David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Dad's gone Ferrell.Will Ferrell stars in this film encouraging all of us to spend less time staring at our mobile phones when we should be communing with our families.
    • Horror show.As we've said before, giffgaff is to Halloween as John Lewis is to Christmas. Each year they put themselves under pressure to create something even more spectacular and in 2017, they've once again succeeded.
    • Neigh luck, mate.This Nissan ad offers a zany spin on horsepower. When this bloke’s truck conks out, he struggles to motivate the equine workforce under the bonnet.
    • Skip to it.Veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald still has a skip in his step, according to this Bose commercial.
    • Musical fares.TUI née Thomson must have wondered: “How do we celebrate our new name?”. Why, with Chaka Khan, of course.
    • Fight Like An EgyptianThe unstoppable Daniel Wolfe offers a live action take on the world of Assassin's Creed Origins in this dramatic ad.
    • Ben Leeves is welcomed to Jungle.Sound designer Ben Leeves is starting a new phase of his career after a move to Jungle.
    • Pensions in ParadiseSwedish insurance providers AMF take a surreal approach in this entertaining ad for their pension plan.
    • (Un)dead useful advice.It’s a modern conversation staple: “What would you do in a zombie apocalypse”? Well, Joe Wilkinson has got us covered.
    • City of stars.With ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ on the horizon, this Broadway-inspired commercial urges us to “do the Odyssey”.
    • Follow The LeaderMars have released a series of short horror films to coincide with the spookiest month of the year.

CRAFTWORKS

Wednesday, 11th October.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How we made... BT Sport.

● Ian Derry.

● The Bake-Off Challenge.

● Believe's Michel & Nico.

● The Dambusters Renuion.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


Super Mario Odyssey
"Jump Up, Super Star!"
1 min 40s
19 October 2017

Mario has come a long way from his 8-bit origins. Since making the leap into 3D, Nintendo’s mascot has toured the universe and elsewhere. With ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ on the horizon, this Broadway-inspired commercial urges us to “do the Odyssey”.

Set in the game’s New Donk City level, Partizan’s Warren Fu blends live-action and CG to jolly effect. Promo specialist Fu handles a sizable cast - he even coaxes a sprightly performance from the venerable plumber.

The game’s theme song delivers, too. ‘Jump Up, Super Star!’ conveys the title’s sandbox freedom with toe-tapping charm. Amidst autumn’s glut of first-person shooters and adults-only fare, Nintendo’s flagship platformer offers pure escapism.

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Skittles
"Floor 9.5"
2 mins
13 October 2017

Mars have released a series of short horror films to coincide with the spookiest month of the year... and they're bloody good. With minimal product placement and a two minute running time, each 'bite sized' chunk of horror promises to chill audiences to the bone.

'Floor 9.5' - sponsored by Skittles - takes a new approach to the idea of being followed. A woman trying to leave work gets stuck between floors on the lift, only for the doors to open on something she doesn't expect...

It's an unusual take on a familiar concept, with sparse visuals and a minimal soundtrack contributing to the psychological terror. We won't spoil the twist, but needless to say we'll be taking the stairs from now on.

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Boddingtons
"Tour de Formby"
35s
18 October 2017

Here's a blast from the past. Boddingtons is back on the telly and they've brought Melanie Sykes along en'all. Older viewers and students of advertising will probably recall a series of classic commercials featuring the model-turned-TV presenter. In each - as here - the viewer was fooled into thinking they were watching something earnest before the rug was pulled from beneath their feet by Sykes's broad northern vowels.

Danny Kleinman - who directed some of the original ads twenty years ago - brings a few modern flourishes to the campaign but essentially the formula is the same as ever... and that's a good shout. The reunion has already sparked national press coverage and seems sure to prove a winner for the Manchester-based beer.

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Green & Black's
"Red Riding Hood"
30s
18 October 2017

Green & Black’s launch their Velvet Editions collection with a Red Riding reboot. This time, Red Riding Hood has more than one Big Bad Wolf to evade. However, it’s going to take more than a lupine threat to thwart her indulgence.

It’s a fetching spin on the classic yarn. Sun rays poke through trees before Red’s pursuers meet their match. Meanwhile, a seductive cover of the Delfonics's ‘Ready or Not’ complements the forest chase.

Having wisely ditched foodies Michel Roux Jr. and co., the premium brand project a more accessible image. The chocolate makers have also ditched the familiar Fairtrade label in favour of their own Cocoa Life stamp so hose with an ethical sweet tooth may need further convincing... but this is a great start and further evidence that Academy's new wunderkinder Dorian & Daniel are going to have a stellar career.

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Prudential
"The Forest Man of India"
2 mins
18 October 2017

This atmospheric film for Prudential explores the work of Jadav Payeng - dubbed the 'Forest Man of India'. After being inspired as a teenager, Payeng has spent the last thirty-eight years planting trees on deserted sandbars near his home - eventually amassing a forest of over fourteen-hundred acres.

His unwavering dedication to improving the environment is depicted lovingly here by director Asif Kapadia. Atmospheric visuals follow Payeng on his solitary mission, while a washed-out grade gives the landscape an almost unearthly look - until the brilliantly green trees bring it back to life.

The understated voiceover is an excellent accompaniment, underselling Payeng's huge achievement as having done 'quite a lot'. The 'consistency is the only currency that matters' tagline fits the film well, lending the brand an air of trustworthiness. Visually stunning work.

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QUICK SEARCH

Five Star Work

Device Free Dinner
"Something You Did Today"
60s
20 Oct 2017
Will Ferrell stars in this film encouraging all of us to spend less time staring at our mobile phones when we should be communing with our families. By making dad the focal point and by being so darkly funny, the film slips past the defensiveness of younger viewers and stands a chance of making them rethink their own tendency to allow their phones to dominate their inter-actions with the rest of the world.

giffgaff
"2am"
60s
20 Oct 2017
As we've said before, giffgaff is to Halloween as John Lewis is to Christmas. Each year they put themselves under pressure to create something even more spectacular and in 2017, they've once again succeeded. To understand this film and giffgaff's whole preoccupation with Halloween, you have to first of all examine the telecom company's relationship with its punters.

The End of the F***ing World
"James and Alyssa"
60s
19 Oct 2017
Stink's Jonathan Entwistle is the director behind this intriguing new series on Channel 4. Looking like a trail for an independent movie, it introduces us to a pair of teen protagonists who appear to be involved in a considerable misadventure. Tonally, it reminds DAVID of both Wes Anderson's work and Richard Ayoade's debut feature 'Submarine'... in a good way. A really good way.

Nissan
"Lazy Ponies"
90s
20 Oct 2017
This Nissan ad offers a zany spin on horsepower. When this bloke’s truck conks out, he struggles to motivate the equine workforce under the bonnet. Perhaps a blast of “Pretty Pretty Ponies” will do the trick. Obnoxious and buck-toothed, these feckless ponies have their owner licked. Fortunately, Nissan’s TITAN fleet gets the job done - no song and dance required.

Assassin's Creed Origins
"I Am... "
90s
20 Oct 2017
The unstoppable Daniel Wolfe offers a live action take on the world of Assassin's Creed Origins in this dramatic ad. Origins explores the roots of the game's mythos, and this film offers a gritty snapshot of its Ancient Egyptian setting. We see the ancient world in all its brutality here, with a level of detail which communicates the dust and dirt among the pyramids and pharaohs.

AMF
"Unicorn"
55s
19 Oct 2017
Swedish insurance providers AMF take a surreal approach in this entertaining ad for their pension plan. Director Tomas Jonsgården mixes the fantastical with the mundane to great effect, as we see a guy's inner monologue come alive. He catches the bus home on a rainy night, feeling sorry for himself... until something unexpected sends him to his happy place.

Now TV
"Walker Survival Guide"
2 mins 30s
19 Oct 2017
It’s a modern conversation staple: “What would you do in a zombie apocalypse”? Well, Joe Wilkinson has got us covered. To promote Now TV’s The Walking Dead collection, the comedian offers some, er, helpful tips to avoid infection. These instructional videos cover everything from morale to bite prevention. Alas, things don’t always go according to plan.

Super Mario Odyssey
"Jump Up, Super Star!"
1 min 40s
19 Oct 2017
Mario has come a long way from his 8-bit origins. Since making the leap into 3D, Nintendo’s mascot has toured the universe and elsewhere. With ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ on the horizon, this Broadway-inspired commercial urges us to “do the Odyssey”. Set in the game’s New Donk City level, Partizan’s Warren Fu blends live-action and CG to jolly effect.

Skittles
"Floor 9.5"
2 mins
13 Oct 2017
Mars have released a series of short horror films to coincide with the spookiest month of the year... and they're bloody good. With minimal product placement and a two minute running time, each 'bite sized' chunk of horror promises to chill audiences to the bone. 'Floor 9.5' - sponsored by Skittles - takes a new approach to the idea of being followed.

Prudential
"The Forest Man of India"
2 mins
18 Oct 2017
This atmospheric film for Prudential explores the work of Jadav Payeng - dubbed the 'Forest Man of India'. After being inspired as a teenager, Payeng has spent the last thirty-eight years planting trees on deserted sandbars near his home - eventually amassing a forest of over fourteen-hundred acres. His unwavering dedication to improving the environment is depicted lovingly here by director Asif Kapadia.

Libresse
"#BloodHonest"
2 mins 22s
16 Oct 2017
AMV BBDO have struck another fierce blow against the orthodoxical coyness used to advertise sanitary protection products with a brilliant commercial for Libresse. Director Daniel Wolfe's film breezily confronts an audience accustomed to the conventional approach in which red is blue, and women are shown conducting themselves as though in denial of the reality of their menstrual cycles.

McDonald's
"Woe is Me"
30s
17 Oct 2017
There's nothing like a home cooked meal... or is there? McDonald's attempt to disprove the old adage in this amusing US ad, featuring a grandma who's not entirely unhappy that her cooking is being usurped. There's a great central performance here, as the deadpan granny declares she's got better things to do than cook for her rotten family members.

Federal Express
"Conspiracy Bookstore"
30s
16 Oct 2017
FedEx's delivery service is so affordable it seems too good to be true... if you're a conspiracy theorist, that is. The real conspiracy in this entertaining ad is how an independent book store is thriving up against the likes of Amazon, but perhaps these customers don't trust big companies with their payment information...

CoppaFeel!
"Touch"
40s
16 Oct 2017
Good Morning Britain viewers are used to peculiar sights... that’s what waking up to Piers Morgan’s face each day will do. However, the regular audience may have been surprised by this excellent film from breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! Tackling taboos before our first slice of toast, the ad features pre-watershed nipples.

CoverGirl
"Made in the Mirror"
1 min 40s
13 Oct 2017
Cosmetics advertising is undergoing something of a, well, makeover. Boots No 7’s recent fencing bout delivered style and substance - now it’s US brand CoverGirl’s turn. This classy ad gathers a strong cast: diverse, dynamic, and in control of their identities. Contrasted with the modish cast and cinematography, the soundtrack provides old-school satisfaction.

Smyths
"Snot"
60s
13 Oct 2017
Smyths' 2017 Christmas campaign has big shoes to fill. Last year's effort - featuring a rewrite of Beyoncé's 'If I Were A Boy' and a whimsical dive into a kid's imagination - went down a storm. It's a tough ask, and this excellent animated ad meets the challenge with relish. A playful voiceover narrates the adventures of Snot, a hapless ball of yuck who's been sent down life's reject chute.

Project Everyone
"Freedom"
2 mins 57s
11 Oct 2017
Project Everyone's 2016 film - an in-your-face piece of work which recreated the energy of the original promo for the Spice Girls' 'Wannabe' with a serious message - showed women and girls around the world having fun while asking to be given the rights they deserve. This year they're no longer asking - they're demanding to be heard.

McDonald's
"Savannah"
40s
9 Oct 2017
Leo Burnett once again demonstrate an uncanny ability to make the most of McDonald's cyclical propositions by injecting a little humour into the script. And by asking Tony Barry to direct, they gain hugely from his innate understanding of how a joke should be weighted.

Fitbit
"Still Got It"
45s
6 Oct 2017
Ian Derry is no stranger to exertion. His profile of ice diver Johanna Nordblad captured the physical and mental rigours of pushing one’s limits; this Fitbit commercial reminds us it’s never too late to challenge ourselves. We see thirty, forty, and fiftysomethings throw themselves into various pursuits: running, swimming, cycling, even lifting ruddy big tires.

Warburtons
"Pride and Breadjudice"
3 mins
4 Oct 2017
Peter Kay stars in this brilliant Jane Austen spoof for Warburtons created by WCRS and directed by Declan Lowney. It's the third outing in a highly ambitious campaign which is rapidly establishing itself as an advertising institution. With previous instalments starring Sylvester Stallone and the Muppets establishing a broad eclecticism, it was very hard to anticipate where Warburtons might go next in their annual bid to create the most noteworthy commercial of the year.

Instrumentarium
"Lesson of Love"
1 min 35s
4 Oct 2017
This curious love story for Instrumentarium sees a young man infatuated with his lecturer. The period piece is beautifully constructed, with spot-on styling and a sepia-tinged grade which screams retro. Why the student decides to make his move via specs remains mysterious, and raises the question of how he found the teacher's prescription. A surreal twist on classic romance tropes from Pete Riski.

Campaign to End Loneliness
"Experiment"
3 mins
26 Sep 2017
This fascinating depiction of an experiment designed to highlight the corrosive power of loneliness pits a young man against himself by placing him in solitary confinement for a week. As prisons go, this one isn't bad. He has a television and he can feed himself but he pretty rapidly comes apart at the seams for want of human interaction.

BMW
"M5"
78s
2 Oct 2017
Independent’s Philippe André hits the desert in this attractive BMW ad which launched their new M5 model by paying tribute to their motorsport heritage. As the saloon reaches top speed, it literally leaves its predecessors in the dust as dIrector André, DP Óttar Guðnason and their crew craft an elegant sandstorm.

Period Equity
"Not A Luxury"
60s
2 Oct 2017
Amber Rose stars in this excellent film for Period Equity - an organisation which lobbies for the removal of a luxury tax on sanitary products in the USA. Director Melanie Bridge helms a spot-on parody of a deluxe ad, diamond sparkle dominating the screen as Rose caresses herself and provides a sultry voiceover narrating just how expensive her jewellery is... and what it conceals.

Bulldog
"Bank Robbery"
60s
1 Oct 2017
Skincare brand Bulldog provided one of Christmas 2016’s surprise ads. Socially-awkward elves exchanging gifts underlined the brand’s appreciation of male hang-ups. This latest outing now brings their eponymous mutt to life - and he aims to turn this would-be bank robber’s life around. Perma-grumpy expression aside, the bulldog provides likeable moral support.

Five Star Work

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