Category Archives: Random

What people write on the walls in pub toilets

The loo wall in the Sun & Doves in Camberwell is a constant source of delight for me. They’ve papered it with illustrations from old books and magazines, which is great in its-self. But it also acts as a versatile canvas for pub wits.

The two examples below show the downright intriguing (what exactly is a ‘shrub rocketer’? And who is Spike?) and the schoolboy classic: the penned-on knob. Last seen appended to the head of Jean-Claude from La Rochelle in my GCSE French text book, Ticolor 3, it’s an all-time, world beating visual gag. Enjoy.

Shrub Rocketer

Horse Graffiti

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Know your strengths, retailers!

The Metro rather annoyingly did a piece on this via their editorial collaboration with It’s Nice That before I had chance to post on it. But post on it I will, cocking a giant snook to those who insist that observing first is better than observing more astutely!

Down to business: I’ve been loving this series of tube ads for dixons.co.uk.

Dixons Harrods

Dixons Selfridges

Dixons John Lewis

The brilliant thing about this series of ads isn’t the subtle use of fonts and colours that enables you to identify Harrods, Selfridges and John Lewis. It’s not even the use of Tube media (and tube lines) to target the message effectively. It’s Dixon’s own recognition that as a stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap retailer, they can’t offer the in-store experience that any of the big London department stores can.

They know that people like to physically play with technololgy products before they commit to purchase – whether it’s an iPod, a flat screen telly or a surround sound system. And they know that their stores don’t necessarily give people a great customer experience. Actually, scratch that: they know that when people go to a Dixons store they get pimply straight-out-of-school ‘sales assistants’ who probably know less about the product they’re interested in buying than they do. They also get a plasticy space with stained carpets in a run-down retail unit somewhere. So, far better to play to their biggest strength: price. Go to one of the big  department stores, say Dixons. Have a great time, have a chat with the posh kid who works there, soke up the ambience and feel safely middle class! But then go home and buy your telly off our website, because it’s cheaper.

And after all, there is a recession on. I know what I’ll be doing next time I’m in the market for a flat-screen.

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Collaborative storytelling Star Wars style

I have to talk about this as I’ve come across it twice now, once over on now in colour, Andy Whitlock’s blog, and once tweeted by Mark Jaklovsky (@EndlessBlue75). Star Wars Uncut is a brilliant, brilliant idea and I wish I thought of it first: remake Star Wars using fan videos. Basically, the guys at Star Wars Uncut have split the entire movie into 15 second clips and anyone can claim up to three of them, upload their fan vid, and they’ll stitch it all together and ‘watch the magic’. So you can make a video clip of any scene from Star Wars, shot any way you fancy: stop motion or live action, as sensibly or in as silly a way as you like. It’s a classic example of collaborative storytelling, utilising the social web to connect people who have never and probably will never meet to create something brilliant. Or funny. Or stupid.

The clip explains it all much better than I can:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Star Wars: Uncut Trailer on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

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Quique

Found this viral, apparently for Diesel, over at the London Advertising and Design Group blog.

It’s a great video, and kept me watching right through until the end. Can’t for the life of me work out what it has to do with Diesel though. Am I just being thick?

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TV, funding and the BBC

For a number of years now there has been a lot of hand-wringing at the commercial broadcasters’ over how to fund quality TV programming in a shrinking advertising market. I know this because I read the papers, but also because I have a friend who works for Channel 4,  and our conversation often swings around to this very subject after she’s had a few glasses of wine down the pub. Changing viewing habits, on-demand TV, PVRs, internet services, YouTube, the increase in the number of channels available to the consumer – they’re all whittling away at once mighty advertising revenue figures, and leaving broadcasters scratting around in the dirt for cheap (and in my opinion often dirty) TV.

Commercial broadcasters have seen advertising revenues slump over the past through years

Nothing you don’t already know there.

Against this backdrop, I noticed a piece in the Guardian on Wednesday (23rd September 2009) about the BBCs ‘arrogance’. It stated: ‘Meanwhile, the BBC is under siege from commercial competitors who argue that its dominance is distorting the market at a time when they are struggling to survive one of the most serious advertising downturns for generations’ and later: ‘Murdoch…used a landmark speach…to call for a “far far smaller” BBC’. You can read the full article here.

Well, hang on just a minute. Yes it is the worst advertising downturn for generations – but it’s not a temporary blip, it’s a long-term decline caused by changing technologies. It’s not going to get better fast. And I for one thank the lord that the BBC is at least somewhat insulated from its effects. After all, isn’t the licence fee a revenue stream? And doesn’t it work? Don’t we get four channels (and extras such as cbeebies, HD and News) of quality programming, a web resource second to none, and to crown it all the mighty iPlayer for only £140 odd a year? How good is that? Frankly Murdoch, if a ‘smaller BBC’ means losing out on innovations like the iPlayer, or the total awesomeness that is Radio 6 Music, you can stuff it. I’ll happily pay my £12 a month.

It also begs the question as to why other countries don’t adopt a similar model. I’m no expert in global broadcasting trends, but I had a conversation with a Canadian friend of mine who has been living in the UK for a few years now who was amazed at the quality of the BBC and by just how much we got for our money. I wonder whether it would make sense for  other nations to think about safeguarding their national broadcasting heritage by pumping in a bit of state cash. After all, what’s good for the banks…

Image thanks to fatcontroller

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La France

I’m about to drive to France equipped with a map, a tent and a mountain bike. Planning to hit the GTJ in the Jura Mountains, and some stuff around La Foret du Morvan.

I’ll hopefully come back armed with a load of pictures and some reviews. Might even post while I’m out there if I find a web cafe.

Au revoir, etc.

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Something to talk about

Hello everyone.

This is a test post really. Just trying out the WordPress software. Practicing what I preach.

There’ll be more stuff along later.

In the meantime, here’s a cool picture of a car I saw last night on my way to meet some friends at the Montpelier in Peckham.

Pretty cool, no?

This is one Del Boy never drove

This is one Del Boy never drove

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