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Rubber duckie
December 13, 2012 4:48 AM   Subscribe

Tower Bridge forced to open for 50 foot rubber duck. Apparantly it was meant to celebrate the launch of the "new Facebook Fundation, a bursary granting funds and rewards for daft ideas to encourage Brits to have more fun." The ETA on when the giant Ernie will arrive for his bath is still unclear.
posted by MartinWisse (40 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
The 'Fundation' is run by gambling site JackpotJoy.com, rather than Facebook. The name's a bit confusing. Here's a link from their PR agency.

"And in the meantime, the coverage is starting to roll in Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Metro and LBC... fingers crossed for tomorrow’s papers! Watch this space!"

posted by mippy at 5:07 AM on December 13, 2012


Well, personally I think it is just "ducky" (loud groan). I should not like this but I do find it a bit charming--wish it was sponsored by some one else.
posted by rmhsinc at 5:20 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to ride to work over Tower Bridge, and it's actually "forced to open" quite regularly. Though no, not often for a gigantic novelty bath toy.
posted by Flashman at 5:21 AM on December 13, 2012


to encourage Brits to have more fun."

to encourage Brits to have more fun serve as a publicity stunt to garner more revenue...

I LIKE the duck, but they should be honest about it's purpose.
posted by edgeways at 5:28 AM on December 13, 2012


Yes, I'm sure if you asked them nicely there was no need for force to be used.

In fairness I can see how you could get carried away into megalomania by the simple joy of ownership. You'd be on the phone to make a polite request and suddenly you'd find yourself saying;

"I've got a fifty foot duck here and I'm not afraid to ducking use it".
posted by Segundus at 5:31 AM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's weird, I was totally looking forward to making some kind of joke about how freaking wacky the British are. But it seems like this wasn't really an exactly British operation. Sniff.

BTW, the Tower Bridge has a Twitter account. They talked about this yesterday. The Duck was called "The Steven B," apparently.

And the Tower Bridge is following one of my other favorite feeds, Low Flying Rocks. Woot!
posted by SMPA at 5:34 AM on December 13, 2012


I don't understand the use of the phrase "forced to open" for a bridge whose function is to open to let large objects float by. Are doors "forced to open" when people want to exit the building?
posted by DU at 5:35 AM on December 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Was there no highway available for it to cross?
posted by orme at 5:39 AM on December 13, 2012


Kind of a metaphor, no?
posted by blue_beetle at 5:40 AM on December 13, 2012


Yeah, weird framing of the original article. "The bridge goes up or the Queen gets defriended."
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:45 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


There has got to be a Convoy/CB radio joke in here somewhere...
posted by marienbad at 5:46 AM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


At first I misread the word "duck". I was pretty disappointed when I clicked the link.
posted by Gordafarin at 5:52 AM on December 13, 2012


"Big Ben, this here's the Rubber Duck, and I'm about to make the Bridge go up. Ten-Four."
posted by notsnot at 5:53 AM on December 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Classic case of a stunt being too far removed from what it was promoting. On Twitter lots of people were really excited to see the pics of the duck, and intrigued by what it was promoting... But when they found out they didn't care about the Jackpot thing. The duck trended, the brand didn't.
posted by DanCall at 5:57 AM on December 13, 2012


At first I misread the word "duck".

I'm glad I wasn't the only one. Whew, I need to find a couple more cups of coffee...
posted by furnace.heart at 5:59 AM on December 13, 2012


PUT DOWN THE DUCKY IF YOU WANT TO PLAY THE SAXOPHONE
posted by elizardbits at 6:13 AM on December 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


DU: " Are doors "forced to open" when people want to exit the building?"
In my experience, doors rarely open of their own volition.
posted by brokkr at 6:38 AM on December 13, 2012


This reminds me of the giant Michael Jackson statue floated down the Thames. I would google it, but I also still like to wonder if I dreamt it once rather than it actually being a thing that happened.
posted by mippy at 6:46 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why did the bridge have to go up ? Couldn't it, you know, duck ?

I'll be here all week.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:00 AM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have a feeling of deja vu... Wasn't a giant rubber duck floated around the Thames many years ago, to promote one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books? A quick googling isn't turning up anything, but I could swear I read about that someplace...
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:04 AM on December 13, 2012


Somehow in my mind I transposed or switched letters and found myself recalling this (NSFW)
posted by louche mustachio at 7:27 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tower Bridge was forced to open for a giant 50 foot rubber duck floating down the Thames today.

Londoners were left confused as the giant inflatable floated from the direction of Canary Wharf.

I am not a Londoner, but I can imagine it would be confusing indeed to see something "floating down the Thames" and arriving at Tower Bridge from Canary Wharf, which has hitherto been several kilometers downriver. The big story here is that some gambling website has managed to reverse the direction of the flow of the Thames; talk about burying the lede*.

*Several attempts at elaborate wordplay involving this hideous baby duck, ugly ducklings being swans and lede/Leda came to naught here.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:32 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wasn't a giant rubber duck floated around the Thames many years ago, to promote one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books?

I definitely recall another giant rubber duck in a river somewhere in Europe within the past 5-6 years or so, but I have no idea when it was, where it was, or what it was for.

so as you can see this comment is super helpful
posted by elizardbits at 7:50 AM on December 13, 2012


Hm, maybe this?
posted by elizardbits at 7:51 AM on December 13, 2012


Just those 2 words together inevitably makes me earworm myself, so I figure I'll share -

Rubber Duckie.

You're welcome.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:01 AM on December 13, 2012


elizardbits - Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I'd forgotten this existed, and it has brought back a lot of fond memories of the '80s. I didn't think 1988 held anything that could put such a smile on my face.

Again, thank you!

But, Mr. soundguy99, for this you deserve at least a week in that special section of hell reserved for sadists and bad foley artists.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 8:11 AM on December 13, 2012


Well, of course, just past the 5-minute edit window, I realized MartinWisse included the link in the FPP, so it's not entirely my fault . . . . . .

One of our work trucks has a rubber duckie hanging around on the dashboard that came from who knows where, and every time I get in it I have to sing the song.

Every. Time.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:15 AM on December 13, 2012


London Tonight is informed it is to celebrate the launch of Jackpotjoy.com's new Facebook Fundation, a bursary granting funds and rewards for daft ideas to encourage Brits to have more fun.
So your publicity stunt involved telling folk, "Hey, you guys, you're no fun!"
posted by Jehan at 8:29 AM on December 13, 2012


"This reminds me of the giant Michael Jackson statue floated down the Thames. I would google it, but I also still like to wonder if I dreamt it once rather than it actually being a thing that happened."
posted by mippy

Maybe you went to watch Fulham FC that week?
posted by marienbad at 8:30 AM on December 13, 2012


In one of those shots, it seriously looked like it was about to bend over and eat a passer by. Kinda want to see that.
posted by dry white toast at 8:33 AM on December 13, 2012


And thus the first Avatar of the Mayan Apocalypse arrived....
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:21 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who is paying for this? I would hate for Londoners to get stuck with a massive bill.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:58 AM on December 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


This reminds me of the giant Michael Jackson statue floated down the Thames.

Here you are.
posted by dhartung at 11:34 AM on December 13, 2012


I really hope Handel's Water Music was playing as it floated down the Thames.
posted by Leezie at 12:18 PM on December 13, 2012


I suspect they were trying to appease this powerful lobby.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:40 PM on December 13, 2012


Who is paying for this? I would hate for Londoners to get stuck with a massive bill.

Agreed. The down payment alone must have been staggering.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:06 PM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The ETA on when the giant Ernie will arrive for his bath is still unclear.

I think I know what that huge sea monster thing in the "Pacific Rim" trailer is now.
posted by phong3d at 1:12 PM on December 13, 2012


I will have to go find my copy of the Don't Panic book on Adams by Neil Gaiman to confirm, but I seem to recall that for one of the stage versions, they had a giant whale in the Thames as a publicity stunt.

Wait, no need to run upstairs, it's mentioned in this io9 article on the revised edition.
As the publicity for the show gained momentum a twenty-five-foot inflatable whale was thrown off Tower Bridge into the Thames, and made almost no splash in terms of news. ("The police were very, very cross", said The Standard in the 3⁄4 of an inch they devoted to it.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:22 PM on December 13, 2012


Hm, maybe this?
Yeah, as well as the Duck, Florentijn Hofman has some other neat projects. • RabbitMusk RatFat Monkey.
posted by unliteral at 4:07 PM on December 13, 2012


It seems my brain scrambled up two different Hitchhiker's PR stunts: one of them involved the whale thrown off the bridge, and the other involved a bunch of live ducklings in a record shop window. I learned this by Googling up a PDF of Don't Panic, Neil Gaiman's book about the Hitchhiker's series. I read the hell out of that book when I was a kid, and years later, when I found out it had been written by the same guy who later wrote Sandman, Coraline, et al, it was one of those little mindblowing moments.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:48 PM on December 13, 2012


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