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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Do you have a poker face on the Tube?

London Underground Online Poker Ads

The Sunday Times had an article about the rise and rise of game shows this weekend, and said that TV is having to catch up with the internet with dumbed down games - hence the launch of ITVPlay channel next week. "Gaming on the internet is growing, and people have become accustomed to the idea of pursuing a solitary obsession through a relationship with a machine."

Last year Pacific Poker were running lots of ads above people's heads on the Tube:


This year Ladbrokes are running very similar ads playing on us looking at the faces of the inscrutable people sitting opposite us:

Poker Face Ladbrokes Ad

Avoid Eye Contact Ladbrokes Ad

I have a bit of a poker face on the Tube, specially when taking pictures of people sitting opposite me. But in general I think, the advertisers have got a point here, as most commuters have pretty good poker faces.

We all generally avoid eye contact and turn off our personality on the Tube. If we haven't got anything to read, we try to put on that vacant air to show that we're not really thinking about much at all, and that we're certainly not imagining what the person sitting opposite us does for a living, or what they might be having for tea that night, or what they've just had for breakfast. Even if we do have such thoughts, they usually leave us the minute we get off the Tube and we go on with our real life overground.

And we certainly don't think that they might be having exactly the same thoughts about us. Or do we? How many times have you imagined a life or story for the person sitting opposite you, or does the Tube "Poker Face" get in the way?


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