Monday, January 1, 2007

British Television Advertising Awards 2006

Go figure. Another successful run of the British Television Advertising Awards just concluded at the Walker Art Center last month. The irony of people paying to see advertisements is a little too obvious not to point out, but I can't just leave it at that. Not being a television viewer myself, I feel like I might be the perfect person to enjoy the novelty of the BTAA. But, alas, I just don't get the popularity. In the end, they are still just advertisements, and a little underwhelming.

I will say that the British have a delightfully heightened sense of absurdity, and an ability to stomach the harshness of reality. Many of the PSAs dealing with drunk driving and smoking and war are so brutally honest that I don't think a US audience would ever stand for them. One such example is the International spot for the UN regarding land mines entitled Kick Off: after a land mine goes off in the middle of a girls soccer game, the obvious question come on the screen "If there were landmines here, would you stand for them anywhere?" Another, entitled Fingerlegs, addresses smoking related impotence in a simple but disturbing ad.

Although I didn't find the program earth-shatteringly good, there were a few highlights:
  • Two ads directed by Errol Morris for (surprisingly) AOL entitled Good and Bad. One taking a pro-internet stance and the other taking a con-internet stance, very convincingly in both cases. The end tag line send people to to discuss the issue.
  • A very short ad for Vodafone entitled Gay. Promoting short calls or something, this ad is short, funny and very British.
  • CGI fun with Return of the Train, Easy Life and Singin' in the Rain.
  • And for those of us who life to project our human-selves on animals, more CGI fun with the Country Life Butter advert Animals.
As a final note, I would just like to state how much I dislike all Stella Artois ads. I blame this 100% on Landmark Theaters. The program contained a Stella ad directed by hot shot Jonathan Glazer that was just like nails on a chalkboard for me.

No comments: