David Reviews

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

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Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

"Nobody is Normal"
26 Nov 2020
While there's been plenty of talk about a social 'new normal' over the past year, Childline assure children that when it comes to fitting in, there's no such thing as normal. It's a weighty concept which is whimsically realised here by director Catherine Prowse, who uses tactile stop-motion animation to show that under the surface we're all equally odd.

"Hit of Home"
27 Nov 2020
This beautifully observed commercial for Branston Pickle depicts a woman who’s recently moved out of the family home. She has a new flat, a new job, and—most importantly—a new voicemail from mum and dad. However, it's the audience that hears it first, with a lovely blend of encouragement and incidental details.

"Sport Starts Here"
26 Nov 2020
When DAVID heard that Sports Direct were releasing a Christmas ad, he imagined Mike Ashley in an ill-fitting Santa costume on the streets of Newcastle. Fortunately, director Henry Scholfield and agency MOX London spare viewers a nightmare before Christmas and instead deliver a pacy, stylish ode to finding one's ideal sport.

Short Films
"Keep Calling"
8 mins 57s
26 Nov 2020
This timely documentary from director Liam Saint-Pierre focuses on Michael Chilokoa - a volunteer who offers a lifeline to lonely and vulnerable people. One client, Lillian Chuntz, proves a tough nut to crack…until she reveals a passion for singing that goes back to the Second World War. Soon enough, Lillian demands her own performance from Michael.

"Tread Lighter"
25 Nov 2020
This crafty piece of work aims to prove how light Allbirds trainers are through advanced scientific techniques—namely, combining balloons, string, and some leaf blowers. Who needs the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, eh? Clean, playful, and focused, this is a cut above other half-hearted Christmas sales plugs.

"Unbreakable Bond"
25 Nov 2020
Toyota neatly handle hanging out at a safe physical distance without ever mentioning the word 'pandemic' in this amusing Kiwi ad. Bound partly by their shared love of powerful trucks and rugged terrain, a diverse collection of mates happen upon each other by the roadside and decide to stop for what turns into quite the extended chat.

Beats by Dre
"You Love Me"
2 mins
23 Nov 2020
2020 has thrown many of society's ugliest aspects into stark relief, and perhaps none so forcefully as the insidious presence of racism. With Houston rapper Tobe Nwigwe's narration establishing a sense of defiant gravitas from the jump, this arresting film from Beats by Dre interrogates American society's love-hate relationship with Black culture: co-opted for cool points or derided as unsophisticated by turns.

"Break the Silence"
1 min 56s
20 Nov 2020
Nods to Harold Lloyd, John Ford, and Buster Keaton abound in this entertaining commercial for Acura. Tightly shot by director Mark Jenkinson, the ad brings a TLX saloon into the silent film era for some anachronistic thrills. Once the protagonist is behind the wheel, he gives bemused police officers and Western villains a thunderous glimpse into the future.

Short Films
"The World's Strongest Brothers"
8 mins 08s
18 Nov 2020
According to Invergordon resident Luke Stoltman, he and his brother Tom are “just a couple of dafties from the Highlands”. They are also two of the world’s strongest men, so the pair can afford a little self-deprecation. Such affable moments are peppered throughout this documentary from director Pete Banks, who joins the brothers as they eat, train, and recover in their hometown.

"A Christmas You Can Believe In"
17 Nov 2020
After such a tumultuous year, one could forgive no-frills supermarket Lidl for injecting schmaltz into their Christmas campaign. Instead, this 60" animation skewers the brand’s rivals, both figuratively and literally. Meigan Brown & Tobias Owen’s cheeky, lyrical script prioritises purse strings over heart strings, with anthropomorphic robins and carrots given short shrift by the cast.

"I'm In Charge"
18 Nov 2020
The success of a commercial like this becomes entirely reliant on the visual dimension and, in lesser hands, it could easily fade into the background as is often the way with advertising which adopts this tone. But, thankfully, director Amber Grace Johnson has elevated this film with a stunning cascade of beautiful imagery.

"Darcy & Bubl"
16 Nov 2020
O2 have joined the long list of brands choosing to advertise themselves at Christmas time with a significant hero film. The recently introduced Bubl would be the star of the show if he wasn't being upstaged by ten-year-old ice skater Darcy Murdoch. The human and VFX robot combine charmingly to dance on the ice and – in the process – remind the watching audience of the phone network's ability to provide us with entertainment whereever we are.

"No Naughty List"
16 Nov 2020
According to this irreverent Tesco ad, Santa has ditched the naughty list for 2020, which is good news for the likes of Dominic Cummings, Margaret Ferrier, and Donald Trump. Of course, Blue Supermarket have more innocuous misdeeds in mind. These include bad lockdown haircuts, hoarding toilet paper, and not donating to Captain Tom Moore’s charity walk.

"Merry Xmess"
1 min 36s
15 Nov 2020
Those who equate Christmas to crime scene clean-up will enjoy this 90” ad from kitchen roll brand Plenty, who honour viewers forced to get their hands dirty on the big day. There’s no hint of a pandemic in director Steve Rogers’s film - just a fun compendium of spills, splats, and splashes accompanied by Nazereth's cover of 'Love Hurts'.

"Inner Child"
15 Nov 2020
Last year, McDonald’s showed how Christmas can thaw even the most cynical teenage girl. Here, they return to that theme with a teenage boy and a single mum who won’t take "bah humbug" for an answer. The Pixar-like twist is that the teen's inner child is pumped for everything festive, including snowball fights, tree decorations, and novelty antlers.

"Clothes Love All"
12 Nov 2020
Does clothing have a prescribed gender, age, or ethnicity? Absolutely not, says this beautifully stylish ad from Klarna, who encourage audiences to buy now and pay later when it comes to expanding their wardrobe - however eccentric their choices may be. Colour, texture, and fabric are less important than how an outfit makes you feel, after all.

"Then, Now, Always"
2 mins
13 Nov 2020
MullenLowe’s latest NHS recruitment film arrives as a potential vaccine offers hope to millions of viewers. The only way to ensure it reaches people’s veins is strong staff levels, and this two-minute effort powerfully demonstrates what strength in numbers can achieve. Such a decisive tone is welcome after a year of mixed messages and eyebrow-raising government slogans.

John Lewis & Waitrose
"Give a Little Love"
2 mins
13 Nov 2020
adam&eveDDB famously don't rest on their laurels when it comes to the highest profile piece of advertising of the year... almost as soon as the John Lewis Christmas ad is broadcast, they're working on the next one. But this time last year, they could hardly have begun to consider the circumstances in which the 2020 instalment would land.

"Bigger Than Christmas"
1 min 40s
12 Nov 2020
Australian department store Myer prepare for what they refuse to accept as a gloomy Christmas with this entertaining festive ad. Although previous years have featured camping trips with Santa and animated elves, 2020 demands a different approach. A year without celebration, the brand claims, should at least end on a party.

"Victory Swim"
11 Nov 2020
Modest swimwear takes centre stage in this instalment of Nike's campaign for inclusivity in sport. Framed by a mother teaching her daughter to swim, the kinetic film demonstrates how breaking down barriers which keep women out of the water has benefits for everyone - whether on a personal, familial, or competitive level.

11 Nov 2020
This Experian commercial delivers bracing visuals and a great punchline, as the credit reference agency unveil their new Boost function. Channeling the likes of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and ‘First Man’, director Camila Zapiola ostensibly sends a bloke into the wild blue yonder… but the reality is more, erm, filling than thrilling.

1 min 47s
10 Nov 2020
Burberry inject some much-appreciated joy into their festive outing for 2020. The tightly choreographed film sees a group of friends turn a trip to the local takeaway into performance art, all while hailstones the size of bricks utterly fail to knock them off-stride. The fantastical weather is wisely wielded by directing collective Megaforce, who create a dreamy yet grounded vibe.

Coca Cola
"The Letter"
2 mins 30s
10 Nov 2020
An offshore engineer gives Postman Pat a run for his money Coca-Cola’s two-and-a-half minute Christmas film. Directed by Taika Waititi, the ad stars a man hell-bent on delivering his daughter's letter to Santa by hand. Cue a pacy, globetrotting, presumably frostbitten tale, as the bloke powers toward the North Pole by any means necessary.

"From Our Family to Yours"
3 mins
10 Nov 2020
Christmas in the Philippines is celebrated to varying degrees from September to January, and is one of the most significant cultural events in the country. This touching outing from Disney taps into those rich traditions and more for Christmas 2020 - encompassing inter-generational affection, worldwide diaspora, and keeping one's memories alive. Quite a task for the House of Mouse.

"A Comfy Carol"
8 Nov 2020
Christmas gets extra cosy in this charming animated outing for DFS. The film sees Aardman Animation favourites Wallace and Gromit return to screens, carol-singing through snowy streets to bring some socially-distant cheer to friends and neighbours alike. There's a lovely atmosphere to the film, aided by director Will Becher deftly contrasting an inviting interior with the winter cold.

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.