diamond geezer

 Thursday, August 04, 2011

My block is ready for Sky TV.

I already know this. Sky have been telling me for months. And yet, as I've mentioned before, Sky seem unable to stop telling me.

Their latest advertising wheeze is a poster in the entrance hall to my block of flats. Imagine an A4 piece of cardboard, designed to be propped up via a rear hinge - like a photoframe on your granny's dresser. "Your block is ready for Sky TV", it says. Underneath there's a picture of a grinning woman with long blonde hair and unfeasible hips. My first thought was that she ought to be pinned up in a 1980s pub with packets of peanuts attached to her nether regions. On closer inspection no, too many clothes, more like an American advert for shampoo and teeth whitening. And on much closer inspection no, an advert for "Britain & Ireland's Next Top Model", coming soon on Sky Living. I was not hooked. [ring 0800 xxx 7254]

At the bottom of the poster, stuck over a frilly ballroom dress, are two separate giveaways. "Please take a card", says one, bearing the news "You can now get Sky TV in your flat". Yes, I know. Underneath the slogan are printed three tiny photos of exclusive Sky programmes. Their titles are written in a font so tiny that I can only decipher one of them, and even then the title means nothing to me because I don't have Sky. Somebody's placed rather a lot of these cards in the box, two for every flat in my block, which seems like overkill. Some marketing team somewhere, it seems, is getting desperate. [ring 0800 xxx 7194]

And then there's "Please take a magnet". I had to double-check to be sure I'd read that properly, but yes, that's what it says. Please take a small square fridge magnet, bedecked with the slogan "Get Sky TV in your flat", plus a freephone number, plus some smallprint at the bottom which says the price is going up in September. These are fridge magnets devoid of any creative charm or artistic merit whatsoever - nothing you'd want to keep. And yet Sky are hoping I'll take one and slap it on my refrigerator as a permanent reminder of my flat's Sky-readiness. Afraid not, guys. Again the box contains far more flimsy giveaways than there are flats in my block. Some marketing team somewhere is getting more than desperate. [ring 0800 xxx 7205]

It took me a while to spot that the poster, the cards and the magnets each have a different freephone number. Same switchboard on the other end, I'll bet, but the marketing team want to know whether it was the grinning lady, the tiny card or the el-cheapo magnet that drew your attention. Only £240 a year, guv'nor. Can we sign you up now?

Alas our entrance hall's not best suited to propping up a display card like this, so the Sky representative had sought alternative means of bringing the offer to our attention. He'd brought along huge gobbets of blutak and affixed his poster to the wall, opposite the main entrance, to ensure maximum visibility. It's such a prime spot that this is where our block's fire instructions are posted, or at least they normally are. What the alarm sounds like, where to exit, that sort of very-important information. But none of this bothered Mr Sky, who'd removed the sheet of fire instructions so that his promotional woman could go up in their place, then dumped our list in another corner of the hall. Priorities, eh?

I'm a little unnerved as to how the Sky representative gained access to our flats in the first place. We don't have a special button out the front which says "advertisers, please let yourself in and scatter your bits around". I can only assume he was in the block fitting up some Formula 1 addict with satellite telly, and thought he'd vandalise our noticeboard on the way out. Or maybe somebody let him in, thinking he was a kind and gentle soul, whereas in fact he was a commission-hungry peddler.

My block is ready for Sky TV. But their poster is ready for the recycling.

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