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Posts Tagged ‘Boris’

What’s in a mononym?


Star-cross’d Juliet asked almost the same question. The answer is everything

Unlike her parents, Juliet couldn’t care less about her intended’s surname. Names, as far as she was concerned, were just artificial constructs. Better consider the person than their name, she declared.

Poor soon-to-die-tragically Juliet was wrong. She couldn’t escape the conventions of her time.

Yet ironically, where Juliet was referring to Romeo’s surname, Montague, it’s their Christian names which have bestowed immortality upon them. Mononymically speaking.

In connected 21st-century Britain, and even abroad, names are so much more than names. They’re brands. We connect with them in milliseconds.

How did it come to this?

How did it come to this?

Being known by your first name alone is the very pinnacle of instant, connected success: Jesus, Elvis, Bono, Moses, Banksy, Donovan, Ella, Maggie, Pele, Napoleon, Michelangelo, Galileo, Superman/woman. Whoever. Add your own. Read more…

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Tracking the new customer journey


It is better to travel than to arrive.

I don’t think RL Stevenson had the office in mind as the arrival, but — without ever having foreseen Olympic London’s empty roads, buses and tubes — he was right. Getting to and from work was a pleasure during the Olympics. Who would have guessed it?

Stay away punters

Told to stay away from London’s busier stations, we did. Asked not to drive in London, we didn’t. Harried by Boris’s omnipresent “Hi folks…” message, we went online and didn’t get caught out. Millions of us just did what we were told. How TfL maintain they carried more passengers than usual during the Games, beats me. Justifying their bonuses?

And even BMW’s 3,200 Olympics ‘officials’ cars — adding another ten miles of traffic (if they were lined up end-to-end) circulating on London’s roads, daily — weren’t a problem.

Who’d have thought getting people to change their travel habits could be so easy?

To do or not to do

In its heyday, the COI — under Marc Michaels’ lengthy leadership — prefaced its reason for being (why use the French?) with a simple but memorable phrase: our job, they argued, was either to get people TO do something or to get people NOT to do something. Read more…

Can you keep a secret?


Wanted: 60,000 people. Must be able to keep a secret.

Did it start with a small ad like this? In the Radio Times. Or the Telegraph, maybe?

Ring of confidentiality

Qualifying factors, despite anti-discrimination legislation (which may not apply in that they’re all volunteers) may have included the following:

You are likely to be in your 70s. You believe BBC and ITV is the only proper telly. You will never have heard of, nor will you have ever used or owned, a mobile phone.  Or a computer. OK, possibly an Amstrad.

A ‘smartphone’ is an alien term to you. You will never have heard of ‘the internet’, Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or any other funny-sounding media thingamy. ‘Texting’, ‘tweeting’ and ’email’ are also all Greek to you. Talking on the telephone — in your hall, next to the front door — is what you do when you need to call the doctor. Or the police to have the gypsies removed from your front lawn or the local cricket pitch. You will have no friends and, probably, no family. 

It’s difficult to know how else could 60,000 people have kept a secret. A very big secret, too. They must have been bribed. Or have  Read more…