David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Dad's gone Ferrell.Will Ferrell stars in this film encouraging all of us to spend less time staring at our mobile phones when we should be communing with our families.
    • Horror show.As we've said before, giffgaff is to Halloween as John Lewis is to Christmas. Each year they put themselves under pressure to create something even more spectacular and in 2017, they've once again succeeded.
    • Neigh luck, mate.This Nissan ad offers a zany spin on horsepower. When this bloke’s truck conks out, he struggles to motivate the equine workforce under the bonnet.
    • Skip to it.Veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald still has a skip in his step, according to this Bose commercial.
    • Musical fares.TUI née Thomson must have wondered: “How do we celebrate our new name?”. Why, with Chaka Khan, of course.
    • Fight Like An EgyptianThe unstoppable Daniel Wolfe offers a live action take on the world of Assassin's Creed Origins in this dramatic ad.
    • Ben Leeves is welcomed to Jungle.Sound designer Ben Leeves is starting a new phase of his career after a move to Jungle.
    • Pensions in ParadiseSwedish insurance providers AMF take a surreal approach in this entertaining ad for their pension plan.
    • (Un)dead useful advice.It’s a modern conversation staple: “What would you do in a zombie apocalypse”? Well, Joe Wilkinson has got us covered.
    • City of stars.With ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ on the horizon, this Broadway-inspired commercial urges us to “do the Odyssey”.
    • Follow The LeaderMars have released a series of short horror films to coincide with the spookiest month of the year.


Wednesday, 11th October.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

The LSE, Sheffield Street, Holborn, London, WC2.

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How we made... BT Sport.

● Ian Derry.

● The Bake-Off Challenge.

● Believe's Michel & Nico.

● The Dambusters Renuion.


Device Free Dinner
"Something You Did Today"
20 October 2017

Will Ferrell stars in this film encouraging all of us to spend less time staring at our mobile phones when we should be communing with our families.

By making dad the focal point and by being so darkly funny, the film slips past the defensiveness of younger viewers and stands a chance of making them rethink their own tendency to allow their phones to dominate their inter-actions with the rest of the world.

There are a number of films in the series and each is built around the same conceit... this one is getting a favourable verdict at the 'funny or die' website after it was judged too edgy for other media.

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20 October 2017

As we've said before, giffgaff is to Halloween as John Lewis is to Christmas. Each year they put themselves under pressure to create something even more spectacular and in 2017, they've once again succeeded.

To understand this film and giffgaff's whole preoccupation with Halloween, you have to first of all examine the telecom company's relationship with its punters. This is not a standard supplier-and-customer kind of a deal... giffgaff has achieved what many in the marketing world consider to be the Holy Grail - a loyal fanbase who regard themselves as a community. Not for nothing do giffgaff refer to their customers as 'members'. Yes, ultimately it's a business relationship but it's one built around trust and mutual admiration. And it works.

The annual Halloween film is part of that relationship. It came about because giffgaff pays attention to the forums it has spawned and a love of Halloween was a recurring theme. A younger demographic is in thrall to this annual opportunity to dress up and have fun. This is partly a reaction to the hostility of older generations irked by Halloween's Americanness who prefer to wait a few days until November 5th and stand around a bonfire in the drizzle while eating baked potatoes and being terrorised by fireworks.

In this context, the annual Halloween film takes on a special importance and has become a landmark event in giffgaff's marketing year.

The latest film drops the deliberately kitsch horror references of the past and takes itself a bit more seriously. The knowing self-parody has been replaced by a cinematic film designed to send a proper chill up the audience's spine. It has been expertly put together, exploring less familiar tropes in a highly effective way.

Ultimately, it cleverly comes back to giffgaff's core proposition and, while this works, it doesn't feel strictly necessary. Perhaps next year, they'll deliver a short horror film with no connection to the service it advertises... we've a feeling giffgaff's Halloween-loving fans would be well up for that.

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"Lazy Ponies"
20 October 2017

This Nissan ad offers a zany spin on horsepower. When this bloke’s truck conks out, he struggles to motivate the equine workforce under the bonnet. Perhaps a blast of “Pretty Pretty Ponies” will do the trick...

Obnoxious and buck-toothed, these feckless ponies have their owner licked. Fortunately, Nissan’s TITAN fleet gets the job done - no song and dance required.

Car makers typically convey horsepower through galloping steeds. Instead, Traktor enjoy a spot of genetic engineering. Skewed towards younger drivers with heavy workloads, the ad is a madcap tribute to a highway stalwart.

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20 October 2017

So this is how the NFL elite stay in top nick. Veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald still has a skip in his step, according to this Bose commercial.

Fitzgerald indulges his inner child when presented with a hopscotch grid and we imagine his Arizona Cardinals teammates will be impressed.

While rivals Beats favour a grittier approach, Bose opt for playful and sun-kissed. The audio brand also target NFL fans based in the UK. As the league strengthen their London presence, Bose hope gridiron intrigue translates to increased headphone sales.

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"You in the Middle"
20 October 2017

TUI née Thomson must have wondered: “How do we celebrate our new name?”. Why, with Chaka Khan, of course. From air cabins to swimming pools, a lilting cover of ‘Ain’t Nobody’ scores this holiday hoedown.

Despite the new moniker, some things stay the same. The brand’s ‘Discover Your Smile’ tagline remains, while their army of blue shirts keep the action flowing. Strong crab choreography, too.

It’s bright, reassuring fare. At a time when budget airlines are struggling, TUI project continuity and reliability… with a few new steps thrown in for good measure.

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Recent Promos

Crystal Fighters
"Yellow Sun"
3 mins 31s
13 Oct 2017
Forget tour buses and private jets - London troubadours Crystal Fighters travel by pickup truck. The band promote their latest single ‘Yellow Sun’ with a, er, laidback performance. It's a diverting road trip: each cargo bed is filled with charming odds and ends, while the group evoke Vampire Weekend’s whimsical fare.

"You're The Best Thing About Me"
4 mins 48s
13 Oct 2017
It's such a shame that Tatia Pilieva's short film is a promo for U2, because it's so searingly poignant that it deserves better than this dialled-in track by Bono and co. To complement the song's theme about love, Pilieva created a mini-documentary about four couples - who are together in real life - facing a long-distance separation of uncertain length.

Grizzly Bear
"Mourning Sound"
4 mins 28s
13 Oct 2017
Grizzly Bear's first album since 2012's much-loved Shields has a more electronic slant than we're used to hearing from them, and nowhere is this more apparent than on 'Mourning Sound'. An oblique reflection on homelessness, hauling logs, and walking along busy freeways, it inspired promo director Beatrice Pegard in a completely different way.

Jessie Ware
3 mins 38s
13 Oct 2017
Jessie Ware enjoys some alone time in this lucent promo, courtesy of Forever’s Charlie Robins. Amidst stylish rooms and equally chic wardrobe changes, Ware blends sweet nothings and enduring bonds: ‘I could watch you watch me forever’. Beautifully lit with ornate set design complementing Ware’s urbane presence.

"Where U Wanna Be (feat. Clara La San)"
3 mins 42s
13 Oct 2017
A dancer rests her eyes and nothing else in this nimble TD_Nasty promo. Sleepwalking has rarely looked so graceful - no blindfolds required, either. Director Fiona Jane Burgess captures unrestrained expression in one continuous take. Meanwhile, Nasty belies his name with some inviting beats and Clara La San’s guest vocals.

Kele Okereke
"Streets Been Talkin'"
4 mins 18s
10 Oct 2017
Bulldogs are, well, top dog at the moment. Following Bulldog Skincare’s psychic mutt, this Kele Okereke promo stars another lovable hound. After a brief stint in the doghouse, Buddy enjoys life on the outside with his owner. Alas, trouble follows this pooch like a bad smell. Meanwhile, Okereke's shift into folk music is a pleasant surprise.

Charlotte Gainsbourg
"Deadly Valentine"
6 mins 03s
3 Oct 2017
The second track released from Charlotte Gainsbourg's album Rest, 'Deadly Valentine' is an offbeat, dreamy dance number. It's about finding The One: about being childhood sweethearts who grow up and grow old together without ever falling out of love. Sounds hellish cheesy, but both the song and the accompanying promo elegantly sidestep the ripe Camembert landmines to deliver something rather haunting and gorgeous.

"Is It Always Binary"
4 mins 16s
6 Oct 2017
Soulwax are live and kicking in this well-staged promo. The Belgian beatmakers perform ‘Is It Always Binary’ on a specially-constructed stage. Strobe lights respond to every beat and chunky synth line, while brothers David and Stephen Dewaele lead a tight live performance. The duo’s newfound preference for live drums pays off.

The Horrors
"Something To Remember Me By"
5 mins 36s
29 Sep 2017
Everyone wants a piece of The Horrors as they release their fifth album - and that includes pharmaceutical giants. This Max Weiland-shot promo sees the Southend rockers endure the Panopticon International Corporation’s dubious ethics. Blood, sweat, tears, and other bodily fluids are extracted in suspect laboratory conditions.

"Like It Ain't Nuttin'"
3 mins 55s
29 Sep 2017
Fergie makes a confident comeback with this club banger and its appropriately slick promo. The beat-heavy track invokes early 00's hip hop, as Fergie raps about spending money 'like it ain't nuttin''. Vignettes show her take on an edgy array of personas, performing to the camera as she takes in the night time sights of her adopted home town. Cool, nicely constructed work.

Jimmy Whoo
"Motel Music Part II"
8 mins 41s
28 Sep 2017
Since 2013, electronic artist Jimmy Whoo has been busy with a project called Motel Music, inspired by the influences he's absorbed on his travels. To mark its end, RSA's Johnny Hardstaff has created an intriguing short film around three of Whoo's songs and it's not until the final moments of the clip that we realise just how weird the premise actually is.

Michael Cera
"Best I Can"
4 mins 39s
26 Sep 2017
Moxie duo Dan & Antonio’s romantic documentary ‘Dina’ charmed this year’s Sundance Film Festival with its quirky insight into modern love. This equally twee promo - scored by actor-stroke-musician Michael Cera - marks the film’s impending US release.

Ry X
"Bad Love"
3 mins 11s
25 Sep 2017
Irrum's languid, tropical promo for 'Bad Love' by Ry X borrows from a host of painterly influences - the still, ghostly young women of the Pre-Raphaelites; the lushness of the Impressionists; the strangeness of the Magic Realists. Everything about the film is realised with loving attention, and Andres Arochi's cinematography gives it an ethereal sensuality.

Loyle Carner
"Sun of Jean"
5 mins 07s
22 Sep 2017
Rare is the rap video you can show your dear old mum. Credit to Loyle Carner Bullion’s Joao Retorta then for achieving such a feat. This ‘Sun of Jean’ promo brings mothers and sons together for a cuppa, a jigsaw, and a night on the sofa. Languid and personable, MC Carner vocalizes an unshakable bond. But it’s Carner’s mum, Jean, who steals the show.

Tom Walker
4 mins
22 Sep 2017
National pride comes under examination in this story-driven Tom Walker promo. When an underworld courier rescues a woman by accident, they roam town and country in search of peace. It’s a tough ask: slavery, shady deals, hostile locals - all black stains on this green and pleasant land. There is still beauty to be found, however.

Nick Mulvey
"Mountain to Move"
4 mins 01s
21 Sep 2017
Nick Mulvey’s ‘Mountain to Move’ receives a lively promo courtesy of Bullion’s Davis Silis. Following the topical ‘Myela’, this is a more carefree number. While Mulvey and co play, his colourful entourage turn an industrial wasteland into a dancefloor. Ideal for those already in need of an autumn pick-me-up.

"The Gate"
6 mins 49s
20 Sep 2017
Björk is back - with 'The Gate', the first release from her latest album. According to the singer it's a transcendent love song; moving beyond the grief of loss expressed on 'Vulnicura' and into the realm of the ethereal. To capture its mood, long-time collaborator Andrew Thomas Huang has created a radiant, shimmering and unbounded world for Björk to inhabit and suffuse with emotion.

"Satan, Luella, and I"
6 mins 14s
20 Sep 2017
South London’s HMLTD have a taste for the theatrical. Luckily, the band’s flamboyant style gives LEZ Creative’s Ilona McIlwain carte blanche. Set amongst abandoned buildings and occult ceremonies, this baroque promo for ‘Satan, Luella, and I’ doubles-down on macabre flair. A darkly glam calling card for everyone involved.

4 mins 07s
15 Sep 2017
For fans of early Radiohead the release of 'Lift' brings their mid-90s sound into the here and now, as fresh and powerful as ever. It's been bumping around in their live performances for years without ever finding a home on a studio album - but finally, it's enjoying a deserved moment in the sun and Oscar Hudson has made a stunning video to go with it.

Young Martha
"Homie (ft Meek Mill)"
3 mins 37s
12 Sep 2017
Whatever we think of the track, 'Homie' is - as a promo - pretty awesome. Hudson is becoming synonymous with intricate, in-camera pyrotechnics (see his promo for and this lifts his game yet another notch.

Piers James
3 mins 07s
12 Sep 2017
Rapper Piers James summons his inner warrior in this lithe ‘Samurai’ promo. Broadstairs turns feudal as a lone samurai throws some menacing shapes. Despite the scenic location, conflict is inevitable. Director Luke Davies and DP Mollie Manning Walker linger on the samurai’s imposing armour. As for the track, James fuses East and West.

"Faded Youth"
3 mins 26s
11 Sep 2017
This nostalgia-suffused promo for Punctual's 'Faded Youth' captures what it is to live in and outgrow a tired seaside town. The film and the grade give it a powerful sense of a place that was once a fashionable holiday destination, and we're drawn to the two young women who - we sense - both feel they don't belong and yet would be fiercely protective of their roots.

"Up All Night"
4 mins 25s
8 Sep 2017
'Up All Night' is the latest single to be released from Beck's upcoming thirteenth album Colors. First out last year, the track now gets a fresh lease of life thanks to the trippy promo by directing collective CANADA - and the richly imagined party shenanigans they've created is jam-packed with visual nuggets that make it a pleasure to revisit over and over.

Super Full Moon
4 mins 32s
6 Sep 2017
Animation director Sandra Clua has created a great promo for Super Full Moon which demonstrates the complexity of the human condition rather beautifully. Starting with Ikea-style directions for building your very own person, the freshly constructed being at the film's centre still suffers all the anguish and ennui each of us experiences at some time or other in our lives.

"Mortal Reminder"
4 mins 39s
7 Sep 2017
If you’ve never heard of Pentakill, you probably haven’t heard of ‘League of Legends’, either. The popular MOBA (that’s ‘multiplayer online battle arena’) game features its own heavy metal group: Pentakill. Think Gorillaz meets high fantasy warfare. Band members include Sona, Karthus the Deathsinger, and - ahem - Mordekaiser the Master of Metal.

Recent Promos

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