David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Up and away.Music video specialists Zhang + Knight direct this heightened commercial for Maserati.
    • It's a Dog Eat Dog world for Blake Claridge.Dog Eat Dog have completed the signing of director Blake Claridge for commercials and branded content.
    • Street stars.Astute character design and a cheeky sense of humour define this quirky stop-motion outing for Beagle Street Life Insurance.
    • Object & Animal and Phantasm join forcesProduction companies Object & Animal and Phantasm have joined forces to co-produce projects across the UK, US, and France.
    • Basha de Bruijn signs to BirthBirth have signed Dutch director Basha de Bruijn for representation across the UK and France.
    • Live, laugh, loathe.US insurers Progressive continue their quest to save Millennials from turning into their parents in this entertaining commercial.
    • Animal antics.This 30" Aviva commercial acknowledges the outlandish side of insurance claims.
    • Jessy Moussallem joins Object & Animal.Meeting the Middle East's version of Pablo Escobar is all in a day's work for new Object & Animal director Jessy Moussallem.
    • Tomorrow, today.Adidas lay out the thought process behind their Futurecraft range in this tech-focused commercial.
    • Turbo tubers.The spirit of invention is alive and well in this charming Brazilian outing for Volvo.
    • Forever nab Fons Schiedon.Multidisciplinary artist Fons Schiedon has joined Forever’s bespoke roster for UK representation.
    • Game changer.This epic commercial for Facebook's Oculus is a game changer.
    • Dog Eat Dog sign Iain MorrisDog Eat Dog have signed acclaimed comedy writer and director Iain Morris to their roster.
    • Knickerbocker glory.Two-time NBA champions the Knicks celebrate New York's unquenchable character in stark black and white
    • Studio Desk arrive at Jelly London.Jelly London have bolstered their animation wing by signing Emily Downe and Kathrin Steinbacher, a.k.a. Studio Desk.
    • Home truths.This stirring piece of work offers a valuable insight into growing up Black in modern Britain.
    • Helena Coan joins OB's independent RosterOB Management have signed director, writer, and musician Helena Coan to their roster for independent representation.
    • Round eight for Papaya Young Directors.We take our good news stories where we can get them right now, and word of Papaya's eighth Young Directors competition certainly fits that bill.
    • The right direction.This delicately animated series for the CTCP takes a positive approach to attempts to quit smoking.


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Jessy Moussallem joins Object & Animal.

Meeting the Middle East's version of Pablo Escobar is all in a day's work for Lebanese director Jessy Moussallem.

A 2018 promo for Damian Lazarus & the Ancient Moons saw her visit the country's Bekaa Valley, known for its many cannabis farms. Yet Moussallem chooses to celebrate the region's determined communities instead.


"From Where We Are To What Could Be"
1 min 35s
15 January 2021

Adidas lay out the thought process behind their Futurecraft range in this tech-focused commercial. Director Fons Schiedon takes a diverse visual approach in order to capture the spirit of the brand's all-hands-on-deck attitude to iteration, using stop motion, CG animation, and canny camera trickery to good effect.

Whether depicting ocean-bound nets recycled into plastic uppers or 3D-printed soles harnessing natural movement in the cleanest way possible, the film offers an intriguing insight into how Adidas intend to develop their footwear in a more sustainable manner. Consumers will have to judge the performance outcomes for themselves, but this compelling communication suggests it's definitely worth a try.

13 January 2021

The spirit of invention is alive and well in this charming Brazilian outing for Volvo, as batteries gain a new life in creative hands. Far from a simple science experiment, the young girl at the centre of this film is determined to take her investigations into potato power to another level. Move over, Elon Musk.

Far from satisfied by merely getting her toy car to run, however, the inventor-in-training seeks out all manner of ingenious ways to sneak supplies for her pièce de résistance. The gradual increase of scale and final reveal are deftly handled by director Carolina Markowicz, who ensures the tale has just enough reality to keep its childish magic grounded.

Forever nab Fons Schiedon.

Multidisciplinary artist Fons Schiedon has joined Forever’s bespoke roster for UK representation.

The Dutchman flits between illustration, animation, and live-action with ease, making him another valuable asset to Sasha Nixon's team. Her goal is to firmly establish Schiedon on these shores.


"First Steps"
3 mins 07s
12 January 2021

You know how Matt Berry says the word 'epic'? Well, this magnificent commercial for Facebook's Oculus is very much 'epic' in that sense. Director Ian Pons Jewell has become a director whom agencies turn to when epic is the name of the game, and, on this project, he's delivered in spades once again.

It would be easy to concentrate wholly on the spectacularness and scale of this film, but actually its greatest strength is the way it conveys the VR experience. For the first time that DAVID can recall, the idea of being immersed into another universe via a headset looks intriguing rather than intimidating. It was clever to shoot the whole thing from the perspective of the young woman wearing the headset… even before she puts it on. That, and her very human reaction to the situations in which she finds herself once she's immersed in the games, combine to represent a novice rather than an expert player.

VR has been the 'next big thing' in gaming for some time, but with a current market value of $11bn – which is approximately approx 8% of the total gaming market – and a forecast that this will grow exponentially to $92 bn by 2027 – which is expected to be approximately 50% of the total gaming market – its moment has clearly arrived.

All of this is successfully conveyed by the aforementioned epicness of this commercial as it makes clear that there are all manner of games available in this format. Who knows, perhaps future insurrections in the USA can be avoided by offering dubious patriots the opportunity to storm the Capitol from the benign safety of their mom's basement rather than attempting to upend democracy by participating in an actual coup. On the evidence presented here, said virtual revolutionaries would feel very much part of the action as they overpower the thin blue line protecting the seat of government.

Pons Jewell has successfully conveyed the participative element of this form of gaming with tremendous skill and, in that, he has been brilliantly assisted by the VFX magic of The Mill, and sound designer Lawrence Kendrick at String and Tins. But, beneath all of the smoke and mirrors of the clever post-production, lies a central performance which brings it all together, and that's where Ian Pons Jewell really delivers.


On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

20 Jan 2009
Pfizer is not just protecting its bottom line when it urges us not to buy cloned drugs from the Internet. Apparently such purchases can be a danger to our health as they contain unconventional ingredients (such as rat poison in one extreme case).

"Pack Up Your Troubles"
20 Jan 2014
This promising trail for the BBC's coverage of the centenary of World War I suggests much excellent programming lies ahead. With David Cameron proposing a "celebration" of this year's centenary and seeking to draw parallels with the London Olympics in orer to generate a bit of pre-election feelgood factor, our government is going to do what it can to avoid a thoughtful reflection provoked by this most poignant of anniversaries.

"A New Image"
20 Jan 2014
Well, now: this looks like fun. A brilliantly put-together selection of excerpts suggest up-coming comedy-drama Babylon really is must-see TV. Directed by Danny Boyle and coming "from the creators of Peep Show and Fresh Meat" this fast-paced trail is bound to appeal to anyone who likes their humour a bit edgy. Add Paterson Joseph, Jonny Sweet and James Nesbitt into the mix and you've got something that could cause quite a stir.

St John Ambulance
"Nursery Rhymes"
2 mins 17s
20 Jan 2016
The DAVID household has been intending to take up first aid lessons ever since an incident two years ago involving the near-tragic mis-swallowing of a spring roll, which has now gone down in family lore. This resolve has been strengthened on watching the new spot for the St John Ambulance in which famous nursery characters create a mnemonic song to aid CPR on babies.

"Tough Love, Soft Love"
20 Jan 2016
If you're looking for sympathy on account of your winter cough, good luck finding it from John C McGinley. Well, sort of - it depends which side of the bed you're looking at. Halls assign their menthol and honey variants to two very different spokespeople - both played with gusto by the 'Scrubs' and 'Platoon' actor.

"Sausage Twist"
20 Jan 2016
Hats off to BOLD's Zach Math for going the extra mile with Mike Crowe and Rob Messeter's promising script to create a really funny flight of fantasy. As in the previous ad, someone cooking a fairly pedestrian meal wonders what they can do to make it more exciting and starts day-dreaming. In this execution, a mum starts thinking about eating in the great outdoors... sausages cooked over a naked flame and the whole family ready to enjoy the sense of well-being you get from fresh air and wild possibilities.

Amazon Prime
20 Jan 2020
Nat King Cole’s version of 'Let's Face the Music and Dance' provides a pleasantly vintage soundtrack to this slapstick Amazon Prime commercial, which sees a calamitous birthday unfold in slow-motion. “There may be trouble ahead,” sings Cole, and the legendary crooner ain’t wrong. The reveal, though predictable, earns laughs with a range of memorable facial expressions.

Open University
"Set Your Ambition Free"
20 Jan 2020
This clean, crisp commercial for the Open University starts at the end, so to speak, as former students reap the rewards of their studies. What matters most, however, is the decision to study in the first place. Thus, agency Havas London and director Ivan Bird hit the rewind button and shows the cast’s toil in reverse.

"Speak Up"
20 Jan 2004
This ad provides a powerful portrayal of an abusive parent, and manages to do so without actually showing her on screen. The effect is seen clearly on the face of a boy who doesn't speak a word throughout. His silence allows viewers to focus on the sharp words coming from his mother, cleverly illustrating the idea that talking would help it to stop.

Peugeot 407
"Men Are Back"
20 Jan 2006
It's a Woman's World according to this ad for the new Peugeot 407 Coupé which is shown catching the attention of all the women in this commercial. Plainly men have been banished as we see all the macho jobs such as construction workers and fire fighters have been taken by women.

Virgin Atlantic
20 Jan 2008
It's rare these days for a commercial to successfully describe a problem and then successfully describe a solution to it. But that's exactly what happens here as a rather wan-looking John Hannah talks about the preciousness of time and then explains what Virgin Atlantic has done to help.

20 Jan 2009
A re-edit of a commercial from last year has people holding placards bouncing up towards the camera before the car itself does the same. The black background brings emphasis to proceedings, improving on what was already a strong idea.

Cadbury Crème Eggs
"Egg Slicer"
20 Jan 2009
This year's cruelty commences with a brilliant leap onto some kitchen scales which act as a trampoline enabling the suicidal chocolate egg to dive through an egg slicer and reducing itself to slices of even thickness.

20 Jan 2009
This American ad has more than a little in common with last year's Hovis ad as it attempts to show the role played by Pepsi across the generations. This slightly veers towards an unwise suggestion that Pepsi played a role in the events it depicts.

Chemistry Ireland
"Mad Men Sponsorship"
20 Jan 2010
This series of bumpers bracketing the broadcasts of Mad Men in the Irish Republic do something that's very unusual in advertising... they advertise an advertising agency. But it's an excellent idea... all the more so because it's been pulled off with such aplomb.

Cyber Mentors
"Cyber Bully"
20 Jan 2010
A teenage girl's sense of alienation and isolation is illustrated through a brutal act of self harm in this hard-hitting film warning about the dangers of cyber bullying. There appears to be no limits to Graham Fink's appetite for shock tactics.

The British Family
"The British Family"
20 Jan 2010
The BBC is launching an ambitious examination of the British family and this trail uses a combination of effects to suggest that our homes are a repository of considerable knowledge about us as we pass through them on our journey through life.

"Next Top Model Sponsorship"
20 Jan 2010
The idea that supermodels are catty is rendered literal in this series of bumpers advertising ASOS's sponsorship of America's Next Top Model. They're good fun but cats have English accents, don't they?

20 Jan 2010
A reprise of a technique which has been used for Toyota before shows people unveiling a skin from the car to reveal another beneath. At the end of the journey, the driver is able to pull the entire car away before it can be given a ticket by a traffic warden. If only.

BBC Knowledge
"Eat Up Brain"
20 Jan 2010
This impressive animated ad for BBC Knowledge suggests that it's regretful that we forget 80% of what we learn in any given day. But is it? In reality, we'd be driven insane by retaining all of the data we encounter but it provides a neat basis for a charming commercial.

"Bring It On"
20 Jan 2011
A series of people are ready to face extraordinary challenges after downing a small bottle of the advertised gloop. It appears to have the same property as a gallon of lager to judge by these peoples' displays of ostentatious courageousness.

Visit Scotland
20 Jan 2013
As part of the "Year of Natural Scotland" campaign, this ad provides an excellent portrait of what the country has to offer by way of landscapes and outdoor activities. Impressive scenery, wildlife, and shots of the northern lights are combined with white water rafting, mountain biking and more to communicate that there's a diverse choice to be enjoyed.

Visit Scotland
20 Jan 2013
This does a nice job of conveying what people want from a trip to Scotland, taking in everything from the Orkney's mysterious standing stones to full-on kilt-wearing, castle-based entertainment. It's promoting the "Year of Natural Scotland", so it's not clear how theatre plays a part in that, but to say that's a flaw would just be pedantry.

"Isn't This Life Enough?"
20 Jan 2014
Scottish band Admiral Fallow have adapted their own song Isn't This World Enough? for this feel-good ad for an American power company. It's a heart-warming collage of imagery and successfully conveys the idea that the reliable and easily-controlled energy provided by PPL is something that provides comfort to its customers.

Six Nations
20 Jan 2014
The annual Six Nations rugby tournament is almost upon us and - as usual - the BBC has put together an impressive trail to trumpet its advent. Differently accented-voices from these islands (but alas none from France or Italy) extol the virtues of "rugby's greatest championship*"
* Apart from any involving New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, obvs.

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.