David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Dog Eat Dog sign Marc BethkeDog Eat Dog have added noted automotive director Marc Bethke to their roster.
    • Mind and BodyThis nifty piece of work for Asics emphasises the importance of mind over matter.
    • The time is now.5:10 is the real number of the beast in this super piece of work for EA's Need For Speed franchise.
    • Meet Factory's new creative directors.Seasoned sound designers Dan Beckwith and Jon Clarke have been sworn in as Factory’s new creative directors.
    • Unmasking selfishness.This Swedish film for Volvo accidentally offers a perfect commentary on those objecting to public health measures during the current pandemic.
    • Reynald Gresset heads to The SweetshopThe Sweetshop's UK arm have added London-based director Reynald Gresset to their roster.
    • Railing cry.This 30" London North Eastern Railway film aims to put bums on train seats again.
    • Hola from 1stAveMachine Buenos Aries.1stAveMachine have expanded into Argentina with the launch of their new Buenos Aries office.
    • No Pain, All GainVR workout programme FITXR dismiss the notion that one has to suffer in order to get in shape in this satirical ad.
    • Molly Burdett arrives at Spindle.Director and photographer Molly Burdett is the latest to join the forward-thinking roster at Spindle.
    • Heart and beyond.Now that most of life takes place in doors, Dunelm suggest our confines should be as comfortable as possible.
    • Sea change.This atmospheric film for Mercedes shines a light on the way time and climate are changing the shape of life in Thailand.
    • Believe Media welcome Fredrik Bäckar.Swedish director-cum-cinematographer Fredrik Bäckar is now on the books at Believe Media.
    • He's such a player.Actor, producer, and Animal Crossing resident Elijah Wood stars in this endearing 30" ad for AFK Arena - a mobile role-playing game (RPG) and apparent homewrecker.
    • The drive of your (West)life.This beautifully judged McDonald’s ad nails the first car experience.
    • Max Hemmings joins RadicalMediaRadicalMedia have expanded their roster with the signing of Max Hemmings for representation in the UK and Germany.
    • Cover story.As cases skyrocket and government guidance on Covid-19 restrictions remains as muddy and meandering as ever, frustrated viewers will appreciate this spunky short film.


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Need For Speed
"Hot Pursuit Remastered"
2 mins 14s
16 October 2020

Forget 666 - the real number of the beast is 5-10. That’s the premise of this super piece of work for EA's Need For Speed franchise: namely, a remaster of 2010 fan favourite 'Hot Pursuit'.

The protagonist is haunted by defeat a decade later, his mate’s winning time of five minutes and 10 seconds mocking him at every turn, business meeting, and café. Fortunately, the remaster offers Michael a shiny chance of redemption.

Non-gamers may run out of patience with him before then, but the numerate visual gags and breezy, self-aware script keep viewers onside. Those with similiar scores to settle must get some practice in (and pray for their partner's understanding, too).

Meet Factory's new creative directors.

Experienced sound designers Dan Beckwith and Jon Clarke have been sworn in as Factory’s new creative directors.

Dubbed the "Ryu and Ken of audio" (one for Street Fighter fans), Beckwith and Clarke have risen through the Factory ranks together and become integral parts of 54/55 Margaret Street.

The pair are now responsible for providing the "highest levels of audio craft" to clients, as well as mentoring the next generation of Factory talent. They may even chuck in a hadouken or two.


"A Million More"
1 min 53s
15 October 2020

This moving film opens by describing public and media resistance when Volvo introduced the three-point safety belt. It could hardly be more timely, as it encapsulates the dissent faced by those advocating various public health measures in our fight to control coronavirus… not least, the encouragement to wear face coverings in a public setting.

It's a useful reminder that there has always been a section of the population for whom personal sacrifice is too big a price to pay for public good. (Ironically, this selfish minority is most likely to lionise the sacrifices made by their armed forces in years gone by… but, given the opportunity to emulate - in some small way - the heroism they admire by sacrificing a little personal comfort for the greater good, they hide behind spurious notions of personal liberty and behave like spoiled brats.)

Laerke Hertoni's beautiful film offers a perfect illustration of the true value of implementing effective safety measures, and it does it in the most human way possible by drawing our attention to some of the stories of the million or so people whose lives have been saved by one particular innovation.

In less than two minutes, we are introduced to a number of road crash survivors whose lives have been dramatically impacted by seatbelts, and we are left in no doubt that those who once claimed that wearing a seatbelt was an infringement of their liberty have been revealed to be fools on the wrong side of history.

The intimate storytelling delivers this idea without a hint of sensationalism, and this hugely amplifies the message's effectiveness.

This film was being prepared before the advent of Covid-19 and the parallels with the current crisis – stark as they are – are not intentional, but in our view that only adds to the power of the analogy.

The widespread acceptance of seatbelts today is a reminder that we shouldn't need hindsight to identify the wisdom of a selfless act.

It's worth noting that even without the powerful face-mask allegory that this is a fantastic piece of work which successfully reinforces the idea that Volvo are still at the forefront when it comes to the safety of everyone travelling inside a car, and that also makes this a very powerful piece of advertising.

Reynald Gresset heads to The Sweetshop

The Sweetshop's UK arm have added London-based director Reynald Gresset to their team.

Known for his thoughtful and cinematic work across many different sectors, Gresset initially shot live performances and interviews for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and Nirvana. This was followed by a stint in international news - an experience which informs much of Gresset's reel.


London North Eastern Railway
"Red Line"
15 October 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on the UK’s rail network. Train usage has dropped to its lowest level since the mid-1800s, while embattled staff are now on high alert for infected MPs acting out of character. Meanwhile, local lockdowns and three-tier restrictions are enough to give the Fat Controller heart palpitations.

But that hasn't stopped London North Eastern Railway from releasing this 30" commercial, with the Department of Transport offshoot urging viewers to hop on board "when the time is right". If only Covid-19 had a departure time, eh?

It's a shame because director Jacques Salmon's film is both snappy and inviting, with Ralph Ineson's distinctive VO making a clear contribution as well. Let's see how Operation Bums on Seats, ahem, fares over the next few weeks and months.


Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Duck Sauce
4 mins 28s
18 Oct 2020
Sometimes, one's first thought upon viewing a new piece of work is to question the mental state of those behind it... but not in a bad way. Watching this is a complete head fuck so imagine what it's like having it all bouncing around inside you as its creator, rather than as a mere viewer.

Millie Turner
"Eye of the Storm"
3 mins 53s
15 Oct 2020
This whimsical promo for Millie Turner's 'Eye of the Storm' captures the singer's carefree spirit. Shot in understated fashion by director Hannah Berry George, the energetic promo sees Turner frolic through lush woodland, run under stormy skies, and deliver a memorable turn to camera inside a parachute. Delicate cinematography seals the deal for a soulful visual experience.

Joe Hertz
"Inside Current Blues"
3 mins 14s
16 Oct 2020
This intriguing film takes viewers into the mind of Joe Hertz and explores his artistic vision when creating new album 'Current Blues'. Featuring thought-provoking vignettes which involve activities as diverse as VR, dance, and indoor cycling, the audience is treated to snippets of the new tracks as Hertz waxes lyrical about his process of making songs "from the inside out".

Tom Rosenthal
"We Can Always Come Back"
2 mins 51s
14 Oct 2020
First released in 2017, Tom Rosenthal’s 'We Can Always Come Back' receives a heart-wrenching new promo courtesy of director Rachael Olga Lloyd. The Royal College of Art graduate weaves an evocative, stop-motion animated tale, as a family beach holiday is given new meaning years later— one skilfully conveyed through Lloyd's puppetry.

"Does it Make You Feel Good?"
3 mins 08s
13 Oct 2020
Singer Joesef and director Molly Burdett’s previous collaboration saw the former locked inside a dingy flat with poor temperature control. Their follow-up offers a marked change of pace, as a boy (played with infectious abandon by Kayden Weir) channels his inner Billy Elliot and dances to the local bowling club. It's spirited work from the established partnership.

Gotts Street Park
3 mins 26s
12 Oct 2020
Director Lola Aitken-Till aka Silence presents a decidedly grown-up sand pit in this promo for Gotts Street Park’s 'Everything'. As guest vocalist Rosie Lowe puts listeners at ease ("I can dim the lights/It makes you feel more easy on my mind"), a sensual dance routine unfolds against the setting sun. Anakin Skywalker may want to skip this one.

Bree Runway
"Little Nokia"
2 mins 29s
9 Oct 2020
This Bree Runway promo feels like a Carphone Warehouse employee's ultimate fantasy. The sight of her riding a giant 3310 handset like a mechanical bull is certainly memorable, but director Ali Kurr also nails tightly choreographed routines that emphasise Runway's stage presence. We hope this inspires a wave of mechanics-cum-trapeze artists.

London Grammar
"Californian Soil"
3 mins 48s
8 Oct 2020
This enthralling promo for London Grammar's latest track 'Californian Soil' blends glamour and darkness for a beach retreat with a difference. Directed by Silent Tapes, the film has a surreal atmosphere that builds from the very beginning, as Hollywood glitz breaks down into something increasingly fractured and abstract.

The Oozes
1 min 55s
7 Oct 2020
The propulsive debut single from UK queercore band The Oozes is an anti-capitalist scream that coasts on the gall of its opening line: "Sleep with Mr McDonald/Suck off a prick in his suit and tie on his billion-pound cashmere". Together with director Colm McCarthy's manic circus of a promo, it's a spirited first assault from the quartet.

Jorja Smith
"Come Over (ft. Popcaan)"
3 mins 59s
5 Oct 2020
This promo for Jorja Smith's latest single 'Come Over' boasts sci-fi, Afrofuturistic vibes, which will leave viewers begging for a full-length animated series. Directed by Amber Grace Johnson, the film focuses on female empowerment and delves into Smith's frustration at being messed around by potential suitors.

Kelly Lee Owens
"The Corner of My Sky (ft. John Cale)"
6 mins 20s
29 Sep 2020
It's man vs. toast in this bizarre and highly atmospheric promo for Kelly Lee Owens' latest track 'The Corner of My Sky'. Michael Sheen stars as a man with a disconcerting breakfast issue: a toaster that disappears bread into the ether seemingly at will. Featuring vocals from the Velvet Underground's John Cale, the track itself has shades of Joy Division in its dreamy sound.

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
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
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.

"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
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®'.

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.

"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.

"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.

"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.

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.