Art in Advertisements

| 12/14/2007 5:40:54 PM

Are the British actually more funny than Americans, or do they just spend more time on their advertisements? I asked myself this question while watching the British Advertising Awards this week at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Some of the ads were emotionally manipulative (as Brendan Mackie wrote about on this blog), some of the ads made no sense, but many of them were little 90-second pieces of art.

The most memorable ads were also the most simple. Guinness won a “Diploma award” for a stop-action animation film of a man’s hand. Unfortunately, they won’t release the footage on YouTube, but I can include the link. Greenpeace UK got big laughs off this ad that asks, “What does your car say about you?”

Greenpeace won’t be able to stop people from buying SUVs with that little ad, it's true. Brendan Mackie may be right that “proper action must come from more than a 30-second television spot.” But if a few people stop and think, even for a few seconds, about the affect their cars have on the environment, can the advertisement really be that bad?

Bennett Gordon

For a great holiday-themed ad, watch this one from the British soft drink Irn-Bru.

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