An image of the Imax I found on the internet. Out of sight to the right is Waterloo station. The old Shell building behind the Imax has mostly been demolished and replaced with something much bigger. In the foreground you can see St John’s church.
I also discovered this promotional commentary on one of the ads:
‘Do you believe in more?’
That was the provocative question at the heart of the Nike x FKA twigs collaboration that greeted commuters throughout January 2017 on The IMAX, Waterloo.
Blown up for the world at large, this IMAX campaign made full use of Ocean Labs’ Edison lighting technology, using creative shot around Mexico City to hype Nike’s new Spring Zonal Strength Tights.
With a multi-channel campaign conceptualised, directed, performed and created by FKA twigs herself, the creative positions sport as an important part of self-expression, under the spotlight of Edison’s dynamic, 48,000-LED programmable technology.
The IMAX takeover focuses on Nike and the star herself but as part of a wide campaign, with, as twigs puts it “a cast of 12 incredible athletes to show that it’s about what you do in fitness gear. It’s about how you train. It’s about how those things help your movement.”
The athletes handpicked by FKA twigs include Saskia Horton, a classical violinist who krumps, karate champion Jay Kirton (also is a passionate meditator), track and field runner English Gardner and Olympic fencer Miles Chamley-Watson.
“We’ve worked hard to perfect our crafts and create our own destinies, and we’re feeling good in our bodies” – FKA twigs.
Cat Morgan, Director of Ocean Labs said “At Ocean we push the boundaries of what is possible in outdoor advertising and that’s exactly the sort of spirit FKA twigs has brought in her collaboration with Nike. Just as Nike’s new Spring Zonal Strength Tights bring out the best in an athlete and their craft, our premium canvases supercharge the campaigns they feature.
“A provocative question like the one twigs poses throughout this campaign (’do you believe in more?’) needs a canvas the size of The IMAX to challenge existing thinking and to broadcast the ambition of her work. As she says of the collaboration ‘I saw it as an opportunity to let young people know they have the power to become the best versions of themselves’ and that’s the message we know Nike will be sending out to the entire audience at Waterloo.”
Brand building activity is at the core of Nike’s strategy. It therefore has a long history on The IMAX having previously advertised its Fuel Band (the wearable that started it all), the Nike Fly Knits and brand campaigns including ‘Find Your Greatness’.
I tried to think of a satirical response but I soon gave up. I worked out that ‘creative’ is a noun and that FKA twigs is a person and I think I understand which zones might need strengthening in a pair of tights, but if somebody could let me know what ‘krump’ means and what a wearable is, I’d be grateful. According to the Ocean Outdoor website ‘the Imax is the largest and most unique advertising canvas in Europe’ and the following groups of people feature prominently among the crowds that form its audience: Lavish Lifestyles, City Sophisticates and Career Climbers. Hopeless Alcoholics are also well represented but don’t get a mention.
When the Imax was built it had a mural by Howard Hodgkin wrapped around it, and the intention was to show a changing display of works of art. But in 2006 the mural was replaced by a changing displays of advertisements – the BFI needed the money.
Here’s a photo I took in 2011 from the top of a bus:
not so much believe in more as believe in less ha ha.
And here’s a tennis player from 2017. Here the effect is not so much cathedral as comic book. A soon to be forgotten sporting sensation, not a prophet or a god.
I will what, I wonder? Have a guess.
Ha! Just ‘I will’. Hidden away to the right, and it’s amazing how such a large building, large by Edwardian standards, can be pushed into the shadows, (but of course it doesn’t have the advantage of ‘dynamic 48,000 LED programmable technology’,) is this, now a part of King’s College:
What we see and what we don’t….. I will stitch all this together one day but in the mean time I refer you to Icons in SE1, searching for vibrant, august 2017 and new outrage in SE1. I do think ‘new outrage’ is important because it features the exploitation of children rather than of City Sophisticates and Lavish Lifestyles as well as a violent assault on language.
On the same day in 2017, in a little frequented St John’s churchyard, about a hundred yards from the Imax, I took this photo of eryngiums:
I like the little manipulation I am able to do by cropping a photo into portrait mode to make the flowers more conspicuous than that Scottish tennis player.
I’m reminded again of another outrage, so here’s a second appearance for two pictures from 2012. Milan cathedral. I guess that, like the BFI, the Roman Catholic church needed the money.
Some of the old city – burnt, bombed, demolished, decayed, forgotten – ends up by the river. You can find bone, stone, tile, glass, brick, coal, flint; shards of pottery, oyster shells, feathers even. And down on the shore of the Thames there are no words.
‘I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river Is a strong, brown god – sullen, untamed and intractable’ T.S. Eliot