David Reviews

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

    • Festive detective work.Aussie department store Myer attempt to take the guesswork out of Christmas in this entertaining ad.
    • Creeping dread.This intriguing short film from Dominica Harrison tackles the tricky transition from blissful childhood to reluctantly aware puberty.
    • Health and safety.There's never been a more pressing time to highlight the public's treatment of retail workers.
    • Tubular swells.Tired of small talk about work, Covid-19, and the weather? Discuss your cervix or intestinal wall instead!
    • TV Klaxon: Crime.76 Ltd director James Strong likes a one-word title. After Liar and Vigil comes Crime, a six-part adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel of the same name.
    • Purple streak.Megan Rapinoe, Donald Trump's favourite footballer, stars in this nimble ad for performance tracker STATSports.
    • Desert resort.What is Neom? That's an interesting question, and it's one that sprang to mind when we spotted this commercial on Sky Sports the other day.
    • A shaggy dog story.Fredgy Nol's short film written by Emily Kron centres on a 'what if' fantasy, and answers it with a healthy dose of realism.
    • Tech support.This thoughtful spoken word piece from the United Nations draws attention to a significant online issue.
    • Screen dreams are made of this.Digital burnout is addressed in amusing fashion in this all too relatable short film.

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Myer
"Unriddle Christmas"
60s
7 December 2021

Aussie department store Myer attempt to take the guesswork out of Christmas in this entertaining ad. The chain go full musical for the festive season, as a diverse cast make vague references to the sort of thing they'd like.

Here, families are asked for "just a small" unspecified present, people hum and haw about what would constitute a gift that's "so them", and confusion dawns across many a face. Thankfully, the variety of goods available via the advertised retailer serve to provide something for everyone.

Gift giving can often feel like a test of how well we're known by another person, so taking some of the potential tension out of the decision can only be a good thing at an often emotional time of year. Who misses the days of circling things in the Argos catalogue already?


Short Films
"Chado"
9 mins 10s
7 December 2021

This intriguing short film from Dominica Harrison tackles the tricky transition from blissful childhood to reluctantly aware puberty. Rather than attempt to give the audience the warm fuzzies, this is a nightmarish look at growing up and is replete with insects, eels, and all manner of creepy crawlies.

Texture is vital to the experience here, as Harrison's tactile style burrows under viewers' skins in a manner akin to the tick which infects the main figure's dog. Simple character design also adds to the work, allowing the action to flourish rather than strip emotion away from the narrative.

A parent's new partner is tricky to come to terms with at the best of times, and the child's obsession with bugs and the natural world offers little in terms of an outlet as things progress. A final transformation feels like anxiety made manifest, and will resonate with anyone who has felt uncomfortable in their own skin.


Retail Trust
"Essential Worker"
2 mins 13s
7 December 2021

As multiple supermarkets announce their decision to not enforce mask wearing in an effort to prevent employee harassment over Christmas, there's never been a more pressing time to highlight the public's treatment of retail workers. Though dubbed 'essential' and hailed as heroes during the height of the pandemic, many are currently treated as faceless drones at best and met with active hostility at worst.

One woman is haunted by her experiences at work here, preparing for her day while unable to stop hearing the mistreatment she faces daily. Each phrase is heralded by the beep of a checkout scanner, and that familiar sound begins to feel like water torture by the end of the film.

It's a sensitive yet hard-hitting look at how what seem like minor incidents can begin to add up, causing death by a thousand papercuts as workers face increasing issues with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Director Sam Parish-Rookes encourages viewers to keep their tempers and appreciate the humanity of retail staff over the festive season, to treat them with the respect and patience they deserve.


AOK
"Taboo"
50s
7 December 2021

Tired of small talk about work, Covid-19, and the weather? Discuss your cervix or intestinal wall instead! That's the premise of this frank but light-hearted piece of work for German health insurance company AOK.

Once the foundation has been laid - thanks to a doozy of a first date revelation - the fun can begin. An assortment of punters take pride in their test results and each puts a distinctive spin on proceedings.

Thus, we get a bloke describing a colonoscopy to his friend down the pub; a woman who takes thirty-eight moles to the spa; and a matre d' chuffed about a clean bill of rectal health. And why not? We need good news wherever we can find it right now.


TV Klaxon: Crime.

76 Ltd director James Strong likes a one-word title. After Liar and Vigil comes Crime, a six-part adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel of the same name and sequel to Filth.

The BritBox exclusive stars Dougray Scott as DI Ray Lennox and Joanna Vanderham as DS Amanda Drummond, with Edinburgh in full Scottish crime drama mode - relief for those still recovering from A Castle for Christmas.

Genre stalwart Ken Stott (Rebus, Messiah) also stars as Chief Superintendent Bob Toal, which suggests he's keen to play every police rank at least once. At least he knows the cop manual from cover to cover.


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Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Willow Kayne
"Opinion"
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.

Jeshi
"Generation"
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
"Sonho"
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. So Paulo-born artist Nego Bala survived both, and this gorgeous music video-cum-short film tells his story.

Raye
"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.

Placebo
"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.

Abba
"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.

Foals
"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
"Puppets"
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.

Bonobo
"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.

Obongjayar
"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.

Adele
"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 Mans '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.

Disney
"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
"Funky"
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
"Gangsta"
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".

Sia
"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.

PRXZ
"Girl"
6 mins 36s
22 Nov 2021
This cryptic music promo for PRXZ's 'Girl' arrived in DAVID's inbox with a curious description, identifying it as being "a poetic re-interpretation of the Grim Reaper shepherding a lost soul from Limbo". Whether that's how audiences will interpret the nearly seven-minute film remains to be seen, but it certainly adds a layer of meaning to the stripped-back visuals.

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.