David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

TOP 25 CREATIVE AGENCIES
These scores are compiled from a combination of our in-house rating system and user ratings. Only UK work from the last two years is considered.
 1. Joint 76.9%  
 2. Wieden + Kennedy 76.0%  
 3. 4 Creative 75.8%  
 4. adam&eveDDB 75.7%  
 5. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO 74.8%  
 6. Havas London 74.3%  
 7. Lucky Generals 74.1%  
 8. mcgarrybowen 73.7%  
 9. krow 71.9%  
 10. BMB 71.5%  
 11. WCRS 71.2%  
 12. Brothers & Sisters 70.1%  
 13. Grey London 70.0%  
 14. RKCR/Y&R 69.8%  
 15. Mother 69.8%  
 16. Iris Worldwide 69.7%  
 17. JWT London 69.3%  
 18. 101 69.0%  
 19. CHI&Partners 69.0%  
 20. VCCP 68.3%  
 21. ITV Creative 68.3%  
 22. McCann London 68.3%  
 23. 18 Feet & Rising 68.3%  
 24. Leo Burnett 68.1%  
 25. Fallon 68.0%  
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Recent Promos

Skott
"Glitter And Gloss"
3 mins 33s
14 Feb 2017
Skott's 'Glitter and Gloss' has the kind of electro alt-pop sound you expect from your typical Scandi artist, and brings with it a cool promo to match. Cryptic journeys across frozen landscapes, singers lurking in freezing mansions; a colour palette that gives your eyeballs frostbite. Good stuff... brrrrrr.

Arman Cekin
"California Dreaming (ft Paul Rey & Snoop Dogg)"
3 mins 46s
14 Feb 2017
Arman Cekin's release gets a trippy video courtesy of directing trio Youth Hymns. Snoop, elegantly spotlit at a piano, plays a few chords... then takes a hit of his joint. The mood changes as we're led into his mind; a brightly-coloured cartoonish world where he and singer Paul Rey conjure up a California lifestyle full of the requisite babes, boulevards and, er, bongo brains.

Katy Perry
"Chained To The Rhythm (ft Skip Marley)"
3 mins 55s
15 Feb 2017
A human hand reaches down from above deus ex machina-style - to prepare a miniature meal in a miniature kitchen in Katy Perry's latest single. The diner? A celebrity hamster jaded by life in a bubble. We love the conceit and the painstaking care with which it's executed, although the track itself will probably have limited appeal for anyone over eight years old.

M.I.A.
"P.O.W.A."
3 mins 49s
10 Feb 2017
M.I.A. has had some epics promos to accompany her music - one of our all-time faves being 'Bad Girls' by Romain Gavras. Quite a lot to live up to - but this self-directed promo is up there with the best and features some of the most compelling choreography we've seen in a while.

Big Sean
"Halfway Off The Balcony"
3 mins 54s
8 Feb 2017
The message in Big Sean's new album 'I Decided' is summed up by the promo for this track. Director Andy Hines creates a time-slip aspect to the clip, in which 'future Sean' switches places with 'current Sean' as a reminder that one day his decisions will come back to haunt him. Choose your path well, 'future Sea'n is saying; listen to your older, wiser self.

Sampha
"(No-One Knows Me) Like The Piano"
3 mins 50s
8 Feb 2017
Sampha - starting to become known as 'the musician's musician' - tinkles the ivories sparingly as he explains how the piano in his mother's home set him on his journey. British model Adwoa Aboah moves around the almost empty room listening as if he were her son. There is a 3D VR version available, which suits the promo's minimalism.

Alexandra Savior
"Mirage"
3 mins 41s
8 Feb 2017
Newcomer Alexandra Savior - who reminds us very much of Anna Calvi - brings us a haunting track complemented by an equally haunting promo courtesy of Irrum Khan. The young singer has an alter ego: a 1920s performer named Anne-Marie who, unlike the fresh-faced ingenue, is a cynical chanteuse with the voice of a Siren and a face to match.

Twentyone Pilots
"Heavydirtysoul"
4 mins 11s
8 Feb 2017
Andrew Donahoe does a good job of making a fairly mundane rock track look deep and meaningful, with frontman Tyler thundering towards drummer Josh Dunn who is sitting amid flames in the middle of a deserted road while Tyler bears down on him in a car. The grading is excellent - managing to create a sense of freezing temperatures and molten emotions.

Formation
"A Friend"
3 mins 19s
7 Feb 2017
Formation are gaining a name for catchy, poppy anthems that nonetheless feel like something John Peel might have given a spin in the mid '80s. Their latest release 'A Friend' features one half of the twin brother duo - Will Ritson - having a violent tussle with a lover in an empty tube carriage. The lighting makes it: there's something nightmarish in the prosaic quality of the harsh glare overhead.

Declan McKenna
"The Kids Don't Wanna Come Home"
5 mins
2 Feb 2017
Young singer-songwriter Declan McKenna continues to impress with his ability to wrap topical subjects in a catchy tune. This time, he's telling parents that his generation is disillusioned with the example set by adults and the way they run the world. Bunny Kinney's video captures teens expressing their thoughts as they join forces and follow McKenna.

Charlotte Day Wilson
"Work"
4 mins 38s
31 Jan 2017
This slow, sultry track by Charlotte Day Wilson comes with a promo whose simplicity is out-and-out genius. As the gospel-tinged chords shimmer, a fixed camera captures the endless downward flow of people on a small stretch of subway escalator. Possibly inspired by the track's title, the piece has a rush hour vibe that somehow serves to emphasise each individual's isolation.

Shy Luv
"Shock Horror (ft. JONES)"
3 mins 44s
26 Jan 2017
While we can't get excited about Shy Luv's new track, it does have an excellent promo by Bif. A young man falls endlessly through the sky, multiplying himself along the way while his limbs bend and stretch like rubber. His white-garbed clones tumble around giant-sized women; bouncing off their skin inconsequentially or being casually flicked away. Mad and ingenious.

Joe Goddard
"Music Is The Answer"
3 mins 47s
31 Jan 2017
Some are already willing to declare 2017 a write-off, but not Joe Goddard. The Hot Chip man suggests a more optimistic solution: “Music is the answer/To your problems”. Worth a shot, don’t you think? Shynola's melodic sci-fi visuals accompany Goddard's measured groove.

Ryan de la Cruz
"Know About Me"
4 mins 01s
1 Feb 2017
Rising star Ryan de la Cruz plays all the roles in Bouha Kazmi's promo for his latest release 'Know About Me', proving he has presence as well as vocal talent. It reflects the track's brooding menace as Cruz drives through night-time streets with his, er, friends... culminating in a chilling denouement. Dark and accomplished.

The Amazons
"Little Something"
4 mins 07s
31 Jan 2017
Those currently enjoying ‘Resident Evil 7’s VCR-based chills will appreciate this Amazons promo. Someone is creeping on the Reading band big time. While they rehearse, a camcorder captures every movement. We soon realise how deep this fan’s obsession goes. Videotapes are stacked high as if digital never happened. A hand grabs ‘The Amazons: 11/12/16’ from the pile and hits play.

Atriums
"Charcoal"
4 mins 42s
30 Jan 2017
This promo for ‘Charcoal’ by Atriums reminds us that strength comes in many different guises. We follow a young man who works in a butcher’s shop (a nod to an earlier track, ‘The Butcher’s Apprentice’) and spars in a boxing ring. Neither place is for the faint-hearted. Plus, he has his own battles to fight at home.

Aquilo
"Silhouette"
4 mins 32s
24 Jan 2017
Second in a narrative trilogy for Aquilo - you can read our review of the first promo here - this film focuses on the father of the rebellious young figure skater whose story was told in 'You Won't Know Where You Stand.' This instalment shines a spotlight - literally - on the poignant circumstances of his life.

TOM and His Computer
"Eighty Four (ft Roxy Jules)"
2 mins 38s
19 Jan 2017
Tom and His Computer offer up another simple but powerful track, and the promo by Marco Stoltze is a literal interpretation of the title. A young woman merges with a woman who is decades her senior... as both meander through a house cloaked in plastic there's a sense of implacable ruthlessness: age doesn't always create compassion.

Aquilo
"You Won't Know Where You Stand"
4 mins 21s
24 Jan 2017
Electronic duo Aquilo embark on an ambitious trio of promos to launch their debut album, ‘Silhouettes’. Part one introduces us to a promising figure skater who learns the path to greatness never runs smoothly. She attracts the attention of a lad working at her ice rink. As their relationship blossoms, life both on and off the ice becomes a testing routine.

Gorillaz
"Hallelujah Money (ft. Benjamin Clementine)"
4 mins 31s
20 Jan 2017
Gorillaz explored environmentalism in 2010’s ‘Plastic Beach’. Now they’ve got President Trump in their sights. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s animated posse are joined by London artist Benjamin Clementine as they pay ‘tribute’ to cold, hard cash. The lyrics are laden with references to wealth and protecting one’s interests - whatever the cost.

Djamchid Sisters
"For Her"
4 mins 04s
20 Jan 2017
This wistful promo for Israeli duo Djamchid Sisters looks like a storybook unfolding before your eyes. A woman follows a leafy breadcrumb trail to discover she’s not alone in this luminous forest. The art style is lovingly rendered by Nadav Nachmany and Inbal Ochyon, while the track glides along like leaves in the wind.

Short Films
"We Rise"
2 mins 38s
19 Jan 2017
This short film follows a band as they travel to and prepare for a gig. But this is a band we - the population in general - would not expect to exist. Because of our prejudices, we tend to assume folk with learning disabilities and differences such as autism aren't capable of coming together in this way. 'We Rise' challenges this assumption with energy, skill, and consummate grace.

Bonobo
"No Reason (ft Nick Murphy)"
4 mins 03s
19 Jan 2017
This surreal film by Oscar Hudson is 'about staying indoors'. It explores the Japanese phenomenon of hikikomori - young people so overwhelmed by life that they retreat to their bedrooms for years at a time. All the effects were done practically in camera, with the production team building eighteen almost identical rooms and props in multiple sizes.

Tor Miller
"Always"
3 mins 41s
15 Jan 2017
Brooklyn-born singer Tor Miller walks through an endless underpass in his latest release 'Always'. Besieged with doubts about his relationship, his fears are represented in the accompanying promo by identical women who accost him along the way. Is his significant other more replaceable than he wants to believe? Is he just afraid of being alone?

Young Thug
"Wyclef Jean"
4 mins 52s
17 Jan 2017
This promo consists of director (sorry, co-director) Ryan Staake explaining in intricate detail how the film he'd planned to make fell apart spectacularly... mainly because the artist never showed up. Young Thug's only contribution is a voicemail about his creative vision ("kiddie cars... and bad bitches, a lot of hoes"). Oh, and some mobile phone footage of him miming to 'Wyclef Jean' and eating Cheetos.

Recent Promos

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