The British Television Advertising Awards are viewed more as a short film festival than as a bunch of commercials whose sole purpose is to sell you an idea or product. The ads include comedies (two women eating small chocolates in an office lament how 100-calorie packs rob them of the thrill of eating chocolate, so they shove them under their blouses to wind up their male co-worker), dramas (a series of Toyota Yaris ads that start in the present with women sabotaging their boyfriends, and continue with scenes of the men slightly abusing the women's Yarises by kicking a door shut or dropping crumbs on the floor), art films (a Honda spot with engineers walking through a face-mutilating wind tunnel), romantic comedies (an ad for F&F clothing with a woman driving to a swanky party, seeing her husband flirting with another woman, dropping her wedding ring in his drink, then throwing her drink at the other woman, who in turn tosses a drink all over the first woman, who simply takes her dress off, revealing an identical one, and returns to the party). And the ad of the year, not to give too much away, is a brilliant exercise in how to sell chocolate without the commercial having anything to do with chocolate. If advertisers on this side of the pond made TV ads this amusing and visually interesting (rather than blanketing the airwaves with the likes of Toyota's nauseous "Saved by Zero" spots) for any show other than the Super Bowl, people would probably stop Tivo-ing through them. Go to walkerart.org for a complete schedule of screenings. $10. Tonight's screenings will be introduced by British Television Advertising Awards administrator Peter Bigg at 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Dec. 5-30, 2008