Monday, January 31, 2011

British Television Advertising Awards 2010

YBCAThe 100-seat screening room upstairs at the YBCA was full yesterday afternoon for this 75 minute program of around 50 commercials & public service ads from Britain. Humor & high concept seem to be what the selections are mostly about. Frequently you sit through the commercial without finding out who the sponsor is until the very end. A slapstick film about a jockey who loses his horse turns out to be for Weetabix. A CGI extravaganza depicting rugged men turning deserts into lush, life-filled landscapes seems to have an environmental message, but it's advertising Guinness.

Many of the ads are elaborate stunts. One unbelievably quirky ad documents shepherds attaching colored LEDs to their sheep & using them as pixels to simulate a pong game, the Mona Lisa & a fireworks display. It actually caused our audience to applaud. In a Johnny Walker ad, an actor talks to us as he strides purposefully through a mountain landscape in a single tracking shot, while relevant objects come into view at just the right moments in his narration. I found it nerve-wracking. Curiously, the best commercial award went to a T-Mobile ad featuring a flash mob dancing in Liverpool Street Station, which is not a very original concept. Many of the award-winning ads can be viewed on the BTAA Web site.

§ British Television Advertising Awards 2010
January 30, 2011 2:00 pm
Screening Room
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

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