David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Greatcoat Films sign Shan Phearon.Greatcoat Films say their new signing, Shan Phearon, brings "an encyclopedic knowledge of film" to 29 Wadeson Street.
    • The show must go on.Despite using The Muppet Show's venerable theme song, this playful 60" John Lewis ad features nary a Kermit, Miss Piggy, or Rowlf the Dog.
    • Tomato, tomato.Uber Eats have triggered a battle for the ages in their latest ad, as two giants of sci-fi face off about their dinner choices.
    • Clear the air.Encouraging smokers to quit is more vital than ever in 2020, as this ad viscerally illustrates.
    • Game of thrones.This 90" film announces Eric Cantona as one of FIFA 21's unlockable legends.
    • Court of ConvictionChina's most famous one-on-one basketball tournament calls 2020 players to action with this intriguing film.
    • Zero Sum GameIt's hard to describe keeping the nation's lights on during a pandemic as 'doing nothing', but EDF Energy have a different take on the concept in their latest commercial.
    • Blow and go.This 40" Seat commercial charms thanks to its three inflatable protagonists
    • Step on it.Rhiannon Harper-Rafferty replaces Timothy V. Murphy in the Confused.com driver’s seat.
    • Francisco Sendino arrives at Object & Animal.Object & Animal have completed the signing of German filmmaker Francisco Sendino for UK and US representation.
    • No hard feelings.Taskmaster host Greg Davies is a game show host scorned in this 40" promo.
    • Leaders of TomorrowVideo games have very much become the national pastime in lockdown, so this graphic-heavy outing for UNICEF should grab the attention of both competitive and casual audiences.

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Greatcoat Films sign Shan Phearon.

Greatcoat Films say their new signing, Shan Phearon, brings "an encyclopedic knowledge of film" to 29 Wadeson Street.

The move follows the release of Phearon’s post-lockdown promo for rapper One Acen, which was an odd experience for managing director Simon Oxley: "It was a strange start to our new creative partnership, as we didn’t meet Shan in person until One Acen's 'Nigeria' video."

But good things come to those who wait, with Oxley calling Phearon an "extremely driven director with an infectious enthusiasm for his work". Lively Zoom calls with Phearon made the company's decision even easier.


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John Lewis
"For the Joy of Home"
60s
25 September 2020

Despite using The Muppet Show's venerable theme song, this playful 60" John Lewis ad features nary a Kermit, Miss Piggy, or Rowlf the Dog. Instead, the embattled department store presents a game of musical chairs. And tables. And cushions.

Like a good-natured haunting, these inanimate objects sneak around the house while the adults furrow their brows. Yet this is no supernatural occurence - just a couple of children eager to prove that staying in is the new going out.

Evoking the homespun charm of 2018's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' film (and more than a hint of IKEA's 'The Wonderful Everyday' campaign), it's a fun take on how 'multipurpose' homes have become in recent months. Cue further scattershot speculation about the brand's 2020 Christmas ad.


Uber Eats
"Showdown"
45s
24 September 2020

Uber Eats have triggered a battle for the ages in their latest ad, as two giants of sci-fi face off about their dinner choices. Perennial internet darling Mark Hamill and glabrous legend Patrick Stewart take opposing stances regarding vegetables: Hamill favours an absolutely tomato-free sandwich while Stewart tauntingly asserts his choice of pasta - liberally adorned with the little red blighters.

While the debate over veggie validity will be relatable for many, it's Hamill and Stewart’s performances which sell the concept. Hammy and self-aware in equal measure, the two deliver overwrought trash talk with obvious relish. Kudos to director Guy Shelmerdine for adding some transatlantic rivalry into the mix with their respective choice of weapons, too.


Stoptober
"Breathe Easier"
30s
24 September 2020

With a respiratory pandemic entering its second wave and all manner of vices thoroughly indulged as people cling to whatever keeps them sane, cigarette-quitting events like Stoptober are more vital than ever for public health. The NHS announce this year's initiative in floral fashion, replacing lungs with plants.

While fans of murdery cult classic TV series Hannibal may find the imagery disturbingly familiar, this tar-soaked tree is executed (pardon the pun) in a gentler fashion. The plants regain their colour and vitality as smoking is reduced, finally breathing easy again when restored to their former glory.

While the outlook for those struggling with nicotine addiction in the face of Covid-19 is grim, this ad promises that there's support available to reduce one’s health risks all around. With over a million smokers having already quit during lockdown, Stoptober 2020 is already off to a promising start.


FIFA 21
"There is Only One King"
90s
24 September 2020

FIFA 21 may be a mixed bag for Leeds United fans this season. On the one hand, United’s Elland Road stadium is, er, missing from the upcoming game. On the other hand, supporters can play as former striker Eric Cantona and pretend he never left for rivals Manchester United. Swings and roundabouts, really.

This 90" film announces Cantona as one of the game's unlockable legends, but not before directors Ryan and Ben Coyle-Larner hail the new generation of "kings and winners": schoolchildren, part-timers, full-timers, and even the local pie and mash shop owner.

The result is a vivid, melodic, and inclusive tribute to anyone who's scored a tap-in or a screamer in their time. The only one unmoved by the hype is Cantona, who punctures the ad's earnest tone with customary elan.


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Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

A G Cook
"Beautiful Superstar"
4 mins 42s
29 Sep 2020
Producer and Richard Ashcroft lookalike AG Cook embarks on an uncanny expedition in this sci-fi-tinged promo for ‘Beautiful Superstar’. Cook (who co-directs with Prosper Unger-Hamilton) wields both a camcorder and a modified crossbow as he observes extraterrestrial phenomena, including a giant, copyright lawyer-baiting apple.

Gaël Faye
"Respire"
3 mins 18s
23 Sep 2020
Florid architecture and ‘Tenet’-style breathing masks dominate this Gaël Faye promo from director Raphaël Levy. Shot in the Ivry-sur-Seine district of Paris, Levy's film juxtaposes the stifling mundanity of modern life (represented by desk jockeys on life support) with jagged concrete buildings that are somehow bursting with greenery.

Yusuf/Cat Stevens
"Father and Son 2020"
4 mins
18 Sep 2020
Cat Stevens gets meta with this re-working of classic track 'Father and Son', in which he swaps out his original vocals (when playing the father) for his now authentically-aged voice. It's a poignant choice, allowing the listener to hear a man reflecting on both his past and present self - the son with the desire to rush off and build a future, and the father urging caution.

Fenne Lily
"Solipsism"
3 mins 06s
16 Sep 2020
This promo for Bristol singer and songwriter Fenne Lily brings new meaning to the phrase 'shopping trip'. Shot in what may well be some viewers' local convenience store, the film sees banana-lover Lily overdose on potassium and face some highly personalised advertising. Even staff and fellow shoppers aren't immune to this mind mischief.

NOISY
"Put a Record On"
3 mins 03s
14 Sep 2020
Shot on 16mm film, this gritty promo for NOISY's 'Put a Record On' makes the most of its hazy medium. Director Thomas Davis's film has a distinctly textured quality to it, as the protagonist performs the track to camera with a snarl and buckets of attitude. Should appeal to fans of a Nineties aesthetic, rave culture, and, er, recreational writhing.

Katy Perry
"Cry About It Later"
3 mins 16s
14 Sep 2020
Katy Perry channels Studio Ghibli in this animated promo for latest single 'Cry About It Later'. The pop star turns traditional tales topsy-turvy in the lovingly rendered film, as she changes the focus of familiar fairy stories to embrace female empowerment. From transforming into a witch to beating a vampire at his own game, Perry's animated avatar is very much the hero of her own story.

Katy Perry
"Tucked"
3 mins 24s
11 Sep 2020
Directors Hoku & Adam evoke Archie Comics and other classic titles in this cheeky promo for Katy Perry’s ‘Tucked’. Like a healthy eating campaign gone wrong, a woman contemplates cheats on her part man, part brocolli husband with the hunky piece of candy across the road. So much for 'Love Me Tenderstem®'.

Stormzy
"Superheroes"
3 mins 46s
10 Sep 2020
Heroes can feel few and far between these days - elected officials quibble while the world burns, celebrities are exposed as abusers, and current events show deep divides at all levels of society - but Stormzy is determined to show Black youth that they can be their own heroes with this stirring promo dedicated to the late Chadwick Boseman.

FKA twigs
"Sad Day"
7 mins 34s
8 Sep 2020
FKA twigs adds wushu (or Chinese martial arts) to her eclectic CV in this Hiro Murai-directed video for 'Sad Day'. Filmed in and around north London, the promo sees Twigs and her companion lock swords in a Chinese takeaway before leaping into the night à la 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'. Or should that be 'Crouch End Tiger'?

Groove Armada
"Lover 4 Now"
3 mins 38s
7 Sep 2020
This animated promo for Groove Armada's latest track is a labour of lockdown love. Inspired by the isolation and anxiety of coronavirus quarantine, director Fons Schiedon spins a tale of long-distance relationships and finding hope amidst the heavy silence. With sketchy animation and a scrappy vibe, the film sees an unlikely pair fall for each other via video call.

Run The Jewels
"Out of Sight"
4 mins 24s
4 Sep 2020
An unusual attempted heist takes centre stage in this entertaining promo for Run The Jewels' latest track 'Out of Sight'. The promo stars actors from director Ninian Doff's debut feature film 'Get Duked!' as would-be robbers - who get themselves into hot water when the gems they're eyeing up prove too tasty to resist.

Ghostpoet
"I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep"
4 mins 35s
3 Sep 2020
Ghostpoet turns barfly in this grimly compelling promo for 'I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep', with artist Obaro Ejimiwe seemingly content to drink the night away in a dive bar. Alas, fate has other plans in store for him. Some fresh air (among other things) lands Ghostpoet in the emergency room, and, well, things just go from bad to worse after that.

Elderbrook
"Why Do We Shake in the Cold?"
3 mins 19s
1 Sep 2020
EDM artist Elderbrook gets introspective on latest track 'Why Do We Shake in the Cold?'. The accompanying promo is trippy and intimate by turns, using dance and jerky repetition to communicate the all too human need for touch and connection. Director Jára Moravec's hypnotic visuals merit a second watch to let the atmosphere wash over.

Joesef
"I Wonder Why (Director's Cut)"
3 mins 46s
2 Sep 2020
Few would call this Joesef promo escapism per se. After all, director Molly Burdett traps the Glaswegian singer-songwriter in a small and dingy flat that literally blows hot and hold. Those desperate to swap town for country post-lockdown may intesify their efforts after watching radio dials melt and flies freeze to death.

Ty Dolla $ign
"Expensive (ft. Nicki Minaj)"
2 mins 53s
2 Sep 2020
For better or worse, Ty Dolla $ign's 'Expensive' sounds like a throwback to unadulterated hip-hop excess. Amid an enjoyably garish sea of dollar bills and designer boxes, Ty notes "I'ma take my girl to Dior this week" and "all my bitches gotta fit my aesthetic". Good to know someone's spending like there's no tomorrow during the pandemic.

Celeste
"Little Runaway"
3 mins 12s
1 Sep 2020
Director Sophie Jones and DP Joel Honeywell use a fisheye lens to good effect in this promo for Celeste's 'Little Runaway'. Like June's black-and-white visuals for 'I Can See the Change' (also shot by Jones and Honeywell), the outcome is economical yet eye-catching. If anything, the small-scale shoot allows Celeste's rich vocals to dominate even further.

James Vincent McMorrow
"I Should Go"
4 mins 45s
27 Aug 2020
This surprisingly poignant promo for James Vincent McMorrow's latest track 'I Should Go' follows an actor trying to hit the big time. As he makes the transition from vlogging to Hollywood in the hopes of an audition, his desire for recognition becomes increasingly desperate. Needless to say, things don't go to plan.

Mellah
"Habit"
3 mins 55s
25 Aug 2020
This surreal promo for Mellah's latest track 'Habit' brings to life the self-sabotaging cycles present in the song's lyrics. The fact it was shot during lockdown has a direct impact on the film's visuals, as infinite versions of Mellah haunt and taunt the singer by turns. This isn't a film for the faint of heart, but the overall effect is striking.

Dua Lipa
"Levitating (ft. Madonna & Missy Elliott)"
4 mins 17s
25 Aug 2020
Not one to rest on her laurels (even during a pandemic), Dua Lipa has already completed a remix of this year's critically acclaimed 'Future Nostalgia' album. Her thrumming new take on 'Levitating' features vocals from Madonna and Missy Elliott, no less, and also receives a luminous promo courtesy of director Will Hooper.

Biffy Clyro
"Space"
4 mins 22s
21 Aug 2020
Being a proud Scot, Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil is used to getting soaked. This Joe Connor-directed promo for 'Space' sees Neil and dancer Jasmine Chiu caught in a decidedly localised shower, followed by an underwater sequence that no designer shirt or dress is expected to survive. It gives a whole new meaning to the term "fashion victim".

Hak Baker
"Wobbles on Cobbles"
5 mins 27s
20 Aug 2020
Hak Baker's 'Wobbles on Cobbles' is a masterclass in storytelling - a spoken word track which unfolds over a gentle, acoustic backdrop as it documents a few 'jumped up' weeks in its author's life. Fans of Mike Skinner et al. will appreciate the song's conversational tone, as the mundane and unusual are reported with equal enthusiasm.

Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion
"WAP"
4 mins
16 Aug 2020
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's controversial track 'WAP' is gleefully unapologetic in its sensuality, silliness, and serious demands for partners to up their game in the bedroom. The promo sees the two rappers frolic their way through a stylish house which appears to have quite the plumbing issue, encountering tigers, snakes, and twerking celebrities as they go.

One Acen
"Nigeria"
2 mins 52s
18 Aug 2020
Shan Phearon directs this busy promo for One Acen's 'Nigeria', moving between uncanny shootouts and title cards explaining terms like prequel, sequel, and reboot. At just shy of three minutes long, viewers must tune into the promo's frequency quickly or they risk being shot in the back of the head by a hockey mask-wearing assailant. Eye-catching VFX helps sell the proposition.

The Magician
"You and Me"
3 mins 35s
17 Aug 2020
This colourful spin on love at first sight arrives courtesy of Belgian DJ The Magician and director Andrea Mae Perez, who renders downtown Tokyo in multiple dreamy hues. Amidst the hustle and bustle of Japan's capital city, a blind man and a sighted woman embark on an increasingly psychedelic first date together.

Idles
"Model Village"
4 mins 08s
14 Aug 2020
Rumours of punk's demise have been greatly exaggerated - at least, if this scrappy promo for Idles' 'Model Village' is anything to go by. Brothers Michel and Olivier Gondry shot this four-minute film during lockdown, painstakingly crafting darkly surreal scenes that explore how life in a small-town fishbowl feels.

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.