David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

    • Ooooos and ahhhhhsJudging from some of the reaction on social media, this commercial for SumUp is getting on a few people's nerves, but we should never underestimate the positive aspect of this kind of attention when assessing the value of a particular piece of work.
    • Out of this worldA passing alien picks up a signal from planet Earth, and it turns out to be Netflix… and we witness him going through a full gamut of emotions as he watches some of the programmes on offer.
    • Track and pace.Olympic swimming champion Gregorio Paltrinieri stars in this focused piece of work for Bridgestone tyres.
    • Hail to the mischief.Coronavirus may have spoiled the word 'variant' for good, but Marvel & Disney’s 'Loki' offers a welcome twist on permutations.
    • Global gliding.This delicate film for Facebook makes the most of director FKA twigs' understanding of movement.
    • Criminal kicks.In characteristically provocative fashion, pop pioneer Lil Nas X follows up his controversial promo for 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)' with this short teaser for his next track.
    • Fight for change.Director Hannah Berry George delivers an assured piece of work for the Army.
    • Destination Dirty for Simon Lane.Dirty Films have added quick-thinking director Simon Lane to their enterprising roster.
    • Islands in the streamWhen artists like Billie Eilish, Travis Scott, and Dua Lipa self-isolate, they do it in style.
    • Let's get vaginal.As Maude Lebowski once said, "The word vagina makes some men uncomfortable." It can also make women uncomfortable, regardless of age, body shape, or sexual experience. That’s where eco-friendly sanitary brand Flex come in.


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25 July 2021

Judging from some of the reaction on social media, this commercial is getting on a few people's nerves, but we should never underestimate the positive aspect of this kind of attention when assessing the value of a particular piece of work.

The beauty of this film is the way that it demands your attention and makes you focus on a proposition which is actually compelling if you are part of the target market. And who cares what anyone else makes of it. There can be little doubt that a small business owner regularly faced by the problem solved by this product is going to notice this commercial and investigate SumUp. And, lest you forget, that is the purpose of advertising (it makes DAVID laugh that this reminder needs to be issued from time to time… but it does, it really does).

We would also argue that the commercial is good in its own right, Thomas Ormonde obviously has a good instinct for comedy or he wouldn't allowed the ooooing to go on quite as long as it does, and the over-the-topness perfectly reinforces the idea that being able to accept card payments is a serious enhancement for a business.

1 min 40s
25 July 2021

A passing alien picks up a signal from planet Earth, and it turns out to be Netflix… and we witness him going through a full gamut of emotions as he watches some of the programmes on offer.

Netflix has long been the frontrunner in the world of streaming, but it doesn't have the deep pockets of its rivals, and it's going to have to fight hard to stay alive when it is much more financially dependent on retaining a decent share of the market than Apple, Amazon or Disney.

Their original content continues to score highly with audiences and critics alike, but there is an ongoing conversation about the need to generate more revenue streams, and even speculation that Netflix will introduce advertising for those who don't want to pay a premium price to avoid it – a financial model which works well for Channel 4's streaming service.

Using other channels to advertise Netflix is a tacit acknowledgement of the ongoing relevance of linear television, which is kind of ironic when you consider how many industry voices have predicted traditional telly's demise at the hands of streaming services. There is no doubt that our attention is increasingly evenly divided between linear and non-linear television and each platform is going to have to fight for its share.

"Gregorio Paltrinieri"
26 July 2021

Olympic swimming champion Gregorio Paltrinieri stars in this focused piece of work for Bridgestone tyres. One of three ads directed by Laszlo Kadar, the piece compares Italian Paltrinieri's harsh training regime to the brand's own exacting production process. Don't expect to see tyre-making at the Olympics anytime soon though.

That aside, the 30" commercial engages thanks to Paltrinieri's mix of strength and vulnerability. Whether crumpled on the floor after a training session or pointing to the sky after a triumphant lap, he sets a good example for the sport. Victory in Tokyo may nab him a new set of tyres into the bargain.

2 mins 44s
26 July 2021

Coronavirus may have spoiled the word 'variant' for good, but Marvel & Disney’s 'Loki' offers a welcome twist on permutations. Tom Hiddleston returns as the Norse god of mischief in this six-part series, which dabbles in time travel, multiple universes, and space bureaucracy.

All three elements are covered in this pithy trailer that also establishes Owen Wilson (unrecognisable from his Sofology days) as Loki's guide-slash-caretaker. It also proves that everyone will make a Marvel Cinematic Universe apperance at some point.

Coupled with art direction inspired by 'A Clockwork Orange', 'Brazil', and other dystopian classics, director Kate Herron's latest stands out from the franchise's already eclectic output.

"Longboard Family"
2 mins
26 July 2021

This delicate film for Facebook makes the most of director FKA twigs' understanding of movement. The action fluidly follows longboarders who have made connections through a social group on the advertised site, as they demonstrate their unique skills and assist each other in perfecting tricks and moves of their own.

Brent Faiyaz's 'Dead Man Walking' provides a dreamy soundtrack, fizzing alongside the visuals as they spool out across continents and countries - all connected by a shared passion. It's a great example of what the social network can offer when used carefully, and works to combat headlines about what can go wrong when it isn't.


Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

"Take It Home"
3 mins 21s
22 Jul 2021
Pokémon fans know that a performance by Jigglypuff usually spells disaster, or at least a bad case of narcolepsy. There's no such threat in this curious Mabel promo, as the CG balloon beast remains conspicuously silent throughout. Perhaps it was intimidated by Mabel's Brit Award for British Female Solo Artist.

Polo & Pan
"Tunnel (ft. Channel Tres)"
3 mins 38s
21 Jul 2021
Electric birds, blue-skinned humanoids, and retro-futuristic technology abound in a charming promo for Polo & Pan's 'Tunnel'. As the French electronic duo's assured groove unfolds, compatriots Zite & Leo whisk viewers across the galaxy thanks to a cosmic lift attendant. Think 'Forbidden Planet' meets 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'.

"I Wanna Be Your Slave"
3 mins 53s
16 Jul 2021
The sleazy spirit of the 70s comes crashing into the 21st Century in this erotically-charged promo for Maneskin. The Italian Eurovision winners prove they're no flash in the pan with 'I Wanna Be Your Slave', which showcases their signature musical style as it blends rap, hard rock guitar, and funk-influenced beats.

Iron Maiden
"The Writing on the Wall"
7 mins 24s
15 Jul 2021
This epic animated promo for Iron Maiden's latest track 'The Writing on the Wall' combines biblical allegory with a party at the end of the world. Director (and longtime metalhead) Nicos Livesey helms the almost seven-and-a-half minute film, which brings fresh appeal to the long established hand-drawn vibe of Maiden's album art.

Jason Derulo
"Jalebi Baby (feat. Tesher)"
3 mins 33s
15 Jul 2021
Jason Derulo may be known mainly for announcing himself at the beginning of each and every song he puts out (and doesn't disappoint here), but this fun promo for 'Jalebi Baby' has more to offer than just meme potential. The track features Indian-Canadian singer Tesher, whose vocals offer a steadying base to Derulo's flashier trills.

Mansur Brown
"My Prayer"
6 mins 40s
14 Jul 2021
Impressive VFX work enhances this atmospheric promo for Mansur Brown's latest track 'My Prayer'. Brown leads a cast of characters through their exploration of a nocturnal urban setting, as the group are compelled by a mysterious light which seems to contain a nebula of stars.

"Wandsworth To Bullingdon"
2 mins 31s
12 Jul 2021
Claustrophobia reigns supreme in this atmospheric promo for Fredo's latest track 'Wandsworth to Bullingdon'. The film is set behind bars - as one might expect for a track whose title references two prisons - and channels the likes of David Mackenzie's 2014 feature 'Starred Up' as violence, tension, and tight angles bring their own layer of menace to proceedings.

Rag'n'Bone Man
4 mins 35s
13 Jul 2021
Part performance and part drama, this visually arresting promo by director Joe Connor is one of those which recognises that the song is the thing. Shot in black and white, Connor's camera constantly focuses our attention on Rag'n'Bone Man and sensibly allows the singer to hold centre stage. The setting affords the opportunity to be playful with light and shadow and this augments the performance to such an extent that the little dramatic interludes probably aren't necessary.

Hayden Thorpe
"The Universe Is Always Right"
4 mins 30s
9 Jul 2021
This bucolic promo sees former Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe reborn in the Lake District. Found unconscious in the woods by a girl and her family, Thorpe is taken to their farm to recuperate. Once he discovers a fetching white suit in the attic, the cast fully embrace what they have in the Cumbrian countryside.

Charlotte Dos Santos
"Away From You"
3 mins 27s
7 Jul 2021
Brazilian-Norwegian artist Charlotte Dos Santos offers a serviceable slice of R&B in the form of 'Away With You'. The mid-paced outing never fizzes like you'd expect it to, and grants only mild escapism as a consequence. More successful is the track's promo, which invites viewers into a moody underground club with a dancefloor-cum-paddling pool.

Lolo Zouaï
2 mins 10s
7 Jul 2021
French-American pop singer Lolo Zouai is ready to take on the world with latest single Galipette. The track's beat-driven, confrontational sound is complemented by a similarly forthright promo from director Amber Grace Johnson, which pulls no punches (pun intended) as Zouai rolls with a crew of gangsters, performs with the UCLA Women's Gymnastics team, and participates in an underwater boxing match.

Russ Millions
"Big Shark"
3 mins 16s
6 Jul 2021
Lewisham-born rapper Russ Millions's new track pulls from Yoruba, Spanish, Arabic and English to vivid effect. Terms like 'jinn', 'kinoshele', and 'mamacita' are peppered throughout 'Big Shark', with a beefy, exotic drill beat for good measure. As for the loaded promo, director Dir. LX takes some of the genre's familiar imagery and adds a refreshing pop of colour.

3 mins 10s
28 Jun 2021
American DJ and former post-hardcore singer Skrillex returns to the pop scene with house-influenced track 'Butterflies'. The accompanying promo is thrumming with repressed energy, as director Ben Strebel depicts a group of mates taking to city streets with ghostly intent. Music fans and dance enthusiasts alike will find plenty to appreciate throughout this crisply-executed promo.

Jack Savoretti
"Secret Life"
3 mins 33s
2 Jul 2021
The latest music video set entirely/partially inside a supermarket arrives courtesy of singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti and director Calum Macdiarmid. Like Gwen Stefani, Travis, and the Mavericks, et al. before them, the duo make a beeline for the trolley stand. What follows is a likeable, unpretentious rollabout, with Savoretti unfazed by checkout operators, boy racers, or city traffic.

Emily Burns
"I'm So Happy"
3 mins 08s
28 Jun 2021
This therapeutic Emma Burns promo is a swing and a hit, so to speak. Filmed by director Josh Thornton-Allan, the Livingston-born artist switches between a baseball bat and a golf club to destroy various mementos and keepsakes by the sea. So long as she cleans up all the broken shards of glass and china, have at it!

"Distorted Light Beam"
3 mins 02s
25 Jun 2021
'The Matrix' meets Black Mirror in this intriguing promo for Bastille's latest single 'Distorted Light Beam'. The London quartet dive into a dystopic future in which humans can experience multiple realities via a sinister neural implant, as witnessed by a single engineer (His Dark Materials actor Remmie Milner) who understands the grim state of the physical world around them.

Joy Crookes
"Feet Don't Fail Me Now"
3 mins 18s
24 Jun 2021
Style marries substance in this eye-catching video for Joy Crookes' 'Feet Don't Fail Me Now'. The South London singer embraces her Bangladeshi roots in the promo, rocking delicately-styled saris alongside a squad of friends while posing on a motorbike wreathed with flower garlands.

The Vaccines
"Headphones Baby"
3 mins 18s
23 Jun 2021
Life in a band called The Vaccines must be a mixed bag right now. On the one hand, 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of your best-selling debut album. On the other hand, anti-vaxxers hate your guts. Swings and roundabouts, eh? There is a definite sense of escapism to the group's new single, as frontman Justin Young insists "I wanna live inside a world, wherever you are."

"Call On Me"
3 mins 22s
18 Jun 2021
Old-school glamour enters the 21st Century in this arresting promo for RAYE's 'Call On Me'. Director Sophia Ray captures the soft-focus look of classic musicals throughout the glitzy film, as RAYE and co. model outfits appropriately bedecked with fur, feathers, and rhinestones galore. Diamonds are, it seems, still a girl's best friend in 2021.

Bloom Twins
"High On Beat"
3 mins 34s
17 Jun 2021
This sleek promo for the Bloom Twins' 'High On Beat' blends trippy visuals with a fashion-forward attitude. Director Francis Wallis and cinematographer Ahmet Hüsseyin use offbeat camera angles and washes of neon light to keep the viewer constantly on the back foot, never knowing what to expect from the intriguing visuals.

Brother Leo
3 mins 28s
11 Jun 2021
Many artists have offered up modern interpretations of the Bible over the years, though none with quite such a glossy Hollywood sheen as this promo from Brother Leo. 'People' sees Jesus Christ cast as a fallen icon, a former celebrity trying to come to terms with the corruption of his image in a fame-obsessed world.

Greentea Peng
"Free My People"
3 mins 45s
10 Jun 2021
This hypnotic promo from neo-soul singer Greentea Peng arrives on the scene at an apt moment. With lockdowns ending and vaccines bringing isolation across Britain to a close, 'Free My People' seems set to be a laid-back anthem of summer liberation. That hazy atmosphere is beautifully rendered by director Melody Maker, who explores small moments of humanity throughout the film.

Zoe Wees
"Hold Me Like You Used To"
3 mins 12s
10 Jun 2021
This emotionally-charged promo from director Gemma Yin is a colourful exploration of grief and acceptance. As German pop star Zoe Wees sings "Now you're taken from this world/I hope you can finally breathe", Yin cuts between black-and-white and a heightened amber hue. Crucially, none of this dilutes Wees's powerful vocals.

Cautious Clay
2 mins 50s
9 Jun 2021
Audience perspective takes centre stage in this promo for Cautious Clay's 'Wildfire'. The film invokes an old-school vibe as it explores how listeners' circumstances affect their interpretation of the American R&B artist's melancholy yet melodious tones - adding weight to the old adage that beauty (or pain) is truly in the eye of the beholder.

Digital Farm Animals
"Last Night"
2 mins 44s
2 Jun 2021
'Last Night' by Digital Farm Animals sounds like a poolside banger that you can still hear underwater. With ear plugs in. At least director Elliot Simpson's promo entertains, with a pig-helmeted DJ and guest vocalist Harlee unleashing chaos in suburbia. For once, a house party that doesn't outstay its welcome.

Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

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