David Reviews

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

    • Getting out of an in-joke.Following his appearance in an earlier ad which showed Kad Merad searching in vain for his Canal+ password, the French-Algerian actor has been constantly asked by members of the public for his password.
    • Time to come down his chimney, as it were.Thanks to the Norwegian Post Office, we've already established that Santa is gay, so it's no surprise to see him camping it up in this trio of lovely commercials for Virgin Holidays.
    • Breeze through it.There's an invisible star to this well-crafted ad for Mercedes-Benz: the wind.
    • Mask on, mask off.Drag culture has become mainstream in recent years, and this aesthetically-pleasing commercial for hit series The Masked Singer makes the most of it.
    • Future proof.This excellent German commercial for Mercedes-Benz invites us to imagine a future in which electric vehicles are practical, sexy, and appealing to all.
    • Contented castaway.Australian actor and comedian Rebel Wilson fronts this intriguing commercial for Fiji's tourism board.
    • Alone in the dark.This slow-burning piece of work for Women’s Aid is a deft study in loneliness and suffering.
    • Take a dive.This Ford Ranger commercial subverts expectations about what a pick-up truck ad should be.
    • Historical bouts.Ever wondered what a history documentary made by a bookmaker would look like? No? Well, erm, Betway have got you covered anyway with this cinematic effort.
    • Drop the act.Two actors bid to out-method each other in this excellent satire on the craft.


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The Masked Singer
6 December 2021

Drag culture has become increasingly mainstream in recent years (the watered-down, TV-acceptable version marketed by noted fracker RuPaul Charles and his ilk, at least), and this aesthetically-pleasing commercial for hit series The Masked Singer makes the most of it.

The 60" ad evokes classic ballroom performances as different costumed figure take to the runway in front of a gobsmacked crowd. American choreographer and performer Todrick Hall's 'Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels' adds an extra layer of spice to proceedings, too.

Host Joel Dommett may be a cheeky if underwhelming reveal after such a wacky and stylised display, but this film will leave fans of the competition primed and ready for the show's return. Masks of all kinds have never been so in vogue, after all.

"The Future"
2 mins 08s
6 December 2021

This excellent German commercial for Mercedes-Benz invites us to imagine a future in which electric vehicles are practical, sexy, and appealing to all. Of course, it turns out that future is now. Director Nina Holmgren has the vintage vibes down to a tee here, as a bloke from the Seventies finds himself transported into a futuristic version of the modern day.

With the piece featuring silver-skinned aliens, chess-playing robots, and a giant squid posing for pictures, it's a wild ride from the get-go. The location and production design alike evoke classic sci-fi and Star Trek in particular - we almost expect Captain Kirk to show up and take on a Gorn with a double-handed punch.

This is a fun and compelling way to remind viewers that current vehicle tech - not relying on fossil fuels in particular - was unthinkable only a few decades ago. Car enthusiasts and science fiction nerds alike may be back for a second watch to appreciate all the incidental details.

Tourism Fiji
"Open for Happiness"
7 December 2021

Australian actor and comedian Rebel Wilson fronts this intriguing commercial for Fiji's tourism board. The film opens with her stranded on a makeshift raft in a glitzy dress, questioning if it's worth dedicating one's life to the pursuit of happiness. Idyllic surroundings when she makes landfall help create a compelling case for doing so.

Pristine beaches, swanky restaurants, and friendly locals all contribute to the impression of Fiji as an ideal holiday destination - a tranquil, clear-watered location to get away from it all. It seems the archipelago's post-Covid reopening is kicking off with a bang.

It's a particularly compelling watch from a dreary UK, where increasing Omicron variant cases threaten to put a stop to many plans for getaways over the festive season. White sands and blue water feel especially dreamlike at present, and Fiji will be hoping people act on the urge to visit as soon as it's safe to do so (apart from Wilson's Hollywood advisors).

Women's Aid
8 mins 21s
7 December 2021

This slow-burning piece of work for Women’s Aid is a deft study in loneliness and suffering. Rose (Emma Nihill) lives with her husband in the countryside, with her idyllic surroundings contrasted with an ugly, paralysing homelife.

Viewers only sees glimpses of the husband (Ben Star), but Rose's reactions and gestures tell so much more. When a guest asks how the move has gone, she turns to him first before answering. The savage aftermath shows even acts like this do little to satisfy her abuser.

Even moments of 'respite' are tough to watch, like a jog that will ultimately take her home and a soak in the bath with bruises on show. The consummate photography and grade may please the eye, but director Shaun James Grant ensures that the plight of Rose and women like her dominates.

Ford Ranger
1 min 39s
8 December 2021

This Ford Ranger commercial subverts expectations about what a pickup truck ad should be. Agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and director Adam Berg eschew gruff voiceovers, guitar riffs, and dirt trails for a spot of wild swimming, and the decision quickly pays off.

This is in large part down to Berg and DP Joost van Gelder's immersive underwater photography, with the intrepid cast lit by truck headlights. As it turns out, the trucks are even closer to the action than expected.

A superb overhead shot reveals the trucks in the water rather than on the shore, further distancing the brand from its dust trail roots. Coupled with a Scandi-cool, trip-hop soundtrack, it's a pointed attempt to lower the average age of pickup owners.


Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Odunsi (The Engine)
"Half a Tab"
8 mins 45s
7 Dec 2021
Ben Cole co-directs this lengthy Odunsi (The Engine) promo with the artist himself. Shot in shades of neon and film grain, the film keeps viewers on their toes with outré art direction and a disorientating club vibe. Lyrics like "You don't know who I am but I know who you are/Got a purse full of xans [Xanax] and some space in my car" complete the altered state.

Willow Kayne
2 mins 28s
7 Dec 2021
Willow Kayne's 'Opinion' receives a brash promo courtesy of directing duo Bedroom, who swap the artist's native Bristol for Los Angeles. In your face and out of fucks to give, Kayne takes her faceless, nameless critics for a ride. Kayne may frolic in a bouncy castle and use a bicycle with balloons attached, but her words are serrated.

3 mins 54s
7 Dec 2021
There's a restless energy which drives this promo for Jeshi's 'Generation'. It speaks to the frustrated youth whose experience of the world the rapper bids to articulate, preoccupied as he is with phone screens, casual drug use, and anti-depressants. None of these things are a problem in moderation, he suggests, but too much of anything isn't good.

Nego Bala
14 mins
6 Dec 2021
"In a country like Brazil, to keep the hope alive is a revolutionary act in itself." Spoken by a prisoner, these words underline the hardship endemic in Brazil's poorest jails and neighbourhoods. São Paulo-born artist Nego Bala survived both, and this gorgeous music video-cum-short film tells his story.

"I Don't Want You"
3 mins 20s
6 Dec 2021
DJ Riton and singer-songwriter Raye unite for bouncy single 'I Don't Want You' and a stylish accompanying promo from director Chloe Hughes. The film sees record company warrior Raye initially cast as 'Stargirl', emerging from a capsule on the surface of the moon to perform with the distant Earth serving as a mere backdrop.

"Surrounded by Spies"
5 mins 15s
6 Dec 2021
Paranoia infects every moment of this taut offering from Placebo, as 'Surrounded by Spies' takes its title to heart. Security camera footage at sharp angles focuses on small details as the track gets rolling, with its bleak groove and sparse beat drawing in those driven by both sound and visuals from the off.

Moon Panda
"Cloud Watching"
3 mins 40s
3 Dec 2021
This soothing promo for Moon Panda's 'Cloud Watching' is a gentle demonstration of how vibes can be just as important as narrative. Director Andrew Khosravani sketches dreamlike scenes which follow the appropriately loose logic of unconsciousness, lulling viewers in with sleek, agreeable animation.

"Little Things"
3 mins 50s
3 Dec 2021
A young cast of budding creatives stars in this intriguing promo for Abba's new Christmas single 'Little Things'. All proceeds from the track go to Unicef in order to support the Global Child Protection Fund, which gives an extra note of sincerity to the child-focused promo.

"Wake Me Up"
4 mins 24s
3 Dec 2021
Foals play to an empty auditorium in this lively promo for 'Wake Me Up'. Despite the poor attendance, band members Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, and Jimmy Smith are in good spirits as they perform the blithe, disco-inflected rock track. Yet it's the set designer and the stagehands who deserve a round of applause.

A$AP Ferg
"Green Juice (ft. Pharrell Williams, The Neptunes)"
3 mins 36s
2 Dec 2021
You may be surprised to learn that A$AP Rocky (Fuckin' Problems, Praise the Lord (Da Shine)) is not the only A$AP around. He's one of over a dozen members of the A$AP Mob, a group of artists who all use the Always Strive and Prosper acronym. 'Green Juice' is the latest track by A$AP Ferg, who, erm, may or may not still be part of the New York collective.

Run The Jewels
"Never Look Back"
5 mins 43s
3 Dec 2021
Horror classic Night of the Living Dead has been public domain for many years now, and that pays dividends in this spooky promo for Run The Jewels's latest track. 'Never Look Back' sees Killer Mike and El-P caught in a monochrome nightmare, as the dead rise and they join a familiar cast of characters in holing up until the heat dies down.

Leonard Cohen
2 mins 55s
2 Dec 2021
Released on the 5th anniversary of Leonard Cohen's death, this track makes a worthy addition to the late songwriter's canon. 'Puppets' taps into the doomy sound we're used to hearing from the legendary artist, and opens with a rumination on the Holocaust before delving into broader territory.

"Otomo (ft. O'Flynn)"
3 mins 10s
1 Dec 2021
This dizzying promo from DJ Bonobo reunites the artist with director Dave Bullivant. Having already created award-winning work together, the pair realign for a three-day shoot which follows roller skater Harrison Peterkin as he sweeps through South African streets, showing off natural and manmade landmarks alike.

Wet Leg
"Too Late Now"
4 mins 15s
1 Dec 2021
Sorry, Marvel's Eternals, but this Wet Leg promo does aliens better. Isle of Wight duo Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers play mysterious visitors in dressing gowns keen to sample what Earth has to offer. Accompanied by their male lackeys, the two seek the ingredients necessary for optimum self-care.

"Message in a Hammer"
4 mins 44s
1 Dec 2021
Nigerian artist Obongjayar is in a confrontational mood in latest single 'Message in a Hammer'. Spouting lines like "Message in this hammer Is coming down on you/ Message in a gun/ Aiming at your head", the singer seems prepared to smash the system and take on bigwigs at every level.

"Easy on Me"
5 mins 31s
30 Nov 2021
Adele is back in fine voice with Easy on Me - a typically heartfelt and heart-wrenching look at a relationship with ups, downs, and a final plea for understanding as it ends. A purely biographical interpretation is perhaps too easy here, but the artist leans into such readings with the accompanying promo.

Model Man
"Don't Cry"
3 mins 32s
30 Nov 2021
A man has a bad case of the glitches in this disconcerting promo for Model Man’s 'Don't Cry'. Like a character in a broken video game (and there have been plenty of those lately), the bloke jerks between moods, actions, and locations without warning.

FKA twigs
"Measure of a Man (feat Central Cee)"
3 mins 29s
29 Nov 2021
This wonderfully camp promo for a song by FKA twigs (featuring Central Cee) which sounds like it could have been written for a new James Bond film but is, in fact, attached to the latest addition to the Kingsman franchise was directed by twigs's frequent collaborator Diana Kunst.

Monstart Vol 6
"Togetherness Harmony"
4 mins 56s
27 Nov 2021
The choreography – by Carmel Loanga – in this promo for a track by Monstart is so compelling that director Ludovic Gontrand has wisely done everything he can to make sure it remains the focus of the viewer's attention from start to finish. And, in turn, the fascinating choreography ensures we pay attention to the track.

"Love Runs Deeper"
2 mins 47s
25 Nov 2021
This accompaniment to Disney's 'The Stepdad' commercial sees Gregory Porter and Cherise perform the titular track. 'Love Runs Deeper' doesn't have quite the same emotional impact when removed from the animated film, but well-chosen snippets ensure we remain connected to the narrative despite the live-action focus.

Deb Never
3 mins 55s
24 Nov 2021
This eye-catching promo for Deb Never's 'Funky' encourages viewers to nurture their creative sides long after stay-at-home orders have ended. Director Quba Tuakli shows the protagonist caught between two worlds - a dream landscape which is replete with colour and life, and a waking world devoid of anything of the sort.

Kojey Radical
3 mins 50s
25 Nov 2021
This autobiographical promo sees Kojey Radical come of age all over again. Director Charlie Sarsfield delivers a condensed version of the rapper and poet's East London upbringing, with twenty-eight-year-old Radical a tourist in his own youth. Despite his success, he knows who the family's real MVP is: his "gangsta momma".

"Pin Drop"
4 mins 01s
23 Nov 2021
This arresting promo for Sia's 'Pin Drop' has an absorbing, otherworldly feel. The track comes from the artist's recently-released Christmas album, but the visuals eschew any festive glitz in favour of exploring the darker side of the season. The most wonderful time of the year can be incredibly lonely for many, after all.

Post Malone
"One Right Now"
3 mins 35s
23 Nov 2021
Post Malone and the Weeknd live out their gangster fantasies in the truest sense in this slick promo. 'One Right Now' starts off with a bang, as there are multiple murders of nameless goons within the first 40". An arm in a sling doesn't even put a dampener on the Weeknd's action star activities.

Taylor Swift
"I Bet You Think About Me"
6 mins 15s
22 Nov 2021
Taylor Swift shows up to crash an ex's wedding in this promo for her re-record of 'I Bet You Think About Me'. The singer's widely reported battle for control of her masters recordings has sparked conversations about artist's rights and intellectual property ownership, but that's all forgotten in this stylish visual outing.

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.