David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • In a wizarding world... The spirit of Don LaFontaine lives on in this fun ad for the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
    • Definitely MaybeDanish dynamite Mads Mikkelsen ruminates on why his compatriots are the happiest people on Earth in this amusing ad.
    • A feast for the eyesThis effective trail for CNN’s Original Series strand packs plenty of screen time into 60”.
    • Carlos Font Clos at top Speade.Speade add some Spanish zest to their editing roster courtesy of Carlos Font Clos.
    • Forward-thinking since 1989.With boxing fans eagerly anticipating Anthony Joshua’s bout against Wladimir Klitschko, Lucozade Sport present this gritty ad charting the former’s rise to prominence.
    • Wife on MarsThe latest instalment of giffgaff's ongoing campaign reasserts the disruptive brand's position as a provider of freedom.
    • Everyone is WelcomeAs more completely rational travel bans loom on the horizon, the city of Los Angeles has launched a tourism campaign with a clear message: everyone is welcome.
    • Game-changing refreshment.Wisden make take umbrage, but this lovely Foster’s commercial depicts a fun slice of cricketing 'history'.
    • Call of the ocean.The surfing sector ventures into uncharted waters with this artfully-shot piece for Mami Wata.
    • High praise.Boots No 7 give stunt woman Amanda Foster top billing in this vertiginous commercial.
    • When stars align.Are you watching 'Big Little Lies'? You should be as it's bloody brilliant and further proof that Hollywood's disdain for writing has pushed the storytellers towards television.


Wednesday, 26th April.
Betwen 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20 plus VAT.

● McDonald's McCafe.

● Crossover Club: Peter Souter.

● Nationwide's Mothering Sunday.

● Seb Cardinal of MindsEye.

● The Ad That Goes Wrong.


13 April 2017

Online estate agents Zoopla ditch their house divining angle in favour of some chatty hermit crabs. We hear these crustaceans discuss their property travails in a variety of regional accents - all the while avoiding becoming a seagull’s lunch. Who’d be a house-hunter, eh?

This sector has seen an encouraging upturn in quality recently, employing both subtle and broad humour to grab attention. Zoopla leans towards the latter here, aided by some neat nature photography. Ostraconophobes may squirm, but it’s a fun and off-beat means of presenting house-hunting’s foibles.

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"More Adventurous You"
13 April 2017

Subway’s ‘Keep Discovering’ campaign once again urges us to eat on the wild side with this Max Sherman-directed ad. A young man pictures his more daring side through the window of his local restaurant - sans jacket, he’s the life and soul of the lunch queue. How long can his more diffident self spend on the outside looking in, though?

Steeling himself, he strides to the counter and orders a BBQ Beef Burnt Ends sub. Well, once he’s adjusted the volume.

Canny viewers will recognise the lead from this Virgin Trains ad. He demonstrates good range here as both the cautious eater and his cocksure alter-ego. Meanwhile, “Adventure looked you in the eye and you ate it” is a solid mantra for any hungry punter.

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Domino's Pizza
"It's No Secret"
14 April 2017

A super new approach from Domino's poses a question about the fast food firm's success: how do they manage to deliver so many pizzas?

It may be a bit of an advertising stand-by to provide an amusing sequence of 'wrong' answers before revealing the wholesome truth but it's been executed with real aplomb here. Much of the credit for this is down to a terrific central performance and the wise decision to allow the actress to dominate the film's 30 seconds.

It has exactly the right tone for the target market and it craftily reminds us that Domino's are the dominant player in a sector where there's something reassuring about knowing you're dealing with the company which has the biggest infrastructure.

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12 April 2017

Not even HBO can escape John Oliver’s satirical ire… and they employ the bloke. The ‘Last Week Tonight’ host bookends this entertaining ad celebrating the broadcaster’s trademark crackling ident. Of course, Oliver has a bone to pick with the idea.

He reasons, “Nobody tunes into HBO for the static”. Meanwhile, a roll call of HBO stars deliver a selection of ‘aaahhs’ and hisses. Ranging from seductive to manic, playful to… erm, Hodor-y, this cacophony of sounds soon blends into the familiar programme intro.

It’s fun to watch (and hear) the casts of Game of Thrones, Girls, and Westworld in one fell swoop. US viewers will recognise some faces more readily, but the ad shrewdly exploits the available starpower.

Whether it’s True Detective’s psychospheric visuals or Tony Soprano cruising along the New Jersey Turnpike, television fans will confirm the ident raises expectations before the opening shot. Despite Oliver’s cynicism, it’s an effective ode to the network’s identity.

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Virgin Atlantic
12 April 2017

There's never been a better time to buy a jewel-encrusted codpiece, according to Virgin Atlantic. The airline want to let their American customers know that Britain is the perfect holiday destination, since their dollars will stretch much further than before.

This tongue in cheek ad announces the pound hitting a thirty-one year low with a cheery joie de vivre, as an American walks into a bar and... no, sorry, Brexit's the only joke in that sentence.

A lovely sequence thus begins, which sees a po-faced pub landlord placing an ever-increasing pile of bargains in front of his tourist customer, illustrating that food, drink, and companionship are all much more affordable due to the exchange rate. Traditional British stereotypes are astutely nailed, including a wealthy aristocrat and a toothless town crier... although the, er, jewel in the crown is the glowering panache with which the landlord sports his codpiece.

This is shrewd work from Virgin Atlantic - let's hope it inspires a rise in tourism from across the pond.

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Recent Promos

Dua Lipa
"Scared To Be Lonely (Acoustic)"
4 mins 14s
21 Apr 2017
This latest collaboration between Dua Lipa and Park Village's Jake Jelicich turns 'Scared To Be Lonely' into a stirring ballad. Club-friendly beats give way to orchestral strings as Lipa delivers a soaring vocal performance while minimal lighting and sweeping camerawork from Jelicich and DP Rina Yang ensure an absorbing studio session.

Beth Ditto
3 mins 21s
21 Apr 2017
Who said a barroom brawl had to be an ugly affair? This boisterous promo for Beth Ditto’s ‘Fire’ sees the former Gossip frontwoman whip the Cowboy Palace into a frenzy. Bar stools are smashed and time shifts as happy hour unfolds. Say what you want about the grizzled clientele - they sure know how to line dance.

Royal Blood
"Lights Out"
4 mins
18 Apr 2017
There's something of a Doctor Who vibe about this promo for Royal Blood by Riff Raff's The Sacred Egg. The band are playing the track in a nondescript room in an unremarkable house when something strange starts to happen... and young women begin splashing about like an unlikely water-borne virus.

Dua Lipa
"Thinking 'Bout You"
3 mins 50s
19 Apr 2017
Dua Lipa's sultry vocals take centre stage in this stripped-back film by Park Village's Jake Jelicich. Utilising a spilt screen effect reminiscent of early 00's RnB promos - intercut with intimate close-up shots of the singer - the clean visuals here let the song be the star of the show. The surreal bed setting offers a nod to Darren Aronofsky’s 'Requiem For A Dream' - though thankfully without the film's disturbing tone.

Pale Waves
"There's A Honey"
3 mins 51s
19 Apr 2017
Manchester four-piece Pale Waves are making, well, waves in the indie scene, and this promo for 'There's A Honey' is an appealing calling card. Luminous blues and purples ripple overhead as lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie asks: "Are you sure that you want me?" Shimmering visuals and the track's breezy sound turn her doubt into something anthemic.

"Whiskey Kisses"
3 mins 33s
3 Apr 2017
The lead singer of Liverpool boy band MiC LOWRY' confesses he's "not that into drinking" near the start of 'Whiskey Kisses',.. which suggests that his relationship with this young woman may not be destined to go th distance. Sophia Ray's promo effortlessly catches the vibe of this teen-oriented track in which the lads cruise around like LA homies as young women dance at them.

"Castles (ft. St. Beauty)"
3 mins 42s
10 Apr 2017
Lacey Duke crafts this inviting promo for BOSCO and St. Beauty's 'Castles'. The Atlanta trio playfully evoke the choreography of Nineties music videos; a motif enhanced by the use of 16mm film stock. Sun-kissed visuals and a Miami Vice colour palette turn Atlanta into an urban arcadia - we imagine the city's tourism board will be delighted.

"Strange or Be Forgotten"
4 mins 07s
12 Apr 2017
Temples tap Colonel Blimp’s James Beale for this underground photo shoot. Frontman James Bagshaw peeks through his considerable barnet to snap an eclectic cast. From musclemen covered in tattoos to human canvases, the band let their subjects do whatever their thing happens to be. The promo celebrates those who defy easy or lazy categorization - something Temples know all too well.

Tom Grennan
3 mins 02s
6 Apr 2017
Tom Grennan has a good pair of lungs on him, that's for sure. This brisk promo for 'Praying' has the up-and-coming singer running his own London Marathon after hours, with the glow from late night kebab shops lighting the way. Grennan's bluesy vocals gives lines like "I've been praying, trying to find my way" the requisite weight.

Artificial Pleasure
"All I've Got"
3 mins 44s
6 Apr 2017
Sometimes it feels like one door closes only for another to slam in your face. And that's exactly how this under-appreciated chef feels in the promo for 'All I've Got' - Dylan Holmes Williams' latest clip for Artificial Pleasure. Mr Smooth brings his amour to a humble chip shop in order to pop the question (classy) only for the guy behind the counter to realise that she is The One.

John Mayer
"Still Feel Like Your Man"
4 mins 10s
7 Apr 2017
This strikingly odd promo sees John Mayer do his best Hotline Bling in a hallway, pal around with pandas, and try to win back an unattainable butterfly girl through the power of dance. The aesthetic is a slightly strange mash-up of vaguely Japanese things, but director Mister Whitmore's intriguing work captures attention and does a lot to elevate the somewhat banal song.

Comic Relief
"Ed Sheeran Meets Kurupt FM"
3 mins 40s
5 Apr 2017
'Gingerbread man sex symbol' Ed Sheeran is unwittingly transported to Kurupt FM's misguided and stunningly offensive version of Africa through the magic of green screen in this tongue in cheek ad. The group - of the BBC's 'People Just Do Nothing' fame - ride elephants, turn the water into champers, and try to liberate the locals with the power of garage.

"On My Mind"
3 mins 20s
5 Apr 2017
Director João Retorta and DP Rina Yang know a thing or two about close encounters. The pair's recent promo for Honne's 'Good Together' oozed desire; now they depict some nightclub lust in this slick promo for Disciples's 'On My Mind'. "Are we lost/Or is this love that I'm feeling" is Retorta's launchpad as Disciple Nathan Duvall lets desire take control on a night out.

Tinie Tempah
"Chasing Flies (ft. Nea)"
3 mins 33s
5 Apr 2017
The prolific Emil Nava delivers an intriguing promo for Tinie Tempah's latest track, 'Chasing Flies'. Mr Tempah doesn't make an appearance here; instead, the video focuses on blind rapper Stoner. It's a compelling reminder of how music can transcend disability, with Nava using jump cuts and raw footage to craft a vivid, intimate profile.

Danny Brown
"Ain't It Funny"
3 mins 37s
31 Mar 2017
Something tells us network executives will pass on Danny Brown and director Jonah Hill’s ‘Ain’t It Funny’. For the rest of us, however, it’s a dark and twisted spin on American sitcoms. Be warned - 'Happy Days' this is not. Subtitles reveal Brown’s inner turmoil while the studio audience guffaws. In the end, only cognac and Xanax can drown out the laughing track.

"You're in Love with a Pyscho"
4 mins 29s
30 Mar 2017
There's an awful lot of fun going on in this promo for Kasabian. Noel Fielding and Stephen Graham guest as the alter egos of two band members in a film which references some familiar films including 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' and a piece of Marx Brothers brilliance as well as a coy nod to Kasabian's 2009 album 'West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum'.

Chris Lake
"I Want You"
3 mins 50s
29 Mar 2017
Scotland produces some of the most innovative music around. There's the weird 70s vibe created by Boards of Canada; the indefinable brilliance of Young Fathers - and now, there's Chris Lake. '! Want You' falls into the deep house genre which can be pretty anonymous... but this track is so extraordinarily infectious it's as if the bass seeps into your veins and takes you over with your full permission.

"No Refuge (ft. RZA)"
4 mins 11s
28 Mar 2017
Parisi collaborates with Wu Tang Clan's RZA for this release, which focuses on the refugee crisis and the developed world's reluctance to help. In turn, film maker Ben Strebel collaborates with creative agency Stay In School to produce a promo showing displaced people moving across an indeterminate landscape to an unspecified destination with no sense that an end to their hardship is in sight.

Macy Gray
"White Man"
3 mins 25s
27 Mar 2017
'White Man' is Macy Gray's comment on contemporary America, reminding us all that some people are still considered more equal than others. Fatima Andrade Koehler's accompanying clip features some terrific choreography as two women - one black, one white - confront each other while their hung-out laundry dries behind them (nice metaphor).

Rag'n'Bone Man
4 mins 27s
27 Mar 2017
Rag'n'Bone Man delivers an a capella intro to 'Skin' against a wasteland backdrop that is as beautiful as it is austere. It sets the scene for what follows: a young boy picking his way through a post-apocalyptic small town searching for signs of any other human life. The landscape is the real star here - empty, sweeping vistas of Kazakhstan give Rag'n'Bone Man's plangent tones a different kind of depth.

Run The Jewels
"Legend Has It"
4 mins 03s
24 Mar 2017
Brian Beletic puts Run The Jewels duo Killer Mike and EL-P in a mind-melting police line-up for their latest release. The promo suggests the dice are loaded against them, especially when others in the line-up include a nun, a schoolgirl, and a guy in a full-body plaster cast. Or are we just assuming that's the case? Stick around for the ending to find out.

High Contrast
"Questions (ft. Boy Matthews)"
3 mins 15s
23 Mar 2017
They say you should always put your smartphone to one side at bedtime. Give the brain a chance to switch off. Well, someone forgot to tell this young man. This hyperactive promo for High Contrast’s ‘Questions’ shows what happens when desire refuses to rest. Starting with his dream woman, the film dives deeper and deeper into the protagonist’s subconscious.

Joe Goddard
4 mins 56s
23 Mar 2017
Hot Chip's Joe Goddard pays tribute to those hazy cab rides home with his latest solo effort. This clubber's all tuckered out after pulling an all-nighter... but the party's only just begun. His imagination (possibly chemically-enhanced) takes flight as early morning London morphs into a Technicolour discotheque with an animated Goddard on the decks.

Police Dog Hogan
"Tyburn Jig"
3 mins 41s
22 Mar 2017
The bluegrass band formed by Blink's James Studholme gets a promo packed with Victorian ne'er-do-wells for their latest single 'Tyburn Jig'. Director Fred Rowson turns the band into arrestingly sinister crims bound for Tyburn over misdemeanours such as organ harvesting, hysteria, and cat strangling. Even their names are inspired: with a moniker like Mildred Battyfang, you're doomed from the word go.

"I Adore You"
3 mins 37s
22 Mar 2017
The talented Stephen Graham steps up for Goldie's single 'I Adore You', playing a prisoner whose sole purpose in life is maintaining a bond with his young daughter. All-too-brief visits on day release leave him seeking other ways to connect with her, and so he records tapes she can listen to as he replays precious moments with her in his mind.

Recent Promos

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