Usain Bolt: The Power of Advertising Gone Wrong!

Good marketing is essential for any business, however a very attractive advertisement can distract people’s attention from the product itself.

Samsung introduced the new Galaxy S4 Smartphone and also formed a partnership with Usain Bolt. There was a big promotional event in Westfield, Stratford where the visitors could try out the phone.

However, there was also a banner depicting Usain Bolt in full length. I asked a lady walking along with two children to take a picture of me and Usain. It really looks like I was posing with Usain Bolt himself, and Mickey Mouse on my t-shirt only adds originality and a little bit of American culture.

In return, I offered the lady to take a picture of her and her children. One smile and I walked on. Suddenly, I realised that I hardly know what Bolt was actually advertising. Well, the ad was stronger than the product itself. Many people were so excited to have a photo with the world’s fastest man that they did not take notice of the free trial of one of the World’s fastest phones.

Similar on Saturday. The UEFA Champions League festival was going on in Stratford for several days. Fans, especially the kids, could participate in a myriad of activities which included taking a picture with the trophy.

Why Kindles are Like a Low Fat Lunch

I had just finished my shift and was looking for some quick lunch in the shopping centre. Walking past the grocery stalls, I spotted fresh strawberries. Having a pot of Greek-style yogurt in my bag, it would be a perfect match. What's more, the low calorie fruit allayed all my concerns about the healthy, but fatty Greek yogurt. Plus, strawberries remind me of my parent's garden in Slovakia.

All around me were people feeding on fast-food or overpriced sandwiches. Reading a paper newspaper did not help my image of the rebel against the establishment.

It got me thinking. We have sugar-free sweets, caffeine-free coffee, fat-free yogurt...why shouldn't we have bookless libraries. Although books should be cherished because they conserve the wisdom of the previous generation, they take up too much space in the modern lifestyle.

Maybe it is the devil of commercial culture, to have everything digital, but it is much more convenient to have the service at the library done from a desk computer. Less storage space will be reflected in lower costs.

Ice Hockey in London

In my home country, Slovakia, ice hockey is one of the national sports. Many people follow the ice hockey leagues and in their free time chase the little black thing called a puck. In May, during the Ice Hockey World Championship, the whole country follows the games of the national team. Actually, for two weeks we turn out to have 5.5 million experts ready to stand up for the team's manager.

Here in England, the football fools, rugby lads and cricket crazies do not care about ice hockey. But the eastern Europeans would not back down from their sport, nor would they abandon beer and vodka. Therefore I took the chance to experience the ice hockey atmosphere in a pub with a live screening.

Every year in May, the Famous Three Kings in West Kensington turns into an ice hockey den. I do not know why, and not even the most frequent visitors could tell me, but the pub is a meeting place for Slovaks. Long before the match, you could her Slovak hits from the jukebox- Elan, Peha, Palo Habera, No Name....Google the bands.

We played Russia and needed to win if we wanted our quarter final dream to live on. The atmosphere was excellent, but a friend reckoned that it was even better during last year's final when we took the silver medal. Today we lost, but the match was dramatic.

Erik’s View: Alex Ferguson, Jelly Wrestling & the Importance of Sleep

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Each week he gives his view on the events of the last seven days. Today he looks at Alex Ferguson retiring, the importance of sleep and jelly wrestling at Cambridge. 

Fergie Retiring

Alex Ferguson retired after 26 years as manager of Manchester United yesterday.

"In the world of professional football, Sir Alex Ferguson is a synonym for longevity and permanence.

Yesterday I was walking in Westfield and came across an exhibition of photographs, capturing the most important moments in the history of the UEFA Champions League. Right in the entrance I was almost run over Liverpool players celebrating their triumph in 2005. Alongside that, I could not overlook the unforgettable Manchester United triumph from 1999, with David Beckham's blonde hair hidden behind the much bigger stars of that era.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson was clearly visible. His connection with Man Utd is even bigger than Paolo Maldini and AC Milan, who is also seen hoisting the trophy in the photo from 2003.

Erik's View: Oxford's Shark & Gap Years

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Each week he gives his view on the events of the last seven days. This week he's looking at sharks at Oxford University and the benefits of a gap year.

The Oxford Party Shark

It emerged last week that Oxford students had been banned from hiring a live shark to appear at their end of year Ball. 

"A few weeks ago I mentioned the Oxford students and their game of ice hockey on the frozen university mews. At the bar at my former university, they have a goalkeeper hanging above the counter (as you can see in the photo above). Really original, but harmless.

But some ideas are really crazy, and I agree with the final decision of the university over the shark. Bringing animals to parties can be alright- you can see it in every American movie. Even in Slovakia, there is a joke about two students:

One of them suggests: "We should keep a pig in our room?"

"I don't know" replies the other, "How about all the dirt and mess?"

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