David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Jonas McQuiggin joins Indy8Jonas McQuiggin has joined the roster at Indy8.
    • Arthouse cidre.Now that Stella Artois Cidre has joined sweet cider and hard cider on the drinks menu, what better way to stand apart than with some French New Wave line dancing?
    • For those in peril on the sea.This film for the RNLI demonstrates that our instincts can be insanely unhelpful.
    • Motherfucking Snakes in this Motherfucking CityPalace Skateboards celebrate opening their first store outside the UK - in New York, no less - with this impressive ad.
    • NERD's principled principal.No one was hit harder by the unceremonious collapse of th1ng than Milana Karaica but she picked herself up, dusted herself off and created NERD Productions.
    • Of human bondageAn intriguing and futuristic ad for BBC Earth questions what really makes us human. Is it our capacity for abstract thought, or language?
    • Podcast - The Social Media BacklashOur latest podcast examines the social media backlash faced by Pepsi and McDonald's in the last few weeks.
    • Five Favourite... Car AdsAppreciating five of our favourite car ads from 2017 so far.
    • Up the Boatmen.Budweiser reaffirm their support of grassroots football in this engaging film.
    • Nocturnal AnimalsThis high-octane ad for Superdry shows a group of friends getting up to no good after dark.
    • Black Label score a hat-trick.Black Label have signed three directorial talents to their roster: Kathryn Ferguson, Lisa Gunning, and Tell No One.
    • What a TearjerkerKFC announce the arrival of their Nashville Hot chicken on our shores with this classy ad.
    • Repeat after me.Kelly’s struck a chord last year with their Cornish-language commercial. Now the brand wants us to become fluent… well, that may be a stretch.
    • When opposites attract.With festival season looming, Vero and Nexus director Kibwe Tavares offer a fantastical spin on muddy fields and watered-down lager.
    • Rooms with a view.This Irish Virgin Media ad offers something for almost everyone.


Wednesday, 14th June.
Betwen 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

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

Tickets: £20 plus VAT.

● Sharon Horgan.

● GiffGaff.

● W.I.Z.

● Graham Rose tribute.

● The reunion.


Jonas McQuiggin joins Indy8

We've been known to complain about the advertising industry's habit of forgetting how lucky we are to be doing something that's well-paid, fun and almost entirely inconsequential.

So it was an absolute pleasure to recently make the acquaintance of Jonas McQuiggin - a director who seems so aware of his good fortune that he's almost giddy with excitement.


Stella Artois Cidre
"Three Apples"
26 May 2017

Thanks to one debonair spokesman, we Brits have received a thorough grounding in the difference between cidre and cider. For American drinkers, it’s a little more complicated. Now that Stella Artois Cidre has joined sweet cider and hard cider on the drinks menu, what better way to stand apart than with some French New Wave line dancing?

This light-footed number from Blink’s Adam Hashemi is a fruity twist on Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Bande à Part’. We like the bloke on the right easing his way into the beat. While it would have been fun to watch the brand’s bespectacled mouthpiece navigate American cider definitions, this suggests a classier tipple for US cider aficionados.

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28 May 2017

None of us really knows how we'd behave in situations of peril until we find ourselves facing them. We may secretly harbour a hope that our judgement would be impeccable and we'd find ourselves making all the right decisions to save ourselves and others. But there's no good way of finding out.

This film for the RNLI demonstrates that we tend to rely on our instincts - and that they can be insanely unhelpful. When we find ourselves suddenly immersed in freezing water, these instincts push us towards a series of actions perfectly designed to kill us. We flail upwards in a desperate effort to reach the surface, and we gasp for air. Such effort almost inevitably leads us to inhale water and - in these conditions - we will then drown.

Allowing ourselves to rise gently to the surface and allowing our bodies to adjust to the freezing conditions is so utterly passive that it may make us feel that we've given in. But it provides our best shot at survival.

But how can you communicate this to people in a fashion which will lodge in their memories? While it's impossible to know for sure, anyone paying attention to this superb piece of communication by krow and Nice Shirt's Olly Goodrum will have a chance of persuading themselves to resist their first impulse. And that could be the difference that saves their lives.

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Palace Skateboards
25 May 2017

Palace Skateboards celebrate opening their first store outside the UK - in New York, no less - with this impressive ad. Jonah Hill returns (although sadly not via green screen) to complain about how little he was paid for his last, disastrous outing for the brand... only to be stopped in his tracks by a giant metal snake.

The terrifying beast skulks through the city freaking out innocent bystanders. Not even a tiny chihuahua - curiously dressed in a denim jacket - is spared. The snake leaps between rooftops and sets off car alarms, only to transform into an animated, dancing version of Palace's triangular logo.

The production values are appropriately high here, giving the film a big-budget feel. We also have to admire how gleefully foul-mouthed the script is, with expletives thrown around so freely we're surprised Samuel L Jackson doesn't show up. Has there ever been a more enjoyable tagline than "You're in my house now, motherfuckers"?

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NERD's principled principal.

No one was hit harder by last year's unceremonious collapse of th1ng than Milana Karaica. But she picked herself up, dusted herself off and created NERD Productions.

Everyone had been wrong-footed by what happened and the first assignment she set for the newly-formed creative-led studio was to complete as much work as possible for the clients who'd been left high and dry by the collapse of the old company.

A year or so after NERD's emergence, we caught up with her to find out how it's going.



Recent Promos

"Nights With You"
3 mins 18s
26 May 2017
One wouldn’t normally associate Danish electropop with Communist landmarks, but MØ thinks there’s crossover appeal. The singer and her entourage commandeer Bulgaria’s Buzludzha monument before director Bouha Kazmi gives things a strobe makeover. Fans of summery pop and architectural historians alike will leave satisfied.

2 mins 53s
26 May 2017
This wordy promo for Jonwayne’s ‘Live from the Fuck You’ gives us an amusing insight into how the American rapper deals with fans. Well, boyfriends of fans. Unfamiliar with Jonwayne’s work - and just as sceptical about his appearance - one bloke requests a quick birthday rap. So much for a night off, eh?

Elton John
"Bennie and the Jets"
5 mins 48s
26 May 2017
This classy music video for Elton John's 'Bennie and the Jets' by Jack Whitely and Laura Brownhill combines choreography and camp to create a unique black and white promo. The action takes the form of a futuristic, extraterrestrial version of Britain's Got Talent, with performers strutting their stuff to Elton John's classic track.

"We Just Don't Care (ft Shingai)"
3 mins 17s
24 May 2017
SHY FX's new release is impossibly infectious; combining jungle with a 90s girl band vibe thanks to Shingai's velvety tones. And what a promo Craig Moore has put together for it. This isn't your average dance-themed clip: this delivers dizzying break dance spins and one-handed, er, handstands. The energy, skill and post-apocalyptic style make this one to watch again and again.

Elton John
"Tiny Dancer"
6 mins 45s
24 May 2017
Over four decades after its release, Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ receives its first official music video. No, that John Lewis ad doesn’t count. Instead, Sir Elton invited filmmakers to pitch their own promos. The winner? Somesuch’s Max Weiland. The result is a languid and compelling snapshot of Los Angeles.

Ghost Poet
"Immigrant Boogie"
2 mins 38s
22 May 2017
The title of Ghost Poet's latest release lends an additional layer of nightmarishness to the track itself. The word 'Boogie' carries a certain 70s jauntiness, evoking Elton John, Earth Wind & Fire, and John Travolta strutting his stuff. Here though, the dancer is a refugee; his dancefloor a war zone leading to a hoped-for sanctuary that simply turns its back on him.

"Dig Down"
4 mins 15s
19 May 2017
It seems Muse have been watching re-runs of Max Headroom since their last release. Hair slicked and broadcasting from a VR dimension, the three-piece offer moral support to this bionic commando through various monitors. Call it future warfare with a foot in the past... though the track itself treads familiar ground.

"I Come From Pain"
2 mins 58s
18 May 2017
The first thing you notice while watching Zhang + Knight's promo for French singer Sônge is the palette. A myriad shades of blues and lilacs - so exquisitely put together it's spellbinding - leave you wondering whether it was a happy accident or whether the directors simply have a far more developed colour perception than the rest of us mere mortals.

Marika Hackman
"My Lover Cindy"
3 mins 15s
18 May 2017
Sam Bailey - band member of Francobollo and promo director into the bargain - has created a clip for Marika Hackman's 'My Lover Cindy' which will probably become known as the 'tongues' video. When a couple duel it out for supremacy in their relationship, gashes caused by the business end of an épée morph into mouths which are lipless, lascivious and attention-grabbing in a car crash kind of way. Gross but compelling.

Royal Blood
"Hook, Line, and Sinker"
3 mins 28s
18 May 2017
Having escaped their milky prison, Royal Blood find themselves on more familiar ground in this performance-driven promo for ‘Hook, Line, and Sinker’. Strobe lights and crunching riffs abound as the Brighton two-piece mark their homecoming in a sweatbox. What the video lacks in finesse, it compensates for in bullish intensity.

The Vamps
"Middle of the Night"
3 mins 09s
18 May 2017
'In The Middle of The Night' by One Direction heirs apparent The Vamps is a slice of pure pop, accompanied by an intriguing promo from director Mike Baldwin. The visuals here elevate the track, focused on a couple arguing furiously in sign language in a bleak diner. The heartbreak is tangible here, the desperation from both sides yearning to bring a resolution to a conflict neither fully wants to escape. Powerful stuff.

Dan Black (ft Kelis)
3 mins 30s
17 May 2017
Aside from Partick Thistle's Kingsley, surrealist football mascots are few and far between. Any team looking to revamp their pitchside support should check out this promo for Dan Black’s ‘Farewell’. The track itself is undemanding, but it’s clear Black’s costume department had a field day crafting humanoid blobs and walking toy chests.

JP Cooper
"Passport Home"
3 mins 21s
16 May 2017
Manchester singer-songwriter JP Cooper has only one destination in mind in this promo for ‘Passport Home’. While the dreadlocked troubadour reflects in his hotel room, we see others shouldering their own burdens, be it physiotherapy, applying for citizenship, or simply landing a trick in one piece.

3 mins 36s
12 May 2017
Holly Blakely brings her golden touch of gorgeous choreography and slick visuals to this intimate promo for Mabel's 'Bedroom'. The sensual slumber party set on a giant bed soon takes on a carnal feel, hip-thrusting dance moves combining with the neon-tinged grade to create something which perfectly matches the music. We like the cameo from a likely very confused snake, too.

"Are You Looking for Action?"
8 mins 06s
12 May 2017
Kasabian sound like a band whose team won the Premier League last season. Even if Leicester City’s title defence hasn’t gone according to plan, no one can blame Tom Meighan and Serge Pizzorno for still being in a party mood with ‘Are You Looking for Action?’ The disco-infused track is one of Kasabian’s longest to date, but the Partizan's Sing J. Lee holds our attention with a live glitterball rave captured in one continuous shot.

The Aces
3 mins 14s
21 Apr 2017
Female band The Aces let us know in no uncertain terms that they're not prepared to have relationships that are just based on sex. Their promo for 'Physical' by Charlotte Rutherford illustrates this by showing just how unimpressed they are with their erstwhile beaus - though it looks like it was a lot of fun to make.

Julian Barratt
"You Can't Handcuff The Wind"
3 mins 59s
10 May 2017
Julian Barratt - The Mighty Boosh; Flowers - stars in a new spoof movie about washed-up actor Richard Thorncroft who is unexpectedly thrust back into the limelight. And just to prime us, an old music video has surfaced of Thorncroft singing a soft-rock ballad from his heyday. 'You Can't Handcuff The Wind' is a glorious paean to that decade's more dubious musical trends, and its accompanying promo brings a barrel of cheese to the party.

Bossman Birdie
"Walk The Walk"
2 mins 53s
10 May 2017
Grime artist Bossman Birdie thinks rather well of himself, and despite his tendency to refer to women as "gash" and use "pansy" as an insult other people think rather well of him too. Luke Davies' sharp promo for 'Walk The Walk' makes use of Bossman's swagger by creating 'living' magazine covers adorned with witty subheaders.

"I Believed"
4 mins 03s
10 May 2017
James Alexandrou calls his promo for Maló 'an experiment in performance'. That's because he has the singer perform 'I Believed' over and over for two and a half hours to achieve the same level of exhaustion that he might reach on stage at a gig. With atmospheric cinematography by his long-term collaborator David Foulkes, the heartfelt result looks very authentic.

Cadence Weapon
"My Crew (Woooo) "
3 mins 13s
8 May 2017
After a lengthy absence, Toronto rapper Cadence Weapon delivers a cool, controlled, double-time rap that has ghostly echoes of Massive Attack. The track manages to combine electronic precision with a visceral squelchiness, and Kevin Calero's promo mesmerises as the singer and his crew drift through the inky void like out-takes from Under The Skin.

"Now or Never"
6 mins 07s
28 Apr 2017
Fans of Baz Luhrman’s ‘Romeo + Juliet’ will appreciate this story-driven promo for Halsey’s ‘Now or Ever’. Shot with a hyperreal sheen by Partizan’s Sing J. Lee, the promo sees Halsey and her beau caught in the crossfire. Even if the slow-burning track never kicks into gear, there’s plenty on-screen to chew over.

"Bambro Koyo Ganda (ft Innov Gnawa)"
3 mins 27s
28 Apr 2017
Directorial collective Stylewar has fashioned an assemblage of existing video clips from around the world into a promo for Bonobo's latest release 'Bambro Koyo Ganda'. Along with additional footage filmed by them, the resulting piece is around three and a half spellbinding minutes in which time speeds up, slows down, or jumps around.

3 mins 20s
28 Apr 2017
Tinashe reminisces about better times with her buff boyf - he brings her breakfast in bed, they lounge by the pool... but all is not as it seems. As the relationship develops a huge fault line she decides the best way to tell him to go to blazes is to to burn everything of his - including his house. That's the last time she'll be given free reign with the sparklers on bonfire night.

Father John Misty
"Total Entertainment Forever"
2 mins 53s
27 Apr 2017
That Father John Misty a.k.a. Josh Tillman dabbles in LSD for medicinal purposes should give you some idea of what to expect from this promo for ‘Total Entertainment Forever’. Sure enough, who knew George Washington was a fan of virtual reality and Viagra? Downstairs issues aside, Washington appears in rude health as he loads ‘Constitution Hack’.

"Not The Same"
3 mins 09s
25 Apr 2017
American rapper Kyle has the magic touch in this promo-cum-movie teaser. Inspired by upcoming film 'Sleight', Kyle pulls off some eye-catching tricks during his quest for fresh milk. What's more, it looks like the whole thing's been done in one continuous take. Now that's magic... or some impressive directorial sleight of hand, at least.

Recent Promos

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