Good QR code usage shocker!

Last night, while wondering the streets of Soho, I passed this colourful boarding on Lexington St –

Genuinely good use of QR code shocker

No other branding or logos exist on the boarding, just multiple shades/shapes of green and of course, the fish. However, instead of eyes, the fish have QR codes!

Huzzah!

Give them a quick scan aaaaaaand… what?

It took me to a [mobile optimised] webpage for Yoobi Soho, a new sushi bar coming soon.

Β However, the cool thing wasthat not only rewarded my curiosity with an invitation to the free opening party of the establishment in question, but also the offer of a free sushi roll at any time during the first week of said opening.

Why is this cool?

  1. Key sentence from the above: no other branding or logos exist on the boarding. QR codes, by their very nature (and if used correctly) are esoteric and alluring. By NOT putting anything else up on the screens, I’m intrigued.. I’m enticed to GO THROUGH THE DOOR as it were, of the QR code. What is it? What’s it hiding? What happens when I click?

  2. The rewarding of curiosity. The celebration of your captivation. The entertainment given from exploration. This is QR done right and this is QR done WELL. Better yet, it’s building advocacy.

 

Well done Yoobi, I salute you.

 

Today I missed The Tuttle: Take Two

Today is Friday.

And every Friday there is a little thing that happens in London, that used to be held just around the corner from Soho, above The Coach & Horses Pub on Greek Street.

It’s official name of this thing is The Social Media Cafe…. We’ve been here before.

…but, the important thing is, it’s not there anymore.
Oh no. The SMC or ‘Tuttle Club‘ as it is fondly referred to by it’s regulars, has since moved since it’s days down in Soho and is now held just as regularly at The ICA (The Institute of Contemporary Arts) on The Mall.

– a bit swish huh? –

Notionally referred to as ‘Phase II‘ – this next evolutionary step of Tuttle has been running at The ICA for just over a month now and well, I love it… I’m gutted to be missing out on it again. I’m in Madrid at the moment, waiting to meet some cool Spanish Bloggers that are attending EventoBlog. No doubt I’ll be waxing lyrical about the Social Media Cafe (and it’s new home) as soon as I get the chance!

Thing is, I was part of the the team that championed the move from the C&H in Soho see and it irks me that I’ve only actually managed to make it along a handful of times since the big day. The interest and attendance levels have upped dramatically thanks to the support of the ICA; and the breadth and diversity of those that have discovered the Social Media Cafe through said institution has also increased.

One thing I can share with you today however is a little video that my good friend Steve Lawson took last time I was there. Steve took it upon himself to ask me exactly why I go and why I like it so much…

Nice one Steve πŸ™‚

What do you think of the Tuttle Club?
Have you been? What do you like about it?
If you’ve never been, why not?

Come on down!

πŸ˜€

Adventures in Soho Part 2: The Sarah Marshall Chronicles

You may remember, back when I had Less than 24hrs in San Francisco, that everywhere I looked I kept being reminded of The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Not that I kept seeing Sarah Connor-themed posters… Oh no.
(could’ve made an interesting new angle for the next Terminator mind)

The ones that haunted my vision were for someone called ‘Sarah Marshall’.
This, out of context, made no sense to me…

However – all was to be revealed when I returned to the UK when a reasonably new (and good) friend of mine, Mike Sizemore, (blogger, vlogger and all round jammy film reviewer), invited me along to a top secret blogger screening of Judd Apatow’s latest film, ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’.

Having never seen or heard of the film before, aside from the aforementioned US poster campaign, I was quite pleased that Mike had thought of me and the invite was even more attractive as a) I managed to swing a ‘plus one’ and b) it was as the Soho Screening Rooms (which sounded suspiciously seedy if you ask me).

To whet my appetite even further, Mike even included a link to the latest Forgetting Sarah Marshall trailer…

DO NOT WATCH THIS YET

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9podUETps8[/youtube]

Ok. Judd Apatow is someone I’ve only just got to know. Having steered clear of Knocked Up (it didn’t look like my kind of film) I recently rented out – (check me, old school) – Superbad.
Which is easily one of the best films I’ve seen this year.

I watched the trailer, laughed a little… wasn’t sure… saw a couple of guys from Superbad… saw Russell Brand… realised it was a free screening.. and made my mind up.
One quick call to the girlfriend later and I had an evening of free entertainment in Soho, with blogger buddies AND I get to impress the Girl.

Who cares what the film is like right? Wrong.

Hand on heart I went into the cinema descended into the depths of said screening rooms not really expecting much. ‘Expecting much’ is not something I do often. Not expected anything is the best way to a) avoid disappointment and b) be pleasantly surprised. Fortunately, this time round, the evening fell firmly into category ‘b’.

Y’see I had this horrid COCK SHOT feeling that the trailer had given away all the funny bits and, for a little while, I thought COCK SHOT I was right. But, I am happy to report that COCK SHOT there’s still quite a lot of amusement to be had throughout the rest of the film.

That aside, COCK SHOT, for maximum enjoyment, I would recommend avoiding the trailer for this film as much as possible because as much as it does entice you into watching the film itself; it also gives away its fair share of funnies… I found myself knowing which joke was next as I’d watched the trailer several times and kinda knew which bit came when y’know? Please – don’t let this put you off – this film IS very, very funny.

Something that took me that took me completely by surprise was that beardy man over there on the right ————————————————>

He was actually very good in this film.

Although I can’t say I’m surprised.

Russell Brand is one of those comedians who I tell everyone I can’t stand and yet find myself often watching him on the tellybox and chuckling away at his dickensian wiles as he meanders his way around our fair language like a blind man on a bicycle…

I want to hate him, but I can’t.

Git.

And as I said, in this he is cast perfectly.

Git.

I don’t do film reviews often – although coincidentally enough, the last one I reviewed was a comedy also (albeit an unintentional one) – so for me actually sit down and bother to write this up means it’s actually worth seeing.

I laughed that hard I nearly wet myself.

No really. Forgetting Sarah Marshall has the some what strange honour of being the first EVER film that I was able to leave the room for. EVERY film I see I always make sure I go before I sit down.
I hate those people that pay Β£8-Β£10 to go and see the latest blockbuster and end up missing a massive chunk of plot because they forgot to have a number one before they went in.

I mean REALLY. It’s like 2 hours people!
You’ve just paid to watch the damn film – so sit down and watch it!

*sigh*

Anywhoo – I won’t be doing that again in a hurry, on the way back I was blinded by the light from the projector and ended up tripping on the step, stumbling up the stairs and then hitting a fellow blogger in the chops (sorry Annie!).

I digress.

This film is funny. See it.

Finally – Props to my mate Scott who saw this outside Hammersmith Tube Station last week…

It seems the hate campaign is spreading…

Adventures in Soho Part 1: Me & Mrs JoJos

Soho isn’t my usual haunt. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

But – for some strange reason – since returning home from San Francisco – I have found myself in London’s Centre of Seediness three times in as many weeks!

“But why? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?!”

I hear you cry.

Well for the first jaunt to the ho of so you may have two clues….

Clue 1 – The picture above

Clue 2 – If you remember way back when I was telling you about the best conversation I ever had

There was a sentence that went a little something like this:

“Yeah man, I know. Then I’ve got my show on the Sunday at Madam Jo Jos!”

Well ‘my show’ was in fact not my show at all. More like Lisa Devaney’s Show. Actually. To be completely correct it was:

“Lisa Devaney’s Hee-Haw Whore House!”

How did I get involved? Funny story. AGES ago (and I mean AGES – like August last year) I got Blogtagged by my dear friend Helen Keegan. Which basically meant I had to write up eight random things about me.

Did that. Job done. Sorted.

Well, in March this year I get a call from one of a mutual friend, (Lisa), saying:

“James! I remember what you said in your blog post! Ya wanna be in my show!?”

“Err… Yeah! OK!”

At this point I remembered – item number five: “I studied at Drama School” – Bugger. All makes sense now!
Note – when writing blog posts, remember that ANYONE CAN READ THEM! πŸ˜‰

“Oh and by the way James, I need a Burlesque Dancer too… You don’t know any do you?”

“Err… Funny you should say that, my girlfriend is a burlesque dancer – I’m sure she’d love to get involved…”

“FANTASTIC! I’ll in be touch!”

Anywhoo, not soon after committing to this project, I discover that SpinVox need me in Las Vegas.
CTIA to be precise. I’ve been over this.

But what I haven’t been over is that when I landed back in Blighty on the Saturday afternoon I actually went STRAIGHT to rehearsals (suitcase an’ all!), worked for the afternoon, then went home, slept all night and all day and THEN went to Madam JoJo’s to perform (with some fantastic co-stars) The Hee Haw Whore House!
(and we were on first too dammit)

Hand on heart I didn’t publicise it as well as I could.

For a bunch of reasons really –
First and foremost I hadn’t been on the stage in over a year. Not that I was nervous (LIES) but I was just a bit anxious you see…

The last play I did was a Tacit Theatre Company production of
The Office Party.’

That’s me over there, in character ———>

Playing ‘Gavin Chapman, MD of ‘Chapman & Howard’

Anywhoo – yeah – that was back in February 2007 so I hadn’t done any real performing for AGES.

Plus, given the time constraints that we had, (what with me soddin’ off to Vegas and everything), we barely had time for two decent rehearsals…

TWO I TELL YOU. TWO!

So yeah. Anxious would be understating it.

All of that crap aside – I can’t tell you what a resounding success the night was. In all seriousness I doubt it could’ve been ANY better. We were up first and we gave the crowd such a riot it really helped warm the place up for every act that followed.. When I first trailed this post I said:

“I was in a cabaret show the other day. Must blog it.”

And I had every intention of doing a blog post on the events of the entire evening of performance etc… BUT!
I was beaten to it.

Lisa Devaney not only did a fantastic job of writing the piece, but she also did a fantastic job of reviewing it too!

I strongly recommend you go and have a read… if only to look at the pictures πŸ˜‰

See you back here real soon for Spending Time in Soho – Part 2.