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.

CRAFTWORKS

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.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


Mami Wata
"Woza"
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"
40s
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"
90s
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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Allegro
"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.


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Beth Ditto
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Royal Blood
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Dua Lipa
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Pale Waves
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MiC LOWRY
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BOSCO
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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.

Temples
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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
"Praying"
3 mins 02s
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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
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4 mins 10s
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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
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3 mins 40s
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'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.

Disciples
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3 mins 20s
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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
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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.

Kasabian
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4 mins 29s
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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'.

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3 mins 50s
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Parisi
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4 mins 11s
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Macy Gray
"White Man"
3 mins 25s
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'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
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4 mins 27s
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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
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4 mins 03s
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High Contrast
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3 mins 15s
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Joe Goddard
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4 mins 56s
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Police Dog Hogan
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3 mins 41s
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Goldie
"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.