The Most Traffic-stopping eBay Entry Ever? Bid now to control the streets of London.

Shoes, concert tickets, nipple hair  – you see all sorts for sale on eBay, but tonight you can bid for the chance to press one of the most powerful buttons in London: the one that lifts the bascules of Tower Bridge.

This is just one of the prizes Lol and I (with a lot of help from Malcolm and Alexandra) put on eBay to help raise money  for the Jack & Ada Beattie Foundation

So if you know anyone who would love to have London at their fingertips please get them to bid and send them here: Thanks!

All proceeds are going to the charity.

Bidding will end at 6.30pm next Friday, (18th November)  – the exact time Trevor’s fundraising event at The Landmark Hotel begins.


13 thoughts on “The Most Traffic-stopping eBay Entry Ever? Bid now to control the streets of London.

  1. Mark,
    in advertising terms I would guess the error arises from the fact that all ads are judged in the one place they’ll never be seen: the agency.
    Lying on the table, or held up by a suit, or on a massive TV a screen, always on their own, while everyone watches or listens quietly.
    If I present a poster, I also show a mocked-up picture of the poster in situ, amongst other posters.
    So the client is not just judging a piece of paper.
    They’re judging if a 48 sheet will dominate its surrounding environment or not.
    The category error is in not considering that the ads primary job is to separate itself off from its context.
    So we need to judge it in (or against) that context.


  2. Nice piece Dave. It’s too easy for people in my industry (CRM and digital) to glibly focus on metrics and attribution at the expense of getting the initial brief right. I like the reminder that “yeah, that’s implicit” often means “oops, forgot why we’re here.”


  3. Without wishing to be perverse or glib, it’s perfectly possible for consumers to act on advertising they haven’t noticed or can’t remember. Indeed, this happens all the time. There are endless examples of studies (see e.g. Guy Claxton’s Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind) which show how audiences change their behaviour as a result of being exposed to information they aren’t aware of, let alone can recall.
    The confusion here, I hesitate to say the category error, is to treat consciousness as awareness; two entirely different things.   


      1. Dave,
        The example often cited is the concert pianist who can play a piece of music he or she has never  seen before. The pianist’s fingers move much more quickly than they can ‘read’ the music.  
        Or there is the case of drivers who react to an emergency faster than their conscious minds can compute the data to which they’re responding.
        Clearly people in these situations are aware of their surroundings, but not conscious in the usual sense of the term.
        One of the most interesting things about this conception of consciousness is that pianists or drivers or, indeed, consumers are not aware of the dichotomy themselves. Ask them why they behaved in the way they did and they will rationalise it as being a conscious decision. Psychologists call this phenomenon confabulation.
        I remember years ago being brought in to try and make the advertising of a certain famous brand more impactful. Nobody, from the client to the account team to the consumer, not even the creatives responsible, had anything good to say about the advertising. It was just the kind of bland nonsense your article is aimed at: unmemorable wallpaper. So I asked the obvious question: if no-one likes it, why has it been running for a decade? ‘Well’ replied the account director apologetically, ‘we sort of have 70% market share.’     



  4. Great post. I totally agree that too often we’re judging advertising by the wrong metrics – fame and standout should definitely be given more weight than it currently is. Too many people err on the side of beautiful wallpaper rather than ideas with impact. Which is why so many Ads look exactly the same and you could substitute in any product.

    I do also take Tom’s point though about the influence of advertising which isn’t consciously recalled, but nonetheless has been absorbed by people. Very few Ads are ever spontaneously recalled by people (I still hear “Cadbury Gorilla” and “Sony Balls” in focus groups when people are asked to think of an Ad they like or have seen recently).

    However people do remember many more Ads when prompted, ones that they had completely forgotten they had seen, but had clearly noticed enough to remember it on some level. And even if they don’t remember the Ad explicitly, this Ad may still have unconsciously shaped their perception of a brand which will come into play when they start consciously considering what they want to buy. 


  5. Hi Neasa,
    I know that can true, but generally it depends on the weight of spend for it to work that way.
    Sony and CDM had brilliant PR campaigns as well as TV.
    They amplified the impact by using creativity in its proper sense.


  6. Thanks for the explanation Tom.
    I guess in advertising terms, anything can work if you spend enough.
    Direct Line for instance spend £81 million.
    Massive repetition will eventually trickle through to opinion followers.
    In which case the client doesn’t really need a creative dept, just someone to buy the media.
    What if we’ve only got £5 million and we have to compete with Direct Line.
    £5 million won’t get noticed or remembered unless it stands out.
    Unless it’s different to everything else.
    £5 million can’t depend on massive repetition.
    That’s when a client needs a creative dept.


  7. Hi Dave,

    I totally agree with your perspective. Any chance you can provide the source for the stats around remembered positively / negatively? 


    1. Hi Lee,
      It was a researcher who gave me those numbers.
      But I think it’s worse than that.
      We are told we are each exposed to at least 1,000 advertising messages a day.
      TV, newspapers, posters, magazines, online, radio, social media, ambient, tubes and buses, etc.
      Ask anyone to name ten they remember seeing yesterday.
      If they could remember ten that would be 1%.
      Bet you can’t find one person who can. 


      1. Dave,
        As I’ve said, the straightforward association of spontaneous recall with effectiveness employs an outdated model of consciousness. The reason there is an almost inverse corollary between memorability and success in the marketplace, or to put it another way, why most advertising for big brands is unmemorable, is because advertising doesn’t have to be remembered to work. I could go further and suggest that memorability is even a DISADVANTAGE for massive mainstream advertisers, but that is much bigger (and darker) argument.

        Tom Wnek


      2. You should write a longer article on this Tom.
        Oversimplifying, I am a creative, it could be a good argument for why ‘bad’ advertising can survive on a bigger spend, but ‘good’ advertising is what a client should do if they only have a smaller spend.


      3. Dave,
        To be clear, I am not attempting to validate what you and I would deem ‘bad’ advertising, much less decrying the value and importance of creativity in the sense we understand the term.  However, if we are to argue effectively against the proliferation of vacant emotive big brand advertising, we first need to understand what it is doing; how it works and why.
        Simply restating the memorable=good/unmemorable = bad paradigm won’t do, I’m afraid.
        Large modern corporations, which own the vast majority of the major brands, are rational return-maximising organisations that base their strategies on empirical data going back decades. When all these multi-nationals decide to spend countless billions of dollars running the same style of risk-averse invisible advertising all over the world, it must be telling you something, mustn’t it?      



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