Friday, April 11, 2014

Round up a few friends

The weather was finally warm enough on a day that I had time so I was on my bicycle this afternoon. The temperature was 56-58F, the sun was shining, there was a bit of wind, and the grass was just beginning to turn green. Though I've been pretty regular on my exercise bike through the winter, 45 minutes on suburban streets was a good workout.

This evening I went to the Detroit Film Theater for the British Arrows. This program used to be known as the British Television Advertising Awards. Yep, it is an evening of watching the best of British TV commercials. Because of the difference in culture some of these come off as hilarious, others, mostly issue ads, can be blunt and brutal, much more severe that I've ever seen on American TV (not that I've watched much of that lately). Some that stick in the mind:

We see Irish sheepdog trials. But the champion dog isn't herding sheep, instead it's young men. The dog has to get the men through the gates, away from the pretty girls and the Indian restaurant, and into the pub. The tagline: Round up a few friends for a Guinness.

A young boy pushes a box of cereal to his father saying, "You're gonna need it." While Mom is gone for the day son and father spend it playing and Dad really gets a workout pushing the swing and merry-go-round and blocking the soccer goal.

We see the efforts taken to prevent cell phones from getting into the movie theater. Patrons pass through security machines. The guard dumps the popcorn into a tub and runs his hands through it. We're introduced to the dog trained to sniff out those annoying phones (though when let loose it dashes for the exit).

We cut between a young woman and young man who sing their vow to run across the country (and the country is America, no less) to meet in the middle and be together. She's in fine shape and keeps moving along. He's not and soon needs an ambulance to take him to the hospital where she eventually arrives. He thought she was speaking figuratively. The ad was for running shoes.

Various Kevin Bacon characters (yep, all played by Kevin Bacon) are around the table trying to decide what kind of movie to see that evening.

One of the brutal ones shows what happens when shark fins are harvested for shark fin soup. Hint: they don't kill the shark.

Another shows what happens when one texts while driving. We see a truck run over and flatten a sedan. These do not spare a person's tender sensibilities.

It looks like you could see many of the commercials on YouTube (search for British Arrows) or on the Arrows website. It also looks like the 2014 awards were just handed out. I'll probably see those a year from now.

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