This year’s British Arrow Awards succeeded once again in bringing us lulz, tears, aws, eye-rolls, and more tears.1

The British Arrows screening of an hour of back-to-back 1/2 – 2 minute of the best British adverts of the prior year2 is the ultimate short attention span experience, sometimes to a fault. You can be reeling from a sucker punch wrought by some child welfare organization’s advert….

…only to be immediately thereafter clobbered by a corny, wait-how-did-this-get-into-the-best-of advert asserting the improvement of straight people’s mating opportunities under the influence of Lynx body spray.3

Yet each year we happily endure a smattering of groaner Lynx body spray ads and the bro-down, extreme-surfer dude Jägermeister type ads in order to get to the good stuff, like these bits full of pure joy:

Added to the usual roller-coaster suspense ride of the Arrows,4 we days ago finished binge-watching all 4 seasons of Luther and have been subsequently PTSD-ed into expecting pretty much any and everything British that rolls across our screens to dissolve into a total sociopathic murder crime scene.

Happily, the Arrows kept generally to much cheerier territory, even when they were making us all weepy up in here with adverts like this one dramatizing the Christmas truce of 1914 as part of the UK’s current efforts to commemorate the centenary of WWI.

Then there are ads like this reminding us that we are not British, and we’re not good enough to be British because even this bleeped ad would never fly on US teevee.

There’s this lovely advert showing beautifully average women kicking much ass (more of the likes of this please, advert powers-that-be, and not just ghettoized to playing during WNBA playoffs):

Lurpak’s ad provides a perennial reminder of the weirdness of British food, in this case not in the food itself (i.e. butter. We mean – even vegans are tempted to eat butter by the stickful; butter is its own best advert) – but in calling itself Lurpak. Nothing about “Lurpak” inspires adventure let alone an interest in eating anything.

Another one of our faves of the bunch – this clever Netflix bit with Ricky Gervais:

While this wasn’t named Best Commercial of the Year, it should have been. It’s from John Lewis, the same folks who brought us our last year’s run away favorite Bear & Hare advert. We won’t spoiler it, but trust us that it won’t sucker you into blissful awwww only to end up being about child abuse or murder or other violent crimin’ – it’s just incredibly adorable.

  1. or we’re just tremendous saps, which is most entirely probably true

  2. screened in a number of locations across the U.S., but caught by us every year at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis

  3. known States-side as Axe body spray

  4. past Arrows have taught us that you can be skipping along enjoying some advert promising bunnies and unicorns then BLAM child abuse! or BLAM domestic violence! or BLAM your bestie murdered with a knife!

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