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When I was younger, I was certain that I would never live in London. It seemed too crowded for this small town girl’s liking. Roughly a decade later, here I am, and now I’m not certain I could live anywhere else.
For people who’ve spent their lives in the capital – or more than a year, at the least – tourist novelties don’t hold quite as much appeal as they do to the first-timer. The EDF Energy London Eye (product placement alert!) is the sort of thing you only need to try once, and even a jolly nice walk down Oxford Street is more akin to the ‘Gauntlet’ round on Gladiators.
So what is there for Londoners to do (in London) that isn’t packed with amateur photographers?
M&C Saatchi has the answer in the new ‘Without Leaving London’ poster campaign produced for Transport for London. As well as showing people some of the ‘other’ sights and attractions within zones 1 to 6 that they might quite like, the campaign is promoting off-peak travel deals to get there.
Not all of the features are undiscovered gems – the Emirates Air Line is one of the most well-known of the bunch – but many are. I for one didn’t realise there are exciting alpaca petting opportunities available to me, and in Beckton of all places. How many tourists bother visiting Beckton?
The posters use very few words to get the message across, and ‘without leaving London’ is the phrase tying them all together. This bit is arguably the most impactful: how many times have you heard someone say they need to ‘escape the city for the weekend’? The point of this campaign is that you don’t have to. If you live within the ‘halo’ that is the M25, there are relaxing, interesting and quieter pursuits to be found.
Most of the descriptions of London activities are in chunks of just three words – Board a UFO. Enjoy the countryside. – and the others only use four. With tourist attractions, typically the sales-y tone of voice in the copy is laid on thick. “Marvel at this once-in-a-lifetime experience and create incredible memories that will never fade!” That sentence above could be describing anything. With these posters, you know exactly what you’re getting.
And it might well be an overly friendly alpaca. It’s up to you.
Do these short and sweet posters make you want to rush out and see more of the city? As always, tweet @strattoncraig or leave your comments below.