By Nora Johnson •
Published: 26 Oct 2023 • 16:22
London, October 15, 2023 – In a daring and unexpected move that fused high fashion with public transport, Bond Street tube station underwent an astonishing metamorphosis to become ‘Burberry Street’. The iconic luxury brand Burberry seamlessly integrated itself into the heart of London’s transportation network, turning the bustling station into a “runway” just in time for London Fashion Week.
However, commuters and tourists were left equally angry and confused by this marketing stunt to change signage inside and outside Bond Street tube station in order to be rebranded, albeit briefly, as ‘Burberry Street’.
Fine if you’re a regular tube traveller. You can quickly readjust to where you are and be in on the joke. Not so good if you’re one of those anxious tourists you see on the tube every day, constantly checking their maps to make sure that they’ve taken the right line or going in the right direction. It’s notoriously confusing enough for people to navigate without this stunt.
Like many commuters, I’m normally in a bubble of silence when on the tube. That week, though, numerous tourists turned to me asking: “Where ARE we?” It was a daft advertising campaign which caused problems for the people who actually make TfL money – those who use the network.
I was somewhat flummoxed when I got out at that station that day. I heard a conversation behind me on the escalator, as two American tourists discussed it. “I thought it was Bond Street.” “They’ve renamed it.” ‘But it was Bond Street…?” “So, where’s Burberry Street?” “It might be Bond Street.”
TfL have a history of squeezing advertising and revenue out of every inch of the system. How many of us found the lovely new Jubilee line stress free with its open spaces only to have kiosks and advertising gradually creep all over the place. Escalators with LED screens pumping out heat in a station that was already far too hot. Some limits on these intrusions should be mandated and this one is definitely in that bracket!
The same TfL that feeds its customers a blow-by-blow barrage of idiotic safety announcements: “The floor may be slippery; hold the handrail; see it, say it, sort it.” The same station that opened late, millions over budget. Perhaps they are trying to recoup some of that wasted money…
Well, what next? How about changing the name of Transport for London to ‘Totally Fashionable London’? And have all the stations rebranded in the names of fashion houses. Could earn TfL quite a fashionably tidy sum in sponsorship deals.
In a final twist, how about the cheese brand taking over Red Leicester Square? The rolling tobacco people Old Holborn? Armitage Shanks Waterloo? Or the Bond movie company rebranding Bond Street tube: ‘007’?
Nora Johnson’s 12 critically acclaimed psychological suspense crime thrillers (www.nora-johnson.net) all available online including eBooks (€0.99; £0.99), Apple Books, audiobooks, paperbacks at Amazon etc. Profits to Cudeca cancer charity.
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