Since January, I’ve spent quite a lot of time hanging around London Bridge station. If you commute through there, you probably have as well. The upside is that I get to ponder – at length – the glossy advertising on the large screens suspended above the concourse. It’s useful to see different creative approaches, and how different brands are integrating social with their above-the-line work. Recently Oakley started running some short films about people’s sporting obsessions. But at first, I thought I was watching a cycle safety video from the London Mayor’s office. Take a look below and see what you think: Imagine watching it with no subtitles, and hopefully you’ll understand why I was surprised and then a bit shocked to find out it is an advert for sunglasses. As a bystander to a cycle fatality in London a couple of years ago, and a daily cyclist myself, I was pretty cross that Oakley thought this kind of riding in London was an acceptable way to promote their product. I noted that they have an active customer service Twitter account, and assumed their team were sat somewhere in California, naive to the risks of cycling in London. I got stuck in:
— Tim Lloyd (@timolloyd) April 21, 2015
There’s a happy outcome too, I think. It took a few days, but Oakley emailed me and they have agreed to edit the film, and invited me to a safety workshop they are hosting in London. I’m not sure whether it was my correspondence that did this, or interventions from others, but either way good on Oakley for responding and agreeing to edit the film. To date, I haven’t seen the film being shown again at London Bridge. If you see it, let me know how it has changed.