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New Lines for London Underground

A while ago we wrote about the Poetiquette campaign that’s been up on the tubes. A lovely way to encourage people to be less self-involved while they’re travelling.

They’ve now awarded a winner – Jennifer Dart from Rayleigh in Essex, who saw off competition from over 6,000 aspiring poets to be crowned the official winner of the Travel Better London poetry competition.

The poem, which was written on the topic: ‘Avoid Unnecessary Delays. Don’t hold open the doors’, was crowned the winning entry by a panel of judges including Aisling Fahey, Young Poet Laureate for London, writer George the Poet and Sophie Baker from The Poetry Society.

Her verse has since been immortalised in cartoon form, complete with her very own caricature. It is now being displayed on buses and Tubes across the Capital.

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TfL’s Travel Better London campaign was launched in September 2013 when colourful poetry posters designed by the artist McBess were showcased on London transport encouraging people to consider their fellow passengers when travelling.

There was also another lovely element to the campaign a few years ago – something I just discovered that a copywriting-poet-friend of mine called Amy Acre did with M & C Saatchi. She was hired to be writer-in-residence on various sites all over the tube, writing impromptu poems about little stories of TFL etiquette.

My personal favourite is this one – Your Butt is a hero. Go Amy.

OLI AND JOSIE WIN AT CANNES

There is a brilliant young placement team here at AMV, called Oli and Josie.

We’ve been fans of theirs ever since we saw their spec ‘Micro-tipsy’ campaign for Becks.

But now they have made a very witty grandprixgenerator.co.uk

It takes random words, music and pictures to generate a guaranteed Grand Prix winner.

You can then share a link to your project for the judge’s consideration, which people have started doing on Twitter.

Bonnes Chances, one and all.

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LONDON AS IT COULD BE NOW

In a second ‘wild swimming’ related post, today I’d like to draw your attention to an exciting new venture being organised by a small group of people connected to London’s ad agencies.

The plan to build a swimming pool in the middle of the Thames.

Of course, everyone’s first thought when you mention being able to swim in the Thames is ‘yuk, it’s poo brown.’

But stay with me a minute.

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As this stunning photo from 1952 shows, swimming in the Thames isn’t a weird or revolting idea at all. It turns out we’ve been at it for centuries. There used to be pontoons all the way along the river, and even a ‘children’s beach’ along Tower Bridge (seen above), where kids who couldn’t afford to get to the seaside could go and learn to swim. As Caitlin Davies (author of a new book called Downstream:a history and celebration of swimming the River Thames) spoke about at the British Library last week, there’s never been any mention of the water being unclean in the history books. Only in 1960 did it formally stop happening, mainly due to safety reasons.

But that’s all about to change, if the Thames Baths – a brilliant wild-swimming venture following the footsteps of the Kings Cross Pond Club – gets off the ground. Its Director is Rainey Kelly’s Strategy Director Matt Bamford-Bowes, and it’s a very well-thought out plan which I think every man and his goldfish should pledge to support.

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The most important thing to mention about this pool is that it will be clean. I know. Thames. Fresh. Water. The mind boggles.

The water will be naturally filtered through an intricate system of reeds.  It will be safe too, with balustrades all around it. It will be warmed naturally, through a heat exchanger. It will be free to visit, and around £5-6 to swim in. You can see more at the Kickstarter campaign here. They have truly thought of everything.

The bath plans first came about as part of an Architecture Foundation and Royal Academy initiative, to find ideas that reconnect Londoners with the river, stirringly entitled London As It Could Be Now.  As well as Matt Rainey Kelly, the Baths vision is being realised by Studio Octopi; an architect firm who have revolutionised the layouts of many of London’s ad agencies. Architect Chris Romer-Lee had just been on holiday in Zurich, swimming in the river, and found himself asking, ‘why is there nowhere similar in London?’ (I couldn’t help thinking the same when I went to the incredible ‘Badis’ all the way along Lake Zurich – they are lovely). Anyway, Chris decided to ‘bring the idea home’, along with his colleague James Lowe. They’re both also now working on the Bring Back Peckham Lido campaign. Basically, what’s not to love.

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And as Guardian writer and swimming blogger Jenny Landreth put it so poignantly at the campaign event at the Royal Academy last week, ‘London is being stripped out from under our feet…swimming outdoors is a place to feel free… We need lidos in London now, more than ever. In the gloom after last Thursday, this is a really bright pocket of positivity.’ More brilliant words from Jenny here.

Here are the very latest designs of the different locations:

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Small point to anyone working in the South Bank area – One of the possible locations is in Blackfriars, very close to the new Bankside Omnicon building. Making it pretty much the perfect place to cool off during Summer lunch times… In 2017, when it opens. Unless they get their funding sooner, that is.

The deadline to pledge is this friday, so please do think about it, if you’re even slightly tempted.

There are a range of lovely incentives for pledging too, from lifetime membership, to a gorgeous limited edition ‘SWIM’ print, designed by Michael C Place:

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The last thing to say is that Kickstarter is only the half of it. The Baths are also open to finding ‘a carefully chosen partner’ to sponsor them. In case you know of any brands that want to “jump in”.

OF SOIL, WATER AND NOMINATIVE DETERMINISM

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This is Ian.

Ian Freshwater.

He is – I shit you not – the Project Manager of a new swimming pond that’s launching in King’s Cross very soon.

As a fan of nominative determinism, I couldn’t help but be tickled when I heard this last week at the British Library. Ian started his speech on ‘Wild Swimming in the city’ by telling us that he is the proud winner of an award from Camden Council. It’s official, he has The Second Most Aptly Named Job Title in London. I’ll tell you who got first prize in a minute.

As well as being the owner of that accolade, Ian is one of the people behind a brilliant new art-installation-come-lido in Kings Cross, called Of Soil and Water. Another example of how Wild Swimming itself is a rapidly growing phenomenon across Britain. And in particular, across the capital (more on that in a few days!).

Anyway, I was lucky enough to go along for a first swim and tour of The Kings Cross Pond Club today, and it was wonderful. You can’t beat the feeling of fresh-water under an open sky at the crack of dawn, as opposed to say, a chlorine-y assault on the senses in a stuffy, noisy indoor pool.

But swimming is only half the Of Soil and Water experience. You’re surrounded by cranes, workmen, building sites, by people gutting and transforming Kings Cross, from every vantage point. It’s very exposed. You feel like you’re on stage at times. (you certainly will once the Viewing Platform is full in mid-Summer). But that’s the point. You’re meant to contemplate, too. You’re meant to think about boundaries.

As the architects – Ooze – explained to us before we were allowed to jump in…it’s about the feeling of being simultaneously inside a miniature landscape, and a building site. It’s a dialectic between being inside nature and a city in transition. And yet it’s strangely harmonious.

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That’s not all. The whole thing is cleaning itself through a network of very clever reeds which I won’t even try and explain here. Suffice to say, ‘it’s a ‘living, breathing experiment… and it won’t be chlorinated. So no peeing in it…’ warned Ian Freshwater.

Which reminds me, I’ve not yet revealed who got Number One in The League of Most Aptly Named Job Titles in London. The winner was another liquid based one: Mr Lee King, who is genuinely the Head of Thames Water.

As a Copywriter with an overzealous awareness of fatalistic wordplay, I’ve been collecting other real-life examples over the years.

I’ll leave you with two favourites: my GP when I was a kid was called Dr Payne. And (sorry) Jennifer Leak, who is genuinely a breast feeding coach.

If you’ve ever come across any other nominative triumphs you’ve been itching to share until now, do feel free to add to the collection…

Failing that, you can take a dip in the lovely Kings Cross Pond from Friday 22 May 2015Keep an eye on the pondsite for more details.

CLARKSON REPLACEMENT FOUND!

This is a very important petition for a very worthy cause.

To convince the BBC to hire Alan Partridge as the new host of Top Gear.

It is the work of the brilliant campaigner (and creative) Sophie Knox at Adam & Eve/DDB.

https://www.change.org/p/the-bbc-hire-alan-partridge-to-replace-jeremy-clarkson

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Sign, you know it makes sense! You CAN make a difference.

Also, you can play a new fun game ‘PARTRIDGE OR CLARKSON’ , an extract from which is below.

1. Exclamations:
A “Senbleedingsational!”
B “Absobloodyexactly!”

2. Birmingham:
A “The reason that people from Birmingham never leave Birmingham is because that’s the only place they don’t sound thick.”
B “If Einstein had been from Birmingham, no-one would’ve taken the “theorai of relativitai” seriously.”

3. Muslims:
A “Honestly, the burka doesn’t work. I was in a cab in Piccadilly the other day when a woman in a full burka crossing the road in front of me tripped over the pavement, went head over heels and up it came, red g-string and stockings.”
B “Never, never criticise Muslims. Only Christians. And Jews a little bit.”

MIND THE GAP… BETWEEN STANZAS

London Underground wants your lines.

TFL is working on its next round of lovely poetic posters to encourage us all to behave like evolved human beings. You know, the ones that politely suggest we please refrain from scoffing stinky kebabs on the tube, and to for gods sake turn those down wretched headphones…but in a slightly nicer, more charming way.

But this time they’ve opened them up for the public to write.

Of course, we are up to our ears in TV ads which have an amateur poem for a voiceover. But we think you can never have enough poetry in a poster.

So, to all creatives with a repressed Gordon Comstock inside of them – give it your best shot.

The winning poem will not only end up on posters right across the network, but the winning lines will feature in the cartoons too.

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Via Poet of Adland, Rishi Dastidar, whose own effort bears repeating here:

“On the escalator, don’t stop on the left

As those walking down will be bereft.

You won’t have to do anything grand:

Just move to the right if you’d like to stand.”

FROM TEA TO BISCUITS… AND DAVE DYE’S FIRST BOOK


Dave Dye has won many awards.

But today he wins the prize for Most Obliging Entrant to BeforeTheyWereFamous.org In The World Ever.

On our first day here at Mother, he came up to us and asked if we’d like some more early scamps to put onto our #MyFirstFolio site. An hour later he put them into our actual hands. We didn’t have to e-harass him or anything.

Which is a long way of saying, hooray, we finally have a new addition to our gallery of first books from esteemed creatives

Here is a small taster of Dave Dye’s early marker-pieces: 

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You can see the rest at Beforetheywerefamous.org

Which brings us to our other news. We have left BMB after three lovely years. As well as the people, I (Lol) am really going to miss Covent Garden’s secret lido, and the biblical Homeslice pizza in Neals Yard. If you’ve not been there, go. They redefine the very meaning of what pizza can be.

On the other hand, I’m definitely not going to miss the army of manic soap people who populate Neal street all day every day, desperately trying to shove miniscule rhombuses of shiny brown soap into your hands (a breed worse than chuggers!)

It is oddly nostalgic being back in Shoreditch every day, after all the time we spent at the other side of this block, in The Tea Building when we were at Glue.

The Biscuit Building is actually much cosier than the artic Tea Building. And they feed you breakfast and lunch (and lunch leftovers if you work late!), so you need never go outside.

We’re waiting for the myth of ‘The Mother Stone’ to rear its head. Any day now.

The Idea Everyone’s Had, but now Someone’s Actually Done

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Now I can’t speak for every creative in the world, but I know Nat and I have had this idea for a bunch of different briefs.

It’s the kind of idea you present and everyone looks at you like you’ve just crash-landed from Planet Unfeasible.

But rather marvellously, Converse have actually gone and made it. And made it well.

It’s a thingamajig (that’s the technical term) that blocks internet ads and feeds you cool stuff (funny content, competitions etc) instead.

Watch the amazing video, and install it here:

More on it here.

Thanks, @carolineberm.

Sorry, Banners.

Hooray, someone’s finally done something with the Out-of-Office media space

Ever since this, we have dreamed of making something that plays on the Out of Office message media space to all its smug potential, but we’ve never quite found the right brand to do it for…

Happily Antidote have just done it for Travel Republic, and it’s simple and marvellous:

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Read them all here:

https://www.travelrepublic.co.uk/getoutofoffice/

Win a place at the School of Communication Arts, with The Dan Wallace Scholarship

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Here at BMB we work with a very talented team from the School of Communication Arts called Martin and Olly.

In the year above them at school, there was a wildly talented, energetic and madly passionate kid, Daniel Wallace. Sadly, last year, Dan lost his fist-fight with cancer.

In his memory, the school has named a scholarship after him. http://www.danwallacescholarship.com/

There’s a very moving tribute here.

So if you know anyone that would like to apply, or could help promote the scholarship, please share this.

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