Yesterday I had two meetings in London, so I spent a bit of time on the Tube. I am fascinated by posters on the Underground. There’s an hilariously “retro” one for the Cyprus tourist board up at the moment that I imagine being devised by two sideburned ad execs, fresh from lunch in the pub and dressed like they’ve just walked off the set of Life On Mars.
“I’ve got it, Bill,” says one, “How about ‘CYPRUS: BIRTHPLACE OF THE GODDESS OF LOVE’?”
“Yeah,” says Bill, “and underneath that a photo of a tasty Cypriot bird in a bikini on the beach. A tasty bird with really big tits.”
[At this point a “buxom blonde” with a frilly blouse walks into frame and puts a couple of glass mugs of Nescafé down on the brainstorming table, between Gary and Bill’s pastel Trimphones. Gary and Bill exchange winks.]
Thing is, that at least might work with a subset of their target audience: randy blokes looking for a place where they can lie on a beach and look at tasty birds with really big tits.
In contrast, I’m betting that the latest poster campaign of one of the civil service unions (the PCS?) isn’t going to be effective with anyone other than civil servants. The one I saw says something like “PROTECT CIVIL SERVANTS’ JOBS” and is plastered over a photograph of some, er, civil servants, none of whom are wearing bikinis, even the token ethnic. It didn’t persuade me, and I was recently made redundant by the closure of a government-funded research facility.
I saw the union poster outside the ticket barrier at Victoria. I’m sure the wage slaves streaming through that concourse in the working week often daydream about how they’d like to hand over more of their income to the state in order to keep more civil servants in jobs. I suspect that this one wasn’t devised by an ad exec, even one living in the 70s, but instead was the idea of someone who has plodded his or her way through a series of cushy administrative “roles” within a union for administrators and in the process become completely detached from the way normal working people think, even the ones who are administrators for a living.
I was reminded of this slogan when I read Adloyada this morning and the quote in her post about one of the campaigns in “Israel Apartheid Week”: