Tag Archives: UK

Schwartz: The Sound of Taste

New Schwartz Advert 2014I really enjoyed this new TV spot for Schwartz, which is so visually pleasing and satisfying to watch. It’s also reminiscent of Sony’s recent 4KTV commercial, or the Canon Pixma ad by Dentsu, but I think that Grey – the agency behind this advert – have made the concept work for Schwartz and injected just the right amount of originality into it. The naturally vibrant colours look gorgeous together, and I like the way that they have decided to mix futuristic robo-appliances with those rustic spice sacks.

Pierdom

Southend Pier by Simon RobertsSouthend-on-Sea, Essex

I’m very fond of the British seaside. Not so much in a twee “OMG, let’s take photos and eat candyfloss!” kind of way – although that can be fun – but because there is so much to genuinely love about these former tourist traps, with their juxtaposed tackiness and architectural charm. I spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in Britain, as opposed to going on package holidays to places like Tenerife or The Costa del Sol. I felt quite envious of my classmates, who got to travel on an aeroplane and were guaranteed sunshine but, looking back, I think that spending rainy days in a caravan in Scotland and having trips out to Morecambe, Southport and Blackpool has made me feel more connected to the place where I was born. As I got older, I began to romanticise the typical English seaside resort because of their mix of joy, despair and faded grandeur. Of course this is present in a lot of small towns, but with the harshness of winter and idyll of summer by the coast, these extremes seem…amplified. This isn’t just some abstract feeling I have either. Although there are exceptions to this trend in prosperous locations, such as Brighton and Poole, the traditional British seaside town has long been in decline – offering the kind of unfashionably kitsch holiday that belongs to your granny and granddad’s halcyon days. A recent report called ‘Turning The Tide‘ details the deprivation present in the UK’s coastal towns – including the ones which haven’t been totally deserted by tourists. In a lot of these towns, the grand old hotels have since been converted into bedsits that are full of transients. Although I will always have a soft spot for Blackpool in particular, the reality of life there is pretty grim. In the series ‘Pierdom’, Simon Roberts focuses on Britain’s iconic Victorian piers, and his lens captures my feelings about these places perfectly. From wind-bitten, rusting structures to sun-bathed promenades, his photographs evoke the curious charm and essence of the British seaside.Hastings Pier Simon RobertsHastings, East Sussex

Boscombe Pier Simon RobertsBoscombe, Hampshire

Teignmouth Grand Pier Simon RobertsTeignmouth, Devon

Blackpool South Pier Simon RobertsBlackpool, Lancashire

More of Simon Roberts’ brilliant photography is on his website – there are more photographs from the Pierdom series, and you should also have a look at another project he has done called ‘We English‘, which focuses on English tourism in a much broader context.

Tigers On Tinder

I’ve noticed that a lot of men on Tinder are quite fond of tigers…ImageThis trend is so prevalent that there is even a Tumblr dedicated to it, called Touch My Tiger! Kudos to these guys for noticing it first. Unfortunately, as with any trend, you always get a few bandwagon-jumpers who just don’t get it right…Tinder WannabesGuys, you’re doing it wrong! It’s got to be a REAL tiger. Don’t try and get a picture with a tiger in the wild, though. That would be stupid and dangerous. It’s essential that your tiger prop has been sedated so that annoying backpackers can pose with it. Safety first, and all that.

Style Over Substance

Falling womanImageStyle or substance? Audi and BBH believe you can have both in their new TV ad…

Unless you’re a woman! Hahaha, let’s all sneer at the silly vain tart who’s fallen down in the rain! She can’t have style and substance – she chose style, the moron.

MGMT – All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

Ned Wenlock VideoFactory TownMGMT AnimationWow. This song appears to be over a year old, but I’ve only just heard it and it’s brilliant. I was looking for the original Bauhaus version when I discovered this one and – without wanting to sound disdainful towards MGMT – I was pretty surprised at what a good job they’d done of covering it. Don’t get me wrong, I really like MGMT, but they’re not exactly the kind of band that you listen to and then think: “Yeah, I can tell they’re big fans of Bauhaus.”

Better still, this exquisite video by Ned Wenlock really complements the track and conveys the song’s melancholy lyrics.

The Circular Economy

ImageWhile this idea is likely to be far more complex in practise, this animated video by Mr. Binns explains the concept in a brilliantly simple and engaging way. Sometimes, I feel pretty bad that I’m part of a huge problem and implicit in killing the earth, but the idea of going to live in a yurt, composting my own shit, and becoming one of those earthy white girls with dreadlocks totally repulses me. I like the thought of a ‘circular economy’, because it shifts the responsibility back to the manufacturer, while trying to cut a better deal for the consumer. It seems like this is an effective approach, because most of us are incapable of actually processing waste into something that’s truly useful. I mean, be honest – you’re never actually going to get round to making that Fairy liquid bottle into the crafty thing you saw on Pinterest. Well, you might…I definitely won’t.
In the UK, it seems that the idea of a more collaborative way of consuming is quite appealing – especially when trends and technology change so rapidly. It also seems that, for a lot of us, it’s unlikely that we will ever own a house. We’re already renting our homes – why not rent the things that are in them, too? 


Of course, this new system must have its flaws too, but its core values seem to be hitting the right notes for a more sustainable future.

Subverted Children’s Toys

ImageDorothy is a Manchester-based design studio that are well-known for their song and film maps, but I found these politically-charged takes on classic children’s toys much more interesting.ImageImageThe ‘Casualties of War’ sets take on tragic variations of the classic toy soldier, showing the grim realities of being in the armed forces – from alcoholism and psychosis through to amputation and suicide.ImageThese Dorothy ‘No Globes’ were commissioned for Ctrl.Alt.Shift, in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2009. Designed to highlight the threat of coal power to the environment, black particles of soot float above this bleak diorama, replacing the traditional snow…Image