David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Pit StopStraight-talking Aussie health insurance provider AHM offer medical insurance 'you might actually use'.
    • Up in the air... ish.Acrophobes have nothing to fear in this diverting Thatchers commercial.
    • More Than OkayThese ads for Okay created by Publicis and directed by Fat Lemon's Fern Berresford offer bite-sized chunks of comedy in just 15" apiece.
    • Ricky Staub joins Great Guns.Great Guns have signed American filmmaker and entrepreneur Ricky Staub for international representation.
    • A Little RespectPride London have released a timely series of films to coincide with the start of the capital's Pride festival.
    • Allison and Boville's Superhumans 'mic drop' ends Cannes Festivities.The Cannes Festival ended with a British triumph once again as Channel 4's Superhumans promo picked up the Film Grand Prix.
    • Ain't Nuttin' WrongBMB have aired the first KP Nuts ad campaign for twenty-four years with this fun film.
    • Everyone's for drinks.Martini’s 2016 comeback claimed that time was only currency that mattered. Now they return to the theme with this Italian caper.
    • Line dancing.Aaron Paul takes his cardio routine up a notch in this Vitaminwater commercial.
    • Thirsty work.As much of the UK bakes, Robinsons launch their latest variant - a flavoured water called Refresh’d.
    • Straight 8's Cannes Shoot OutThere's a lot at stake in the Straight 8's Industry Shoot Out this Friday in Cannes.
    • Five Favourite... LGBT AdsSeeing as it's Pride Month, we've compiled some of our favourite LGBT-themed ads from 2017.
    • Meet the Homespun Yarns finalists.Four is the magic number as Homespun Yarns unveils its quartet of finalists.
    • Another Film Company for Lee J FordAnother Film Company have signed director Lee J Ford to their roster.
    • Kicking adversity up the jacksy.The name Margrét Lára Viðarsdóttir might not mean a great deal to you but after watching this sparkling film for Icelandair, you might want to look her up.
    • I still love to boogie.Following 2015’s Sir Trevor McDonald retrospective, Vision Express now invite Dame Julie Walters to look back on her career.

THE BLACK BOX

ALICE:

Isn't it revolting to see everyone bragging about the parties they're going to in Cannes?

JASON:

Um...

ALICE:

By staying away you send a strong message of disapproval.It makes me proud of you.

JASON:

Yeah, um... about that...

ALICE:

And - let's face it - because of what you've said in the past... if you went now, you'd look like a complete twat.

DAVID GOES TO CANNES. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.


Vitaminwater
"Gym Squeeze"
45s
21 June 2017

Aaron Paul takes his cardio routine up a notch in this Vitaminwater commercial. The actor observes his fellow gym patrons toiling alongside him. Luckily, he’s got a bottled of Zero Squeezed handy. One swig later, the treadmill becomes his dancefloor. Keep moving, or else.

Breaking Bad fans may raise an eyebrow at his drink selection. After all, Paul’s Jesse Pinkman coined the immortal phrase: “Gatorade me, bitch!” Still, he delivers a tight dance routine. Not as strong as Lucozade’s own treadmill superstar perhaps, but diverting nonetheless.

The Coca-Cola-owned brand has received plenty of attention for its high-sugar content. No wonder Paul’s got a skip in his step. Whether the Zero variant sways health-conscious consumers remains to be seen, but the beverage delivers a fun workout.

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Robinsons Refresh'd
"Endless Straw"
30s
19 June 2017

Feeling parched? You’re not the only one. As much of the UK bakes, Robinsons launch their latest variant - a flavoured water called Refresh’d.

When this woman takes a slurp, her straw embarks on a countrywide mission. The intrepid tube pierces succulent apples and raspberries before hoovering some H2O. And you thought your crazy straw was impressive.

It’s neatly done, with Academy’s Conkerco producing a whimsical treatment. The ad also manages to suggest that Robinsons go further to provide refreshment - reassuring to know in these temperatures. Together with their Wimbledon sponsorship, this should strengthen the brand’s summer push.

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Straight 8's Cannes Shoot Out

There's a lot at stake for the companies competing in the Straight 8 Industry Shoot Out this Friday. Organiser Ed Sayers has persuaded some of the best known companies in the world to throw their hats into the ring and each and every one of them will be hoping they have created the winning film.

Straight 8 is a unique challenge. Entrants are sent a single cartridge of Super 8 film which they must use as their canvas. Because the film has to be returned to the organisers before it is developed, the competitors have no idea how well their shoot has gone until it is shown on the big screen. Worse still, there is no editing and no post production... everything must be done in sequence and in camera. The sound is created separately... generating a further opportunity for things to go awry.

There are still tickets available (just £10) for the screening in Cannes which is being held at Cinéma Les Arcades on Friday 23rd June 2017 at 11:00 with all ticket proceeds going to the Fireflies' chosen charity Bloodwise.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Five Favourite... LGBT Ads

Seeing as it's Pride Month, we've compiled some of our favourite LGBT-themed ads from 2017.

In a world where Facebook features a rainbow 'like' button and Pride filters are available for every social media profile picture, it can feel like LGBT culture has finally hit the mainstream. However, it's still rare for ads to focus on queer characters beyond a brief glimpse as part of a line-up of diversity, and many representations still fall back on tokenism and stereotypes.

So let's celebrate some of the best queer-focused content we've seen this year: films which have gone above and beyond the norm and embraced diverse narratives.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Meet the Homespun Yarns finalists.

Four is the magic number as Homespun Yarns unveils its quartet of finalists.

Now in its fourth year, Homespun and Stitch’s short film competition continues to go from strength to strength. Following another successful call for entries, organisers are pleased to announce this year’s finalists.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

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Five Star Work

Thatchers
"Hot Air Balloon"
40s
24 Jun 2017
Acrophobes have nothing to fear in this diverting Thatchers commercial. Gliding into view, the cider maker’s spokesman asks what use passable cider is to discerning drinkers. As much use as a low-low-altitude hot air balloon, of course. Relaxed and eccentric, the ad picks a roundabout way of conveying the Thatchers ethos.

Martini
"La Dolce Vita"
60s
22 Jun 2017
Martini’s 2016 comeback claimed that time was only currency that mattered. Now they return to the theme with this Italian caper. We see some fleet-footed revellers converge on a drinks party. Rome may be famous for its traffic jams, but nothing will delay their tipple. It looks and sounds the part, with director Autumn de Wilde and DP Luca Bigazzi delivering a classy aperitivo.

Icelandair
"Unstoppable"
80s
19 Jun 2017
The name Margrét Lára Viðarsdóttir might not mean a great deal to you but after watching this sparkling film for Icelandair, you might want to look her up. If you do, you'll discover that with 77 goals from 115 games, she is the leading goalscorer for Iceland's national football team... and she makes a brief appearance in this ad.

Shiseido
"Natural Beauty"
60s
19 Jun 2017
Any filmmaker will tell you nature has no respect for production schedules. However, patience pays off in this elegant ad for Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido. Eschewing beauty models and haughty testimonials, the ad fuses green fingers with sophisticated tech. Sensors and probes capture nature at work before converting their findings into art: a centrepiece which ‘grows’ before our eyes.

New Zealand Human Rights Commission
"How to Be Racist"
1 min 50s
16 Jun 2017
Rather than champion arts funding or plug his upcoming films, Taika Waititi uses his New Zealander of the Year victory to promote another, er, worthy cause: racism. Through a helpful FAQ session, Waititi outlines how would-be racists can pitch in. There’s no need for grand gestures, though - a little racism goes a long way.

Blind Date
"The Old Ways"
60s
15 Jun 2017
This lovely promo for Channel 5’s Blind Date is an ode to dating rituals. Archive footage and classic animation showcase courting across the decades: prom night nerves, cheesy chat-up lines, the ol’ yawn and reach… sometimes, the classics are the best. Five’s poet-in-residence makes an entertaining case for the programme’s return.

AIME
"Cogs"
2 mins 30s
15 Jun 2017
This beautifully animated film for AIME - an Australian organisation which runs a mentorship programme for disadvantaged Indigenous students - poignantly demonstrates that it only takes initiative and care to start fixing a broken system. We see two boys on very different paths in life: one predestined to work in a dark, industrial world, the other existing on a much more pleasant side of town.

Vigorsol
"Air Action"
45s
14 Jun 2017
Virgosol return with a characteristically kooky film to advertise the coolness of their chewing gum. A satisfying play on words underpins the premise here, as a man chewing the Virgosol gum transforms into the epitome of cool, taking different forms depending on whose gaze he's under. The transformations are nicely executed, with satisfying attention to detail which definitely warrants a second watch.

Toyota
"Go Places"
1 min 42s
12 Jun 2017
Toyota have released a series of strange new cinema ads which take the brand's 'Let's Go Places' slogan to a whole new level. From Saatchi & Saatchi and director Vania Heymann, the absorbing vignettes appear to take place in an uncanny universe slightly left of ours. The first film focuses on a woman who has an unusual reaction to being overtaken by multiple cars...

Finish
"I Love Doing Dishes!"
75s
12 Jun 2017
Benjamin Franklin famously said that 'nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes'... and doing the washing up, according to Finish. They dive back into the existential angst in this musical ad, examining the relentless cycle of dish-doing through a forcibly-cheery musical number. The contrast between quasi-upbeat music and dark, surreal visuals lets us know all is not well in dish-land.

McDonald's
"Do Donken"
60s
8 Jun 2017
As Britain clamours for a new identity after our fit of Brexit pique which has the rest of the world characterising us a nation of self-harming buffoons, we could do worse than look to Sweden for inspiration. Here is a country which takes pride in multiculturalism without adding bigoted caveats to appease racists and a country which prides its ability to collect tax from wealthy companies to fund a well-resourced safety net for the less fortunate member of society.

Skyn
"Love Everywhere"
50s
6 Jun 2017
This ad for condom brand Skyn is tons of fun. Well, not as much fun as its featured characters are having, but still astutely constructed and executed with a huge amount of confidence by directorial duo Truman & Cooper. The pair recently made a similarly successful ad for Durex... we can think of worse nicknames than the Condom Boys if they keep turning out work this good.

AA
"Singing Baby"
60s
2 Jun 2017
Sometimes the best special effects are the most understated. The VFX work carried out by The Mill to manipulate the mouth of the toddler who appears to be singing Tina Turner's 'Proud Mary' is pretty subtle and will leave much of the audience believing that they're witnessing an extraordinary performance by a child prodigy.

Heineken
"The Final Excuse"
80s
2 Jun 2017
Ahead of the Champions' League Final, Jose Mourinho has a mission... to track down the last man who has decided he cannot watch with his friends. Working at a remote Arctic sub-station is no excuse as far as the 'special one' is concerned and he sends him on his way to the stadium where his friends are waiting.

Irn Bru
"Unbelievable"
30s
2 Jun 2017
Is there another brand whose advertising is as relentlessly edgy as Irn Bru's? Scotland's 'other national drink' has always presented itself as the cheeky outsider and the latest instalment generated by Barr's long-running relationship with Edinburgh's Leith Agency suggests they're as committed to irreverence as the day they established their reputation as a challenger brand.

Spectrum
"Poker"
60s
1 Jun 2017
Spectrum - a US-based TV streaming service - devote a good chunk of this interesting ad to bashing their direct competition, the fittingly named DirecTV. TV without a comprehensive collection of channels - not to mention the ability to pause the action - is evil, according to Spectrum, and these particular poker players should know all about evil.

Macmillan
"Dad"
60s
1 Jun 2017
'Brave' is a word bandied about too often within the advertising industry. Perspective is provided by the bravery of the characters depicted in this campaign for Macmillan... but it can also genuinely be used to describe the decisions taken by VCCP and Outsider's Jim Gilchrist when making it.

Infiniti
"Driving Test"
60s
31 May 2017
This empowering film by Nick Ball has a young woman facing a driving test with confidence bordering on recklessness. Instead of nervously negotiating the course - as one might expect - she uses an array of tricks which appear to loosen the contents of the examiner's colon as he tries to hide the terror he's experiencing in the passenger seat.

Gatorade
"G-Active"
60s
31 May 2017
With a 75% share of the sports drink market in the USA, Gatorade isn't really competing against other products in their sector... they're competing against tap water. And this brilliantly executed piece of 'in camera' work demonstrates a willingness to take the fight to H2O and kick its ass.

UEFA Women's Football
"Come Play"
1 min 37s
31 May 2017
Ahead of the 2017 UEFA Women's Champions League final, Europe’s football bigwigs release this pacy film designed to help women’s football kick on. Jumping between multiple matches and kickabouts, the action always returns to one protagonist. After making her debut, animated flourishes convey her growing confidence.

Macmillan
"Lover"
60s
30 May 2017
Change is inevitable, especially when cancer is involved - but Macmillan believes it shouldn’t change everything. This hard-hitting film reminds us that there’s more to a patient than the diagnosis. We watch a couple cuddle in bed as the early morning light seeps in. The ad lingers on this scene of domestic bliss… until we’re told one of them has cancer.

Lacoste
"Timeless"
90s
29 May 2017
This extraordinarily beautiful film by Academy's Seb Edwards takes the idea of an unstoppable connection between a man and a woman and paints an exquisite picture of timeless longing. Using a piece of music - 'November' by Max Richter - which will sound familiar to fans of underrated TV drama 'The Leftovers', this film has a man pursuing a woman across the ages after he bumps into her at a railway station.

Jaguar
"Project 8"
65s
30 May 2017
Even if you’re unfamiliar with Jaguar’s previous seven projects, this high-octane film suggests Project 8 is worth investigating further. The vehicle in question comes from the marque’s Special Vehicle Operations division - sure enough, it's car advertising meets black ops. For Jaguar, it’s about convincing motoring enthusiasts the brand can let loose like the best of them.

RNLI
"Float to Live"
60s
28 May 2017
In stressful situations we are often guided by our instincts - but how reliable are they? This film for the RNLI demonstrates that they can be insanely unhelpful. When we find ourselves suddenly immersed in freezing water, our instincts push us towards a series of actions perfectly designed to kill us.

Palace Skateboards
"Snake"
60s
25 May 2017
Palace Skateboards celebrate opening their first store outside the UK - in New York, no less - with this impressive ad. Jonah Hill returns (although sadly not via green screen) to complain about how little he was paid for his last, disastrous outing for the brand... only to be stopped in his tracks by a giant metal snake. Has there ever been a more enjoyable tagline than "You're in my house now, motherfuckers"?

Five Star Work

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