Hugh Laurie and the Burger King Gold Card “Freakout”

Burger King got a deluge of publicity after an interview with “House” star Hugh Laurie, who told the Times his celebrity perks include getting good tables and his “Burger King gold card.” (I assume he was joking, and that the irony got lost somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic). There’s one hitch, however: He doesn’t actually have one…

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Now: I confess I knew naught of these cards, but some light Googling reveals that Jay Leno is also in possession of this Burger King Gold Card, and that possession of said card entitles one to an almost limitless supply of free burgers. (Ugh!)

Jay Leno recounts the reaction he received the first time he slapped his BK Gold on the counter: “So I order my food, and the guy says, ‘That’s $11.’ So I say: ‘Fine, here you go,’ and hand him the card. His reaction was amazing: ‘Whoa… where’d you get this?’ He was not impressed that I was on ‘The Tonight Show’ or even that I was driving a Porsche Carrera GT. He was more impressed with this piece of plastic.

Says the Times: “Those with a Burger King Gold Card are the new Bilderberg Group; the new illuminati… This is the pinnacle. The sesame-seed bunicle. These are the Burger King of Kings.” Somewhat purple, but maybe this serendipitous aside may do for the card what Sideways did for Pinot Noir

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Renegade Air gardening in NYC

I came across this interesting extension of the “Guerilla Gardening” phenomenon. Any of us who live in NYC know its not always the ‘greenest’ place – at least when it comes to flora and fauna. Thats why I was intrigued by TODO Design’s proposal to take over New York City billboards and greenify them with living “air gardens”.

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Billboards (contend Inhabitat) are “designed as monological messages aimed at a target audience zipping past in cars in a defined direction, such as a one way street. As the flip sides of the billboards are not designed to market to a pedestrian or community scaled audience, often appearing as blight on the landscape. Garden Spots proposes to exploit them to provide gardens in the sky, a place for nature to take root and to provide relief to the community”. (Interestingly, New York is also notable for its spectacular billboards aimed equally at a pedestrian audience).

I think it is an excellent idea to use billboards as a way of reducing a City’s carbon footprint and beautifying it at the same time. I have suggested green billboards to clients on several occasions (notably Planet Green) so far without success!

Apparently these air gardens are designed around self-sustaining technologies with photovoltaic panels powering the automated drip irrigation system fed from the base of the billboard towers. As such, the gardens will require limited management once established and can be monitored in clusters from a centralized location via wireless technology.

I just hope they use drought-resistant plants …

Post Scriptum: Actually this reminds me of Leo Burnett’s growing lettuce billboard promoting McDonald’s venture into fresh salad meals. Having just won Gold at New York Festivals’ Innovative Advertising Awards, the billboard was carefully constructed with a horticulturalist/landscape architect, allowing the lettuce buds to bloom over time, gradually filling up the sign with beautiful, edible leaves.

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Goodbye To The Normals

I sense I am somewhat late in the game, but the viral/ trailer for Goodbye To the Normals is excellent. 411,000 views on YouTube so far, and I received it on my Facebook wall (via google video) this morning.

A spot of light googling tells me that “Goodbye to the Normals” is a British short film, approximately 4 mins long, which follows a fictional story about a small boy running away from home. The film was originally broadcast in the UK by Channel 4. It is currently touring the film festival circuit, either on its own or as part of the British Council Festival Submission Scheme.

“Goodbye to the Normals” was commissioned by Robbie Williams and his management company, The In Good Company Ltd, as one of several short films commissioned to accompany the release of his latest album “Rudebox”.

I guess the fact that I came across this so late means I am part of the Long Tail?