David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • James Tupper joins NOMINT.Director, designer, and all-round creative whizz James Tupper has joined NOMINT for representation.
    • You're Saint Nicked.This rollicking two-and-a-half minute ad from Sainsbury's charts the origins of one Nicholas the chimney sweep.
    • Unimpeded Undercarriages This stylish piece of work for bespoke fashion retailer Spoke focuses on what the company does best: making trousers to suit the modern man's needs.
    • Attendance for AllUK charity Freedom4Girls draw attention to the increasingly prevalent issue of period poverty in this hard-hitting short film.
    • ZCDC hook up with UNIT9 Films.California-based directing duo ZCDC are the newest addition to the roster at UNIT9 Films.
    • My lovely raptor.This German McDonald's ad suggests the notorious velociraptor has a bad rap, so to speak.
    • Let me begin.Marks & Spencer cut loose in this festive ad directed by Jake Nava.
    • One-Stop ShopIt's that time of year again - time to try and work out what to give friends, family, and what feels like everyone else under the sun for Christmas. That's where Boots come in.
    • And After AllRenault chart the evolution of a relationship through the years in this touching commercial for their Clio model.
    • Home For The HolidaysLidl encourage customers to ditch the idea of an idealised Christmas in this relatable holiday outing.
    • Grime Over SchmaltzHouse-shaming takes a curious new form in this entertaining outing for IKEA.
    • Two through the door at ENVY Advertising.ENVY Advertising have bolstered their ranks by signing the experienced duo of Jax Harney and Ross Culligan.
    • The tree of life.This CG-heavy epic from home improvement retailer Leroy Merlin suggests life in a post-apocalyptic world is nowhere near as bad as books, films, and video games make out.

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Sainsbury's
"Nicholas the Sweep"
2 mins 30s
12 November 2019

One can hardly move for origin stories these days. From Han Solo to the Joker (and, erm, Alfred Pennyworth), seemingly any character is fair game. Even a certain Father Christmas.

That's the premise of this rollicking two-and-a-half minute ad from Sainsbury's, which draws inspiration from the likes of Charles Dickens, Monty Python, and any superhero coming-of-age story you'd care to mention.

This incarnation of Santa, however, is far removed from the creepy bloke on the back of a Coca-Cola truck; now he's a poor chimney sweep at the mercy of a gangmaster. Naturally, things must get worse before they get better.

The boy's ordeal - false imprisonment, exile, and other classic growing pains - is portrayed with tongue firmly in cheek by director Ninian Doff, with cries of "Burn the witch!" filling the air. One bloke's suggestion of a fair trial, alas, is met with deathly silence.

It's therefore up to Mrs Sainsbury's kindly greengrocer to save the day and inspire Nicholas's transformation into a hardened yet generous soul. A couple of Marvel and DC-inspired visual gags sell the idea beautifully.

The result is a diverting Christmas ad that boasts high production values, but doesn't take itself too seriously either. Now for the obligatory darker, grittier sequel.


Spoke
"The Joy of Fit"
30s
12 November 2019

This stylish piece of work for bespoke fashion retailer Spoke focuses on what the company does best: making trousers to suit the modern man's needs. Whether it's gliding through the office triumphantly or slipping on a pair of chinos to party the night away, the brand reckon they have every size covered.

The self-aware humour in this commercial is nicely drawn, as a knowing voiceover lampshades each Adland cliche as it happens. From ducking a comedy obstacle to show off his togs to coasting into an aspirational bar scene with a little too much swagger, this film has a down-to-earth tone that appeals to those who'd never consider made-to-measure otherwise.


Freedom4Girls
"Absent"
4 mins 42s
12 November 2019

UK charity Freedom4Girls draw attention to the increasingly prevalent issue of period poverty in this hard-hitting short film. While campaigns towards menstrual equality in the developing world have increased awareness of the issue overseas, the organisation turns their focus closer to home here - to a land of hope and glory food banks and toilet paper pads.

The depressing fact that many households can't afford to put hygiene products on their priority list is thrown into sharp relief by the emotional distress of one teenage girl. Her turmoil is well drawn, a complex and affecting performance despite her barely speaking a word.

From the compassion of strangers who are familiar with what such crushing poverty looks like to the inter-generational nature of the struggle, this is a nuanced and highly emotive piece of work. From struggling food banks to students missing school through shame, this film offers a mirror via which Britain needs to take a good, hard look at itself.


ZCDC hook up with UNIT9 Films.

As Venn diagrams go, a mash-up of fact, fiction, documentary, scripted, and experiential is hefty to say the least. There is an overlap, however, and that's where you'll find California-based directing duo ZCDC.

Comprised of Zack Canepari and Drea Cooper, ZCDC are the newest addition to the roster at UNIT9 Films, who are keen to share the ambitious duo's talents with clients in the UK and Europe. According to UNIT9 Managing Director Adam Dolman, the union has been a long time coming.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

McDonald's
"Ralphie"
60s
11 November 2019

This German McDonald's ad suggests the notorious velociraptor has a bad rap, so to speak, and that a boy's real best friend is a bipedal carnivore with razor-sharp teeth. Oh, and a secret love of seesaws.

Like a U-rated version of ‘Jurassic Park', director Sune Sørensen's charming film trades gore for larks as a child explores the woods with his scaly new friend. Playing with your food, it turns out, has its merits.

Equally worthy of praise is the raptor itself, which is brought to life through a blend of CGI and animatronics. There's even a cheeky nod to the animal's famous run-in with a kitchen door - which should please viewers both young and old.


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Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Prospa
"Control the Party"
4 mins 41s
8 Nov 2019
Prospa's militant club banger ‘Control the Party' receives an equally thumping promo courtesy of director Jak Payne, who certainly wears his influences on his sleeve. Riffing on sci-fi horror tropes and clandestine government experiments, Payne subjects the protagonist (model Alice Dellal) to a short, sharp stay in a remote facility.

Battles
"Fort Greene Park"
6 mins 11s
7 Nov 2019
There's a relentless sense of flow to this piece for Battles' 'Fort Greene Park'. The film has a hypnotic quality as it showcases unusual methods of transport: unicycles, scooters, and infinite skateboards are all present and accounted for. The track's electronic pulse gives the visuals a sci-fi vibe, making the whole affair feel like excerpts from a futuristic movie in which walking has become obsolete.

Bastille
"Another Place (ft. Alessia Cara)"
3 mins 37s
7 Nov 2019
This Bastille promo from director Anna Radchenko feels like a left-field B&Q commercial. As frontman Dan Smith offers such pearlers as "I could write a book about what you said to me on the pillow", he tries desperately to hold back the flood with duct tape in a lopsided apartment. It's vividly staged, and certainly puts any minor DIY mishap into context.

Jeff Buckley
"Sky Blue Skin"
5 mins 55s
5 Nov 2019
Jeff Buckley's ‘Sky Blue Skin' may not be the jolliest thing you'll hear in the coming weeks, but the accompanying promo from directors Temple Caché is a thoughtful, tactile look at a musician who died well before his time. Shot like a moving scrapbook, the piece combines archive footage, still photos, and dreamlike imagery to winsome effect.

Twin Atlantic
"Novocaine"
3 mins 55s
6 Nov 2019
Glasgow rockers Twin Atlantic return in style with a new single and a colourful promo to match. 'Novocaine' sees the group in contemplative mood, evoking feelings of synesthesia and fractured memories as they chase the lingering impressions of past loves down twisted, and often cryptic, rabbit holes. An immersive sensory experience.

Redrum
"Unit 22"
4 mins 17s
29 Oct 2019
There's a grimy weight to this dark claymation promo for Redrum's 'Unit 22' which instantly sucks the audience into its world. Set during a rave on a dystopian frequency, the highly stylised action takes some seriously unexpected twists and turns once the, er, right substances are consumed. Claustrophobic and ever-shifting beats.

Rilès
"Thank God"
3 mins 46s
25 Oct 2019
French-Algerian rapper Rilès is a vision in black and gold in this confidently shot promo for latest track ‘Thank God'. Flitting between a rugged desert landscape and a black void, director Scotty Simper lets his bushy-haired lead express his gratitude to the man upstairs with abandon... oh, and a hefty supply of body paint.

Sam Fender
"The Borders"
4 mins 55s
24 Oct 2019
Having been described in some quarters as the 'Geordie Springsteen', Sam Fender's latest single 'The Borders' tells an emotionally-wrought story about friends growing up and growing apart. The accompanying promo enhances that poignant narrative, as director Thomas James explores a friendship ended by jealousy and mistakes.

Ritual
"Hard Times"
3 mins 01s
23 Oct 2019
A group of friends and their tangled romantic lives are the subject of this artsy promo for Ritual's latest single 'Hard Times'. The titular times are depicted in a series of break-ups and make-ups, with members of the various couples leaning on their friends for support in different ways - all held together by a neon-soaked club scene which suggests greater intrigue lies beneath the surface.

Icky
"The Beat"
2 mins 53s
22 Oct 2019
Beer bellies are brought to their logical conclusion in this surreal film directed by Neda. Paying irreverent tribute to Beyoncé's pregnancy photoshoot - among other cultural mainstays - the three-minute-piece combines blood, beats, and birth to offer an outstandingly hedonistic look at bringing new life into the world.

Katy Perry
"Harleys in Hawaii"
3 mins 14s
21 Oct 2019
This Manson-directed promo for Katy Perry's ‘Harleys in Hawaii' sees the pop singer ride a Harley Davidson. In Hawaii. Which is nice work if you can get it, we suppose. Come for Perry's overproduced ditty about fingers running through salty hair and stay for Manson and DP Arnau Valls's verdant depiction of America's fiftieth state.

Tiana Major9, EarthGang
"Collide"
3 mins 32s
18 Oct 2019
This LX-directed promo for Tiana9 Major and EarthGang feels like a trendy plug for the AA (though other roadside assistance companies are available). As smoke billows from under the hood of their classic Mercedes, the neo-soul-cum-hip-hop trio put transport woes to the back of their mind and insist that "when we collide, it's a beautiful disaster".

Palace
"Heaven Up There"
7 mins 08s
17 Oct 2019
This single-shot promo for ‘Heaven Up There' by Palace holds it nerve across seven minutes thanks to a plaintive lead performance by Kenneth Cranham. Much like the recent 'Shemira' starring John Rhys-Davies, the promo relies on its veteran star to fill the screen and retain audience interest... which an expressive Cranham manages with gusto.

Slaves
"One More Day Won't Hurt"
3 mins 16s
15 Oct 2019
Punk rock duo Slaves are on typically febrile form with new track ‘One More Day Won't Hurt', and director Will Hooper has delivered a seizure-baiting promo to boot. As Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman stew inside an anonymous building, the broil of toxic masculinity threatens to overwhelm the screen. This is represented by flashes of crushed cars, stale pints of cider, and nails embedded in slabs of meat.

Aurora
"To Be Loved"
4 mins 27s
14 Oct 2019
Singer-songwriter Aurora is definitely having a moment, as the cliché goes. Following recent single ‘Apple Tree', she now provides guest vocals for fellow Norwegian Askjell's ‘To Be Loved' - which receives a baroque promo from directors Sophia+Robert into the bargain. Fans of ethereal dancing and oddly pitched tents are in for a treat.

Jetta
"No Fire"
3 mins 35s
11 Oct 2019
Liverpudlian songstress Jetta cuts a needle-sharp figure in this predominantly black-and-white promo for ‘No Fire'. Directors Sophia+Robert flit between London's alleyways and a plain photo studio as Jetta nimbly models some high-end threads for the camera - all while bemoaning the lack of va-va-voom in her life.

Duke Dumont, Zak Abel
"The Power"
3 mins 03s
9 Oct 2019
Divided into three acts, Paco Raterta's video revolves around a power struggle in a shadowy, sinister cult. It's shot in the Philippines, and you can almost hear the heat and humidity weighing down the air, goading sweat-slicked bodies into nefarious activities. Actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith takes centre stage as a young woman with doubts about the goings-on she's involved with.

The Script
"The Last Time"
3 mins 22s
10 Oct 2019
A relationship turns into a damp squib for Danny O'Donoghue in this emotionally-driven promo, as the Script frontman and Brandon Flowers lookalike becomes a mere bystander in his own story. Jumping between a black-and-white studio and the erstwhile couple's flat, director Charles Mehling bides his time before turning on the waterworks.

Georgia
"Never Let You Go"
3 mins 50s
8 Oct 2019
Those expecting a sequel to Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel may be disappointed, but for everyone else, Georgia's 'Never Let You Go' is a diverting enough piece of synth-pop that looks to the skies for inspiration. Sure enough, the accompanying promo is a celestial slog that sees the multi-instrumentalist observe some impressive aerial displays.

Kazu
"Come Behind Me, So Good!"
3 mins 48s
3 Oct 2019
Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino has released a solo album - 'Adult Baby' - and this clip is part of the visual narrative which accompanies the whole thing. Shot by Eva Michon in about three hours flat, it features Kazu entering a church and gradually giving herself over to the song... a haunting, looping polyphony into which instruments slowly emerge.

Metronomy
"Wedding Bells"
4 mins 18s
3 Oct 2019
Metronomy's latest single is about unrequited love... but rather than focus on a sense of futile yearning, Daniel Brereton has made a promo full of fun and frivolity. The band performs at a house party which devolves into a food fight on the dance floor - however, it's all light-hearted stuff and everyone is evidently having a good time.

Aurora
"Apple Tree"
3 mins 09s
2 Oct 2019
This promo for Norwegian songstress Aurora - to paraphrase a classic video game disclaimer - contains scenes of explicit dance and gore. Seemingly keen to shed her John Lewis cover artist image once and for all, the singer is intermittently covered in blood while she and her entourage dance in a brooding, desert environment.

Agoria
"Call Of The Wild (ft STS)"
5 mins 26s
24 Sep 2019
Like Kanye's 'Black Skinhead', 'Call of the Wild' grabs you and keeps you pinned against the wall until it sees fit to let you go. While you're there, you have no choice but to watch Loïc Andrieu's promo - an unfolding story of a police hazing ritual that descends into the supernatural. Indeed, Andrieu himself describes the plot as a female Orpheus myth, with rookie cop Jane crossing into the underworld.

Marika Hackman
"Hand Solo"
3 mins 51s
27 Sep 2019
Viewers may never look at the London Eye the same way again after this carnal and deeply enjoyable promo for Marika Hackman's ode to masturbation, 'Hand Solo'. Across four inventive minutes, director Sam Bailey recasts familiar items and locations as things to be fondled, fingered, and fucked. A witty means to celebrate and justify female masturbation in all its forms.

Jack Savoretti
"Youth & Love (ft Mika)"
3 mins 48s
26 Sep 2019
In this promo for 'Love and Youth', an elderly chap - the first customer of the day in a run-of-the-mill café - is left to his own devices when the bored waitress leaves the till and heads, presumably, into the kitchen. He considers his options, launching into a sequence reminiscent of Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice with Christopher Walken in that both promos feature a single unlikely dude spontaneously deciding to dance in an unexpected setting.

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.