The British Arrows Awards are accolades for British advertisements. Unlike U.S. commercials, British commercials are typically longer and have more plot development. Whether it be comedy or public service announcements (PSA), the commercials selected for the British Arrows Awards are the crème de la crème of the British advertisement industry. And every year, the Cincinnati World Cinema (CWC) presents the winning ads at the Showboat Majestic, the last showboat of its kind in the U.S. (click here to learn more about the Showboat Majestic).
I was fortunate enough to attend one Saturday night with my mom and best friend. The night began with the purchasing of popcorn and settling down into the comfy seats in the theater inside the Majestic. Tim Swallow, board member of the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council and Executive Director of CWC, introduced the audience to the Arrows and explained that as compared to last year, this year’s winners fall more under the dramatic category than the comedic. At first I was a little taken aback, having been excited for the comedic aspects of the Arrows, but by the end of the show, my initial hesitation was replaced with pure enjoyment.
While there was less comedy than I had hoped, the dramatic commercials were still incredibly interesting, even moving in some instances. The cinematography and acting were fabulous, definitely deserving of the awards that they received, whether it be Gold, Silver, or Bronze.
It’s hard to pinpoint what my absolute favorites are, as there were so many excellent advertisements this year. Here are some of my favorites, each representing a different aspect of the ads shown:
Comedy – Money Market, Dave’s Epic Strut
Dramatic – Sainsbury, Official Christmas 2014 Ad
PSA – The Pilion Trust Charity, F*** the Poor (Warning: Strong Language)
Artistic – BBC Music, God Only Knows
The Commercial of the Year, Honda: The Other Side, was certainly very creative. While viewing the ad online, you can switch stories (by holding down “R” on your keyboard) between a father during the day taking his daughter to a birthday party and an undercover cop in a sting operation at night, all while driving the Honda Civic. While I laud its creativity, whether or not I think that it’s commercial of the year material is an entirely different matter. Had it not been for the innovative ability of viewers to switch stories, I doubt that it would have gotten very much attention. However, you can decide for yourself by clicking here and viewing the ad on the Honda website.
All in all, my group and I enjoyed the experience. We all laughed; although I’m sure I laughed more as I understood the references better. Jane Austen fans will enjoy the jab in this ad for Curry’s PC World. And of course, my best friend appreciated the artistic commercials better than I did, being a graphic design student. Even though we had different views on what we liked most, we all were able to agree that we had a fantastic time. I’d definitely like to attend next year’s Arrows and see what the brilliant minds behind these ads come up with next!
If you would like to know more about the Cincinnati World Cinema and see their upcoming events, click here.
Written by: Danielle Ott, GCWAC Data and Web Management Intern Fall 2015 & Undergraduate Student at Northern Kentucky University studying Criminal Justice and International Studies
Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council does not own or claim to own the media presented.