David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Spinning an epic yarn.Those who’ve yet to catch up with Game of Thrones now have a crafty solution - no square eye-inducing telly binge required.
    • System shock.One wouldn’t immediately associate Opel with the new world order, but the marque clearly have a Mr Robot fan on staff
    • Come Fly With MeThis collaboration between British Airways and Comic Relief ensures passengers won't forget to fasten their seatbelts.
    • MachineThis Horrors promo is a hypnotic sequence of biomechanical mutations.
    • Message in a shampoo bottle.Head and Shoulders show their environmental conscience with recyclable shampoo bottles.
    • Skater boys.Nike’s irreverent streak continues with this disco-infused commercial.
    • From Script To ScreenThis artistic ad for Honda explores the process of filmmaking, concentrating on the transition of ideas from page to screen.
    • Life in the Fast LaneRenault have released this compelling film about Rosemary Smith: the oldest person to drive a 800bhp race car.
    • More tunnel vision.As players loosen those muscles and pine for transfers, Virgin Media welcome the 2017/18 Premier League season with some vocal support.
    • Poles ApartThis whimsical Ukrainian ad depicts a kid creatively passing the time as he waits for his dad to come home.
    • Down by the WaterAt one point in ‘Down by the Water’, Amy Macdonald remarks: “I love the way your hair blows in the wind”. You can tell Favourite Colour: Black appreciated the sentiment.
    • Ruffling feathersKFC's new campaign is bound to ruffle the feathers who don't like to think about the origin of the chicken they eat.

THE BLACK BOX

ALICE:

Isn't it revolting to see everyone bragging about the parties they're going to in Cannes?

JASON:

Um...

ALICE:

By staying away you send a strong message of disapproval.It makes me proud of you.

JASON:

Yeah, um... about that...

ALICE:

And - let's face it - because of what you've said in the past... if you went now, you'd look like a complete twat.

DAVID GOES TO CANNES. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.


Samsung
"Polar Story"
60s
17 July 2017

This whimsical ad for the Samsung Max Space fridge depicts a kid creatively passing the time. While the fridge was created with local concerns in mind - many Ukrainian kitchens need to be smart with space - the emotional message of the ad is universal.

The touching work shows a boy counting down the days until his dad comes back from working at a polar station. He concentrates on his origami skills, and we watch his triumphs and late night disasters as he folds a menagerie of animals.

The purpose of the paper zoo is revealed when dad finally makes it home: a wintry tableau inside the fridge with a welcome home message attached. This film is charming without crossing the line into schmaltz - slick work from director Max Ksjonda.

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Amy Macdonald
"Down by the Water"
3 mins 53s
17 July 2017

At one point in ‘Down by the Water’, Amy Macdonald remarks: “I love the way your hair blows in the wind”. You can tell Favourite Colour: Black appreciated the sentiment. Hair billows throughout this scenic promo. As the Scottish songstress pores over Polaroid memories, others soon join her at her seaside retreat.

The Isle of Sheppey is the real star here. Mr Black a.k.a. Chris Turner, and DP Luke Scully make the most of the Kent coast, bathing sparse surroundings in a welcoming glow. The local tourism board will be pleased. Meanwhile, Macdonald’s distinctive burr lifts the otherwise maudlin track.

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KFC
"The Whole Chicken"
60s
16 July 2017

When you see that someone has been credited as 'chicken choreographer' you know that you're about to watch something out of left field. And so it proved when DAVID hit the play button and discovered what Mother is doing for the first KFC television campaign since they won the account.

It's bold because a lot of people like a side portion of cognitive dissonance when they purchase chicken from KFC. Punters don't necessarily want to be reminded that the oddly-shaped lumps of food inside their bucket once clucked proudly. That's one of the reasons why KFC has shifted towards bonelessness as a key aspect of their offer - it makes it easier to deny the birdy origins of the meat.

But - against the odds - this ad works. Between the chicken choreography and Siri Bunford's light touch, this is a commercial which ensures that you pay full attention and - in its own way - underlines KFC's concentration on the meat that gives it its C.

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Nokia
"Bikerni"
3 mins
14 July 2017

At the time of writing, the BBC have just announced that the next actor to play Doctor Who is female. This has led to a predictable squealing from unreconstructed sexists who are unable to conceive of such a thing. Twitter is alight with their misogyny.

It's further proof - as if it was needed - that equality between the sexes still faces extremely bitter opposition.

Sadly, this often manifests itself with even greater ferocity in more traditional communities and this film celebrating the all-female Bikerni Biker Club in India offers a fascinating insight into how determined women have to be if they want to go against the grain.

The film itself is beautiful but it never prettifies the subject matter and it retains a sharp focus on the way these women's sense of independence has been enhanced by their involvement with the club.

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Village Green
"Salvation"
2 mins 13s
14 July 2017

So this is what happens when Noah Harris and Andy Biddle visit a car boot sale. The Blinkink duo turn bargain hunters for record label Village Green, and this beguiling short turns bric-a-brac into objets d’art.

Harris and Biddle’s stop-motion expertise produces a conveyer belt of unexpected transitions. Tabletop civilizations, ceramic life cycles, animal magic… some viewers may even recognise the trinkets on display.

Naturally, the indie label provides the soundtrack. Part of Channel 4’s Random Acts series, the film projects the record label’s desire to unearth rough diamonds. An artful reminder that one person’s junk is another’s treasure.

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Recent Promos

Otherkin
"React"
3 mins 07s
19 Jul 2017
Dublin outfit Otherkin create exuberant, thrashy guitar rock that hails from an era when energy was an instrument in its own right. The frantic pace, full-on vocals and squally riff of 'React' is infectious: you know that if there's more than a square metre of empty space in any room where it's playing, pretty much everyone nearby will rush in to fill the vacuum and get moshing.

The All-American Rejects
"Sweat / Close Your Eyes"
11 mins
19 Jul 2017
Jamie Thraves explores identity in this pair of promos for the All-American Reject's first album in five years. The promos - which function as a short film despite showcasing two separate tracks - explore identity in a unique, poignant way rarely seen (let alone pulled off with such aplomb) in under twelve minutes. Things begin with 'Sweat', in which we're introduced to singer and sometime actor Tyson Ritter playing Betsy, a cross-dressing prostitute.

Sälen
"So Rude"
3 mins 37s
17 Jul 2017
Sälen - a band who chose their name by throwing a dart at a map - create poppy electronica with an icy edge. Vocalist Ellie Kamio sounds deceptively sweet, but her lyrics - with track titles like 'Diseasey' and 'Heartbreak Diet' - are full of glacial disillusion. Their star is currently rising, and director/animator Kent Hugo mines Sälen's coldness with a CG promo that leaves nowhere to hide.

Danger Mouse
"Chase Me (ft Run The Jewels & Big Boi)"
3 mins 54s
6 Jul 2017
It’s 'Baby Driver', but not as we know it. The eponymous Baby (Ansel Elgort) has a new crew in the backseat: Run the Jewels. This promo-stroke-movie trailer flits between rapping getaways and footage from Edgar Wright’s latest. While Run the Jewels flee a bank robbery, Danger Mouse and Big Boi evade the Atlanta fuzz.

Alt-J
"Deadcrush"
4 mins 58s
14 Jul 2017
For those wary of Love Island, Alt-J offer a hypnotic spin on celebrity dating. The title of their latest track is, well, a dead giveaway. The Leeds trio ask which late personality we’d like to date. Their picks? Sylvia Plath, Anne Boleyn, and Surrealist photographer Lee Miller. Call it romance for the ages. Pulse’s Young Replicant set this cultural resurrection in an ominous bunker.

Ghostpoet
"Freak Show"
4 mins 04s
12 Jul 2017
Zhang + Knight’s latest Ghostpoet promo appears to be set in the same dystopian future as the duo’s ‘Immigrant Boogie’ video. Now we find ourselves in a grey metropolis where the pollution forecast is grim. The Agile pair bring a murky, smog-ridden aesthetic to Obaro Ejimiwe’s guitar-driven track.

Kesha
"Praying"
5 mins
10 Jul 2017
Comeback singles can be a tricky proposition. This is a comeback single of a different kind. Kesha’s court battle with music producer Dr Luke has been well-documented, and this promo for ‘Praying’ lays bare her scars and - crucially - her resolve. That the music doesn’t kick in for a full minute only heightens the anticipation. It’s worth the wait.

Duke Dumont x Gorgon City
"Real Life (ft NAATIONS)"
3 mins 52s
10 Jul 2017
Vaguely reminiscent of the prom scene in Stephen King's 'Carrie', this frothy promo for 'Real Life' has an innocent high school girl going into meltdown as the 'populars' jeer at her. Having been the vessel into which they've poured their emoji-heavy abuse for too long, she finally turns - but instead of getting all telekinetic on their asses, she projectile-vomits those same emojis right back at 'em.

Escape from Acapulco
"Hit and Run"
3 mins 47s
6 Jul 2017
Two boxers take fancy footwork to the next level in this excellent promo for French group Escape from Acapulco's 'Hit and Run'. The opponents square up for what looks to be a fearsome bout... until one decides to give the Ali Shuffle a run for its money. The sheer bewilderment of his opponent is masterfully drawn, as the dancer literally spins circles around him.

Calvin Harris
"Feels"
3 mins 42s
4 Jul 2017
Calvin and his friends Katie, Pharrell and Big Sean all chill out on their magical summer island in Emil Nava's promo for 'Feels'. The grainy look and artificial backdrop weirdly combine to suggest Barbie and co have stumbled onto the set of an old Timotei ad shot in Hawaii, but that's not a criticism. It's all good, undemanding, frothy fun - just what summer needs.

The xx
"I Dare You"
6 mins 53s
3 Jul 2017
Filmed in collaboration with Calvin Klein's CD Raf Simons, this extended ad for the brand is rather less than the sum of its parts. 'I Dare You' sounds like The XX covering a pre-teen band, and although the cast features Milly Bobby Brown and Paris Jackson, the theme of adolescent angst isn't handled with much subtlety. MBB still stands out as a terrific young actor to watch, mind.

Hamilton Mixtape
"Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)"
6 mins 07s
3 Jul 2017
K’naan, Residente, Riz MC (aka Riz Ahmed), and Snow Tha Product team up for Hamilton Mixtape track 'Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)'. Accompanied by Mister Whitmore's unflinching visuals, the song is a scathing indictment of the treatment of immigrants in the US. We're shown gritty visuals of sweatshops and manual labourers, along with the grim conditions faced by those fleeing worse.

Femme
"Fire With Fire"
3 mins 26s
3 Jul 2017
Femme's garage-tinged track Fire With Fire is about squaring up when faced with a fight; and Ben Mahon's stylised promo illustrates this by turning up the heat. In a drab cafe a sweet, purple-haired old woman challenges a chap to a chilli-munching contest. Despite there being no purpose to this he accepts - but sadly doesn't even make it through the first one, the wuss.

Confidence Man
"Boyfriend (Repeat)"
4 mins 17s
3 Jul 2017
Comprising members of The Belligerents, Moses Gunn Collective and Jungle Giants, Confidence Man is a brand new Brisbane band whose track 'Boyfriend (Repeat)' is as sassy and surefooted as its name. Vocalist Janet Planet doesn't sing so much as announce, and what she tells us is that “My boyfriend wants to talk. My boyfriend talks too much. Too much about our love. Our love is not enough.”

All We Are
"Dance"
4 mins 22s
3 Jul 2017
In the final part of Eoin Glaister's tale of planning-related shenanigans, the rural community makes a last-ditch attempt to stop the developers building a road through their village. Ruthless girl guides, topless pensioners and some territorial pissing all contribute to the task at hand, and at a celebratory party months later folk are disappointed that the live band isn't the hoped-for Al Weare. Great fun.

Saint Etienne
"Magpie Eyes"
3 mins 32s
29 Jun 2017
This promo for Saint Etienne is filmed entirely in the new town wasteland of Stevenage (which happens to be this writer's hometown). Atmospheric shots of deteriorating Southern England are accompanied smoothly by the laid back, electronic chug of 'Magpie Eyes'. The sleepy soundtrack gives the small-town landscape a dreamy sheen, bringing a beauty to the urban decay.

The Killers
"The Man"
4 mins 27s
29 Jun 2017
Brandon Flowers gives a - ahem - killer performance in this bombastic promo for The Killers' first single in five years. The track marks a funky new direction for the band, while Tim Mattia's promo has Flowers' Vegas sensibilities dialled up to eleven. We see him inhabit a number of cocky personas... but it quickly becomes apparent they're only legends in their own minds.

Manchester Orchestra
"The Alien"
5 mins 37s
28 Jun 2017
While indie rockers Manchester Orchestra remain sure-footed, this woman endures the eye of a private storm. Closure becomes a personal cataclysm here: glass shatters, wood splinters, and ashes turn into a whirlwind as her homecoming unfolds in reverse. It’s a familiar technique, but the rewind effect produces some compelling and bruising imagery.

Grandbrothers
"Bloodflow"
4 mins 42s
27 Jun 2017
This disorientating Grandbrothers video delves deep into a woman’s memories - almost too deep. As the piano-driven 'Bloodflow' intensifies, childhood memories - bathed in a late-summer haze - give way to a murky abyss. Hugo Jenkins’s fragmented execution leaves us wondering if this is the cure or something more insidious.

Three Laws
"Siren Song"
4 mins 34s
27 Jun 2017
Great Guns’s Calum Macdiarmid delivers well-calibrated fury in this Three Laws promo. As a crime lord awaits his favourite girl, the London duo’s debut lures us in with a minimalist beat and a shimmering piano riff. When vocalist Louise Gold purrs “Trust me with the gun”, consider the stakes raised.

Coldplay & The Chainsmokers
"Something Just Like This"
4 mins 28s
26 Jun 2017
Not every superhero origin story has to be a grim affair, as this collaboration between Coldplay and EDM outfit The Chainsmokers proves. A budding crimefighter discovers a kaleidoscope to another world - or a live performance of 'Something Just Like This', at least. Mat Whitecross's prismatic video explodes with colour, while animated flourishes bring the protagonist's illustrations to life.

Arcade Fire
"Creature Comfort"
4 mins 44s
26 Jun 2017
Arcade Fire fans may notice a few changes from the band’s recent ’Creature Comforts promo. Apparently, that was only the official version. Welcome to the official official release - straight from online marketing hell. Everything Now - the monolithic corporation introduced in the band’s comeback single - wrests creative control from director Tarik Mikou.

Radiohead
"Man of War"
4 mins 30s
23 Jun 2017
It’s always good to have a few spares nestled away. Radiohead continue plundering their ‘OK Computer’ sessions with the release of ‘Man of War’. One last album B-side is due soon - just don’t expect the band’s Glastonbury sound check to receive the promo treatment. For now, enjoy Colin Read’s day and night pursuit.

San Holo
"Light"
3 mins 56s
23 Jun 2017
Trapped in perma-darkness, these nocturnal animals now itch for some rays. Well, some things are a worth a little sunburn. Gravity-defying feats and discordant cuts add to the promo's supernatural vibe. Meanwhile, Dutch DJ Holo - avoiding a Lucasfilm lawsuit by the skin of his teeth - delivers a serviceable dance anthem.

Stevie Parker
"Prey"
3 mins 57s
22 Jun 2017
Things turn white-hot in this Stevie Parker promo. Friend London’s Bison captures the Bristol singer via thermal camera. Rendered as a white spectre, Parker’s ghostly form contrasts with another figure - an infrared blur running at full-pelt. Bison’s heightened aesthetic marries well with Parker’s brooding tone.

Recent Promos

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