An idea for London

Why not set up Oyster card touch points at each busking semi-circle which could give £1 per tap?

Apple Pay arrived in the UK this month – woo!

apple-pay-cards

And, teething issues aside…

…the launch has only served to further enlighten the public at large that we are indeed edging ever closer to a completely cashless London.

For some, that’s awesome.
For others, it’s a problem.

Specifically, it’s a problem for the buskers of the London Underground.

For those of you that don’t know, the buskers of our fair city’s amazing transport system are all auditioned and then licensed accordingly; they are of a standard.

With 39 busking pitches across 25 stations with an audience of up to 3.5m commuters every day, these talented guys and girls have a huge opportunity to turn in a few quid by pleasing the ears of the frequent passers by.

That is, if they carried a few quid on them.

Which, as we’ve established, is becoming rarer and rarer.

chart

Source.

SO HERE’S A FREE IDEA:

Why not set up Oyster card touch points at each TfL busking pitch that could give £1 per tap?

Think about it.

I’m pretty sure the technology wouldn’t need that much of an update to allow for this adjustment. You could start in Zone 1 and work out, or vice-versa, and go from there.

It should be simple from a logistical perspective as well. For example, given the already acknowledged stringent licensing that takes place, it follows that the talented musicians that grace the tunnels beneath our streets would probably have to book into their respective slots in advance. Meaning there must be a database somewhere that tracks who plays where and when.

Simply marry that data up with the money tapped in during those hours, and at the end of each day (or at the start of the next), said talent collect their money from a TfL window or a collection point of some description.

From a cost angle, TfL/Oyster could lift 1% of the donation to cover costs or if they were really savvy, they could get a brand to partner up on it and they could pay the costs as part of the sponsortship.

That’d make sense wouldn’t it?

What about safety? TfL handles millions of commuters every day and those tunnels and walkways have to be kept clear BUT if there’s room for a girl with a cello, there’s certainly room for a wall-hugging Oyster ‘tap-to-donate’ button.

Right? Right.

In short, it frustrates me when I hear great music and/or singing and am unable to show my appreciation because of the lack of shrapnel about my person. With a busking Oystercard touch point, I’d be able to give a pound every time I liked some music.

Which would be ace!

With the advent of Apply Pay, contactless payments in London have never had greater mindshare. If we truly give a monkey’s about our city then we should be working hard at lowering the barriers to donating to charity wherever possible and fundamentally making it even easier to move towards the progressive-yet-caring cashless society we’re so ardently idealistic about (maybe that last past is just me).

Try this: next time you’re in the Underground and you hear a busker that you enjoy, I want you to think about how much would it please you if you could just tap-to-donate them a pound as you wander by.

If TfL made it happen it would be:

  • An extra bit of pocket money for TfL.
  • A potential not insignificant lift in busker-income.
  • A way of helping the commuters of London feel better about having the cashless pockets that society is granting upon them.

So come on TfL, let’s make it happen.

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(not from TfL? Click this to let them know)

 

 

 

Team Ogilvy London vs Tough Mudder UK

“We came. We saw. We kicked its ass.”

Tough-Mudder

Saturday, October 5th – my Ogilvy colleagues and I completed the Tough Mudder North West challenge. 12 miles. 25 obstacles. One amazing feat.

Back in May, I started working with Ogilvy & Mather London Advertising on the Expedia UK account. The team were awesome and welcomed me with open arms. However, as an official member, I was told that I would have to join them in their Tough Mudder.

30mins later (after much heckling and also the clincher comment ‘James, it isn’t a race – it’s about TEAM BUILDING’ – I’m such a sucker for that stuff), this happened –

Turns out the best date we could all do it wasn’t in September after all. It was today. And guess what? We nailed it.

WINNERS

— Briony, me, Amelia, Harriet, Stephen and Joey —

There was blood. There was mud. There was euphoria. We climbed 12ft walls, we ran through electric cables, and we plunged ourselves into ice – and that is very much not even the half of it.

So far, we’ve raised just over £800 £1000(!) for Action on Bladder Cancer, the charity of choice of the Expedia UK marketing team, and there’s also (perhaps somewhat delirious) talk of making TM an annual Ogilvy event too – amazing.

If you’d like to sponsor me, or anyone else on my team, then you can do that on our dedicated sponsorship page (please do, even if it’s only a couple of quid it’d be appreciated).

I think I have a longer, more meandering post about how much of a personal achievement I feel this is (given that I only started running back in January), but that can wait for another day.

In the meantime, I’m headed home for a very long bath and while I do that, you’re going to sponsor me, right?

 

UPDATE: Photos now up on Flickr.

Running the British London 10k for CALM

Shape up, Whatters.

It's time to start running!

As some of you may know, I started running this year and, aside from an old injury rearing its ugly head, so far it’s going pretty well. Earlier this year, when I was bragging about healthy I was being to the team at CALM, they challenged me to do something worthwhile with my new found hunger for the road and raise money for charity.

So here I am: running the British London 10k for the Campaign Against Living Miserably. I’ve set a target of raising £500, reckon you can help me with that? I reckon you can.

Go on, give a tenner (or more!) and help save the male.

DONATE TODAY.

NFC for GOOD

This one nearly passed me by earlier this week

The biggest military fundraising drive seen in London will aim to raise £1 million in a day for the annual poppy appeal tomorrow. Some 2,000 serving and former members of the armed forces will target 130 of the City’s biggest financial institutions and 70 Tube stations.
——-
Barclaycard has lent 400 hand-held terminals so donations can be made by contactless transactions. Company bosses will be asked to match the amount donated by their staff.

That last part, the part where I’ve added emphasis is fantastic.

I’ve been tinkering with the idea of NFC/RFID donation points a good couple of years now. Ever since my first bootcamp at Marketing Academy, when quite a large charity (the name of which escapes me now, maybe it was the NSPCC) gave a talk about how it goes about fundraising the hurdles and barriers that it comes across in doing so.

My theory goes:

In an age when, in London especially, citizens are being actively encouraged to carry less cash (see: oystercards for travel and chip and pin / NFC card payments being made available everywhere), what is knock-on economical affect on those that need our small change most: our charities and our homeless?

To the former (and in fact I’m fairly sure I raised my hand and asked this question back in May 2010), you ask –

‘Why don’t we solved by equipping charity tin shakers with NFC touch points?’

From a personal perspective I HATE walking past tin-shakers on the street and on the Underground when I have no change. That whole guilt thing? I know I have the money to give I just don’t have the money on me right now. And when I do, it’ll probably be spent on chewing gum later before I see you again. ‘So, why not enable this technology?’, I asked the man from the NSPCC.

‘It’s not worth it.’ he replied.

Charities make more money with their direct mail drives asking potential givers for a simple £2 per month than they do during a whole year of tin shaking. It’s simply not worth their investment. This makes sense. Why bother throwing money at something which isn’t a fundraiser? My argument to that is, maybe it isn’t a fundraiser because you’re not allowing your tin-shakers to raise funds with technology! It was a frustrating exchange…

Anyway, look. The good news is, for the poppy appeal at least, the investment has been made. Barclaycard, in a nice bit of CSR-based PR, have stepped up and done it for you.

I’m yet to see one of these machines ‘in the wild’ yet, but I’m looking forward to tapping and giving when I do. I also really hope that when this year’s poppy appeal comes to a close, that Barclaycard release some numbers on how much was given using this method.

That would make some really interesting reading.

 

Ps. Get a poppy.

Additional reading: homeless hotspots (another tech-driven fundraiser)

THE PANDA MADE ME DO IT

It really did – 

2012-09-27-0793

I LOVE THIS TEE.

Last week, whilst in attendance at the Social@Ogilvy Spin event over in Shoreditch, I ran into Ade Cockle, Digital Innovation Manager for the World Wildlife Fund.

He and I have chatted over Twitter a fair bit and we’ve also shared a table at various IAB Social Media Council meetings together too but the other night was the first time we’d actually met and spoken properly.

The first words out of my mouth?

“Ade! What do I have to do to get my hands on one of those awesome Panda shirts?!”

How did I know about them? I saw this video –

Lovely, right?

Anyway, the next thing I know Ade magics the above t-shirt out of his bag and thrusts it into my hands! Amazing.

What did I do in response? I gave him a massive hug, and then I GOT INVOLVED.

You should too.

 

 

 

Movember Fun

I’m growing a ‘tache.
For charity.
A men’s health charity in fact.

And I would love love love it if you could sponsor me. It’s easy really, click through and hit the ‘donate’ button. £1, £10 or even £100; all are welcome.

My Mum sponsored me a tenner, and left me a comedy limerick:

A moustache is a way to donate.
But remember the food on your plate,
when eating your food,
take care now, you dude

and don’t let the crumbs be your fate.

My sister, not to be outdone, did the same (both on the tenner and poem front):

I heard you’re trying to raise a stash,
by growing a handlebar ‘tash.
But remember, when you’re through,
The Village People may kidnap you

and make you dance YMCA for cash!!

Thing is about my family, they’re a competitive bunch and, well, my Mum came back again!
Mum, over to you…

A man whose moustache looked a fright
Was OK till he went out at night
when out came the moon
The girls they did swoon
then screamed when he turned on the light

A man who liked to drink gin
Grew a ‘tash that was long & quite thin
It wasn’t a joke
when, like a sponge, it did soak
& his glass had nothing left in!

A man who ate lots of goulashes
Had a ‘tash that was made of eyelashes
It fluttered each day
in quite a good way
But the glue gave him lots of red rashes.

A man wearing jeans colour RED !
Wanted a moustache to match (he once said).
He dyed it quite bright
and thought he’d done right
but he stopped the traffic instead

A man down in Maida Vale way
Grew a moustache that helped him portray
the man that he is
all Whatley & whizz
And the rest – well I shouldn’t say!

Amazing. Lost for words really.. Grinning, but lost for words.
They’ve donated, you should too.

Thanks all.

1000heads: Movember 2011

We’ve managed to cobble together fifteen of the best looking men (all the ugly ones opted out) from the 1000heads London office to participate in this year’s charity fund-raising initiative, Movember.

Team 1000heads: Movember Day One

Robin, Henry, Egidijus, Hazem, James, Andy, Freddie, Kingsley
Ricc, Alex, Joe, Tim, Nick, Aurelian 

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, Movember is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for prostate cancer.

At the start of Movember us chaps register with a clean shaven face (see the bare-faced group visage above – snapped yesterday) and from henceforth shall be known as Mo Bros. Collectively, we now have the remainder of the month to grow and groom our Mo, raising money along the way to benefit – an issue that’s close to us all – men’s health.

I’m heading up the 1000heads bunch as Team Captain and you can get involved and donate by checking out our team page and clicking the ‘Donate to Team‘ button on the top right.

And that’s it, we’re away!

Keep an eye on the 1000heads Twitter stream for constant progress reports over the coming thirty days – 24hrs in and we’ve raised over £100, which makes us very happy indeed!