David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • The name on everyone's lips.This vibrant Adidas commercial is all about one name and one name alone: Pogba.
    • Green is The New BlackVigorsol play with tropes and stereotypes in this ad for their stevia-sweetened gum.
    • House of fun.Some ‘Home Alone’-inspired mayhem makes this Canary Security ad a hoot.
    • Two through the Hunky Dory door.Hunky Dory ascent continues as they announce the signings of Trevor Clarence and Olaf van Gerwen to their commercial roster.
    • How The Rebels Saved ChristmasDuracell do some good for the holiday season and tug at the heartstrings in this action-packed film all about the power of imagination to get us through tough times.
    • Russell's got the power.Regular filmgoers will know superpowers are the 'in thing' these days, so you can't blame nPower for wanting a piece of the action.
    • System of care.This absorbing short film from the Society of St Vincent de Paul reminds us of what technology has achieved... and what remains beyond its grasp.
    • Lewis Hamilton is coloured.This fun ad sees Epson take full advantage of their star man... by drowning him in printer ink.
    • O, Brave New World.3D printing gets sinister in the opening titles for sci-fi thriller Westworld.
    • Car LoveWe wish we were as cool as Mads Mikkelsen, that's what we're getting from this surprisingly funny ad.
    • Avid about AV. This wry Freesat commercial demonstrates how the satellite service plays a very important role in these viewers' lives.



Did you see that new thing we were sent this morning?


Yeah... great piece of work. Looks a bit shit though.


I know. They sent a 640x360 video.


Blimey. Who sent it? The 1990s?


It's not as if we don't ask for HD. All the time.


Just post it. If they don't care whether it looks shit, why should we?


We might have to start doing that.

21 October 2016

Footballers aren’t magnets for sympathy, but spare a thought if you can for Paul Pogba. The Manchester United midfielder’s £89 million transfer fee means every touch, kick, and pass is measured in pounds and pence. This vibrant Adidas commercial says forget the numbers - it’s all about the name.

"He’s always been creative", the VO tell us as we meet a young boy already full of tricks. Keepie uppie with fruit, nutmegging older boys, turning on the charm in the classroom... young Pogba makes an impression wherever he goes.

It’s not always a positive one, mind. His rebellious streak pushes plenty of grown-ups' buttons - including one very peeved father - but it soon pays off. Pogba becomes a name to jot down, a name to sign, and a name to chant.

Director Stacy Wall makes his mark on the brand's creative-centric campaign with an upbeat treatment. Pacey and characterful, the ad pays tribute to Pogba’s rise to club and international acclaim. Meanwhile, the brand reiterates that hard work only gets you so far - a little je ne sais quoi helps, too.

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"Secret Yogi"
21 October 2016

Vigorsol play with tropes and stereotypes in this ad for their stevia-sweetened gum.

The protagonist throws a yoga mat out of her window and gets ready to go out: copious amounts of gothic make-up, spikes, and fishnets. Typical teenage stuff, we think, until she bounds down the stairs and we see that her parents are entirely in simpatico with her look. It's not rebellion, it's making mum and dad proud.

Except, of course, teens will be teens. As soon as she gets outside, she grabs the garden hose and washes off her make-up, strips out of her leathers and ends up fresh-faced and yoga-ready as her bicycle-riding mates roll up.

Her parents are horrified, naturally, chasing the would-be yogis as they ride away for some environmentally-conscious fun.

It packs a lot into just 40" thanks to some economic storytelling from director Martin Werner.

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"While You Were Out"
21 October 2016

Some 'Home Alone'-inspired mayhem makes this Canary Security ad a hoot. All this couple wanted was a night out, but their worst-case scenario soon unfolds. Luckily for the viewer, it’s pretty spectacular.

Everything that can go wrong does go wrong. A wry narrator calls the action as chaos unfolds throughout the house: the bath overflows; "fine young gentlemen" run riot; and young Nathaniel decides this is the night to start driving lessons.

Luckily, mum and dad’s paranoia is nullified by their home security system. Thanks to live camera footage via smartphone, the reality’s far more agreeable.

The domestic bedlam is strung together nicely by director Peter Atencio. It’s an over the top scenario, but homeowners will relate to that niggling feeling all’s not well at the homestead. Domestic harmony for the app age.

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Two through the Hunky Dory door.

Hunky Dory ascent continues as they announce the signings of Trevor Clarence and Olaf van Gerwen to their commercial roster.

Clarence becomes the latest South African to join the Hunky Dory team, bringing with him plenty of TVC experience and an astute comedic touch; meanwhile, Dutchman van Gerwen has built an enviable reputation as both a director and cinematographer.

Let's take a look at them individually...


20 October 2016

Duracell do some good for the holiday season and tug at the heartstrings in this action-packed film all about the power of imagination to get us through tough times.

Set in a children's hospital that transforms into a starship and a rebel base, kids on the ward make-believe their way across the universe to deliver an important droid to their friend who can't get out of bed. It's touching without being schmaltzy, partly because the action sequences are filmed with movie production values, rather than being scaled down into a kids' version.

Duracell marketing director Ramon Velutini explained: "We came across the most incredible insight: Kids at hospitals continue to act as kids even during tough circumstances, and imaginative play plays a big role in their ability to cope during their healing process."

The real point of this ad is that it's not all fantasy: Duracell are donating a million batteries to power toys at 147 Children's Network Miracle Hospitals across America this Christmas. This ad paints them in a great light, no doubt creating plenty of affection from consumers.

Director Simon McQuoid and Anomaly have packed a hell of a lot into just 60s here; we're pretty sure the Force was with them.

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Recent Promos

Avenged Sevenfold
"The Stage"
8 mins 30s
21 Oct 2016
Another creepy outing from director Chris Hopewell, this time a promo to accompany Avenged Sevenfold's song 'The Stage'. We're introduced to a strange, darkened theatre, with a sinister puppet show which travels through history and catalogues mankind's atrocities from the first man who picked up a spear. The visuals fit the song lyrics perfectly, concerned - as it is - with the line between observing an event and participating in it.

Ministry Of Sound
"Stiletto Dancers vs Freak Like Me"
3 mins 09s
21 Oct 2016
This promo for Ministry of Sound's 'Freak Like Me' features some of the smoothest moves we've seen for a while... possibly ever. There are slut drops, body rolls, and splits galore from the troupe of dancers, who strut their stuff like they're made of rubber... and do it all in stilettos, no less. Bloody hell. DAVID can hardly walk in heels, let alone dance.

Jamie T
"Power Over Men"
3 mins 41s
20 Oct 2016
The opening shots of this promo for Jamie T's 'Power Over Men' are deceptively mundane. They establish the protagonist is taking care of herself and her appearance, as the kind of woman who knows everybody at the hairdressers and flirts in the corner shop. Only the presence of a briefcase and tie outside her front door suggest that something else might be afoot.

The Last Shadow Puppets
"Is This What You Wanted?"
6 mins 49s
19 Oct 2016
Alex Turner and Miles Kane are just the coolest guys around, and they're fully aware of that in this promo for their Leonard Cohen cover 'Is This What You Wanted?'. Turner struts around the stage like a slightly loony panther, throwing all manner of shapes while he makes sweet vocal love to the microphone. The interplay of light and shadows in this promo is shot beautifully, calling to mind 60s TV pop performances on steroids.

Cherry Glazerr
"Told You I'd Be With The Guys"
4 mins 35s
19 Oct 2016
This promo for Canadian band Cherry Glazerr's 'Told You I'd Be With The Guys' has a sinister feel, as repeated shots of the band and its singer become slowly overwhelmed with khaki-slacks wearing, red polo-shirted men until there's no space left. The promo fits the scuzzy tone of the record, lingering on imperfections such as stains and bruises and the unglamorous side of eating and drinking. Grounded and surreal at the same time, it's an intriguing one from director Riley Blakeway.

3 mins 40s
19 Oct 2016
This stand-out track from Lorn's excellent Vessel EP has been given a stunning promo courtesy of Franco-Belgian team Geriko. 'Anvil''s vast, cinematic sound feels like an elegy for a dead world, inspiring Geriko to imagine an over-populated future in which humans must relinquish their physical selves and become virtual beings on a "post mortem social network" - the 'Anvil' of the title.

"Bad Girl"
3 mins 37s
18 Oct 2016
This promo for Souls' 'Bad Girl' is a visually rich, diverse portrait of a community in New Orleans, accompanied by the voice of Ozella Jones, an obscure blues singer who was recorded back in 1936. Featuring Black Lives Matter protestors, women bikers, and drag queens, director JJ Augustavo explained that he set out to create 'a postcard of this country that is not based on stereotype but actually something real and spiritual.' It certainly feels authentic from where we're sitting.

John Cooper Clarke & Hugh Cornwell
"Johnny Remember Me"
3 mins 23s
18 Oct 2016
Poet John Cooper Clarke and former Stranglers frontman Hugh Cornwell have joined forces on an album of cover songs. This version of John Leyton's 'Johnny Remember Me' is driven by Cooper Clarke's earthy vocals and a galloping beat. Cornwell's guitar twangs wouldn't feel out of place on a Western soundtrack, yet they add a wild element to this sombre ditty.

Danny Brown
3 mins 21s
17 Oct 2016
Director Simon Cahn says of Danny Brown's 'Pneumonia' that it: "feels like a surreal nosebleed torture of a track" and we can't argue with him. It has a nagging viscerality which vibrates you essence and Cahn was determined to match its energy with his Promo... and the boy done good. He's matched the track's raw edginess with a discomforting sequence which put the artist through a considerable act of endurance - according to Cahn, the singer was "hanging upside down in the air all night." Other clients beware... this is what directors want to do to you!

"Stay "
3 mins 39s
18 Oct 2016
Infectious and highly accessible, Talisco's poppy songs have been used in a variety of commercials for brands like Vice US and Vodafone Ireland. This catchy number comes with a video which shows what happens when the cameras have finished rolling on a tearful farewell scene when one of the protagonists is intent on keeping the moment going.

Alex Cameron
3 mins 39s
15 Oct 2016
Aussie Alex Cameron - a potent blend of Phil Oakey and Nick Cave - is on a mission to claim failure as a force for creative good. His excellent track 'Mongrel' gets a simple treatment from director James Pillion, but in truth it's all that's needed as Cameron's intense presence and windswept hair do a remarkably effective job of entertaining us.

"Little Lions"
3 mins 53s
15 Oct 2016
Street artist, designer, activist and founder of clothing brand OBEY, Shepard Fairey is nothing if not busy sticking his fingers into lots of pies. And now he wants a slice of the music business in the form of his own creative project, Nøise. What a very promising start it is, too. 'Little Lions' is beguilingly catchy - and the promo is mesmerising.

The Weeknd
"False Alarm"
5 mins 42s
14 Oct 2016
Ilya Naishuller stays true to his first-person shooter style as we get a bit of the ol' ultra-violence to accompany The Weeknd's 'False Alarm'. This promo opens in the midst of a bank robbery and never lets up in ferocity. Headshots ring out from the start, blood and gore liberally splashed around during a schlocky ride that contrasts nicely with The Weeknd's mellow vocals as literally everything that could go wrong, does.

Red Axes
"Sun My Sweet Sun"
3 mins 55s
12 Oct 2016
Your average office party often turns into a car crash after a certain point in the evening, but this one takes the experience to a whole new level. Instead of inappropriate snogging in the server room or fisticuffs fuelled by flat cava, this bunch hook up to VR headsets and celebrate with the energy drink their company sells. It's not a recipe for the best night out... but it makes for a great promo.

Beyond The Wizards Sleeve
"Black Crow"
4 mins 20s
12 Oct 2016
Romano Pizzichini's video for collaborative group Beyond The Wizards Sleeve pits two tennis pupils against each other. Their sinister tutor devises all manner of ways to erode the self-worth of one while favouring the other, although there's no real sense of the 'why'. Sometimes that doesn't matter, but the stylish weirdness of this clip would have had even more impact if we understood a little better what was going on.

5 mins 29s
12 Oct 2016
Powell's take-no-prisoners brand of electronica takes a hypnotic turn in 'Jonny' - named after the track's vocalist, a former planner / strategist at Weiden + Kennedy. The accompanying promo is the brainchild of the same agency's creative incubator collectively known as The Kennedys, and features a host of submitted clips of folk smashing melons with their heads.

"Ah Ouin"
2 mins 38s
11 Oct 2016
'Ah Ouin,' from Chocolat's 2016 album 'Rencontrer Looloo,' accompanies this cool music video with funky animation which harks back to the artwork of Parliament albums and the Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine.' It's a daring, racy promo. And by racy we mean plenty of blood, guts, and multi-nippled nudity at the behest of our guitar-headed, Elvis-jumpsuited overlord.

"The Numbers"
5 mins 45s
10 Oct 2016
After presumably jamming through the night, Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood present a sunlit rendition of 'The Numbers'. Once again accompanied by their Roland CR-78 drum machine (drummer Phil Selway must have the day off), the pair enjoy another al fresco duet under the Californian sun. Postcard alternative rock.

Chase & Status
"All Goes Wrong"
3 mins 27s
4 Oct 2016
Electronic duo Chase & Status return with this cracking track with Tom Grennan providing the powerful, raw vocals. The promo is clever, playing out different versions of an argument and two potential outcomes as director Glenn Paton shows us the triumphs and pitfalls of masculinity. The main message we're getting is: sorry may be the hardest word, but it might just save your life.

"Present Tense"
5 mins 26s
4 Oct 2016
Radiohead and director Paul Thomas Anderson reunite for this intimate promo for 'Present Tense'. Compared to the band's recent efforts, this is as about as grounded as you can get. There are no pagan rituals or doorways leading to doorways here - just Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and a Roland CR-78 drum machine bathed in the dim light.

Skye / Ross
"Light Of Gold"
3 mins 01s
16 Sep 2016
Skye Edwards and Ross Godfrey - of 90s band Morcheeba - now play as Skye / Ross, and this mellow track comes with a promo by Skye's collaborator Tom Merilion. In it, a young (real-life) couple enjoy noodling about in and around Šibenik on the Croatian coast before joining the Skye / Ross on stage at a music festival. It's all about the feelgood factor, and we come away from this with the sensation that we've had a lovely warming snooze in the sun.

Myth Syzer and Ikaz Boi
4 mins 21s
27 Sep 2016
French hip-hip duo Myth Syzer and Ikaz Boi light up the night with this gripping promo from director Baptist Penetticobra. A car park after hours is this woman’s stage, and woe betide anyone who doesn’t give her maximum attention. “I will light you up, I won’t give a damn… I want momentum, phones out… I want sore hands, clapping, and that carpal tunnel…” – it’s a show-stopping piece before the main event. Once that begins, it’s a force of nature.

Róisín Murphy
3 mins 08s
15 Sep 2016
Róisín Murphy belongs to the select band of musicians who direct their own promos and here she does it to marvellous effect with a film promoting her new single 'Whatever'. No one is better equipped than the artist to ensure a synergy between music and promo but Róisín Murphy in her role as director has added an extra layer of narrative with a sharp look at our preoccupation with mobile devices.

Drones Club
"Feel No Pain"
3 mins 57s
15 Sep 2016
Presumably, Drones Club - a London-based post-pop collective - took their name from the gentlemen's club featured in much of P G Wodehouse's work... although the semantic meaning of 'drone' has changed somewhat in recent years. They want to promote the idea of overcoming war and violence, and Kent Hugo's video for 'Feel No Pain' is inspired by this idealistic notion.

Two Door Cinema Club
"Bad Decisions"
3 mins 52s
15 Sep 2016
Directing duo Thunderlips send indie rockers Two Door Cinema Club to video game limbo in this trippy promo for 'Bad Decision'. There's no exit button for band members Alex, Sam, and Kevin; instead, they must face off against each other on the race track, in the fighting arena, and even dodge lasers from a tie-wearing killbot. All fun and games? Not quite.

Recent Promos

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