Music video, short film or advert? Yes. Yes it is.
Some of you may have noticed a few colourful billboards up opposite tube platforms from CBS outdoor recently.
The campaign, as mostly all of CBS’ are, is to prove that with an engaging and creative idea, traditional media can still prove incredibly affective.
The billboard, on its own, is a really sweet execution, and highlights the concept perfectly. But CBS took it a stage further and showed how a, supposedly dead medium, can be the foundation of an impressive integrated campaign.
I saw this billboard the other day waiting for a tube, it amused the few around me enough to help each other out.
I saw it again last night, in a slightly inebriated state, I tweeted:
and then the following conversation occurred between me and CBS:
And then a complete stranger popped up on my twitter feed:
So, while I’m spending my morning talking rubbish on Twitter, CBS are reclining watching their point being proved:
The moral of the this story: The idea is key! A strong idea will traverse any form of media, whether that’s deemed to be inferior or not.
I’ve got a bone to pick, and this particular bone has been needing a good picking for years. Today’s bone picking is centred around the much used, but rarely understood #hastag.
Hashtags are an ingenious tool twitter developed to increase interactivity, and ultimately, conversations between unconnected users. The idea is that you tag something of worth on a particular topic and include a hashtag at the end of the tweet so others can search for conversations on the same topic and either agree with your statement or shoot you down and crush you into pieces of fail whale mess.
It’s used to connect people of similar interests, to enable instant consumption of content, most importantly news. Who here first heard of Michael Jackson’s death via BBC news? Nah, didn’t think so. You heard it first on twitter because the entire world was being hit with the same message. A hashtag becomes a hub, a meeting place for the entire world to converge and create chaos or harmony.
What hashtags AREN’T designed for is to finish off your poorly scribed tweets with a meaningless statement that nobody even relates to, let alone clicks on. Some examples:
*Missed my train this morning #SleptIn
**Didn’t miss my train this morning #BOOM
***Thought I forgot my lunch, but mum packed it for me #GoMum
How the bloody hell is #BOOM meant to entice me into a conversation? How is #GoMum affecting anyone other than you and your incredibly organised mum?
The final scrap from the bone picking rant is the absolute fuckwits who use hashtags on Facebook!
* made it up
** made it up
*** made it up
Sent: 03 November 2011 13:19
To: Evans Cycles
I’ve got a 9 speed double set up on my road bike with 105 shifters, Tiagra casette, Sora front and read mech. I want to upgrade the front and rear mech to 105 but have noticed they’re discontinuing the 9 speed ranges. I don’t have any objections to upgrading to a 10 speed set up eventually, but I really don’t want to replace the shifters for at least another year. What are my options for upgrading the front and rear mech?
From: Evans Cycles
Subject: RE: Sales[0000E482-2022-00000000]
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2011 14:31:25 +0000
Hello Mr Wynn,
With regards to your previous email,
I doesn’t matter if you upgrade to the 10 speed set up as all you need to do is tighten the sti lever
You will get a better range, with a 10 speed set up
Sent: 03 November 2011 15:46
To: Evans Cycles
Subject: RE: Sales[0000E482-2033-00020FB4]
That doesn’t really answer my question, how can I run a 10 speed casette with 9 speed shifters?
My questions was what options do I have for Shimano 9 speed front and rear mech.
From: Evans Cycles
Subject: RE: Sales[0000E482-2033-00000000]
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2011 16:19:48 +0000
Hello Mr Wynn,
You will need to update your whole system shifters, cassette chain and mechs in order to upgrade to the 10 speed system.
The answer to your question is no you can’t run a 9 speed shifter with a 10 speed cassette there no index for the tenth gear.
Ideally you need to upgrade to the ten speed mechs as well to run a 10 speed system. Although there is no definitive reason why you can’t use 9 speed mechs on a 10 speed system Shimano and Sram will tell you that they do not recommend it because of the smaller gauge chain.
Sent: 03 November 2011 16:26
To: Evans Cycles
Subject: RE: Sales[0000E482-2033-00020FC3]
Last chance, otherwise I’ll never step foot in an Evans again.
My question was not “can I run a 9 speed shifter with a 10 speed cassette”, I know I can’t.
Shimano are edging out their 9 speed components, so I can no longer buy 105 9 speed front and rear derailleurs. So what are my options for replacing my current NINE SPEED front and rear mechs? I would prefer Shimano 105 standard or above.
Subject: RE: Sales[0000E482-2033-00000000]
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2011 16:43:48 +0000
In your first email you clearly said “I don’t have any objections to upgrading to a 10 speed”. This is quite suggestive that you were interested in upgrading to 10 speed, you didn’t make it very clear that you were after the 9 speed components. As you mentioned the last Shimano 9 speed 105 groupset was the 5510.
We do not sell any 105 9 speed mechs.
Sent: 03 November 2011 16:50
To: Evans Cycles
Subject: RE: Sales[0000E482-2033-00020FC3]
I know you don’t sell 105 9 speed mechs, in fact I pretty much told you that in my last email.
What alternatives can you - never mind I’ll try wiggle!
In this post, you’ll read words of limited impact on the world, such as “cyclist” and “tube”, but in your own mind please replace such linguistic bores with “humanity” and “rescue” for example.
It was last Friday, and this Friday was significant for 3 reasons.
1) I had a rare day off from the office to enjoy an early ride and catch up on some long overdue errands before setting off on a clichéd drive down to the country for a weekend with the Mrs.
2) It was hot, very hot! Fuck me it was hot! About 30°C which for London, in September was pretty remarkable.
3) I was accepted by the gods of cycling and/or actual heaven itself.
I’m not a bad person, in fact I would go so far to say I’m quite a well rounded individual of the modern world. I feed the little fox outside with the gimpy leg and am going out with an Iranian, so that’s gotta keep me sweet with at least two groups right? But I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’ve already got a named parking space just outside the pearly gates, wishful thinking I reckon. Until last Friday.
Last Friday I was tested by the gods of cycling and all of humanity. And I passed, not only did I pass, but I passed with distinction! I caused shock, even to myself. Which is why I’m sitting here wasting words trying to build up a situation which may not be very remarkable to you. But for me, it was a revelation.
I was driving up my road to run a few errands in town when walking towards me was an ‘older’ gentleman with his front wheel in one hand and in the other - the bars attached to an oldish looking road/hybrid sort of bike. He had a flat. If I was 17 again, I would have thought “bummer, wonder how far he’s got to walk” and not had a second thought for this poor guy. But not now, oh no. I’m a grown up, I’ve got the lines to prove it.
I pulled over just in front of him looking at him eagerly to initiate a conversation, and the following commenced:
“You ok?” - me
“Nah, I’ve gawn and got a flat, just up there at the end of the road” - him
“You not got a kit then?”
“Nah I don’t carry them araand wiff me, I’ve not had a flat for years, waste of time”
“Well, I’m inclined to disagree with you on that one”
“[he chuckles] I think you’re right squire”
I’d like to point out at this stage that this gentleman was a battle hardened cockney, no jellied eels or pie and mash to authenticate his origins, just his wonderful East London tones. In addition, I don’t think he called me squire, but I wish he did!
“Wait there, I ride bikes, I’ve got a repair kit.”
I got back in my car and reversed the 300 yards it was back to my house and went inside to grab what I needed, repair kit, pump, bottle of water and donut (for him, not me). As I was heading out the front door, I stopped, walked back into the dining room, put down the repair kit and picked up a spare tube. This time walking up the road, I met him half way as he’d carried on his journey, bike in one hand, wheel in the other.
There was some idle chit chat again about the state of the roads and how he once used tires made of old socks or something (paying little attention at this point as I’m trying to get the tire off the rim). I fitted the new tire, put some air in and got it back on the bike. I offered him the donut and the water which I think he accepted out of politeness, but demolished pretty quickly. Up to this point, I pretty much did what any self respecting human being would do, not exactly remarkable. But the next minute is what changed my final destination from “tbc” to “Heaven, front row, next to James Dean!”
This is what followed:
“So what number d’you live at, I’ll stick a fiva through the door next time I pass” - him
[I’d like to point out that the fucking tube cost more than a £5, but that’s not the point]
“No don’t worry about it, it’s fine” - me
“Well tell me where you live and I’ll replace the tube for you”
“No seriously, it’s fine, don’t worry about it”
“But you’ve been so kind, I need to repay you somehow”
And here is comes, the revelation. It was as if the usual part of my brain that controls speech (which usually spouts something clever and sarcastic) had been switched off for a second, leaving another part of my brain to pick up the conversation, and this is the magic it came out with:
“I tell you what, next time you pass by a bike shop, go in and buy a spare tube. Keep it on you and the next time you see someone else with a flat, just do what I did today!”
He didn’t say anything to me after that, I could see he sincerely accepted my request. He got back on his bike and pedalled on. I never got his name, never asked where he was headed or where he’d come from. Didn’t ask if it was his usual route or whether he’d taken a chance just to see what was at the end of my road.
I hope one day I might see him again pootling down my road, maybe I could join him. He could pull me for a few kilometres, maybe he owes me that!?
The title of this is slightly misleading, this isn’t a diary. I won’t take you day by day, hour by hour through the last 7 days. To be honest it feels more like one long day of epic proportions anyway, in which case a diary would be irrelevant. Instead, you’re about to get the ramblings of a man that remembered a feeling, thought to be lost forever. That feeling only a 6 year old can feel at home, at Christmas, except I’m 24, it’s July and I’m standing on Le Passage Du Gois in flip-flops, draped in a Union Jack!
I was a sports exceller, I excelled in majority of sports I took part in at school. I captained swimming gala teams, played small forward in basketball, opened the bowling for the cricket team. I even payed my way through uni as a semi professional goalkeeper (soccer not ice hockey, I am human). It’s safe to say that anything that’s thrown at me, I’ll catch it, give it a good seeing to and throw it back with better technique than you!
I remember the day my brother brought home his road bike, a tatty thing that looked so familiar to me but couldn’t be any further from my knowledge bank! I’ve had a bike since I was 3, I used to bmx at school. But I couldn’t work out why the crap I needed special shoes for this thing? Anyway, I put the shoes on, took it up the road, clipped the cleats in and consequently fell over like a knackered guard at Buckingham Palace when I came to a stop (hadn’t worked out how to unclip before setting off).
Fast forward to 2010 and my brother finally persuaded me to by my first road bike. A Specialized Allez Tripple, rigid little bike, not the most comfortable but did the trick! I spent hours tearing round Richmond Park and the Surrey Hills on my little Specialized. Hill repeats, sprints, learning to eat on the bike, learning to stretch on the bike. And on a freezing November morning in the New Forest (just before I lost my soul) learnt to piss on the bike. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. And this was my downfall.
Cyclists are a funny bunch of people, if you can in fact class them as humans. Passionate as they are energetic, opinionated as they are chilled out. I just didn’t feel like one of them.
Fast forward again to Friday July 1st 2011, Nante Atlantique airport, drinking deux cafe creme (une pour moi, une pour mon frere!) awaiting the arrival of a future friend for life. I was quiet, withdrawn (very unusual for me). I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never say I was doubtful I would enjoy the holiday but this was my brother’s territory. I was here for the weather!
The next significant landmark of this week is me standing ankle deep in silt 50 metres onto Le Gois on the mainland side about 6k from Beauvoire Sur Mer. The atmosphere was like something I’d never felt before. I’ve been to Wembley, Old Trafford even The Brixton Academy on a Friday night awaiting Kasabian to rock the crap out of the world’s best music venue didn’t even come close to this. Behind us in the distance was the bridge connecting Noirmouiter with Fromentine and the rest of Europe, to our left was the rest of Le Gois and the direction in which 200 of the worlds most elite athletes will be making their way from. A host of helicopters giving away their every position only made matters worse. I didn’t know whether to film, take photos, just watch, stand up, sit down or piss myself! And that’s an understatement!
In the distance, two motorcycle mounted Gendarme appeared, lights flashing looking like something from an 80’s Presidential movie, followed by the Commissaire, standing out the sun roof, holding the famous white flag. They began to slow, to a near stop. 200 riders behind them were struggling to stay upright, they edged past us at barely vertical speed. Contador, Cavendish, Thomas, Evans I can pick them all out from the video I took but at that very moment they were just a sea of superhuman faceless creatures that meant nothing to me but everything in the same instance. Dumoulin ripped off his back wheel and had it replaced by the Corfidis mechanic in 2 seconds flat I swear! Zabriskie stretched a little off his bike, rearranged his junk as subtly as possible before giving me a little nod after hearing my very Surrey (but English none the less) “Good luck fella!”
After a bit of French pomp, they were off. The Commissaire dropped the White flag and the 2011 Tour De France had begun, this was it, why we were there.
Instantly, people began filtering out, probably back to their normal lives. Not us though, our day had only just begun, for we were race chasing! I think I just stood there, mouth open, eyes wide thinking “is it always like this?” Le Tour is something that has been in my vocabulary for as long as I remember, everyone knows about it. Yellow jerseys, mountains, France, Lance Armstrong. I was naïve. I was uneducated.
I won’t bother to list every experience we encountered during that week. If you’re a cycling fan (if you’re reading this far chances are you would call yourself a cyclist) you’ll know the ins and the outs. That’s not really important, I wanted to tell you about the feeling I had on that day as I lost the back of Linus Gerdemann’s Leopard-Trek jersey in the distance.
I felt as though I’d been initiated into a club, but not just initiated, given the chairman’s seat! That radioactive blood that shoots round the veins of taught, varicose vein covered, clean shaven, tanned calves (the undeniable sign when you realise your looking at a pair of legs owned by someone who regularly takes their body to the edge of reason, buys it a slice of fruit cake and an espresso, and then takes it home again. While smiling) was raging through my body. I’d caught it, the bug! I wanted more, I wanted to shout things as they raced past. I wanted them to acknowledge my support. I wanted them to know I feel it too.
I was fantastic at football, I earned money doing it, but would never call myself a footballer. I drum really well in a band, but wouldn’t introduce myself as a drummer. Before that day, that day in July, I was a guy who rode a bike. Since that moment, I’m a cyclist.
These super injunctions back fire a little bit don’t they. Their very purpose is usually it’s own downfall! Let’s take two professional footballers, two Manchester United legends, two “model professionals” (although I use the word model in pretty obviously different meanings) for example.
Yes, yes. Ryan Giggs, we’re still not over that yet. But enter stage left Mr David Beckham. Ahhhh, we’d forgotten about him hadn’t we.
You see in April 2004 The News of The World, famed for its intrusive investigative (and might I add, often substantiated) journalism, broke a story of infidelity involving England captain and national treasure David Beckham and the pig wanking Rebecca Loos. Now, David didn’t go to court to buy a gagging super injunction, the story just ended up on a breakfast table one weekend, and we were shocked! And the Beckham’s statement of reply was pretty much something along the lines of:
“Nah, she’s lying”
“Oh” we thought, “what a money grabbing, home wrecking, spiteful whore this witch is!”
Heaven forbid the saviour of English football and male grooming products could act in such a humanly way.
Anyway we went on with our lives, adorning MR Beckham with our love and affections, and loathed the very air Ms Loos breathed and that’s the way it remained pretty much up to this date.
Fast forwards *4,5,6* 7!!! Years and enter stage right…Ryan Giggs. Up to his absolute neck in Welsh rarebits and maintaining his squeaky clean image on the pitch. He could have also ended his career with the same image, had he not been so indisputably arrogant about the whole saga.
Instead of facing up to what he’s achieved, giving a pitiful apology to his Mrs, bunging Imogen Thompson (whatever her name is) a few hundred grand and getting on with life he paid a couple of hundred grand for her to be gagged, and for the media to keep silent, for us to never find out. Now have a guess at happens when you a) upset a woman b) tell the media they’re not allowed to talk c) tell the public they’re not allowed to hear??? Yup, you guessed it. A) She tries in every way to ruin your fuckin life b) They want to shout it, even louder, in your face, while you’re on your knees clutching your once in place testicles c) we want to hear it, over and over again, and then tell all of our friends.
Bravo Mr Giggs, the only statement Ryan Giggs ever left himself with was:
Same with John Terry, he couldn’t play it off with a very hopeful – “You what? Shag Wayne Bridge’s..? No way mate, not me! Maybe someone who looks like me, my brother probably, but not me!”
Instead they both had to stand with their injunction in tatters, crumbling through their fingers and act like the spoilt little kids who are in more trouble now for lying than for breaking the window in the first place.
There’s one simple moral to the [a little unstructured] story. The sheer arrogance of using a justified legislation to cover up your seedy failures is something that the public just cannot forgive. Hide things from us, make us look the other way, lie if you have to! But for fuck sake don’t get caught. It’ll be so much worse for you!