David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Style and SubstancesHip lip balm brand eos bring a little magic to their manufacturing process in this fantastical film.
    • Different strokes for different folks.McCain's occasionally controversial 'We Are Family' campaign returns with another warm portrait of domesticity.
    • Choose your path.This captivating ad for the Cupra Ateca is a road trip in more ways than one.
    • No, Nothing At AllIt's perhaps no surprise that Channel 4 take a, er, head-on approach to addressing their haters.
    • Pinkie PowerA normal day at the office gets a little bit posher in this entertaining outing for Bahlsen Choco Leibniz.
    • Celebrity SuperfanAndy Murray takes a spectator's seat at the US Open from the comfort of his own home in this amiable ad for Amazon Prime.
    • Are you ready?The National Football League (NFL) mark their one-hundredth season with this rousing commercial from 72andSunny and director Stuart McIntyre.
    • Rise and shine.Fruit juice brand Hohes C's natural enemy is the lie-in, says this attractively-shot commercial from Germany.
    • Can't Handle the HeatFried chicken takes a dramatic turn in this intriguing South African ad for KFC.
    • Space to PlayOnline car dealers Heycar tap into the excitement of getting a new vehicle in their first commercial campaign

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McCain
"Differences"
60s
20 August 2019

McCain's occasionally controversial 'We Are Family' campaign returns with another warm portrait of domesticity from adam&eveDDB and director Finn McGough. With Ricky Tomlinson once again on narration duties, the ad encourages people to embrace rather than reject the differences that make up their respective clans.

This is illustrated by a well-chosen compendium of family units that are solid, fluid, or works in progress. That they should all share a love of oven chips will come as no surprise to the initiated, however, and it does show the brand is working from a template - albeit an effective one.


Cupra Ateca
"Create Your Own Path"
60s
18 August 2019

This captivating ad for the Cupra Ateca is a road trip in more ways than one. Shot from a top-down perspective, director Inocuo's film stitches together highways, motorways, and expressways from across the globe to form one near-seamless road.

It's striking to behold, as town gives way to country, deserts turn into forests, and snow is replaced by vivid coastline. Think stop-motion animation meets Google Maps and you'll get the idea.

While this spectacle unfolds, the ad's narrator comes across as a philosopher-stroke-driving instructor, reminding us that life is a series of twists and turns, zigs and - you guessed it - zags.

On it's own, this spiel would have been forgettable, but it's given extra clout by the accompanying visuals. The result is both roadworthy and more than worthy of viewers' attention.


Channel 4
"Complaints Welcome"
90s
20 August 2019

Given Channel 4's reputation as the enfant terrible of the major TV channels, it's perhaps no surprise that they take a, er, head-on approach to addressing their haters. Based on actual complaints sent in by disgruntled viewers, the hosts themselves address their displeasure with a bang, not a whimper.

Opening the film with a good old "I'm not homophobic but...", the diverse cast revel in pissing off those who don't appreciate their differences. From Grayson Perry thoroughly rejecting suggestions he should "try and look like a normal woman" to Alex Brooker putting his "puke-inspiring" arms front and centre, the approach exposes the pettiness of the complaints for how ridiculous they truly are.

With nods to the channel's enduring support of paralympic sport and an orchestral version of 'Je Ne Regrette Rien' as the soundtrack, director Alex Boutell has made this feel like a triumphant two-finger salute to detractors. It says complaints about diversity are more than welcome... but they won't change a thing.


Bahlsen Choco Leibniz
"Pinky"
30s
19 August 2019

A normal day at the office gets a little bit posher in this entertaining outing for Bahlsen Choco Leibniz. Mundane staff room conversation carries on as usual as colleagues munch down some of the advertised biscuits, yet there's a surreal twist growing right before their eyes. Move over, peely peely - this is pinky power.

Pinocchio-style pinkies might not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks 'posh', but the gimmick gives the ad a distinctly British flavour. Add to that a boisterous offer of darjeeling and a burst of classical music, and biccie fans will be having high tea in no time.


Amazon Prime
"Andy Murray"
60s
19 August 2019

Andy Murray takes a spectator's seat at the US Open from the comfort of his own home in this amiable ad for Amazon Prime. The brand's streaming service has exclusive rights to broadcast the tournament this year, so Murray can soothe his sorrows at not being on the court himself by checking out how his peers are playing.

There are some lovely background details throughout the laid-back film, from the books on Murray's bedside table to his AstroTurf-clad slippers emphasising his all-encompassing passion for tennis. There's a nice gag with his pooch to round things off too, as the mutt takes the instruction to 'change ends' literally.

Unfortunately, it's the overenthusiastic commentator who threatens to spoil the occasion. Subscribers can only hope the platform have a more compentent broadcaster available for the real thing.


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Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Stereophonics
"Fly Like An Eagle"
4 mins 46s
18 Aug 2019
This promo for 'Fly Like An Eagle' by the Stereophonics perfectly encapsulates the difficulties that teenagers can face even in an environment which is generally supportive. Its teenage protagonist clearly has a very special relationship with her father… but you sense very quickly that she doesn't feel able to tell him everything. She has a crush on another girl at her school, and doesn't identify with the stereotypical look of the other female students. Dad appears more than happy with her 'tomboyishness' but lacks both the information and the wherewithal to recognise that there's more going on than that.

Elderbrook & Rudimental
"Something About You"
4 mins 07s
15 Aug 2019
There's a powerful message contained within this stripped-back promo for Elderbrook & Rudimental's 'Something About You'. Mental health - specifically male mental health - takes centre stage as a support group evolves an unusual method of bringing its members together. There's a lot at play here, but director Luke Davies has achieved a delicate balance between choreography and emotional expression.

Bear's Den
"Hiding Bottles"
4 mins 05s
13 Aug 2019
British folk-rockers Bear's Den get serious on their latest single from 2019 album 'So that you might hear me'. Addressing the issue of alcohol abuse and its effect on families, 'Hiding Bottles' explores timelines coming together and diverging - mixing events that did happen, could happen, and didn't take place at all.

Ella Eyre
"Mama (with Banx & Ranx)"
3 mins 16s
9 Aug 2019
Oh dear... the higher you're hoisted on a pedestal, the harder you fall when you're toppled. And Ella Eyre's guy discovers just what that's like when his mum gets word he's been playing fast and loose with Ella's affections. Confronted during a family meal, he's like a rabbit in headlights... these are not women you would ever want to cross.

Alice Chater
"Tonight"
3 mins 26s
9 Aug 2019
Alice Chater brazens out the threat of an earthly apocalypse with the help of fellow witches in a country mansion coven. The video - courtesy of Favourite Colour: Black - has her facing down the devil (well, a young dude bathed in red light) as she dances in a variety of snazzy costumes. It's slick, colourful and tightly choreographed. We're sure the kids will love it.

Metronomy
"Walking in the Dark"
3 mins 07s
8 Aug 2019
UK dance-rock outfit Metronomy get psychedelic in their promo for latest single 'Walking in the Dark'. The stripped-back tune is set in contrast to a busy video, which features 3D visuals, bright colours, and, er, a moving kiddie ride. There's a retro-futuristic vibe to the piece, which sees traditional metal drums and vintage gold dragons blend with iPhone screens and Bluetooth headsets.

Foals
"Black Bull"
3 mins 05s
8 Aug 2019
An angry bull wearing a necklace of flowers is still an angry bull, as shown by this refreshingly muscular Foals promo. As Yannis Philippakis and his bandmates deliver a potent rendition of ‘Black Bull', director Niall O'Brien duly runs with the track title. Despite its livid reputation, the eponymous bull is actually shot in refined slow-motion.

Bat for Lashes
"The Hunger"
5 mins 01s
7 Aug 2019
Bat for Lashes runs a cryptic desert cult in this intriguing promo for latest single 'The Hunger'. The singer - and director of the film - takes the central role of a messianic figure, done up in a fantastical ruffled garment as she greets her cloaked followers with an embrace in sparse surroundings. It's a stylish concept which isn't burdened with too much backstory, much like the earlier promo for 'Kids in the Dark'.

sir Was
"Deployed (ft. Little Dragon)"
3 mins 57s
7 Aug 2019
Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano lends her voice to this luminous piece of Scandi-electronica from producer sir Was. With both hidden behind neon LED sunglasses for much of co-director Damien Priest's promo, it's like a masquerade ball shot through a synthwave filter. This ultimately suits the delicate soundscape of 'Deployed', however.

Idles
"Mercedes Marxist"
3 mins 37s
6 Aug 2019
Headbanging music takes on a whole new meaning in this bleak promo for Idles's latest single 'Mercedes Marxist'. The film follows a man living a life of quiet desperation, moving from job to home to job again without feeling much more than like he's banging his head against a wall... literally. The percussive nature of the action is deftly handled by directing duo thirtytwo, who infuse the pallid, washed-out scenes with a formidable amount of foreboding.

Friendly Fires
"Silhouette"
3 mins 55s
1 Aug 2019
This retro promo for Friendly Fires's latest single 'Silhouette' recreates the kind of Eurovision performance which graced screens throughout the Seventies and Eighties. Complete with vintage grade and pastel costumes, the film sees the band deliver a family-friendly performance that's markedly different from other promos in their canon.

Novelist
"No Weapons"
4 mins 56s
1 Aug 2019
Directing duo BLOK make a departure from their comedy-driven back catalogue with this hard-hitting promo for grime artist Novelist's 'No Weapons'. Following one young man's experiences with gun and knife violence, and the devastating impact they have on him and his community, the short film addresses the issue plaguing London's streets head on.

Kid Kapichi
"Death Dips"
3 mins 41s
31 Jul 2019
Hastings four-piece Kid Kapichi melt faces in this B-movie-inspired promo for their latest single 'Death Dips'. The group possess mysterious powers of rock and roll, harnessed by money-grubbing managers to possess all who hear their music. Deliberately shlocky production values fit the band's raucous vibe well, as a gig threatens to overwhelm all present.

Peggy Gou
"Starry Night (trailer)"
34s
31 Jul 2019
Exclusivity deals with the likes of Tidal and Apple Music have made 'promo teasers' an increasingly common occurrence, and this Peggy Gou effort is the latest example. The South Korean artist's new track 'Starry Night' looks to have received a luscious promo courtesy of Jonas Lindstroem, but currently only Apple Music subscribers can enjoy the full thing.

Madonna
"Batuka"
6 mins 01s
29 Jul 2019
Madonna turns her searchlight back to Africa for this new track from her latest album 'Madame X'. Well, the coast of Africa, to be more precise; the Portuguese colony of Cape Verde, which played a significant role in the slave trade. Both the song and the video are centred around the women who live here and who created the genre of music and dance called batuque.

Die Atzen
"Ballern"
2 mins 35s
30 Jul 2019
German hip-hop duo Die Atzen prove they don't take themselves too seriously with latest single 'Ballern'. The track - whose title means to engage in an activity with gusto - is accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek promo which features Euro-trash fashion, Stepford-style families, and, erm, exploding heads.

The Amazons
"Doubt It"
5 mins 34s
30 Jul 2019
With a sophomore album credited by some as one of the big sleeper hits of 2019, Reading-based outfit The Amazons have expanded their aesthetic horizons to match their growing popularity in this promo for 'Doubt It'. Directed by Thomas James, the surreal film unravels the mystery of a small town beset by an unusual number of missing teens.

NUUXS
"Options"
3 mins 32s
29 Jul 2019
A cleaner makes the most of what's left from the night before in a therapeutic promo for NUUXS's 'Options'. Tasked with clearing the remnants of a party in a local hall, the protagonist decides she's merely fashionably late to this particular knees-up. As the cleaner quaffs leftover wine and showers confetti over herself, pop-noir songstress NUUXS addresses the camera in a pink haze.

Hot Chip
"Spell"
3 mins 37s
25 Jul 2019
This touchy-feely promo for Hot Chip's 'Spell' sees a romantic night in take a turn for the weird. Director Simon Owens subverts expectations with a wry take on make-scenes, as a couple getting frisky with each other suddenly find an unexpected third party in the mix. There's lovely puppetry work on display here, as a bedsheet slowly creeps across undulating limbs.

Kano
"Trouble"
17 mins 14s
24 Jul 2019
Clocking in at just over seventeen minutes, this Kano promo is not for the restless or the faint of heart. Stick with it, however, and a thoughtful, intense depiction of knife crime and its effects will emerge. At first, director Aneil Karia's film is more concerned with family dinners, sibling rivalries, and arguments about who should nip to the shops for groceries... but trouble is never far away.

Sam Smith
"How Do You Sleep?"
3 mins 49s
22 Jul 2019
Cementing his role as the king of break-up anthems, Sam Smith dances the blues away in this glossy promo for latest single 'How Do You Sleep'. With choreography by Parris Goebel, the film evokes the expressive movements of vogueing and the drag ball scene as Smith ponders why he's still so unlucky in love.

Pearl City
"Friends"
3 mins 08s
23 Jul 2019
There are plenty of muscles on show in this Pearl City promo, but, ironically, none belong to the two protagonists. They are a pair of gangly young men from Southport who wile away their time in the local arcade and lifting feather-light weights. Easing their boredom with cans of lager, the only time their eyes light up is when the female bodybuilders come to town.

Gallant
"Sharpest Edges"
3 mins 43s
17 Jul 2019
Are we in a Prince revival era? So many recent releases seem to have been influenced by The Purple One's musical sensibilities - not that we're complaining. The latest on our radar, 'Sharpest Edges' from Gallant, has the click-shunt-swivel precision those of us old enough to remember Prince in his heyday recognise only too well: combined with Gallant's insinuating croon, it recalls a more laid-back 'Kiss'.

Charli XCX & Christine and the Queens
"Gone"
4 mins 09s
17 Jul 2019
A collaboration between Chris (emerging from Christine and the Queens) and Charli XCX can only be a good thing... and 'Gone' proves the point. The track shows them to be a Wendy and Lisa for the 21st century: this is a Prince-tinged funk-pop siren call to the LGBTQ community. Yet while it's about self-doubt and the relentless grind of pressure in the spotlight, director Colin Solal-Cardo's promo imbues the pair with a confidence based as much on self-reliance as it is eroticism.

CamelPhat
"Be Someone (ft. Jake Bugg)"
3 mins 33s
19 Jul 2019
Two brothers take parallel paths in life in this literate promo for CamelPhat's latest single 'Be Someone' - featuring the vocal stylings of indie darling Jake Bugg. Following a death in the family, the pair go their separate ways and begin careers which are as similar as they are opposite: one as a rock star, the other as a charismatic preacher.

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.