David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Touching From a DistanceThis stripped-back ad from Channel 4 demonstrates how the commercial industry is adapting to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
    • Uncommon enlist Jonas Roth and Rasmus Smith Bech.Danish creative duo Jonas Roth and Rasmus Smith Bech have joined the ranks at Uncommon.
    • Darling Films welcome Daniel Skoglund.New signing Daniel Skoglund brings a “slick visual universe” to the table, according to Darling Films.
    • Virus Crisis Podcast: Sascha Darroch-DaviesWe talk to DLMDD's Sascha Darroch-Davies.
    • Man vs NatureGardening gets the action movie treatment in this enticing outing for Honda.
    • The royal treatment.Cautiously optimistic racing fans can take heart from this 60” plug for Royal Ascot 2020.
    • An important takeaway.Chat shows as we know them have quickly become a thing of the past, but ITV stalwarts Ant and Dec are keeping things ticking over.
    • Virus Crisis Podcast: Steve Davies and Toby TomkinsAs we enter a new week of the virus crisis, we get the lowdown from the APA's Steve Davies and Cheat's Toby Tomkins.
    • Mum's the word.Such unprecedented times make this Not On The High Street commercial all the more affecting.
    • Last call.This emotionally charged short film evokes ‘Bronson’ and ‘Starred Up’ in its depiction of solitary confinement.
    • Going for GoldOlympic sponsors Bridgestone take an unusual approach with this introspective film starring Taekwondo silver medalist Lutalo Muhammad.
    • Virus Crisis Podcast: James Sindle and Sorcha ShepherdIn the second of our virus crisis podcasts, we hear from James Sindle of ETC and Sorcha Shepherd of Caviar.
    • Pundersons Gardens: a view from the bunker.DAVID speaks with Pundersons Gardens executive producer Thomas Viney.
    • Balls to that.Over two years after his acclaimed ‘Madness’ spot for McDonald’s, director Tony Barry returns for another playful jibe at try-hard coffee shops.
    • Ready to rumble.Dance-fighting teens may not be the first thing that comes to mind in regards to home insurance, but this amusing ad for Canadian firm Belair Direct may just forge a link.
    • Bucks tizz.Comedians Jack Whitehall and Michael Dapaah explore deepest, darkest Buckinghamshire to promote Google’s new Pixel 4 handset.


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Not On The High Street
"Mother's Day"
22 March 2020

To say that Mother’s Day 2020 was unusual would be a wild understatement. Countless afternoon teas and family get-togethers were scrubbed by the threat of Covid-19, only for technology and improvisation to save the day.

Such unprecedented times make this Not On The High Street commercial all the more affecting, as director Andrea Kapos gathers sons and daughters on a sofa to describe what makes their mums tick. You’d be surprised how many flunk the date of birth test.

The overall result, however, is a warm and well-cast reminder of the brand’s personalised mantra. More crucially, it’s a welcome slice of normality as the concept of family life changes on a daily basis.

Short Films
4 mins 34s
22 March 2020

This emotionally charged short film evokes ‘Bronson’ and ‘Starred Up’ in its depiction of solitary confinement. Co-director Neil Linpow (who also stars and writes) turns a prison cell into a confessional, as a man tries to make peace with his family before a riot knocks on his door.

We don’t know what crime(s) Linpow’s felon has committed; what we do know is that his only defence is the sharpened end of a toothbrush. Over the course of one bittersweet phone call to his son, however, it’s clear whose survival matters most.

Linpow sells this dire resignation well, as the battered and bruised Joyce gauges the approaching storm while putting on his best ‘daddy’ voice when it’s needed most. Aided by some fiercely intimate camerawork, this is a grimly enthralling narrative debut.

"Every Second Counts"
3 mins 20s
22 March 2020

Olympic sponsors Bridgestone take an unusual approach with this introspective film starring Taekwondo silver medalist Lutalo Muhammad. Rather than take a look at the soaring heights of sporting success, the brand instead focus on the disappointment of losing - particularly, what can be learned from failure.

The topic is especially poignant under the current circumstances, as Tokyo 2020 teeters on the verge of being cancelled and it seems increasingly unlikely that Muhammad will get his second shot at gold. Regardless, this film offers an important contrast to the high-octane, achievement focused trend - saying instead that it's not falling that matters, but how you pick yourself back up.

Virus Crisis Podcast: James Sindle and Sorcha Shepherd

In the second of our virus crisis podcasts, we hear from James Sindle of ETC and Sorcha Shepherd of Caviar. Both are working out strategies for their companies as the advertising industry comes to terms with the slowdown prompted by the need to quarantine. Indeed, both spoke to us from within their own homes as they responsibly self-isolate.


Pundersons Gardens: a view from the bunker.

Pundersons Gardens executive producer Thomas Viney describes their HQ as “sort of a brutalist bunker that’s been built in the back gardens of some Victorian terraced houses.” It also has a courtyard where a dog endearingly has free rein.



Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

"Power On"
24 Mar 2020
Gardening gets the action movie treatment in this enticing outing for Honda. The brand focus on their range of mowers and other plant-pruning apparatus, as they encourage gardeners with stamina to get stuck in. Given the current circumstances, there may be a lot of passionate new plant-tacklers joining the fray.

"Princess Party (Director's Cut)"
16 Mar 2020
Dragons typically get a bad rap when princesses are involved. Not so in this charming Very.co.uk ad, which handily reinforces the retailer’s progressive approach to playtime. A girl is crestfallen when she’s invited to a ‘princess party’, as she prefers the scaly, fire-breathing type. Luckily, her dad is a supportive bloke… and a demon with a sewing machine.

"War on Carbon"
16 Mar 2020
While the threat of climate change may feel like an insurmountable burden when faced with the cold hard facts, there is hope to be had. Ovo focus on that proactive attitude in their latest ad, which addresses the ongoing and essential 'war on carbon'. The film focuses on togetherness and the collective power of humans to enact meaningful change,

Apple AirPods
1 min 57s
13 Mar 2020
This transformative commercial for Apple sees a woman's hectic walk through the city changed into something far more fantastical. Director Kim Gehrig plays with colour to great effect here, switching between neon and day-glo sequences of escapism and muted excursions into the everyday world when reality intrudes.

"Getting to the Start Line"
13 Mar 2020
A typically motivational outing for Nike focuses on world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith. The track star discusses her physical and mental preparations for Tokyo 2020, along with the impact training at her familiar home ground has on both her mental and emotional state. This is a lovely insight into the high-performance mindset - regardless of whether the coming Olympics happen on time or not.

Club de Creativos
1 min 46s
12 Mar 2020
Husbands, wives, and significant others bemoan their partners’ choice of career in this droll ad for Spanish advertising union Club de Creativos. Having been left in the lurch once too often, the cast leap at the chance to savage radio silence, talking shop, and umpteen late nights. Naturally, it’s the off-screen lot who earn the organisation’s sympathy.

"A Car Right Up Your Street"
12 Mar 2020
This restrained outing from Gumtree encourages car buyers to look local first. Director Charlotte Regan goes for a light touch here, as a young boy delivers a rhyming script which outlines the brand's unique proposition: vehicles nearby, already tested on local streets, easily accessible for the consumer when time is at a premium.

Direct Line
6 Mar 2020
Direct Line round off their cinematic trilogy with this CG-heavy slice of action starring ‘Transformers’ staple Bumblebee - the world’s most kitted-out Volkswagen Beetle. This time, however, Decepticons are the least of his worries. Like RoboCop and Donatello before him, Bumblebee is compelled to help a policyholder in need.

"Idiots Are Amazing"
11 Mar 2020
Since we're living in an unprecedented age of idiots, it seems only right that Fanta pay such everyday daredevils the proper respect. A little stupidity can go a long way, say the brand, as we see a trio of entrepreneurial eejits preparing to risk life and limb for the sake of a laugh. Cue a guy in a giraffe suit, a waterless diver, and a wheelbarrow pilot.

Community Clothing
"Northern Soul"
10 Mar 2020
This kinetic commercial for Community Clothing celebrates one of the most striking features of the North - its sense of social togetherness. While the South is renowned for abruptness and chilly public attitude (and Scotland and Wales have their own distinct codes of behaviour), this film makes one thing very clear: it's right friendly up North.

"Night Workers"
9 Mar 2020
The unsung heroes of the night take centre stage in this latest ad for McDonald's. No, not Batman and his cohort - the stars here are the early shift workers, all-night standby staff, and everyone in-between who keep things running while the rest of the world is asleep. There's been a trend for ads staring invisible protagonists lately, but director Sam Brown brings his own flair to proceedings.

9 Mar 2020
This daring piece of work for Tena picks up where Dove left off and delivers something even more compelling. Produced by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Merman, the ad has plenty to say about sex, ageing, and incontinence, and goes about it in a mature, textured, and even flirty manner. Bolstered by grainy, intimate visuals and strong casting, this may in fact be awkward or challenging viewing for some.

"Where There Are Cooks, There is Hope"
9 Mar 2020
The state of the world may seem dire at present, but fear not: an army of cooks are ready to save us. At least, according to this intriguing commercial for Lurpak, which celebrates the creativity, care, and and commitment that goes into nourishing the ones we love - body and soul alike. Enough to make the late Rutger Hauer proud.

Department of Health & Social Care
"Our NHS People"
9 Mar 2020
The unsung heroes who keep the NHS running through thick and thin are celebrated in this touching ad from the Department of Health & Social Care. From providing life-saving critical care at the scene of an accident to making the time to chat about a patient's worries, this film covers a wide range of positions and services in a respectful 60".

Direct Line
6 Mar 2020
2014’s ‘RoboCop’ was a slick but soulless remake of Paul Verhoeven’s Eighties classic. Next to have a crack at the crime-fighting cyborg are Direct Line of all people, who place Alex Murphy firmly in non-lethal mode. This will no doubt upset gorehounds who prefer to see limbs blown off and people melted by toxic waste.

"From the Grounds Up"
4 mins 06s
5 Mar 2020
While we’re far from the ‘Just Say No’ days of trying to convince kids that bad behaviour isn’t cool on adult word alone, there are few schemes which effectively harness the power of peer pressure to influence positive change. This ad for Nike shines a light on one such scheme, as former convict and football enthusiast Bobby Kasanga explains his efforts to keep kids out of gang life since his release from prison.

DB Export
"That's Why"
4 Mar 2020
While heavy drinking may seem as entrenched in Western cultures as racism and panicked responses to exaggerated headlines, there's been a distinct shift towards buying low or no-alcohol drinks over the past few years. This entertaining Kiwi ad focuses on one such product: DB Export's 0.0% brew.

"Flavour Dimension"
3 Mar 2020
This anime-inspired commercial for Wagamama celebrates the chain's ties to Japanese culture. Tactile animation focuses on the experience of dining out, as a woman gets ready to treat herself to dinner at the same time as a chef puts love and talent into preparing her meal. Things then take a decidedly fantastical turn after she samples said dish...

"The Most Beautiful Place on Earth"
3 Mar 2020
This 45” ad for German mail order company Otto is a low-key treat. Directed by filmmaking team Edward Lovelace and James Hall aka D.A.R.Y.L., their latest captures the moment when we shut the front door on the world and reacquaint ourselves with home. The result is a piece of quietly persuasive work from the German market.

"You're Our Headline Act"
2 Mar 2020
At first glance, this O2 commercial suggests that the brand have well and truly gone to the dark side. In fact, it’s difficult to spot the protagonist amidst the gloom initially. To make matters worse, his network phone battery dies… but that’s where a certain oxygenated network provider step in. As Michael Kiwanuka’s ‘Light’ sets the tone, the man is suddenly elevated to headliner status.

"Catching Crooks The Kids Way"
28 Feb 2020
Childrens' imaginations have always been the secret sauce in Lego's enduring success - generations have projected their own games onto the versatile blocks, constructing and destroying entire worlds with the glee that only childhood fantasy can produce. This latest commercial celebrates that in charming fashion, bringing such games to life in a slick, polished manner.

"Be The Meister"
27 Feb 2020
The strikingly original piece for Jägermeister successfully cements the idea that this brand is a nexus of hedonism. Opening on a pair of DJs blasting a new vibe into the ether, the film takes us on a journey which suggests that life can be a whole lot more fun when filtered through the prism of the advertised drink.

Apple Arcade
"A New World to Play In"
27 Feb 2020
Fantasy and reality meet in entertainingly odd ways in this new commercial for the Apple Arcade platform. The fruit-based giant’s stab at mobile gaming promises users more high-quality games than they can handle - with regular updates to help keep things ticking along - and that abundance of content is reflected in the sheer variety of scenarios crammed into this 60" ad.

"The Tower"
27 Feb 2020
Volvo Trucks president Roger Alm is on top of the world in this rain-soaked commercial… or four of his company’s heavy-duty vehicles, at least. And we thought higher-ups like Alm never left the comfort of their desks. The trench coat-wearing Swede proves us wrong by embracing the elements like a middle-aged rain god.

Girls. Girls. Girls.
"Be a Lady, They Said!"
2 mins 51s
27 Feb 2020
Cynthia Nixon is a canny choice of spokeswoman for this hard-hitting film which illustrates, unflinchingly, that women simply cannot win. Mixed messages aren't just present in society, but woven into the fabric of everyday interactions in such a way that women can't escape them from the moment they're identified as female in utero.

Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

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