Happiness and Hadrian

In happiness, Museums, Uncategorized on February 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Have you ever seen an advert and wonder if it was written specifically with you in mind? Two adverts on the London underground have caught my eye this week.

The first is an advert for Alexander McCall Smith’s new book Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, the latest in his No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. (I quite liked the first of these books, but I must say that I prefer the 44 Scotland Street series.) Anyway, it struck me as another example of people using happiness as a marketing tool. Advertisers do it again and again – it’s a clever idea to associate your brand with making people happy. Another recent example of this is the current BMW campaign Expressions of Joy.

The other advert to catch my eye is for Hot Chip’s new album One Life Stand. The album art features a giant head of the Roman emperor Hadrian, found at  Sargalassos in south-west Turkey. It was discovered in 2007 while we were working on the content development for an exhibition about Hadrian at the British Museum. We managed to secure a loan of the head to the BM for the display, less than a year from when it came out of the ground. It was pretty big news and I remember seeing this image over and over at the time, so it was a real bolt for me to see it again on a tube poster.

It’s funny what triggers the mind, eh?


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