Showing posts from October, 2012

Have You Scanned Your Nectar Card?

This question offends me.  Every time I hear it.  It's insulting and insidious, and here is why. It comes from the self-checkout machines at Sainsbury's supermarket, if you try to pay without scanning your Nectar card. The machines at Tesco have a different strategy.  They entreat, "Please scan or swipe your Clubcard."  There is the same intent, the same insistence, the same assumption that I wish to be a part of their covert market research campaign and have simply forgotten.  And this, I don't mind.  Because I am part of the system, I do carry both cards, I will willingly surrender my shopping history in exchange for a minuscule (to the point of being imaginary) discount. But there is a subtle difference between the two.  Both of these only ask for my identification in the event that I have not already tendered it.  And yet J Sainsbury's have decided to phrase their request in the form of a question.  Not "Do you have a Nectar card?" or "


Concept sketch for an Eclipse Phase RPG character, based solely on the art littered around their site. So, that's a thing. via kingandy's gallery on deviantArt

Bad Luck

This billboard is positioned on a main road, though it's also fairly busy for pedestrians, being just down the road from a major commute train station.  So I get that it's not such a massive flaw that the text is too small to read while driving quickly past in a car.  (Also, it's Deansgate, down which nothing moves faster than a particularly lethargic sloth.) It's just a shame they didn't know about this roadsign, which completely obscures the text from about 50% of viewing angles.  It's the only text on the board - I don't even know what it's saying, something about how their carry-on limits let you take huge jumpers on holiday - and it's got this honking great thing in the way of anyone actually engaging with it. And even if anyone does have their eye drawn by the bold striking visual, the logo is small and inoffensive up there in the opposite corner where nobody's going to be looking. Overall it's not a very good advert for anythin

You Asked For It

"It's classic.  It's bold.  It's Johnnie Walker.  And you ordered it." What?  No I didn't.  Are you trying to trick me? What is this advert trying to say?  Is it trying to compliment me on my excellent taste, because surely only people with fine reasoning skills would select such a "bold" and "classic" beverage?  Perhaps it is suggesting that, since I have already bought it - apparently by accident - I may as well bite the bullet and try it. It's odd, because without that fanciful last line it would be a fairly standard positive advertising slogan.  With it, the quote seems bizarrely lacking in context, as though it is trying to evoke some sort of scene in which these lines are spoken.  I am genuinely struggling to conjure one. Possibly it is positing a scenario whereby an attractive waitress is approving of my selection and will now come to bed with me. The actress featured is Christina Hendricks, who I had to look up bef

Last Year's Next Year's Big Thing

A couple of years ago I heard about YouView, the new wonder box that promised to revolutionise the way people watch TV.  It plugs a single TV listings timeline into both a PVR and your catch-up TV services, so you can basically scroll from the past into the future and either watch or set to record any given programme.  As a notion it is elegant genius. However, now that it has been released I have no intention of buying one. It has been priced on a par with the PS3, which already provides several catch-up TV services and has a  TV tuner (sold separately, for an amount that does not take the cheapest PS3 above the most expensive YouView box) allowing you to use the hard disk as a PVR.   And you can play games and watch blu-rays on it.  It doesn't even seem like a fair comparison.  The only thing the YouView really has going for it is increased storage space - with the PS3 you're probably looking at about 300Gb, where the equivalent-priced YouView is the terabyte model.  Thi

For the Young and Hungry

This is an ad for Levi's jeans. They claim to be "tailored for the young and hungry". What does this mean? Are these clothes for the homeless? For poor people? Is it some comment on society's preference for the slim, or how "skinny" - a word once used exclusively to mean underweight rather than attractively slim - has somehow come to be a compliment? Do I want to look like I am hungry? I find that I do not. EDIT: Okay, so uploading photos via the mobile app sucks.  Fixed!