David Reviews

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

    • Avatarnation.You can't spell transhumanism without H&M - now that's a phrase DAVID never expected to write.
    • Mysteries revealed.A bloke discovers his family's military history and immediately regrets it in this amusing, mischievous piece of work for Find My Past.
    • Don't stop movin'.This pacy commercial from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reacquaints viewers with the nascent refugees team.
    • Through the looking glass.Light and sound combine beautifully in this transcendent piece for LG.
    • Academy Films welcome Runyararo Mapfumo.Rising British filmmaker Runyararo Mapfumo has joined Academy Films for global representation.
    • Bubbling along.We each live in our own little world according to this Canadian commercial for IKEA which renders this idea in a literal fashion by having people residing on separate floating spheres.
    • Slip sliding away.This surreal offering from director Andreas Nilsson uses deadpan performances to underline the value of goPuff - a food and drink delivery service.
    • Life's landscape.This beautiful film by Seb Edwards uses the sheer quality of the director's work to underline the idea that Aviva are a serious financial company who won't let you down when it matters.
    • Ghost Town 2021The impact of Covid-19 on live music is laid bare in this atmospheric short film which flits between empty venues and housebound raves.
    • Home and away.Charlotte Regan directs this stirring piece of work for Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada that underlines the importance of family in a sick child's recovery.

SISTERHOOD

Sisterhood is a free resource we developed to provide a platform for women working in roles dominated by men.

Sisterhood is free to join and free to view.

Over the next few weeks, we are expanding its scope to include live events and an annual competition.

We're seeking sponsors for this so please get in touch if you'd like to help and associate your company with this vital mission.

VISIT THE SISTERHOOD.

UNHCR
"The Journey"
1 min 40s
13 April 2021

While the Tokyo Olympics organising committee bid to make the 2020 Games as safe and, erm, git-free as possible, this pacy commercial from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reacquaints viewers with the nascent refugees team.

First introduced in 2016, the team comprises athletes from war-torn countries like Syria, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Argentine directing trio PANTERA depict one woman's escape from an unnamed warzone, but we only see the bottom half of her body.

Quick feet are her best (and only) defence against gunfire, explosions, and other threats, and there's no let-up when she reaches safety either. Viewers may never see her face, but they know exactly what she's made of.

Such a well-crafted trip should entice audiences back into the intriguing world of refugee competitors. The only obstacle that remains for athletes like these is - you guessed it - the coronavirus pandemic.


LG
"Follow The Light"
90s
14 April 2021

Light and sound combine beautifully in this transcendent piece for LG. The film follows a woman on a fantastical journey as her mundane environment is transformed into something far more surreal - occupied with glowing cubes, rainbow-coloured fish of pure light, and a spectacularly trippy hall of mirrors. An everyday commute, it ain't.

Orchestral swells enhance the ad's surreal vibe, lending the piece a cinematic feel as the main character is plunged into the depths of a woodland lake before finally led home once more by LED-powered fireflies. Tech-focused ads can often feel sterile in their attempts to demonstrate superior image quality, and this is anything but.


Academy Films welcome Runyararo Mapfumo.

Rising British filmmaker Runyararo Mapfumo has joined Academy Films for global representation.

Mapfumo first caught the eye with 2017's 'Masterpiece' - a fresh, well-played comedy about friendship and art appreciation. Since then she's been busy with more short films and season three of Netflix's Sex Education.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

IKEA
"Our Little World"
60s
9 April 2021

We each live in our own little world according to this Canadian commercial for IKEA which renders this idea in a literal fashion by having people residing on separate floating spheres. After a year in which many of us have been obliged by the pandemic to remain within a fairly tight bubble of people, it's interesting to see this idea depicted as a charming lifestyle rather than a claustrophobic horror show.

Director Mark Zibert has pulled the whole thing together very cleverly. The journey from script to completed commercial cannot have been straightforward, and – we suspect – he and the VFX crew must have been stretched to the limit. Thankfully, their efforts were not in vain as the outcome adds to an impressive canon of work from around the world for the Swedish furniture brand.


goPuff
"Waterslide"
30s
13 April 2021

This surreal offering from director Andreas Nilsson uses deadpan performances to underline the value of the advertised food and drink delivery service. (Given the way in which events unfold and this particular brand name, you might also expect them to provide recreational drugs… not something, to the best of our knowledge, that they actually do).

The main protagonist enlivens his humdrum life by exploiting the unexpected appearance of a cloud inside his office to create a horizontal slide which, with the help of a little washing-up liquid, provides him with some childish fun. It's all very silly but, we suspect, quite effective as it implants goPuff into your head like the hook of an earwormy song.


QUICK SEARCH

Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Vladimir Cauchemar
"Brrr"
2 mins 52s
14 Apr 2021
Vladimir Cauchemar is unlikely to front a public information film anytime soon. After all, the French DJ wears a skull mask that would make Skeletor blush. This loopy promo sees Cauchemar and his associates trapped in a smartphone, bombarded with vibrations, rotations, and intruders via USB cable.

Tiana Blake
"Interruption"
3 mins 14s
7 Apr 2021
Retro R&B rules the day in this sumptuous promo for Tiana Blake's 'Interruption'. Director Sheena Brobbey helms the Nineties-inspired effort - a low-fi fever dream of satin, sparkles, and soft-focus shots. Nods to Britney Spears's infamous 1999 Rolling Stone cover as the artist lounges on a pink bed only cement the film's vintage vibe

Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth
"Remember We Were Lovers"
3 mins 37s
6 Apr 2021
Inspired by classic Japanese cinema, this monochrome promo for Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth's 'Remember We Were Lovers' delivers a striking watch. Primal Scream vocalist Gillespie cuts a stark figure against a bare beach landscape, while Savages frontwoman Beth lurks deep inside a barren woodland - eventually becoming one with the earth itself.

John Grant
"Boy From Michigan"
4 mins 29s
1 Apr 2021
Directing duo Ewan Jones Morris and Casey Raymond combine surreal animation with a roguish sense of humour in this vibrant promo for John Grant. Similar to 2018's 'He's Got His Mother’s Hips', the film delivers a diverting watch as it sweeps through a dreamlike visual landscape - drifting through hand-drawn/digital animation and puppetry by turns.

Lil Nas X
"Montero (Call Me By Your Name)"
3 mins 10s
29 Mar 2021
After teasing fans with snippets for months, viral sensation Lil Nas X has finally dropped latest single 'Montero', accompanied by a typically attention-grabbing video. Much more than a stunt designed to stir up controversy (and oh, how it's stirred up controversy), the film makes a defiant statement about being yourself - boldly, fully, and unapologetically.

Sad Night Dynamite
"Krunk"
3 mins 28s
26 Mar 2021
Parody meets escapism in this grimy promo for Sad Night Dynamite's latest track 'Krunk'. Centred on a narcissistic protagonist who meets an untimely end, the film lampoons the sort of bloke who thinks he's Tony Montana on a night out at the Babylon Club: misogynistic, egocentric, and unbearably obnoxious.

Jessie Ware
"Remember Where You Are"
6 mins 19s
28 Mar 2021
The '28 Days Later' aspect may have lost its novelty by now, but that hasn’t stopped artists and filmmakers from pursuing new takes on lockdown Britain. This Jessie Ware promo, for example, is a poignant tour of London that leans more on its protagonist than its setting. Gemma Arterton is the wanderer in question, with director Dominic Savage's camera trained on her throughout.

Purple Disco Machine
"Fireworks"
4 mins 28s
25 Mar 2021
West Side Story meets generational conflict in this absorbing promo for Purple Disco Machine's 'Fireworks'. Director Greg Barth pits Boomers and Gen-Zs against each other as dance-fighting street gangs, with the initial conflict rapidly fading into indoctrination as the older generation become a corrosive influence on the young upstarts.

Nick Jonas
"This is Heaven"
3 mins 58s
23 Mar 2021
Nick Jonas—one-third of the Jonas Brothers (the others are Kevin and Joe, as if you care)—has navigated life post-Disney Channel well thanks to some polished solo work. New single 'This is Heaven' is another respectable calling card, with lively production and fan-pleasing lyrics ("Every kiss with you, it's like a prayer falls from my lips") aplenty.

Joel Corry
"BED"
3 mins 10s
11 Mar 2021
Modern dating is a minefield even when not stymied by a pandemic, with apps galore and social media stalkers complicating the already thorny business of finding love. This tongue-in-cheek promo for Joel Corry's 'BED' takes things to their logical conclusion in humorous fashion, as it depicts Perfect Partner - a service which creates dates tailored to client specification.

Dense & Pika
"Honey (feat. Matthew Dear)"
3 mins 12s
8 Mar 2021
The hypnotic pulse of DJ duo Dense & Pika's latest track 'Honey' is matched by an equally enthralling promo. Directed by Maxim Kelly, the film uses C.G.I to create a virtual world which evokes the likes of sci-fi classic 'Tron' - guiding regimented gig-goers through a sparse digital space. It's one way to shoot a nightclub scene during a pandemic.

Griff
"Black Hole"
3 mins 32s
4 Mar 2021
Filmed at St John-at-Hackney Church, this stripped-down promo for Griff captures a live performance of latest track 'Black Hole'. Accompanied by a drummer and a keyboard player, the electro-pop singer soon embraces her ample surroundings and strides across the church's dark wooden floor. Meanwhile, occasional shifts into darkness add welcome visual variety.

Biig Piig
"Cuenta Lo"
3 mins 51s
3 Mar 2021
Ireland's Biig Piig opts for Spanish in her latest single 'Cuenta Lo', as the bilingual singer/former croupier targets elitism, greed, and inequality. “Papel en mis manos sienta bien" [The paper in my hands feels good] is repeated throughout Jess Smyth's hip-hop-inflected track, and the promo sees co-directors Nono and Rodrigo Inada run with the sentiment.

Mahalia
"Jealous"
3 mins 32s
2 Mar 2021
Anyone with fond memories of the glossy R'n'B promos which flooded MTV during its glory days will feel a spark of nostalgia upon viewing Mahalia's 'Jealous'. From styling choices (PVC and pigtails) to neon lighting and screens-within-screens, director Melody Maker toys with promo tropes while a home invasion with a twist plays out onscreen.

Alfie Templeman
"Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody"
4 mins 21s
25 Feb 2021
The phrase 'cosmic puppet romance' doesn't usually make it into reviews here at DAVID, but then there's nothing routine about this promo for Alfie Templeman's 'Everybody's Gonna Love Somebody'. The film sees the Bedfordshire singer take a ride with an unexpected companion: a green, furry puppet trying to track down its lost love.

Iceage
"Vendetta"
5 mins 34s
19 Feb 2021
Iceage frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt describes new single 'Vendetta' as "an impartial dance along the illicit lines of infraction". We half-expected the promo to feature an edgier version of the hokey-cokey, but director Jonas Bang responds with a moody blend of performance and criminal elan from Croatian-Danish actor Zlatko Buric instead.

For Those I Love
"Birthday"
5 mins 56s
18 Feb 2021
This striking promo for Dublin artist David Balfe's 'Birthday' is a testament to loss, sketched in the dusty dregs of memories both barely recalled and still so painful. 'For Those I Love' is the artist's solo project, whose debut album was conceived and created following the untimely death of a close friend. As such, it's no surprise that grief is writ large across the hazy, monochrome visuals here.

Solomun
"Tuk-Tuk (feat. ÄTNA)"
3 mins 39s
16 Feb 2021
Fans of 'John Wick', 'Killing Eve', and the 'Hitman' video game series will appreciate this ballistic promo for disc jockey Solomun. Knives, silenced pistols, and the odd syringe filled with a luminous green substance appear throughout Chehad Abdallah's film, as the protagonist (played by guest vocalist Inéz Schaefer) shows why she is the boss.

Teddi Gold
"Thought Bubbles"
2 mins 59s
17 Feb 2021
Separation has preoccupied many of us throughout the past year, and this quirky animated promo for Teddi Gold's 'Thought Bubbles' explores the idea of connection in colourful fashion. Revolving around a character who is present in their absence, the film plays with the idea of one's personal bubble as it offers a fantastical take on distance.

Ghetts
"No Mercy"
3 mins 28s
15 Feb 2021
Femi Ladi directs this shadowy promo for grime MC Ghetts, who—despite the repeated chant of "no-motherfucking-mercy"—is in a nurturing mood. He's joined by newcomers Pa Salieu and BackRoad Gee, advising them to maintain "the same workrate and passion" that brought them to his attention in the first place. Solid career advice there.

Sad Night Dynamite
"Smoke Hole "
4 mins 32s
11 Feb 2021
Up-and-coming UK duo Sad Night Dynamite take a turn for the sinister with latest single 'Smoke Hole'. The track pairs a retro, Dr Dre-style beat with melancholy flares of piano and synth, all tied together by dreamlike, drifting vocals which increase the sense of sonic menace. The accompanying promo only enhances the track's foreboding vibe.

Mowdee
"Je t’embête"
2 mins 32s
3 Feb 2021
Wingmen around the world were forced to stand down in 2020 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, and the situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon. French rapper Mowdee, on the other hand, still has the ultimate wingman by his side: himself. Alas, Mowdee² is a violent, puerile, sleazy menace to society.

Priya Ragu
"Chicken Lemon Rice"
2 mins 33s
8 Feb 2021
Tamil-Swiss musician Priya Ragu is an artist who truly refuses to be pigeonholed, defining her own unique mix of soul, hip-hop, and South Indian music as 'Raguwavy'. This colourful promo for 'Chicken Lemon Rice' provides an appealing gateway to the genre, as director Dumas Haddad embraces the singer's globally-inclusive approach.

Rag'n'Bone Man
"All You Ever Wanted"
3 mins 15s
5 Feb 2021
A model village provides the platform for social commentary in this beautifully designed promo for Rag'n'Bone Man's new track 'All You Ever Wanted'. The artist himself serves as a passenger on a train travelling around the idyllic hamlet in question, observing as layers of artifice are stripped away to reveal the real social ills beneath.

Ben Howard
"What a Day"
4 mins 25s
5 Feb 2021
Nature fights back in this darkly comic promo for Ben Howard's latest single 'What A Day'. Director Cloé Bailly takes the audience on a surprising ride through the Bulgarian countryside, which is replete with rolling fields, peaceful woodlands... and rabbits who don't take kindly to being killed for sport.

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.