CommodityI’m dissapointed with Olympic gymnast Louis Smith.

Watching him throw himself around various contraptions in pursuit of a medal at the London Olympics took my breath away. I was genuinely surprised not only about his accomplishments at such a young age, but also how my reaction to him wasn’t tinged with the usual pinprick of cynicism most of my day to day experiences are.

I was – surprisingly – even more impressed when he agreed to take part in Strictly Come Dancing. He’s worked hard for years and got himself a medal – he deserves to have some silly fun now.

But part of that TV project does inevitably see him appearing in all sorts of magazines and newspapers, selling a product by offering himself up as a product as well. Eye candy. Oh, and there’s a calendar in the offing too.

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‘God Save The Queen’ courtesy of the car horn section of the London Philharmonic Orchestra

There are dull press releases, necessary press releases and breathtaking ones. Those which are the most effective are usually the ones which see me reach for my keyboard seconds after I’ve finished reading them. The London Philharmonic Orchestra / Mini ‘God Save The Queen’ advert would be one of them.

Mini and the London Philharmonic Orchestra have joined forces to throw their weight behind Team GB, resolutely demonstrating their sturdy allegiance with a cute little online short, brimming with charm and clearly comfortable poking gentle fun at pomposity.

Not only that, it’s a spectacularly simple demonstration of an effective marketing partnership which provides one party with a bit of dignity and the other with an acceptable gimmick.

And it brings a modest tear to the eye too.

London 2012 Goodie Bag: Hither Green Station Coffee Stop

I do love my coffee. I also have a tendency to jump at any opportunity to indulge. The justification ‘I deserve it!’ is so much a part of my internal dialogue, I barely hear it now.

On my journeys into work (mostly done around 8ish am), I’ll capitalise on my enthusiasm for the day by charging my body with caffeine.

I’ve already had one (a cup of strong instant) coffee at home, but stopping to purchase one not only completes the image of the hard-trodden London commuter I like to project, but also feeds my addictive personality. There is no guilt associated with caffeine: it’s OK to have another one.

There’s another benefit to be had when I buy coffee at Hither Green Station. The barista is terribly friendly. He’s a regular sort. A reliable individual. He’s been working there for a few years now and knows exactly what my order is whenever I stand at the counter.

Hither Green Station Coffee Stop

I don’t buy coffee every morning. Sometimes I’m running late. I know I can order and take delivery of my ‘Americano with a splash of milk and a sugar’ within the space of a minute if pushed, but sometimes it seems a little rude to put my coffee-serving pal under such pressure on a regular basis. So, sometimes I’ll skip the coffee and step onto the train, wondering whether he’s clocked that he’s missed custom for that day.

Other days – if I’m feeling daring – I’ll build buying a coffee into my hastily redrawn schedule. If there’s a train following just a few minutes after the one I should get in order to get into work on time, then I figure the justification ‘I needed to get a coffee’ is acceptable.

There aren’t many businesses I come into contact with is daily basis which prompt me to speak so warmly. But given that so many people are coming to London for the Olympics this year, I figure this is one very local thing which absolutely needs trumpeting.