WITH MY NETFLIX and my Hulu, I, like most of you, can smugly avoid most commercials. Are they any good these days? I doubt it, and I'm sure whatever crap they're flinging doesn't hold a candle to the wonderful advertising that comes out of England. Those fancy folks—with their tea and dry humor!—have for years produced commercials that get shared on YouTube and liked on Facebook and turned into gifs for our Tumblrs. And because internet shares don't mean a heck of a lot, the British Arrows Awards are held to formally recognize excellence in British advertising, and they've done us the favor of shipping the finalists over to watch on the big screen.
And it's great! I've definitely spent longer than 80 minutes cruising the internet for fun short things to watch, so having these ads in a curated bunch is a treat. These advertising wizards managed to make soccer appeal to me emotionally, make surfers taking Jäger shots seem beautiful, and make a goddamn men's body spray stop war. One spot even featured One Direction—with Zayn. It's powerful stuff.
The only bummer here is that the awards also recognize advertising that was not made for TV—like stuff at bus stops or effective SEO tricks. It's cool stuff, but the shorts about guerrilla advertising are straight-up boring: Where's the gorilla playing the drums? Where's the miniature horse moonwalking?! I don't think a lot of gifs from this particular section are gonna show up on Tumblr, and yes, that is a complaint.
Although, okay, I guess that making everything giffable is unrealistic and also does not matter when it comes to a pleasant evening spent appreciating both art and capitalism. There's plenty of good stuff here, and it's better to watch anything on an actual screen instead of your dumb iPhone. Please like and share if you agree.