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.


Mami Wata
5 mins 13s
16 April 2017

The surfing sector ventures into uncharted waters with this artfully-shot piece for Mami Wata. It’s a surfing ad without the lingo - no gnarly waves or wipeouts here. Instead, we’re given an insight into one man’s relationship with the sea… and it how washes over his everyday life.

The effect is beguiling and disorientating. Water holds complete sway over him, yet a voice tells him there’s nothing to be afraid of: “Young man, that is not a spell - it’s a blessing.” This goes deep below the surface - deeper than most surf brands are prepared to go.

Strangelove’s Pantera blend urban scenes and arresting ocean photography well. It’s a languid watch, but it’s clear the brand wish to bring something different to the market. An enigmatic film that should engross surfers and non-surfers alike.

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Boots No 7
"Amanda Foster"
13 April 2017

Stuntwork is risky business. Performers endure falls, crashes, infernos, and all manner of dicey deeds ... all to ensure the leads make it to the première intact. Boots No 7 give one stunt pro top billing. Her name is Amanda Foster - and she’s got a date with a glass window.

We've seen some thought-provoking work from this brand recently, enlisting the likes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for their insights. Here, actions speak louder than words. In a sector not known for vertiginous thrills, Smuggler's Susanne 'Night Manager' Bier ensures a premium rush as Foster makes her leap of faith.

It’s a worthy companion to the Alessandra Ferri piece which caught our eye last year. The brand once again salutes those who refuse to let age govern their actions. While the advertised anti-aging cream only makes a brief cameo at the end, it’s another noteworthy effort from the cosmetic line.

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Big Little Lies
"Opening Titles"
15 April 2017

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.

As well as stellar performances from the likes of Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Reese Witherspoon, the show offers a wonderful opportunity to younger actors. Nine year old Darby Camp who plays Chloe and eight year old Iain Armitage who plays Ziggy are unbelievably good and continually threaten to upstage their celebrated co-stars.

This trail beautifully anticipates this levelling between the adult and child actors by asking each to carry out the same action... they approach the camera look at it and then move on. It doesn't look as though any of them were given any more instruction than that and each has produced their own interpretation of this simple exercise. Together with Michael Kiwanuka's 'Cold Little Heart', this montage of playfulness provides a perfect introduction to the intriguing hour of drama it introduces.

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"Fancy Dress Party"
2 mins 53s
16 April 2017

Allegro were widely considered to have stolen the crown of 'Best Christmas Advert' from the more established players with their emotional story of an elderly man learning English so that he can talk to the granddaughter he'd never met before, and - for the follow-up - they've opted for a script developed from the same playbook.

It's not without its faults - it's too long and it allows the audience to get the impression that this little girl is incredibly spoiled before its sweet reveal - but it looks certain to have a similar emotional impact to its popular predecessor.

It offers a perfect illustration of the internationalisation of modern advertising. It's hard to say what our expectations would have been twenty years ago if we'd been told we were about to watch an ad created by a Polish agency and directed by a Mexican but we probably wouldn't have been holding our breath. These days a director like Rodrigo García Saiz enjoys the freedom to ply his trade anywhere and everywhere, and advertising everywhere is enriched by this.

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The Vagina Dialogues

The news that Caroline Pay is joining forces with Vicki Maguire to form London's first all-female CCO team has inevitably focused on their success in breaking through one of advertising's toughest glass ceilings.

The pair were in exuberant form when DAVID caught up with them at Grey London's Hatton Garden headquarters where they discussed their newly-formed partnership as well as their commitment to diversity - exemplified by the decision to celebrate Grey's Jewish founders by renaming the London agency Valenstein & Fatt for a hundred days.



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.