David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Diverting traffic.City planners may take umbrage, but Nice Shirt’s Gerald McMorrow oversees some tricksy roadworks in this Nissan commercial.
    • Poetry in motion.This compelling Under Armour commercial stars Misty Copeland - the first African-American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre.
    • Spinning an epic yarn.Those who’ve yet to catch up with Game of Thrones now have a crafty solution - no square eye-inducing telly binge required.
    • System shock.One wouldn’t immediately associate Opel with the new world order, but the marque clearly have a Mr Robot fan on staff
    • Come Fly With MeThis collaboration between British Airways and Comic Relief ensures passengers won't forget to fasten their seatbelts.
    • MachineThis Horrors promo is a hypnotic sequence of biomechanical mutations.
    • Message in a shampoo bottle.Head and Shoulders show their environmental conscience with recyclable shampoo bottles.
    • Skater boys.Nike’s irreverent streak continues with this disco-infused commercial.
    • From Script To ScreenThis artistic ad for Honda explores the process of filmmaking, concentrating on the transition of ideas from page to screen.
    • Life in the Fast LaneRenault have released this compelling film about Rosemary Smith: the oldest person to drive a 800bhp race car.
    • More tunnel vision.As players loosen those muscles and pine for transfers, Virgin Media welcome the 2017/18 Premier League season with some vocal support.
    • Poles ApartThis whimsical Ukrainian ad depicts a kid creatively passing the time as he waits for his dad to come home.


Make a note in your diaries. The dates for the next three CraftWorks shows are:

Wednesday, 6th September.
Wednesday, 11th October.
Wednesday, 15th November.

Between 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm.

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

£20 for Marketing Subscribers.
£25 for Standard Subscribers.
£50 for non-subscribers.

Tickets will go on sale soon.

2 mins 20s
19 July 2017

One wouldn’t immediately associate Opel with the new world order, but the marque clearly have a Mr Robot fan on staff. This cinematic commercial wears its tech-noir influences on its sleeve.

The main protagonist is a computer hacker determined to crash The System. While her targets squirm, she prepares to strike. We almost expected to see Elliot Alderson’s victory pose.

Hunky-Dory’s Matthäus Bussmann flits between this corporate takedown and more grounded pursuits e.g. a chef arranging a birthday surprise. Meanwhile, Jürgen Klopp vents his spleen in the dressing room. Well, that’s the Liverpool defence for you.

Slick and energetic, it feels like a trailer for a film we’ll never see. While we’re sure the marque isn’t endorsing corporate espionage, it does suggest we consider a forward-thinking car.

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British Airways
"Safety Video"
6 mins 06s
19 July 2017

This amusing collaboration between British Airways and Comic Relief ensures passengers won't forget to fasten their seatbelts any time soon. The star-studded film features appearances from celebrities as disparate as Oscar-winning actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gillian Anderson, and... Mr Bean.

The very British take on aircraft safety is directed - film within a film style - by 'People Just Do Nothing's Chabuddy G. He heightens the comedy by giving the cast ludicrous direction and over the top encouragement... plus occasionally flirting with them. Probably the only time you want to hear the phrase 'crash and burn' on a plane.

Particular highlights of the film include Gordon Ramsey giving a characteristically sweary delivery of lines intended for Joanna Lumley; Rowan Atkinson searching for change; and Rob Brydon giving it his best QVC performance. BBH and Becky Martin have struck the balance between straight comedy and spoof just right - take-off just got interesting.

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The Horrors
4 mins 09s
19 July 2017

The Horrors frontman Faris Badwan introduces ‘Machine’ with: “Your smile is nothing to live for”. As opening lines go, that is cold. The warmth of previous album ‘Luminous’ is replaced by talk of “mannequin moves” and “cold simulation”. Piercing synths and a strict beat suggest the band have found a new, harsher swagger.

As for the promo, digital filmmaker Jon Emmony presents a hypnotic sequence of biomechanical mutations. Microbes, insects and unclassified specimens slither from the CG gloom - culminating in something vaguely human; a 21st century take on the art of Hieronymus Bosch.

Emmony explains: "The movement for the creatures is powered through generated simulations... born from the choices of software.

"If left, taken away from an edit, the creatures would continue to exist and their movements would evolve... For me this was an exciting way to create digital imagery, as having an element of control removed and then decided by a computer seemed fitting with the track. Machines inside machines.”

Appropriate indeed: Horrors by name, horrors by nature.

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Message in a shampoo bottle.

Thought Head & Shoulders were all about footballers rubbing their hands through dandruff-free hair? We’re sure there’s still plenty more where that came from. However, the brand show their eco-friendly side with recyclable shampoo bottles.


18 July 2017

Nike’s irreverent streak continues with this disco-infused commercial. It’s a West Coast showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. When Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson receives the ball, his opponents suffer a bad case of the skates.

Suddenly, this gridiron tussle turns into a roller disco - complete with lighting pinched from Studio 54. Of course, Nike’s Alpha Menace boots ensure Wilson stays on his feet. While his pursuers hit the deck, the Seahawk runs free.

The switch from CenturyLink Field to disco inferno is well-executed. It’s a fun contrast to the brand’s solemn fare, and imbues their latest footwear with a playful element. Kudos to the 49ers for playing the fall guys, too. We’re sure Nike will make it up to them.

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Recent Promos

"What I Love"
3 mins 57s
20 Jul 2017
This gorgeous promo for Punctual's 'What I Love' captures childhood exuberance at its finest. Director Geej Ower follows a lad with seemingly boundless energy around his estate, as he joyfully dances the day away. The shrewd decision to avoid casting a trained dancer pays off here, as the boy's moves have a compelling, childish rawness to them.

3 mins 07s
19 Jul 2017
Dublin outfit Otherkin create exuberant, thrashy guitar rock that hails from an era when energy was an instrument in its own right. The frantic pace, full-on vocals and squally riff of 'React' is infectious: you know that if there's more than a square metre of empty space in any room where it's playing, pretty much everyone nearby will rush in to fill the vacuum and get moshing.

The All-American Rejects
"Sweat / Close Your Eyes"
11 mins
19 Jul 2017
Jamie Thraves explores identity in this pair of promos for the All-American Reject's first album in five years. The promos - which function as a short film despite showcasing two separate tracks - explore identity in a unique, poignant way rarely seen (let alone pulled off with such aplomb) in under twelve minutes. Things begin with 'Sweat', in which we're introduced to singer and sometime actor Tyson Ritter playing Betsy, a cross-dressing prostitute.

"So Rude"
3 mins 37s
17 Jul 2017
Sälen - a band who chose their name by throwing a dart at a map - create poppy electronica with an icy edge. Vocalist Ellie Kamio sounds deceptively sweet, but her lyrics - with track titles like 'Diseasey' and 'Heartbreak Diet' - are full of glacial disillusion. Their star is currently rising, and director/animator Kent Hugo mines Sälen's coldness with a CG promo that leaves nowhere to hide.

Danger Mouse
"Chase Me (ft Run The Jewels & Big Boi)"
3 mins 54s
6 Jul 2017
It’s 'Baby Driver', but not as we know it. The eponymous Baby (Ansel Elgort) has a new crew in the backseat: Run the Jewels. This promo-stroke-movie trailer flits between rapping getaways and footage from Edgar Wright’s latest. While Run the Jewels flee a bank robbery, Danger Mouse and Big Boi evade the Atlanta fuzz.

4 mins 58s
14 Jul 2017
For those wary of Love Island, Alt-J offer a hypnotic spin on celebrity dating. The title of their latest track is, well, a dead giveaway. The Leeds trio ask which late personality we’d like to date. Their picks? Sylvia Plath, Anne Boleyn, and Surrealist photographer Lee Miller. Call it romance for the ages. Pulse’s Young Replicant set this cultural resurrection in an ominous bunker.

"Freak Show"
4 mins 04s
12 Jul 2017
Zhang + Knight’s latest Ghostpoet promo appears to be set in the same dystopian future as the duo’s ‘Immigrant Boogie’ video. Now we find ourselves in a grey metropolis where the pollution forecast is grim. The Agile pair bring a murky, smog-ridden aesthetic to Obaro Ejimiwe’s guitar-driven track.

5 mins
10 Jul 2017
Comeback singles can be a tricky proposition. This is a comeback single of a different kind. Kesha’s court battle with music producer Dr Luke has been well-documented, and this promo for ‘Praying’ lays bare her scars and - crucially - her resolve. That the music doesn’t kick in for a full minute only heightens the anticipation. It’s worth the wait.

Duke Dumont x Gorgon City
"Real Life (ft NAATIONS)"
3 mins 52s
10 Jul 2017
Vaguely reminiscent of the prom scene in Stephen King's 'Carrie', this frothy promo for 'Real Life' has an innocent high school girl going into meltdown as the 'populars' jeer at her. Having been the vessel into which they've poured their emoji-heavy abuse for too long, she finally turns - but instead of getting all telekinetic on their asses, she projectile-vomits those same emojis right back at 'em.

Escape from Acapulco
"Hit and Run"
3 mins 47s
6 Jul 2017
Two boxers take fancy footwork to the next level in this excellent promo for French group Escape from Acapulco's 'Hit and Run'. The opponents square up for what looks to be a fearsome bout... until one decides to give the Ali Shuffle a run for its money. The sheer bewilderment of his opponent is masterfully drawn, as the dancer literally spins circles around him.

Calvin Harris
3 mins 42s
4 Jul 2017
Calvin and his friends Katie, Pharrell and Big Sean all chill out on their magical summer island in Emil Nava's promo for 'Feels'. The grainy look and artificial backdrop weirdly combine to suggest Barbie and co have stumbled onto the set of an old Timotei ad shot in Hawaii, but that's not a criticism. It's all good, undemanding, frothy fun - just what summer needs.

The xx
"I Dare You"
6 mins 53s
3 Jul 2017
Filmed in collaboration with Calvin Klein's CD Raf Simons, this extended ad for the brand is rather less than the sum of its parts. 'I Dare You' sounds like The XX covering a pre-teen band, and although the cast features Milly Bobby Brown and Paris Jackson, the theme of adolescent angst isn't handled with much subtlety. MBB still stands out as a terrific young actor to watch, mind.

Hamilton Mixtape
"Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)"
6 mins 07s
3 Jul 2017
K’naan, Residente, Riz MC (aka Riz Ahmed), and Snow Tha Product team up for Hamilton Mixtape track 'Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)'. Accompanied by Mister Whitmore's unflinching visuals, the song is a scathing indictment of the treatment of immigrants in the US. We're shown gritty visuals of sweatshops and manual labourers, along with the grim conditions faced by those fleeing worse.

"Fire With Fire"
3 mins 26s
3 Jul 2017
Femme's garage-tinged track Fire With Fire is about squaring up when faced with a fight; and Ben Mahon's stylised promo illustrates this by turning up the heat. In a drab cafe a sweet, purple-haired old woman challenges a chap to a chilli-munching contest. Despite there being no purpose to this he accepts - but sadly doesn't even make it through the first one, the wuss.

Confidence Man
"Boyfriend (Repeat)"
4 mins 17s
3 Jul 2017
Comprising members of The Belligerents, Moses Gunn Collective and Jungle Giants, Confidence Man is a brand new Brisbane band whose track 'Boyfriend (Repeat)' is as sassy and surefooted as its name. Vocalist Janet Planet doesn't sing so much as announce, and what she tells us is that “My boyfriend wants to talk. My boyfriend talks too much. Too much about our love. Our love is not enough.”

All We Are
4 mins 22s
3 Jul 2017
In the final part of Eoin Glaister's tale of planning-related shenanigans, the rural community makes a last-ditch attempt to stop the developers building a road through their village. Ruthless girl guides, topless pensioners and some territorial pissing all contribute to the task at hand, and at a celebratory party months later folk are disappointed that the live band isn't the hoped-for Al Weare. Great fun.

Saint Etienne
"Magpie Eyes"
3 mins 32s
29 Jun 2017
This promo for Saint Etienne is filmed entirely in the new town wasteland of Stevenage (which happens to be this writer's hometown). Atmospheric shots of deteriorating Southern England are accompanied smoothly by the laid back, electronic chug of 'Magpie Eyes'. The sleepy soundtrack gives the small-town landscape a dreamy sheen, bringing a beauty to the urban decay.

The Killers
"The Man"
4 mins 27s
29 Jun 2017
Brandon Flowers gives a - ahem - killer performance in this bombastic promo for The Killers' first single in five years. The track marks a funky new direction for the band, while Tim Mattia's promo has Flowers' Vegas sensibilities dialled up to eleven. We see him inhabit a number of cocky personas... but it quickly becomes apparent they're only legends in their own minds.

Manchester Orchestra
"The Alien"
5 mins 37s
28 Jun 2017
While indie rockers Manchester Orchestra remain sure-footed, this woman endures the eye of a private storm. Closure becomes a personal cataclysm here: glass shatters, wood splinters, and ashes turn into a whirlwind as her homecoming unfolds in reverse. It’s a familiar technique, but the rewind effect produces some compelling and bruising imagery.

4 mins 42s
27 Jun 2017
This disorientating Grandbrothers video delves deep into a woman’s memories - almost too deep. As the piano-driven 'Bloodflow' intensifies, childhood memories - bathed in a late-summer haze - give way to a murky abyss. Hugo Jenkins’s fragmented execution leaves us wondering if this is the cure or something more insidious.

Three Laws
"Siren Song"
4 mins 34s
27 Jun 2017
Great Guns’s Calum Macdiarmid delivers well-calibrated fury in this Three Laws promo. As a crime lord awaits his favourite girl, the London duo’s debut lures us in with a minimalist beat and a shimmering piano riff. When vocalist Louise Gold purrs “Trust me with the gun”, consider the stakes raised.

Coldplay & The Chainsmokers
"Something Just Like This"
4 mins 28s
26 Jun 2017
Not every superhero origin story has to be a grim affair, as this collaboration between Coldplay and EDM outfit The Chainsmokers proves. A budding crimefighter discovers a kaleidoscope to another world - or a live performance of 'Something Just Like This', at least. Mat Whitecross's prismatic video explodes with colour, while animated flourishes bring the protagonist's illustrations to life.

Arcade Fire
"Creature Comfort"
4 mins 44s
26 Jun 2017
Arcade Fire fans may notice a few changes from the band’s recent ’Creature Comforts promo. Apparently, that was only the official version. Welcome to the official official release - straight from online marketing hell. Everything Now - the monolithic corporation introduced in the band’s comeback single - wrests creative control from director Tarik Mikou.

"Man of War"
4 mins 30s
23 Jun 2017
It’s always good to have a few spares nestled away. Radiohead continue plundering their ‘OK Computer’ sessions with the release of ‘Man of War’. One last album B-side is due soon - just don’t expect the band’s Glastonbury sound check to receive the promo treatment. For now, enjoy Colin Read’s day and night pursuit.

San Holo
3 mins 56s
23 Jun 2017
Trapped in perma-darkness, these nocturnal animals now itch for some rays. Well, some things are a worth a little sunburn. Gravity-defying feats and discordant cuts add to the promo's supernatural vibe. Meanwhile, Dutch DJ Holo - avoiding a Lucasfilm lawsuit by the skin of his teeth - delivers a serviceable dance anthem.

Recent Promos

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