It's no secret that people are bombarded with advertising on a daily basis. Most of us probably attempt to tune out commercials on TV, change the channel during breaks on the radio, and roll our eyes at the pre-movie soda commercials. That said, for whatever reason, it can be intriguing to watch commercials from other countries. This is the premise for the Walker's screenings of award-winning commercials from Britain once again (last year over 16,000 people attended a screening, so obviously the event is being marketed right). Though it's safe to say that car, shoe, pop, electronics, and beer commercials are lame no matter what country they're made in (even the award-winning ones), more obscure products and public service announcements strive to catch one off guard, or at least aesthetically challenge the eye. Darker ads include a breast-cancer awareness campaign featuring a stripper dancing in a swanky bar—the big topless moment reveals that she has had a mastectomy (whether the implication that Brits need to be told that strippers get cancer too is offensive is up to you to decide). There's also an ad against pro-anorexia sites on the internet, and a series of genuinely creepy commercials advocating awareness of child cruelty and sexual abuse. More light-hearted material includes a Greenpeace ad in which people show disdain toward a gas-guzzling SUV-driver, and an anti-drunk driving spot showing wasted people acting like fools in the back of a taxi. A live-action re-enactment of the opening sequence of The Simpsons should please American eyes as much as it has the Brits. For a complete schedule call or visit www.walkerart.org.
Nov. 30-Dec. 30, 2007