The Northwest Film Center's annual screening of the 2008 British Ad Awards is presented without introduction: The showcase begins with an upbeat homage to the classic summer picnic in the park for Heinz Salad Cream (British people eat gross things) and goes through 90 minutes of advert after advert before ending with a gorilla playing drums to Phil Collins in an ad that is supposed to make me want to go buy some Cadbury Dairy Milk, but instead just makes me want to go download Phil's greatest hits.
As someone who has pretty successfully avoided TV ads in recent years—I watch all of my TV online on sites that cut out all the ads, suckaz—I don't think about ads much, but I did during and after the showcase. These ads are well done; often, what you're watching is a beautiful little piece of film that's been made possible by the two-second flashing of a logo at the end.
But that logo is the problem—or at least, it's the crux of the conversation that you'll want to have after watching the ads. This isn't art for the sake of art, it's art for the sake of advertising. So go see the adverts. You may feel like you're watching a TBS special and you may feel kind of silly to pay dollars to sit through a night of ads, but go. They are pretty, they are entertaining, and at the end of the night, you'll think long and hard about what you think of it all.