David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

Latest Work
    • The non-friction section.Framing the use of lube as a tool of female liberation is a canny move in this ad for Durex.
    • Teemu Niukkanen is Bootleg material.Bootleg Films have tapped Finnish director and comedy writer Teemu Niukkanen to join their TVC roster.
    • Welcome to the Ozarks.True Detective's opening titles for season three draws from the show's Ozark setting and shifting timeline to produce something intoxicating.
    • All new CraftWorks - February 11th.Our live show CraftWorks is being relaunched at a new venue and with new sponsors.
    • Walking on AirQatar Airways encourage their passengers to see the world differently with this charming film.
    • Where The Heart IsNatWest have finally cracked it with this winning ad, which depicts the seemingly endless run-up to moving house.
    • Stitch champion Ben Corfield.Stitch have promoted Homespun editor Ben Corfield to their main roster.
    • Snap me if you can.This fun Mercedes ad from down under gives hope to privacy-obsessed celebrities everywhere.
    • Papaya launch Young Directors CompetitionPapaya Films have launched the sixth edition of their Young Directors Competition.
    • Electrifying ExperienceKeen to address a recent apprenticeship slump, this 60" commercial from the Department for Education aims to reinforce the benefits of on-the-job training.
    • Ham in love.This short film tells the surprisingly touching story of a man and his pig – with some unexpected twists and turns.
    • NSFP (Not Safe For Plates)'Food porn' takes on a whole new meaning in this ribald short film from Seed Animation.
    • The Man in ChargeITV explore character archetypes in an excellent new series of ads for their drama output.
    • Love at first sight.Adland's pantheon of bathrobe-clad blokes receives a new addition courtesy of this dulcet Wren commercial.


We have great news for fans of CraftWorks. 2019 will see it return in a multitude of different formats.

These will include several shows at BAFTA in London - the first being on Monday, February 11th.

Watch this space for further announcements.

There are sponsorship opportunites associated with its return, please contact Jason Stone on 0141 776 7766 if you'd like to know more.

Papaya launch Young Directors Competition

Papaya Films have launched the sixth edition of their Young Directors Competition.

Aimed at helping aspiring filmmakers break into the ad industry, the contest sees participants write prompted director's treatments and create films for nine brands following the release of briefs on the 14th of January. The competition has also expanded its efforts to support and educate young filmmakers this year, as they run workshops dedicated to various aspects of making commercials.


Department for Education
18 January 2019

Keen to address a recent apprenticeship slump, this 60" commercial from the Department for Education draws attention to the benefits of on-the-job training. Thus, a young cast find themselves energised - literally - by possibility as sparks of potential skitter over their morning routines.

The film plays like a modern superhero drama, with rapid cuts, judicious VFX, and energetic performances from the central characters who strut into the workplace. The reality may not be so straightforward, but it's still a slick way to drum home the advantages of hands-on placements.

Short Films
"Edmund the Magnificent"
14 mins
18 January 2019

Narrated by Ian McKellan, this short film tells the surprisingly touching story of a man and his pig – with some unexpected twists and turns. Depressed by his failing business, a farmer (David Bradley) buys a male pig to raise for breeding purposes... only to discover the boar's tastes run differently than expected.

There's plenty to chew on here, with allegory deftly nestled amongst the laughs. When the pig's lack of interest in sows sparks some long-buried feelings in the farmer he takes drastic measures – which are thwarted when Edmund the Magnificent lives up to his name.

Such moments are well handled by Bradley and his porcine co-star, while director/writer Ockrent's lyrical script and McKellan's canny delivery ensure a distinctly modern fable. As for the final reveal, prepare for a violent dose of the warm 'n' fuzzies.

Short Films
17 January 2019

When we talk about 'food porn' at DAVID, we're usually referring to loving shots of velvety gravy caressing steaming meat, with a breathless voiceover oozing myriad 'luxurious' superlatives for good measure. This short film from Seed Animation, however, gives the phrase a whole new - and much more literal - meaning.

To describe this montage of frisky food as suggestive would be selling it short - there are self-saucing salads, flashing fajitas, and buxom burgers aplenty, each rendered in a different animated style. Thanks to polished visuals and an appropriately sleazy soundtrack, viewers may never look at a slice of pizza quite the same way again.

"The Patriarch"
17 January 2019

ITV explore character archetypes in an excellent new series of ads for their drama output. This outing focuses on the patriarch - head of the family, narrative father, old man, or whatever takes your fancy. He's not on the front lines, he is the line, and agency Uncommon's script explains the trope to a tee.

The film itself is cleverly crafted, ticking off boxes on the dramatic checklist one by one: icy grade, flaming car, mysterious location, and assassins closing in on all sides. Roger Allam's accompanying speech (in his guise as Detective Inspector Fred Thursday) is extremely well performed, giving the audience a visceral emotional reaction to the ambiguous finale.


Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

The Killers
"Land of the Free"
4 mins 45s
22 Jan 2019
The Killers have returned with a politically-charged new single - 'Land of the Free'. As the title suggests, the track criticises the USA of 2019, touching on everything from mass incarceration to gun control. The lyrics themselves may not be groundbreaking, phrased in simple terms, but this is a situation where context matters.

Loyle Carner
"You Don't Know (ft. Rebel Kleff & Kiko Bun)"
4 mins 21s
21 Jan 2019
Family matters to Loyle Carner - in fact, this promo for ‘You Don't Know' stars the rapper's own mum, Jean, as she embarks on a series of hit-and-miss first dates. While she wines and dines with a cast of sweet talkers and spaghetti slurpers, son Loyle plays undercover wingman in a variety of guises. An oddly touching spin on the dating game from director Louis Bhose.

"Coming Home (ft. Kojey Radical)"
4 mins 37s
17 Jan 2019
Record producer and jazzophile Swindle enlists rapper Kojey Radical and a full brass brand for his latest track, ‘Coming Home'. Darting between rap and spoken word, Radical (real name Kwadwo Adu Genfi Amponsah) further proves his versatility in the accompanying promo. Modern theatre with a brass finish.

3 mins 44s
17 Jan 2019
American rockers Beirut go medieval in this promo for latest single 'Landslide', in which fantasy and reality mingle... perhaps. The action centres on a lost knight, whose quest to save a damsel in distress doesn't quite go as planned. The track's steady chug complements the rustic visuals - and the horse's aloof performance is particularly impressive.

"Hello My Love"
3 mins 44s
16 Jan 2019
Time no longer feels like a linear experience... Westlife are back in the charts and it seems like they have never been away. Except, of course, for the fact that Ed bloody Sheeran has been writing for them, so they have Olympic sprint-speed lyrics against a bland and spongy melody. It's a pretty solid video though, with the lads against an arresting cliff face backdrop before being enveloped in a parachute.

Ward Thomas
"No Filter"
3 mins 33s
14 Jan 2019
Described as country-pop, the music by twins Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas is sincere and accessible - and Daniel Broadley's promo for latest track 'No Filter' portrays that sentiment. The song is a call to arms against the fake selves people are under pressure to present on social media, and this clip demonstrates that we're happier when we can be true to who we are.

Chaka Khan
"Goodbye Sadness, Hello Happiness"
4 mins 48s
9 Jan 2019
'Goodbye Sadness, Hello Happiness' has a real 70s vibe that Sam Pilling has worked to the max. Set in seedy motel-land, the night is full of working girls and their johns. A grimy phone box is a character in its own right; while bent cops, grifters and swaggering pimps all play their part in making the scene one to rival anything in The Deuce.

Troye Sivan
"Lucky Strike"
4 mins 06s
11 Jan 2019
Up-and-coming gay icon Troye Sivan muses on a summer romance in this wistful promo to accompany latest single 'Lucky Strike'. Directed by Emma Westenberg (who also directed Janelle Monae's groundbreaking promo for PYNK), the sun-kissed film shows Sivan frolicking on a beach before a surprisingly bloody encounter with a bartender.

Catfish & the Bottlemen
3 mins 56s
11 Jan 2019
Catfish & the Bottlemen swap north Wales for South Shields in this monochrome promo for comeback single, ‘Longshot'. Director Jim Canty and DP Mel Griffith run with the track's title by filming the band from afar, emphasising frontman Van McCann and co.'s lofty position above the North Sea in their own personal festival tent.

"Heavy Metal"
4 mins 26s
13 Dec 2018
'Heavy Metal' isn't related to Ozzy et al in the slightest. It's more like Toccata and Fugue had a weird threesome with Gesaffelstein and mid-era prog rock, then boasted about it on social media.

Jorja Smith
"The One"
3 mins 32s
13 Dec 2018
The video for Jorja Smith's mournful new track 'The One' sees her locked in a cycle of passive misery as she vacillates between action and acceptance. Whoever the guy in her life is, he's evidently not emotionally fulfilling - but she'd rather take what crumbs he throw her way than strike out on her own. Come on, girl! Stop moping about in that depressing motel and pull your metaphorical socks up.

Ariana Grande
"Thank U, Next"
5 mins 24s
12 Dec 2018
It doesn't matter whether Ariane Grande's music is your thing or not - this is one of those tracks that's so lush and sinuous it'll seep its way into your consciousness and feel linked to the festive season forever... in the best way. There's a winning combination of deadpan sass and grace about it, and Hannah Lux Davis's all-star, big production promo has not only captured this but amplified it to the max.

The Prodigy
"Timebomb Zone"
3 mins 25s
10 Dec 2018
The Prodigy and director Paco Raterta's tour of the Filipino underworld continues with this bruising depiction of an underground fighting ring. Scored by the rave veterans' latest aural assault, ‘Timezone Bomb', Raterta's promo follows two combatants as they bid to survive long enough to confront their captor.

3 mins 18s
20 Nov 2018
Belgian singer-songwriter Blanche gets together with a group of friends for some crepuscular goofing around in a neglected swimming pool. It looks like a lot of fun - if a tad on the chilly side - and later they warm up at a party while a very loose-limbed chap dances. The track itself is about not spoiling the end of a relationship, so evidently an amicable swim works wonders.

The 1975
"It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)"
7 mins 23s
5 Dec 2018
While The 1975's 'It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)' has that classic boy band sound, the promo gives it a welcome something extra that keeps us watching to the last. Warren Fu's direction turns Matty Healy's onstage jog into a trip and a half as the singer begins to hallucinate mid-performance; unsure whether he's having a mind-bending experience or everyone else is enjoying a joke at his expense... including his own doppelganger.

3 mins 26s
5 Dec 2018
This engaging promo for Irish EDM artist Daithí compresses a long-term relationship into a three-and-a-half-minute music video, with director Locky McKenna charting a couple's tentative decline with deft economy. Set entirely in the boyfriend's front room-slash-kitchen, the narrative captures every nuanced relationship milestone.

Dermot Kennedy
"Power Over Me"
3 mins 34s
4 Dec 2018
Cuba's amateur boxing legacy provides the backdrop for this Dermot Kennedy promo, as a woman strives for respect from Havana's fighting community. Caught between her contemptuous peers and her feckless father, the protagonist must train harder and longer for her shot at personal glory. A rare Latin-Celtic triumph.

Model Man
4 mins 34s
4 Dec 2018
Beatmakers Model Man consist of brothers Mark and Rob Brandon, and it's the latter who directs this beguiling promo for new track ‘Ketones'. Like a contemporary dance adaptation of ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly', eleven people are forced to compete in a Mexican stand-off featuring finger guns and some spasmodic bopping.

Friendly Fires
"Heaven Let Me In"
4 mins 20s
30 Nov 2018
Over seven years after their sophomore album, ‘Pala', St Albans quartet Friendly Fires break cover with this nimble music video for ‘Heaven Let Me In'. Shot by director Bison, the promo cast ‘Mamma Mia 2' actor Jeremy Irvine as a clubber still in the throes of late-night ecstasy… and, erm, possibly another form of ecstasy.

Brother Dege
"The Moon and the Scarecrow"
3 mins 24s
28 Nov 2018
One can imagine bumping into Brother Dege on a pitch-black night in America's Deep South. Wild man look and penchant for scarecrow-based album covers aside, Dege Legg also plays a mean but melodic slide guitar. The Louisiana native's talent is evident as performs ‘The Moon and the Scarecrow', with Colin Read's accompanying promo amplifying the track's searching tone.

The Streets
"Call Me In The Morning (ft Chip & Grim Sickers)"
4 mins 03s
27 Nov 2018
Mike Skinner is back, directing his own video for new track 'Call Me In The Morning'. While the song has all the hallmark sounds of The Streets, it also features rappers Chip and Grim Sickers whose verses add a different mood; laying on lyrics at a pace that makes your ears bleed... in a good way. Meanwhile, onscreen, Skinner is impossible to look away from. This is a promo that needs watching again and again.

The 1975
"Sincerity is Scary"
4 mins 01s
23 Nov 2018
Even a fall down a manhole isn't enough to put Matty Healy off his stride in this well-choreographed promo for The 1975's ‘Sincerity is Scary'. Drawing from classic musicals and the band's own established lore, director Warren Fu delivers an uptempo dance number as a rise-and-shine Healy hits the streets.

3 mins 39s
21 Nov 2018
A healthy dose of neon ensures this promo for Justin Bieber lookalike Brunswick catches the eye, as does director Lu's knack for urban photography. Unfortunately, bleach-blonde Brunswick's EDM track fails to catch fire, straining for edginess with lyrics like: "I want that new sports car/So I gotta go fucking insane".

Jess Glynne
3 mins 35s
21 Nov 2018
The promo for Jess Glynne's release 'Thursday' is very elegantly directed by Joe Connor, and gives the singer an aura of gravitas. The song - which was co-written with Ed Sheeran - has her boldly declaring to eschew make-up on Thursdays and to sit around at home in her sweat pants, drinking straight out of the can (though, not in the American sense).

"Perfect To Me"
10 mins 37s
21 Nov 2018
Hannah Lux Davies has done a lovely job of introducing the voices of people who aren't stereotypically beautiful into Anne-Marie's 'Perfect To Me'. However, Anne-Marie herself provides a problem. While singing about how comfortable she is with her physical flaws and pigging out on ice cream, she presents as a perfect specimen of a human being - so her acceptance of not having a "supermodel" body appears disingenuous to say the least.

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.