David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Hell for leather.This diverting Czech ad offers an insight into wartime survival, with car manufacturer Aero under threat from both Hitler and Stalin at various points.
    • Tales of us.To say this three-minute Bodyform ad is a force of nature would be an understatement.
    • City LovingThis unexpectedly touching film features New Yorkers sharing their thoughts on the downsides of living in one of the world's busiest cities.
    • Characters and CreationVogue continue their Pride series with this bold and beautiful film which explores the intersection of disability and drag.
    • P.O.B. joins Darling Films.Darling Films have completed the signing of Irish filmmaker P.O.B. for representation in the UK.
    • The Visionaries laugh it up with Justin Reardon.Seasoned comedy director Justin Reardon says only the birth of his children trumps joining The Visionaries for UK freelance representation.
    • I've finished so I'll start.Coral highlight one of sport's early Covid-19 comeback stories: horse racing.
    • The Hidden PeopleThere's a charming sense of magical realism in this short film, directed by (and starring) Mark Jenkinson.
    • Viva la Villa.Premier League sponsors Barclays wish to ease at least one Aston Villa fan’s suffering this season.
    • Online and in form.BT have launched ‘Digital Dash’ - a free mobile game that combines athletics with digital skills training.
    • Where's your costume?This short film gives new meaning to the phrase ‘all dressed up and nowhere to go’.
    • Graceful Under PressureThis affecting short film for Vogue focuses on the brutal struggles and beautiful triumphs of the trans art community in one of Brazil's deadliest favelas.
    • Video nasty.This super piece of work for the National Centre for Domestic Violence turns user-generated content into something sinister.

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Online and in form.

According to a recent UCL Institute of Education study, a fifth of pupils - around two million children in the UK - have done little or no homework during lockdown. The kids may not see the harm in it, but companies like BT do.

That’s why the telecoms giant have launched ‘Digital Dash’ - a free mobile game that combines athletics with digital skills training. Think Konami’s ‘Track & Field’ for the iPad generation.


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Short Films
"Contact"
4 mins 08s
29 June 2020

This short film gives new meaning to the phrase ‘all dressed up and nowhere to go’. Director Sadie Frost depicts five twentysomethings in the grip of lockdown; some while away the hours on social media, others turn to the bottle. Yet poetic intervention via text message leads them to Primrose Hill… and they each have the ideal outfit for the occasion.

What follows is a cross between the London Marathon and personal protective equipment, as the five friends don outlandish costumes to keep themselves and others safe. More importantly, it provides the emotional release craved by many just now. Suddenly, fancy dress PPE makes more sense than ‘one-metre-plus’.


Vogue
"Brasilândia"
5 mins 45s
30 June 2020

Being trans is dangerous, if not deadly, in most countries across the world, and the outlook for trans women of colour is particularly bleak. This affecting short film for Vogue focuses on the struggles and triumphs of the trans art community in one of Brazil's deadliest favelas: Brasilândia.

What unfolds over the film's near-six-minute runtime is a portrait of a community which refuses to give in to fear and hide who they are. Powerful visuals celebrate their relentless creativity and determination not to buckle under circumstances, while the calm repetition of "alive/dead" hammers home just how much their survival depends on the violent whims of others.

As marginalised people who already struggle to access healthcare are further ravaged by Covid-19, this film offers a timely reminder of the work such communities undertake to help themselves. Without structures or often any outside support at all, it's encouraging to see the profound, thought-provoking art which can be born of dire adversity.


National Centre For Domestic Violence
"Abusers Always Work from Home"
60s
29 June 2020

In case you hadn't noticed, user-generated content (UGC) has dominated the airwaves in recent months. At one point it seemed like every UK household would have their fifteen seconds of fame. But some homes go under the radar with devastating consequences.

That’s the premise of this super piece of work for the National Centre for Domestic Violence, which initially resembles any UGC campaign video released since March. When the facade crumbles, Geej Ower’s film becomes an increasingly painful insight into family abuse.

Moments of calm and even joy are replaced by brute force and violent outbursts from the dad. A first-person chase up the stairs neatly emphasises how many escape routes have been cut off by the lockdown, as well as the need for urgent legal intervention.


Short Films
"Li Bai’s Premonition"
3 mins 57s
28 June 2020

Eight-century Chinese poet Li Bai's 'Drinking Alone in The Moonlight' provides the inspiration for this striking short film. Directed by Rodrigo Saavedra, the piece blends live action and animation to explore the emotions and habits which have ebbed and flowed for us all during a global quarantine.

It's a distinctly artistic examination of isolation, focusing on the wee small hours of the morning - the liminal space in which those living alone are both more disconnected from their surroundings and tuned into themselves than ever. Add in the softening effects of alcohol, and many will have felt the world reduced to just them and the moon during lockdown.

There's a slightly surreal vibe here which keeps the piece, perhaps surprisingly, grounded. There's no gritty depiction of addiction to be found, only the much-needed escapism of separating mind and body in the moonlight. This is thought-provoking work, ethereal and enthralling by turns.


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On This Day
(1-25 of 25)

Toyota Corolla
"Splash"
30s
3 Jul 2003
The idea of owning the Corolla is so appealing to the man in this ad that he takes a punch in the face when asked if he owns it even though it is not his. The beauty of the ad is that so much gets established wordlessly... we know the man has worked out that replying "yes" is going to result in physical injury just from the way he puts together the situation. Very clever.

Travelocity
"Flamenco"
30s
4 Jul 2005
Esteemed traveller Alan Whicker picks up a guitar and strums out a flamenco tune in this amusing ad for the online travel business. Cleverly, it really does look as though the old boy is an accomplished musician proving that special effects don't have to be obvious to be special.

Sony Ericsson
"Food Chain"
40s
4 Jul 2005
Memorable depiction of what you might be able to photograph with a Sony Ericsson in your hands. A flower is pictured initially; then the dragonfly that lands on it; then the salmon that eats the insect; then the bear that catches the fish before, absurdly, an eagle carries off the bear.

Doritos
"Dip Desperado"
2 mins 10s
4 Jul 2011
This lengthy ad for Doritos tells the story of the Dip Desperado... a fabled champion of tortilla chip hurling. It's a beautifully composed piece of work with a terrific central performance in an ad that holds the attention from start to finish.

Compare The Market
"Meerkat Toys"
40s
4 Jul 2011
There may come a point when this campaign becomes so successful that it swallows the original business whole. Apparently, you can now receive a soft toy based on Alexandr Orlov when you use the advertised service to purchase your insurance.

Stella Artois Cidre
"Important Announcement"
60s
4 Jul 2011
This amusing commercial for a new variant of Stella Artois has a spokesman explaining that the new product is not cider... it is 'cidre' and that's quite different. It's a beautifully judged piece of nonsense entirely within the vernacular set out by the brewer's recent advertising.

Hyundai
"The Empty Car Convoy"
2 mins 35s
4 Jul 2014
If you've ever watched Top Gear and wondered what it would be like without the chummy antics of its ghastly presenters, take a look at this wonderful viral for Hyundai. Kit Lynch-Robinson - a veteran of the aforementioned bundle of motoring and prejudice - has put this together and his sure directorial touch ensures that it has the perfect blend of tension and humour. It's little wonder that it's racking up so many YouTube viewings.

Strongbow
"Bittersweet"
60s
4 Jul 2014
What a juicy ad to start the week off with. Using the excellent Temples track Keep in the Dark as its music bed, this spot for Strongbow shows us the contrast between the pleasurable and not so pleasurable aspects of making their well-known cider. Working in the bitterest depths of winter is the flip side to basking in the warmth of summer... and a delicious way to communicate the brand's bittersweet taste.

Radox
"Emo"
60s
4 Jul 2016
We almost expected Kopparberg's dancing brewery worker to make an appearance in this entertaining Radox commercial, but the spotlight deservedly belongs to this twinkle-toed emo. While her long-suffering parents must have anticipated another day of silence from their black and purple-clad offspring, the protagonist emerges from her bedroom with a considerable spring in her step.

IMAX
"The Movies"
60s
4 Jul 2016
IMAX's first advertising push is a suitably cinematic tribute to what filmgoers, movie buffs, and casual viewers alike crave about the big screen experience. Flitting between genres as if leaping between film reels, the ad communicates the intoxicating power of the moving image. Each vignette either draws on cinematic archetypes or makes bold reference to a Hollywood blockbuster

Dove
"My Beauty, My Say"
90s
4 Jul 2016
The standard of Dove's advertising varies wildly, succumbing at one end to the pseudo-scientific guff that is the last resort of pointless products, and putting forth sage insights into the perception of female beauty at the other. This, however, simply lays down the gauntlet with its collection of awesome women taking ownership of their own looks without compromise.

Nike
"Stefan Janoski"
3 mins 11s
4 Jul 2016
Nike enlist the expertise of skateboarder Stefan Janoski for this arresting film which turns the streets of Austin, Texas into a skatepark of limitless possibilities. Janoski sees trick potential where others would only see concrete and steel. Like a man whose endless rewatchings of 'Inception' paid off, he's able to exert uncanny control over every fixture, fitting, and feature he comes across - even shadows become the ideal grinding surface.

BT Broadband
"Helicopter"
30s
4 Jul 2016
After his breathless arrival onto the BT Broadband set last time round, Ryan Reynolds takes time out in a comfy chair to introduce the telecom giant's new Smart Hub. Of course, why give a Hollywood superstar an easy ride when you can mount a spectacle? With a little money left over after acquiring Reynolds, the BT creative team procure a helicopter to showcase the strength of their new gadget's WiFi signal.

Lidl
"Steak"
60s
4 Jul 2016
Lidl's continuing effort to upgrade the British public's expectations is given a big boost with this lovely documentary-style piece. According to the super at the beginning, Sharna used social media to question Lidl on the source of their meat. They didn't just reply, they arranged for her to be taken to one of the Scottish farms where some of the cattle who supply their stores are raised.

Audi
"Driving Test"
2 mins 24s
4 Jul 2017
Yes, even Tom Holland's Spider-Man has to pass his driving test. Despite the ability to swing across New York City, Parker Peter - sorry, Peter Parker - tackles the practical test. Mind you, not all learner drivers can rely on Stark Industries technology. Audi's latest foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe benefits from Holland and J.B. Smoove's repartee.

Wu Fang Zhai
"Sticky Rice"
3 mins 13s
4 Jul 2018
Next time you're digging into a bowl of sticky rice, spare a thought for the humble grains that made your nosh possible - after all, they endured a training regime beyond human and gastronomic comprehension. That's the premise of this barmy commercial from Chinese food brand Wu Fang Zhai, which depicts a crop of rice (played by a human cast wearing pointy hats) striving for culinary transcendence.

Old Spice
"Big Announcement"
30s
4 Jul 2018
Old Spice spoof old-school perfume ads in this entertaining launch film for their brand new cologne. All the elements are present and correct: epic beach location: glistening muscles; sultry look just beyond camera... even the nonsensical script and over-the-top dive are executed with appropriate aplomb.

NHS
"We Are the NHS"
90s
4 Jul 2018
MullenLowe have released a major new campaign to coincide with the NHS's seventieth anniversary, championing the vital work of nurses within the health service. Part recruitment drive and part love letter to a service which seems to be under permanent threat, this documentary film shows acts of care during life's vital moments.

Dublin Bus
"Long Road to Pride"
2 mins 38s
4 Jul 2019
This touching film from Dublin Bus reminds us that celebrating identity isn't just for the young, as a group of older people get to experience Dublin Pride for the first time. Shot documentary-style by Ken Wardrop, the senior group candidly discuss their experiences of growing up before being proud of their sexuality or gender was an option.

New Zealand Transport Agency
"Distractions"
71s
4 Jul 2019
The New Zealand Transport Agency flips the script on distracted driving in this smartly constructed commercial. The film explores the myriad ways we're glued to our smartphones every day, and frames being behind the wheel as a chance to escape the inevitable digital noise. Smart work from director Jakob Marky.

How Clean Is Your House?
"Shake 'N' Vac"
22s
4 Jul 2005
Kim and Aggie from Channel 4's successful TV series How Clean Is Your House? publicise the forthcoming return of the TV series with an amusing spoof of the classic Shake 'N' Vac commercial.

WKD
"Three Piece Suite"
30s
4 Jul 2005
A man annoys his housemate when he refuses to leave the sofa even though his mate is very obviously trying to cop off with his girlfriend. Eventually he rises but it is only to have a stretch and then sit down again. Honestly, these wacky boys.

Sprite
"Festival"
30s
4 Jul 2005
Alternative version of the Sprite ad set at a festival has the little monster dancing a jig on a guitar at the end.

Lipton Ice Tea
"Armpit Hair"
10s
4 Jul 2005
Continuing campaign urging us not to knock something until we've tried it shows a woman with furry underarms having a stretch in the office. Let's hope Lipton's iced tea is slightly more appetising than her hirsute pits.

Citroën
"Car Limbers Up"
30s
4 Jul 2005
The dancing car from the previous (very popular) ad limbers up in preparation for another boogie.

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.