David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Odds and sods.This is a wonderfully daft piece of work from an inspired series of ads for Kwiff which draw attention to a fun proposition... randomly lengthened odds which mean punters will enjoy a windfall if their bet comes in.
    • Relax. Don't Do It.The scene: a fashion show. Models slinking up and down the catwalk. Among them is one with a smile that's electrified rather than electrifying...
    • Music to my fears.Toyota appeal to the paranoia of every parent whose teen is about to hit the road with a freshly minted driving license.
    • Five Favourite... Ad SongsMusical ads have long been an industry mainstay... so here are five of our favourite.
    • What Are The OddsHave you ever spontaneously done something so cool you wish you could replay it endlessly for the benefit of those who missed it?
    • Fire storm.If you're aiming for 'over the top' then it's a good idea to go way over the top as director Isaiah Seret has in this marvellously bombastic film for EDEKA.
    • Agile Films won't PanicAgile Films have signed design and animation studio Panic to their roster.
    • Legend in his own LunchtimeMcDonald's have given their latest 'Chicken Legend' the Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards treatment.
    • A power of good.The striking thing about this moving examination of infertility is the way it demonstrates that online communities can be a force for good.
    • Resisting A RestThis amusing ad for Eve Sleep shows the consequences of not getting a decent night's kip.
    • A crying shame.Tena have stepped their game back up with the return of their laissez faire campaign.
    • Gone Fishin'Visa serve up an excruciating hunt for cash in this summery ad.


Wednesday, 6th September.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How We Made... Macmillans.

● Alicia MacDonald.

● Straight 8.

● Fell.

● John Smith's Penguins.


Brought to you by DAVID REVIEWS and the APA.

Penguin Books
"Let's Talk Fertility"
3 mins 58s
13 August 2017

The striking thing about this moving examination of infertility is the way it demonstrates that online communities can be a force for good.

The testimonies we hear from a variety of people - mostly but not exclusively women - about the way their lives have been blighted by the difficulty of conceiving are linked by a number of common themes and one of the most powerful is the sense of isolation they've felt. So much so that the harmless joy of someone's else's pregnancy becomes a doubled-edged sword as it provides a reminder that it isn't yet 'my turn'.

The online forum established by author Izzy Judd after 'Dare To Dream' - her memoir of fertility treatment - was published, has been a huge source of comfort to the women who participated in this film... and - we assume - to many more besides. Simply finding others who are in the same predicament can provide a huge release and - at a time when every story about online communities seems to involve hatred and violent plots - it's massively gratifying to be reminded that there's another, more positive dimension.

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Eve Sleep
"Sleep Poor"
13 August 2017

This amusing ad for Eve Sleep - the purportedly revolutionary memory foam mattress which claims to eliminate restless sleeping - shows the consequences of not getting a decent night's kip.

The symptoms of being 'sleep poor' are demonstrated by a tired man who makes a hash of his morning and scoffs cake while his cat looks on, perturbed by its own offering of coffee beans instead of kibble. There are some smartly judged comedy beats in here, including a well-timed gulp from the nervous mog.

Eve Sleep's USP is that it offers only one mattress rather than an endless variety of options, and promises your money back if you don't 'join the sleep rich' after using their product. This ad is far more eye-catching than their previous fare, and is sure to make insomniac viewers take a second look... if they can keep their eyes open.

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11 August 2017

After their last Samba-heavy, uh, misstep, Tena have stepped their game back up with the return of their laissez faire campaign. This time the French minx not only ruthlessly breaks her fiancé's heart to demonstrate the absorptive powers of Tena, but we - gasp - actually see a real life sanitary product in an ad. The classy clip maintains the distinctive humour we've come to expect from the brand, bien sur.

For products like this, we often expect to see an older woman cast as spokesperson but it's a case of 'damned if you do and damned if you don't'. Casting a younger, glamorous woman - as they have in this campaign - can feel as though it's increasing the invisibility of older women but casting an older woman can underline a stereotype. So, we say: cast who you damn well please!

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11 August 2017

Visa serve up an excruciating hunt for cash in this summery ad. Assuming he has to pay his cafe bill in the local currency, a hapless holidaymaker hesitates before taking the plunge and reaching for his dosh.

In an astute portrayal of the elaborate lengths tourists can go to in order to conceal their valuables (no family jewels jokes, please), the bloke unzips his trousers and - maintaining eye contact with the unfortunate waiter throughout - delves into the murky depths to fish out the necessary coins.

Director Sam Hibbard has the vibe spot on here, letting the secondhand embarrassment play out with shots of silently disapproving locals which only intensify the awkwardness. The final shot of the waiter laughing hammers the message home: next time, pay by card. Preferably contactless.

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Another superhero for Rogue.

Barney Richard has become the latest high profile arrival at Rogue in their bid to recruit all of London's top sales and marketing people.

It's just a few months since Orlando Wood first parked his scooter alongside Charlie Crompton's silver dream machine at Rogue HQ but with both Carnage - their specialist car division - and US affiliate O Positive to promote, they have added yet more beef to their sales team.



On This Day

Land Rover
17 Aug 2009
A clever technique is used to depict the Land Rover in a sequence of photographs. The photos join up to form the car itself before trailing outside to where it's sat on the driveway of a suburban house. Just the kind of 4x4 driver we all love, eh?

BBC School Season
"Space Oddity"
17 Aug 2010
An utterly charming film to advertise a new series of school-based programmes on the BBC. David Bowie's Space Oddity plays as a boy is prepared for school by his mother... rather unusually being placed inside a space suit as he ventures out of the house.

"History Made & In The Making"
17 Aug 2011
Archive footage is used to prove there's nothing new under the sun in this impressive commercial for Converse. Each piece of older footage is duplicated with a new offering that echoes the past... a neat conceit backed beautifully by an excellent soundtrack.

"Paint The Town Black"
17 Aug 2012
In this impressive commercial for Guinness, the town is painted black as a tribute to Arthur Guinness. The inhabitants go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that everything they own reflects the colour of the day. It's part of a campaign designed to draw greater attention to an annual event which began in 2009.

"Selfie Improvement"
17 Aug 2014
Dell presses home the case for it to be regarded as a provider of fun in its latest US ad. The protagonist is an advocate for selfies and she helps others fulfil their potential in this vital realm of self-expression. It's a beautifully dry piece with the contribution from the central character's grandmother proving an especially neat addition.

"Vincent Kompany"
17 Aug 2015
While football fandom can be associated with the very worst behaviour, when you see its endearing side caught as beautifully as it has been in this commercial for Telenet, you can't help but be bathed in a warm glow. (If that sentence doesn't ring true for you then you might want to look away now as it seems really unlikely that you're going to 'get' this on any level.)

Scouts Association
2 mins 20s
17 Aug 2015
This tender film about dementia focuses on an elderly couple who - on first impression - seem absolutely fine. They reminisce about how they met; they smile a lot. She jokes about his big feet. But this well-dressed woman can't manage alone - her illness means she can't form any short term memories and day-to-day life is impossible without help.

"Resistance is Futile"
17 Aug 2016
Superb 60-second ads are a pleasure... but when a spot manages to be absolutely note-perfect in just 30", we get an extra frisson of delight. So what better way to start the week than with this simple but brilliantly executed ad for Sheba? A man in the throes of a passionate encounter is rendered helpless by the telepathic commands of his cat - and whether you love these feline dictators or not, it's impossible not to laugh at this scenario.

Australian Defense Force
"What Is Up?"
17 Aug 2016
This compelling film for the Royal Australian Air Force takes us back to the age when the only way was up and everything called for tilting your head back. A youngster watches anime fighter jets and strives to complete his first full pull-up. Once he's done that, he conquers more hills and challenges before he's ready to look his aviation dream in the eye.

"The Boy Who Breaks Everything"
17 Aug 2016
Subaru choose a lovely way to communicate their Legacy model's enduring properties by introducing us to a child whose mere touch turns lifetime guarantees to dust. Everything the poor boy touches at home, at school, and on the street somehow malfunctions in quietly spectacular fashion. Great if you're a kid after some free candy, but not so great if you can't open a door, turn on a light, or play on a bouncy castle without causing a fuss.

Channel 4
"Most Sensitive Part"
17 Aug 2005
A slightly saucy execeution in this winning campaign has the celebrities naming their most sensitive body part... Among the answers is a very candid "penis" from Matthew Fox who plays superdoc Jack in the US TV series Lost.

"Tile Paint"
17 Aug 2005
The routine is so well established now that the woman in this ad does not even need to complete the line. These commercials are made for very little money but that's all they need to be thanks to the extraordinary power of the "does exactly what it says on the tin" line.

Archers Vea
"Plantation Workers"
17 Aug 2005
Amusing ad shows how workers from a sugar plantation are being retrained now that Archers Vea has less sugar in it. We see them being put through a variety of unlikely "career refreshment" opportunities that include dolphin training and weather broadcasting.

"Prison Yard"
17 Aug 2005
Alexander Armstrong reprises his role as the oblivious twit trying to teach decorum in the most unlikely of circumstances. Here he tries to teach prisoners in the jail yard how to eat a burger without squirting tomato ketchup on their shoes.

"Blood Pressure"
17 Aug 2005
Using a graphical technique that brings to mind the First Direct commercials and offers great emphasis to the message a man explains how his doctor warned him about high blood pressure when he went to see him about his knee and that Flora can help.

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
"Ozzies Stir"
17 Aug 2006
Impressionist Jon Culshaw reprises his Ozzy Osbourne turn alongside the real thing in the latest short for the ridiculously named I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. Not only do the ads in this series raise a laugh, it is genuinely difficult to tell which one is the real thing. Which is the point really.

Johnson's Baby Naturals
17 Aug 2006
More fairies here (fairies are definitely the theme of the month) as they dance in a Johnson's wonderland where everything looks magical (probably because it has been transformed by the chemical contents of the products being advertised). Appealing animation though.

Blood Donation
17 Aug 2008
A highly effective appeal to people in Scotland in which a man admits that it hadn't occurred to him to donate blood until it was his own brother who was in need. While acknowledging that he has no right to ask, he nonetheless urges us to step up to the plate. DAVID is rolling up his sleeve even as he types this.

"Chicken Pox"
17 Aug 2008
Either side of the weather forecast, the 118 boys demonstrate their ability to answer our questions... in this case, the question of young Holly who is suffering from Chicken Pox. She wants to know how contagious it is and, presumably, she has never heard of the Internet so she uses 118-118 instead.

National Express
"Medieval Fight"
17 Aug 2008
You may be growing tired of hearing this from us, but advertising which delivers an effective message within the constraints of a smaller budget looks set to become a motif over the next couple of years... and this is one of the campaigns that's delivering on that front. Here the horseplay is swordplay... or is it the other way round?

Knorr Sidekicks
17 Aug 2009
This amusing Canadian ad has a conceptual flaw. A novelty cruet dispenser is upset when he discovers that there's 25% less sodium in the advertised product but doesn't that make it more likely that he'll be used?

"Something For Everyone"
17 Aug 2009
According to this ad, frittering away your life savings online is as much fun as living on a tropical island. It's all a bit tongue-in-cheek but you can't help feeling that ads for online gambling ought to be a good deal more responsible.

Road Safety
17 Aug 2009
This road safety ad appears to suggest that the police have magical powers. Apparently, your eyes will give you away if you've been taking drugs and the cops can even spot pupil dilation through a window covered with beads of rainwater at night. Superheroes or what?

"Check It Out"
17 Aug 2010
When a script is as simple as this, it's a pretty good idea to use every trick in the book to inject a bit of dynamism and a great deal of effort has gone into this commercial... and it works.

Kit Kat
"Heart-Shaped Sandwich"
17 Aug 2010
A woman goes to extraordinary lengths to make a heart-shaped sandwich for her son's lunch box but all she really needed to do was slip a Kit Kat inside. Not the chocolate confectionery's finest hour, in fairness.

On This Day

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