Light Games

I have recently recharged the batteries of the remote control for my Philips Ambilight – which is a large neat LED lamp designed to light up your wall with any one of about 65,000 colours.

In honour of this I have decided to have a few games with light and colour – as well as show off some outfit ideas.

"my precious...."

Ok so this first one I actually like so much I’ve made it my Facebook profile picture. I’m wearing a Light Up Electric Souls t-shirt which I think was from River Island and also some electric blue jeans from Asos.

This one is mustard yellow jeans from People’s Market and a sort of Aztec design t-shirt from Asos, as well and my awesome Marc by Marc Jacobs boots. This one is particularly amusing because it sort of looks like my legs might well go on for ever…

Same outfit as the other blue one, but leaning up against the wall looking a bit stoned.

I’ve noticed recently theres a definitely trend at the moment for Aztec print leggings, this is my attempt to get in on the action, these are from River Island and the t-shirt is from The Long Clothing Company.

Cradling the Sun

I think this picture makes me look a bit chubby, but I do like the pattern on thrown on the wall by the lamp.

This is probably my brightest post yet. I don’t really have anything meaningful to say, I just wanted to share pretty colours with everyone!

The Travel Industry

Of course in times of recession & austerity people make cutbacks. They trim out the things they don’t really need in order to preserve their standard of living. The drop the expensive gym, the magazine subscription, the deluxe organic pet food and also regular foreign holidays.

Whereas travel agents used to advertise all the amazing offers they had to take a family of 4 to one of Balearics for 2 weeks – now they feel the need to remind us why we need holidays in the first place. Thomson’s latest advert makes a pretty decent stab at reminding us…

The Worlds Longest Ident

What’s an ident? Well its that little bit between tv shows that reminds you what channel you’re watching.

They normally last between 5 and 30 seconds like the one below for BBC1.

However, Christmas is ratings war and whilst the winner is always the BBC the others try hard to steal a march. So, in order to remind the punters that they have the TV market sewn up, the BBC has come up with an epic ident for BBC One for the Christmas period to parade their celebrities in front of us – in case we’d forgotten that the majority of the TV personalities we know and love work for them! The newscasters are in there too!

Enjoy.

Travel Nostalgia

There was a time when travel was a reason for travelling. When planes and trains and automobiles represented adventure, drama, and daring. Its often with a heavy heart that I board the train for the daily 100mph 9 minute ride to next town. That commute has made trains boring. The same scenery, the goods yard, the 2 bridges, the junction, the tunnel, Bramford, Great Blakenham, Needham fishing lakes, Neeham Market, the malt factory, the lawnmower factory and then Stowmarket station.

I yearn for the day when getting on the train was a big deal – when I was little my Nan and I would catch the train to Felixtowe, a 20 minute journey to the seaside. It cost her £1.25 for her 40p for me. Bargain. I was on one occasion allowed to ride up in the drivers cab and actually pull the lever that made the train go forward! Yes, an 8 year old boy drove a passenger train from Ipswich to Felixtowe.

Anyway, I was randomly browsing youtube for anything nostalgic to share, and I happened across this glorious piece of government propaganda for the former state monopoly railway company. You can tell its propaganda because it contains industrial imagery, glorious scenery and economic activity designed to remind people that we’re still a pretty respectable little country. Magnificent also because it conjured up that special little feeling of excitement, adventure and wonder that perhaps only children can truly experience.

Bringing you back to you… a commercial break

Yeah yeah I know I’m back on my old habits of posting about commercials but this one caught my eye enough to want to share it with you – the beleaguered reader who only stumbled on here by accident – you were probably looking for plane tickets to somewhere exciting like Fiji…. I’d like to go to Fiji, firstly because the word looks excellent when written… Fiji – just look at all those excellent dotted characters. Secondly because Queen Elizabeth II is technically queen of Fiji, or more properly Paramount Chief of Fiji.

But I digress…

This is an advert by a tea company called Twinnings, previously fronted by Stephen Fry, they’ve enjoyed a resurgence of late as people are spend more money on perceived upmarket or luxury brands to make up for the fact that no-one can afford to go on holiday.

The advert takes the form of a young woman in a rowing boat on chopping waters, and she’s clearly no enjoying herself. She valiantly fights the waters but loses her ores. As all hope seems lost, gulls swoop her little raft up and deposit her in the calm, she disembarks and merges with herself on the shore whilst drinking a cup tea – the strap line? Brings you back to you.

Very clever, beautifully animated, and the music by Charlene Soraia (downloadable from iTune) is an excellent fit.

A Party Political Broadcast

In the UK its illegal for political parties to advertise on television. However, before an election or during conferences of the main national parties (usually the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Plaid Cymru, SNP, UUP and Sinn Fein) they are allowed a 5 minute ‘tv spot’ broadcast on either the BBC or ITV just after the main evening news.

Recently, the Conservatives had their turn and what they did rather surprised me…

Its a group of leading Conservative MP’s basically doing a charity appeal. Is it a gimmick? Undoubtedly. Was it unusual and quite refreshing? Absolutely. Will it get them out of their current mire? Absolutely not.

Adverts – The Post-Idea-Desperate Man’s Elixir

I have seen in the last 2 days 3 excellent adverts (commercials) which I have decided to share.

The previous post was all about packaging, and well, adverts are a sort of audio visual packaging. In the same way that my peppercorn pot portrayed purity and quiet sophistication with its imagery and colour, so to do these short videos add moving imagery, sound and music and ‘package’ a product or company.

Numeral unu: Lurpak – a butter company:

What are they up to? The butter is only on screen for about 5 seconds – well like physical packaging they’re stirring up and idea and associating their brand with it.

Numeral doi: Halifax – A bank (actually a bank owned by the government due to economic woes)

Halifax has a recent history of produce rather peculiar adverts – but what they’re up to here is pretty obvious. Banks have always been perceived as rather distant aloof institutions (amplified by the half-understood perceived alchemy of economic disaster that they seem to have visited on everyone). They’re positioning themselves as a champion of the ordinary man or woman. A consumer bank rather than an ‘evil’ investment bank. Of course they’re part of RBS group and they are an investment bank. Nice try though.

Numeral trei: Stella Artois – A Lager beer

These chaps can always be relied on to produce an artistic European themed (its a belgian beer) bit of film. In this case, associating the brand with effortless sophistication.

Another Advert

Just to continue on the theme of advertising, if ‘The Brighter Side’ is my 2nd favourite, then this one is number 1.

It’s an advert for the John Lewis department store – a sort of upper middle class aspirational store. Indeed, when I was moving house I sourced a number of things from them (bath mats) and felt oh so very successful.

Anyway, regardless of that – they do a pretty good line in understated and quite moving advertising that they use to emphasise their position as a constant in peoples lives. From that perspective they’ve got this following advert absolutely spot on…

 Apparently it cost several million pounds to produce, and the song is an excellent cover by Fyfe Dangerfield of Billy Joel’s ‘Always a Woman’.