We like to go against the crowd so we’re going to be brave here and urge you to forget the football and ignore all this England hype (for now at least). Why? Because this week saw the start of the UK’s real summer sporting love affair. You know, the one that doesn’t let you down. Doesn’t make false promises and build you up, only to knock you down when it comes to the knockout round. Oh and it doesn’t involve the sight (or site) of a beer-bellied lout with three lions tattooed on the brow of his own torso tribute to Henman Hill.
In the heart of the leafy, famous SW19 suburb of Wimbledon, the 132nd edition of the eponymous tennis championships began with the ever-classy Roger Federer on Centre Court. As he served up a trademark Federer masterclass to the adoring crowd, we were reminded of the racket we tried to create with a guerrilla marketing stunt at last year’s Championships and reflecting on the experience, we thought we’d share it with you in less time than a single game of tennis. Here goes.
Picture the scene: a lovely London summer evening. Tennis fans, sports fans and just general British summertime lovers are mingling on Wimbledon Common. After finally finding an all-too-rare parking spot for the Vive-mobile, we join the famous Wimbledon queue, pitch our pop-up tent and have some tennis small talk with our new neighbours. As the queue stewards come along, we sit nervously, wondering how we’d explain the 500 freshly made bars in our collection of bags. Not convinced that ‘just in case we get a bit peckish tomorrow, Sir’ would quite cut the mustard, we just pray they don’t ask and our prayers are answered as they simply give us our obligatory queue card. Phew! That’s the first hurdle navigated.
As the day’s play comes to a rallying end, the late evening sun settles and the tennis revellers retire for the night, our work is only just getting started. A couple of hours later, with the dark of night to protect us and armed with some ‘New Bars, Please’ leaflets (and of course, our bars) we get to work. Inspired by a similar stunt by a famous energy drink that may or may not just give you wings (other energy drinks are available), we quietly tip-toe our way around the queue doing our best not to wake anyone, like a trainee Santa Claus on his first present drop. Looking about as dodgy as a moped rider in a balaclava using a kitchen knife as a makeshift indicator, we deposit our free gift at the foot of every tent possible. We return to our tent and try to get to catch some sleep for the night. I mean, we’re going to need it to be able to deal with the the ensuing spike in website hits, interest emails and online orders, surely.
Not sure how we best put this but let’s just say we needn’t have worried. As sleepy heads dust themselves off, the sun slowly rises and the queue starts to shuffle into shape, the field soon resembles a battlefield of Vive bars and leaflets. We rub our eyes, wondering if this is just some sort of nightmare but it soon dawns on us that people really don’t love a freebie from a completely unknown brand quite as much as we thought. We promptly try to restore what remains of our stunt (and our dignity) and promise ourselves that whilst we might not have won the battle of Wimbledon Common, we’ll win the war on unhealthy eating! (Still, at least we got a ticket for Centre Court).