Brutally accurate media placement.

Premier Inn re-creates King’s Cross in Lego, to mark “Lego Movie” launch.

We thought we recognised that grid/structure working its way up from the ground. The main concourse at King’s Cross – there it is! It’s part of a marketing coup from the makers of Lego Movie, persuading advertisers to run Lego versions of their commercials. Premier Inn aren’t alone, by any means. Confused.com and BT are among the ads going all stop-frame and bricky for a wall-to-wall Lego fest during an ad-break in Sundays’ Dancing On Ice.

fun-lego-bt-flatmates

King’s Cross narrowly missed the Lego treatment a while back when it’s illustrious neighbour, St Pancras was immortalised in Lego. 18 months and 150,000 bricks, that’s all it took.

LegoStP_EM026

It’s not you. It’s me. I’ve been… writing another blog.

For anyone that gives a toss, I started this blog because I like writing. I work in advertising and I write ads for other people all day, every day. People like to add their opinion, change my ideas. Sometimes it makes them better (yeah, right!). Sometimes I wish they’d leave well alone.

So this is Parking In Stevenage. All my own work – a true reflection on what I think is good. And while many of my colleagues were busy penning blogs that delved into the dark arts of marketing or digital or branding or whatever, I didn’t want to compete in that space; this was my playground and I could choose the most inane, tedious topic to document. Fact is, it’s getting even more tedious after 3 years – I’ve gone right through the bottom of the barrel – there’s just splinters where that used to be. But no – that won’t stop me or this blog. Parking In Stevenage will live on!

However, I’ve been distracted. I’ve looked elsewhere – outside of Hertfordshire, even. I now anonymously co-edit The London Egotist – the only site I know of that talks specifically to London’s creative community – adland and all the associated specialisms. If you’re interested, check it out. It’s actually very good. Yes, I would say that, wouldn’t I…

Platform 3 in all its panoramic glory.

It was a nice day. I had a panoramic app on my phone. Put the two together and hey presto…

Click it to get the full effect.

Christmas in January.

Just how long can you drag Christmas out for? Our tree was out in the garden before the year was out – but it was dead on its feet, drooping alarmingly.

Not so at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage; Christmas is still in full swing. Their version of Snow White is running until January 23. Now I’ve been to see it and I heartily recommend it, so the good news is you’ve stll got time to get along and see the show. It stars Sue Holderness out of Boycie and Marlene out of ‘Green Green Grass’ out of ‘Only Fools and Horses’.

Katie Rowley Jones needs directions for the West End, apparently.

Anyway, it’s not unusual to have a panto run to the end of Jan. However, in the run-up to the show, the theatre played Christmas tunes in the adjoining walkway that leads to the station to get everyone in the mood and hopefully flog a few more tickets. So here’s the thing: they’re still playing these tunes now and it’s January 19.

"...in the lane, snow is glistenin'..."

It just seems like someone needs to say, “We’re halfway to Valentines Day now, let it go. Christmas will come round again next year (or later this year).”

I read somewhere they had to rename the dwarves (Dopey to Dippy, etc.) to avoid failing foul of Disney’s legal eagles. Boooo!

I always enjoy reading the programme to see what else the actors have been in. What did I learn? That you have to be a pretty rubbish dwarf not to have worked on Star Wars or Harry Potter. They’ve all done ’em. The theatre must have to decide on Snow White very early to make sure they can book all 7 dwarves – there must be a run on them at Christmas. No good getting 5 and making up the numbers with fully-grown Lanky and Lofty.

Saw a couple of ’em in Tesco the other day. Easy to spot if you’re near enough.

Kind of a big deal: part 2

I work in advertising. Predominantly advertising on the web. Industry magazine Revolution does a column each month called ‘Blogs I can’t live without’, written by a guest luminary. Incredibly, ‘Parking in Stevenage’ made it into the column this month. We are all famous! Everyone’s reading it. Servers are groaning under weight of all this traffic. Well done for fighting your way through the melee to read this very post. So who’s the industry mover-and-shaker that can’t live without good old PiS? Oh yeah, it’s me. No time for modesty, I demand to be read!

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

There’s a spider living in the parking barrier.

Look carefully and you’ll see it; a spider’s taken up residence between the ticket machine’s display and the glass that protects it. He’s only diddy.

There he is!

There he is!

There’s a surprising amount of arachnophobia around as I discovered earlier in the year when I was proposing that we use an animated spider to front the campaign for a well-known mobile handset. Suddenly all these underground arachnophobes came out of the woodwork. They couldn’t hide their unease – even with a cartoon spider. You could see them tensing up and looking away. Fools. Wimps. Freaks. Clients and colleagues alike.

If you ever see an ad featuring spiders – good or bad – hats off because there are some serious issues and obstacles it has to get past to see the light of day. There was no way my spider campaign was ever going to get through – and it was an amazing idea, let me tell you.

A mate of mine was a confirmed arachnophobe – even a tomato stalk would freak him out. The laughs we used to have…

A breakdancing spider attacking a tomato. No hang on...

A breakdancing spider attacking a tomato. No hang on...

I’m being stalked – by an advertising campaign.

For some reason, Sony Ericsson have decided to target me personally. Everywhere I go I see the same ads for the same product, the Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman phone. And the thing is, I already know everything there is to know about this phone – I’ve been working on the campaign myself for the last 3 months.

I’ve been focused on the online campaign, so if it follows you on the web, I apologise. But out in the real world, it will not leave me alone. I’m going to court for a restraining order.

Here it is waiting for me on the platform. Every morning.

Here it is waiting for me on the platform. Every morning.


On all the tables outside BagelMania where I get my morning latte.

On all the tables outside BagelMania where I get my morning latte.


It follows me on taxis...

It follows me on taxis...


And it's in every magazine I open.

And it's in every magazine I open.

So, if you’re the media buyer and your core target is a 39-year-old male commuting from Hertfordshire to Central London who reads magazines while drinking coffee, jolly well done. You got me, OK!

When work and PiS collide.

I’ve only just realised the acronym I’ve been labouring under. Parking in Stevenage. You’d have thought I’d have got more hits – the one with transvestite tags pulled like a rhino. Maybe I’m overestimating the number of people who can’t spell piss properly (or can’t spell piss for shit).

The old 'gluing the ears to the shoulders' trick.

 

So here’s a poster for the new Vodafone campaign, guarding the entrance to Swingate, my usual car park of choice. I’ve been working on the same ad campaign myself – my work doesn’t involve posters, I do the internetty stuff – but it all has to tie in together. It felt like big news at the time. Now that I’m updating my blog it doesn’t seem such a big deal – but that’s Parking in Stevenage for you.

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