British Arrows Awards

The name might be different—the British Arrows Awards were known through last year as the British Television Advertising Awards—but there's something almost tradition-bound about the Walker's yearly screenings of the most creative ads to come out of the U.K. Some of this year's honorees reflect that, with a few nods going to new entries in long-running campaigns, such as PG Tips' schlub/puppet duo of Johnny Vegas and Monkey in a goofy sound-effects-heavy montage, or the sophisticated Russian suricate Sergei continuing his quixotic crusade to emphasize the difference between comparing markets and meerkats. There's also a Skoda ad that riffs hilariously off the memorably twee "My Favorite Things" car-baking ad from a few years back (suffice it to say that the high-performance model is made of less-sweet stuff), and an elaborate pseudo-stop-motion spot for an ad agency that incorporates dozens of nods to British TV spots past, including previous BTAA winners from the Cadbury gorilla to the Sony Bravia rabbits. But familiarity isn't a prerequisite for enjoying this year's lineup, which is as much about showcasing virtuoso film techniques and deft comedic (and dramatic) writing as it is about the power of marketing. In fact, the best bits are all about the unexpected—a hilariously misinformed class fieldtrip to a farm headed by Black Books' Bill Bailey, a David Koechner-hosted Nike Air spot that ends with a take-that zinger at a notorious tennis superstar's expense, and a hastily thrown-together omelet given widescreen cinematic sweep through epic camera work. It's enough to make you wonder if British DVRs even come with fast-forward buttons. (John Lewis, Always a Woman)
Dec. 2-31, 2011

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1750 Hennepin Ave.
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