtick is given a worthwhile twist here as they announce a programme with which they are involved (in conjunction with Oxfam) which provides alpacas to South American farmers. The animals may not look as "gorgeous" as the music implies but to the farmers that's just what they are.

Chanel No. 5
"Nicole Kidman"
30s
16 Dec 2007
Shorter version of the laughably bad Chanel commercial which reunited Baz Lurmann with Nicole Kidman and proved that the magic of Moulin Rouge was not transferable to a commercial. Here, the awfulness is, at least, briefer and in the long version which gives free rein to Kidman's excesses.

Marks & Spencer
"Michael Parkinson"
40s
16 Dec 2008
Doesn't Michael Parkinson sound bossy? DAVID feels strongly inclined to ignore the self-styled King of Chat and buy food from anywhere but M & S after watching this ad. Poor Mary is left sounding the most put upon woman in Britain (with the possible exception of the medic who was forcibly married by her parents).

Google Chrome
"Features"
4 mins 30s
16 Dec 2009
A series of Heath-Robinson style contraptions are used to illustrate the improvements offered by Google's web browser over its competition. The length of this piece will require your full interest to have been aroused if you're going to watch it to the end; but the abundance of visual ideas is, in itself, very impressive.

Sky News
"West Bank"
30s
16 Dec 2009
This intriguing ad for Sky News may be a little ill-advised but it's certainly eye-catching. The participants in a firefight on the West Bank offer an analysis of what's happening even as the battle continues. It's a bit of a stretch to associate the implied fire-mindedness with Sky.

Schweppes
"Tree"
10s
16 Dec 2009
Another of this winning series for the Schweppes has the familiar protagonists in another piece of clever horseplay. As hubby looks on, wifey wonders what's wrong with her Christmas tree. It might be a bit two-dimensional, luv.

Publicis
"I've Got A Feeling"
5 mins
16 Dec 2009
Occasionally, advertising agencies put something into the public domain which advertises themselves. Judge for yourselves whether or not this is a good idea as you watch this lengthy piece featuring the staff of Publicis.

BBC One
"Doctor Who"
30s
16 Dec 2009
As David Tennant's stint as Doctor Who draws to an end, the BBC demonstrates a good understanding of what he means to the excessively loyal fans of the TV series and this exuberant ident showcases the spectacular sense of fun that has made Tennant such a success.

Famous Footwear
"Frozen Moments"
55s
16 Dec 2010
A woman dashes to her boyfriend as he arrives in the snow which wouldn't really be remarkable were it not for the fact that the action has been shot using some super duper equipment and slowed down so that it all looks rather beautiful.

Girl Effect
"Consolée"
3 mins
16 Dec 2012
This immensely positive film introduces us to Consolée - a product of the more enlightened attitudes towards women in some parts of Africa. Her father sold one of his animals so that he could buy her a guitar and it was so unusual in her village to see a girl with a musical instrument that she became a local phenomenon.

George Clarke's Amazing Spaces
"Christmas Special"
40s
16 Dec 2012
George Clarke has an impressive array of astonished expressions and he unleashes most of them in this trail for a Christmas special. Presumably, his programme devoted to people making the most of unusual and small spaces must have been an overnight success... why else would Channel 4 have granted such a new programme a seasonal slot?

Sainsbury's
"Fridge"
20s
16 Dec 2012
Another in this excellent series of commercials for orange supermarket based on well-observed home truths. When mum can't find space in the fridge for the ham she's just cooked, she heads to the garage and begins emptying beer from the small fridge there while dad watches with panic behind his eyes.

Paxo
"The Turkey Whisperer"
70s
16 Dec 2012
As a comedy sketch this hits the right notes but as a piece of advertising... not so much. Paxo deserve praise for a willingness to adopt a subversive approach but – in reality – British consumers are pretty squeamish about the reality of food production and many will be offended by this.

My Mad Fat Diary
"Rae"
60s
16 Dec 2012
E4's forthcoming series set in the mid-1990s surrounds Rae - recently released from a mental health facility. If 'My Mad Fat Diary' is a match for this inventive trail then it may prove a hit with the target audience. Alice in Wonderland style imagery is used to excellent and intriguing effect.

Redd’s
"Angel or Demon?"
60s
16 Dec 2012
We hope that the lengthy end-frame reassuring viewers that all actors were 18+ is all part of the porn façade in this American commercial for beer which uses vaguely erotic imagery of flowers and fruit combined with a sexy soundtrack to suggest that the advertised drink has a bit of an edge.

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.