David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • James De Frond joins Another Film CompanyAnother Film Company has just signed the "bloody lovely" James De Frond for representation.
    • A refreshing changeHarking back to the golden age of Disney animation is an interesting move from Coca-Cola.
    • Tea for twoThis new commercial for Clipper, which was preceded by an intriguing 10-second teaser, features a truly lovely animation by directorial duo Andersen M.
    • Drink in the atmosphereIn this compelling film, Pepsi gatecrashes a game of five-a-side football in a Barcelona neighbourhood.
    • In sync with people's wishesSky have put together another 'cassette boy' style trailer for their election coverage and it's great.
    • What a feeling!This ambitious attempt to capture a sense of what it's like to drive the advertised car is a really gorgeous piece of film.
    • One Born Every MinuteWilliam and Kate's daughter wasn't the only baby born on Saturday and this touching piece of work for Pampers reminds viewers that all those who became parents at the weekend will consider their new child to be a prince or a princess.
    • For glam read RamThe cynic in DAVD can't help wondering if this terrific US spot for Ram Trucks is deliberately aimed at yummy mummies on the school run.
    • Teens get meanThis spot for Canadian School Safety Network is based directly on a segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live! called Celebrities Read Mean Tweets.
    • Teach a man to fish...Life for the fishermen of Madagascar looks so tough in this remarkably beautiful South African commercial for Prudential that this could almost be a recruitment video for Somali pirates.
    • A gorgeous cup of coffeeThere's so much gorgeousness in this ad for Nescafé.


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James De Frond joins Another Film Company

Another Film Company has just signed the "bloody lovely" James De Frond for representation.

Hand-reared on rented comedies from the Apollo video store next to his childhood home, he's been involved in everything from Brass Eye and Alan Partridge to Keith Lemon's Very Brilliant World Tour and Arrested Development. And he now has something new in the offing: Murder In Successville.


Coca Cola
"Man and Dog"
5 May 2015

Harking back to the golden age of Disney animation is an interesting move from Coca-Cola. 101 Dalmations showed us a dog always knows how to persuade their owner to take them for a walk, and this ad demonstrates there's still mileage to be had out of something as simple as the relationship between the two.

All the owner wants to do here is get the walk over with. In his dog's eyes, the damp and dreary world is an explosion of colour, enticing scents, and squirrels on motorbikes.

One thing leads to another and the mutt causes his guy to crash face first into a Coca-Cola vending machine. Happily, this causes a bottle to fall out which changes the man's whole outlook at the first swig.

The dog's almost psychedelic view of the world is terrific and, unlike some of the brand's recent try-hard efforts, this good old-fashioned spot is actually quite refreshing.

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4 May 2015

This new commercial for Clipper, which was preceded by an intriguing 10-second teaser, features a truly lovely animation by directorial duo Andersen M. The ad reminds us how unnatural things can look when they're the wrong colour... and connects this to the revelation that the advertised tea comes in bags that haven't been bleached.

It uses a 3D pink and black bee handcrafted out of paper, which returns to its rightful shades as it wanders around a meadow turning wildlife back into their own natural colours too. The detail is beautiful and it communicates quality loud and clear - though it would be even more effective if it explained the benefits of unbleached teabags!

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Pepsi Max
1 min 35s
30 April 2015

In this compelling film, Pepsi gatecrashes a game of five-a-side football in a Barcelona neighbourhood by introducing specially designed LED lights, pitch illumination and an officiating drone to turn an otherwise unremarkable kickabout into something spectacular.

This isn't the first time Pepsi has set up a stunt designed to go viral but this has much more about it than the previous efforts. That has much to do with the joie de vivre of the footballers themselves who - while adapting quickly to the interruption - are nonetheless awed like children by the high tech tomfoolery.

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Sky News
"General Affection"
3 May 2015

Sky News are very excited about the election and someone in the organisation has taken a leaf out of Cassette Boy's book and stitched together clips of politicians to make it look as though they're singing. This is the second film in this series and - for our money - it's much better than the first. Not least because this uses Marvin Gaye, while the other film featured a ghastly track that made us want to put our fists through the telly box.

This has been really well thought through. The track is a perfect way of reminding us of the need to form alliances when Thursday's poll provides us with a hung Parliament.

And the lip syncing has been so carefully aligned with the music that it works both as a piece of satire and - in its own way - as a pop promo.

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Recent Promos

Culture Shock
"City Lights"
3 mins 09s
4 May 2015
As with Fono's track Real Joy, this new release from Culture Shock is one which offers more each time you listen to it. City Lights has the feel of a big summer blockbuster; a drums'n'bass blissout that gets the adrenalin pumping and the mind expanding in equal measure. And it's accompanied by a video that matches it pace for pace in sheer euphoria.

Melody Gardot
7 mins 02s
28 Apr 2015
Jazz singer Melody Gardot references the story of Emmett Till in her track Preacherman, and Calum Macdiarmid takes it up with his accompanying video. Emmett Till was a 14 year old black boy murdered while on holiday at his gran's in Mississippi - supposedly for flirting with a white woman. The film has a gravitas and beauty that compel you to watch... and to reflect.

"Real Joy"
4 mins 59s
29 Apr 2015
Brighton-based producer and DJ Fono has a new track out - Real Joy - with a video by Simon Cahn. The track's actually a bit of a grower; after a couple of listens it wraps itself around you and leaves you looking around for a dancefloor. But it's the promo that makes it memorable because it's so completely unexpected.

"Marks To Prove It"
4 mins 20s
28 Apr 2015
This is the first in a trilogy of promos by up-and-coming director Joe Connor for Maccabees. The band wanted the focus to be on London's Elephant and Castle, and so Connor studied the restless, relentless commuter run and distilled it into four minutes and twenty seconds of frenetic movement combined with surreal imagery of the kind you might imagine stumbling into if you stopped and truly looked at your surroundings for a moment.

Baden Baden
"Un Hiver"
2 mins 57s
27 Apr 2015
The promo for Un Hiver (One Winter) by Baden Baden - who aren't German, but French - is like watching The Beach set in the hipster bar from a recent Smirnoff ad. A chap sings dolefully from a bed in the centre of a cluttered set, while scattered around are surfers, sea cap'ns and beach babes all ignoring a man whose leg has been bitten off.

3 mins 52s
20 Apr 2015
Up-and-coming singer Shura has a voice with the delicate fragility of early spring flowers, and it's very much suited to this electro-pop ballad which reminds us of something 80s band Prefab Sprout would come up with. The accompanying video is by David M Helman, who has taken the song's theme of halting uncertainty and wistful regret and interpreted it rather beautifully.

Snoop Dogg
"So Many Pros"
4 mins 32s
25 Apr 2015
Snoop Dogg - looking more and more like someone's dad having a larf - gets hilariously bad-ass in this excellent promo for his new track So Many Pros. The track itself is kind of meh but the visuals pack in more blaxploitation poster references than your brain can contain without a little lie down afterwards. Concentrate on the subheads, like 'He kicks where it hurts. In the jewels'... there are some real, er, gems.

Flo Morrissey
"Pages of Gold"
4 mins 14s
12 Apr 2015
Flo Morrissey is only twenty but she's making ripples in music circles for her dreamy, boho ballads with their Lana Del Ray vibe. Pages Of Gold seems to be her breakthrough release, and directorial duo Sophie & Misha have created a fitting promo; all gold leaf and shadow, to enhance Flo's ethereal qualities.

The Vaccines
"Dream Lover"
4 mins 07s
9 Apr 2015
Blinkin' flip - this must have been fun to make. The Vaccine's latest release may be straying perilously close to the black hole of plod rock, but who cares when it comes with such an entertaining promo? This is a loving homage to John Carpenter's Dark Star, right down to the boiler suits, rollneck sweaters and death-ray eyes. Fab.

Hot Chip
"Need You Now"
4 mins 53s
7 Apr 2015
This intriguing confection has Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor experiencing some sort of Groundhog Afternoon as he encounters clones of himself in a grey, deserted coastal town. With his huge glasses and rather wimpy demeanour he manages to unnerve both us and his various doppelgangers as he tries to figure out a puzzle that begins with a torn photo.

"One Time"
4 mins 46s
8 Apr 2015
Ninian Doff turns time into a shattered mirror for Migos' latest track; littering the morning after the night before with shards of memories for everyone to stumble into. Their freezing, multiplying, fragmenting presence gives a reason for finding this on YouTube - something that cannot be said for the track it promotes.

Okay Kaya
"Damn, Gravity"
2 mins 45s
31 Mar 2015
The New York-based Norwegian artist has something indefinably different about her, but we still don't think she's quite found herself yet. This track skirts around the edge of something brilliant, yet the hook is too elusive to be truly satisfying. Still, it's a fittingly swoony video from director Eric K Yue, circling Kaya in dizzying, slow-motion sweeps.

Run The Jewels
"Close Your Eyes"
4 mins 42s
31 Mar 2015
Never trust a cop who models his facial hair on Walter White or Murray from Flight of the Conchords. He'll fight dirty and he won't be smart enough to know when to stop. That's what we take from this video, anyway. It's a gripping accompaniment to a powerhouse of a track; where you need to surrender to the dubious pleasure of letting the bass punch you in the ears while two men grapple in the street.

"To Live And Die In Grantham"
4 mins 52s
30 Mar 2015
Clark's trademark techno is exhilarating and gruelling in equal measure here as a young guy bobs and weaves threateningly through a trailer park. The washed-out grade emphasises his pallid skin with its faint grey tinge of cigs and junk food. But he's on a transformative journey, and the almost mystical scenes of shadowy, smoke-filled ritual we cut to intermittently subvert the aggression into something spiritual.

Saint Raymond
"Come Back To You"
4 mins 01s
28 Mar 2015
Tom Beard directs Saint Raymond himself, actor Thomas Turgoose, and a whole bunch of people that he picked out on the streets of Manchester during the course of one night. They're filmed in the back of a taxi, and it's compelling viewing - but Turgoose steals the show.

FKA twigs
"Glass and Patron"
4 mins 59s
24 Mar 2015
We know FKA twigs is rightly revered as a very talented and original artist, but at DAVID we find her music a tad inaccessible. Having said that, it's as much about her performance and ideas as it is her songs - and she can be utterly compelling to watch. This self-directed promo for her new release is a great example.

"Turning Back Around"
3 mins 44s
23 Mar 2015
Rhodes brings us another helping of stricken love with this latest release, and director Callum Cooper has injected some otherworldliness into the accompanying promo which adds depth to the singer's hidden shallows. An ethereal beauty drifts and turns in what seem to be cold northern waters, surfacing in different places to represent the memories he's burying.

Jack Savoretti
"The Other Side of Love"
3 mins 55s
20 Mar 2015
Singer songwriter Jack Savoretti has a new track out, and to go with it director Chris Faith has created a moody promo shot in "Acton Vale Working Mens Club on a dark Saturday afternoon," as he explains it. If one of the faces looks familiar, that's because it's actor Rafe Spall. The video perfectly captures the feel of relationship troubles exacerbated by too much drink in a noisy atmosphere.

"The Clock"
3 mins 42s
18 Mar 2015
Luke Losey, director and long-time collaborator with Orbital, has made an intriguing promo for 8.58 (otherwise known as Paul Hartnoll, one half of the aforementioned band). Evidently inspired by the children's TV programme Mr Benn, it features Cillian Murphy as 'The Generic Man' - an anonymous, bowler-hatted gent who takes on different personae when he enters a fancy dress shop.

Other Lives
4 mins 02s
17 Mar 2015
The lead single from Other Lives' new album Rituals is a slinking, broody affair full of complex instrumentation and atmospheric vocals. To accompany it, director Ollie Wolf has created a superb video which marries the elegance of dance and the controlled aggression of fencing.

"Sylvester Stallone"
4 mins 37s
14 Mar 2015
There's no getting around it; this track by 'no wave' electronics dude Powell is a sonic nightmare. The visceral kick its relentless looping drums give you stops hurting after a bit, and once you get numb, you get comfortable. Dissonant and crushing like a mutant insect grinding its teeth, it throws in shards of this and shavings of that with much the same result as you'd get by lobbing teaspoons in a microwave

Harold van Lennep
2 mins 35s
10 Mar 2015
Harold van Lennep's dreamy Liberation would seem to be the perfect come-down track for the morning after the club before; an insistent drumbeat coupled with piano chords and sampling the portentous words of evangelist Ravi Zacharias. While the lyrics sound quasi-intellectual ("What happens when life breaks down? When there is systemic contradiction?"), it's really a paean to Christian belief- which wouldn't be so bad if Zacharias were open-minded with it.

"Le Matin"
3 mins 54s
5 Mar 2015
Pacifika's sultry vocalist navigates a hallway in this video for laidback track Le Matin, which is evocative of sunsets and beaches. Fronting the Canadian world music band, Sylvana Kane sings in French; the band itself has garnered all sorts of acclaim from such luminaries as The Wall Street and the New York Times.

Man Made
"Carsick Cars"
2 mins 45s
5 Mar 2015
Stuart Douglas has made a lovely, woozy promo for Man Made; the Manchester outfit helmed by Nile Marr - son of the legendary Johnny. The track, Carsick Cars, has jangly guitars and a retro-psychedelic sound that somehow manages to be hugely energetic without losing its essential stoner sensibility.

Chloe Black
4 mins 17s
3 Mar 2015
Chloe Black's commanding debut track about the music icons who died abruptly at the age of 27 comes with an equally commanding video from director Calum MacDiarmid. It has a whole host of influences - from Helmut Newton's black and white portraits to the surreal imagery of Ingmar Bergman and Jean-Luc Godard - which meld together to form something we can only describe as Goth Noir.

Recent Promos

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