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Business Festive Fun Media Social Media

Holidays are coming!

The title of this article is a reference to the historic Coca-Cola advert. Whilst I’m not sure I’d class it as the Christmas season yet, it’s pretty clear that retailers think it is.

Coca-Cola Christmas trucks
The Coca-Cola Christmas ad – what isn’t Christmassy about HGV’s driving through the countryside?

Here in the UK, many shops have had Christmas stock on sale for over a month now, only taking it down for a brief interlude to replace it with Halloween and bonfire night stock. In just over two weeks, it’s the infamous Black Friday, which is meant to be when the Christmas shopping rush really gets started.

One of the key moments in British Christmas is now when the main Christmas advertisements start showing. I’ve yet to see the iconic Coca-Cola ad, but last Friday saw the launch of the festive John Lewis ad.

Over the last decade, John Lewis’s Christmas adverts have become rather famous and somewhat of a seasonal event. Each year the public sceptically awaits the ad to see if it’s going to better last years. This year’s tells the heart-warming (as always!) story of a little girl and an elderly man who lives on the moon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuz2ILq4UeA

This years attracted the usual attention. #ManOnTheMoon was the number one trending topic in the UK for most of ads release day (last Friday) and it was instantly parodied. Here are some of my favourites.

Firstly a Royal Mail undeliverable note.

What about The Martian, Matt Damon?

Maybe if the little girl had seen the film Up…

So the real question is: is this excitement just retailers trying to encourage us to spend more money? I’m not sure many people would argue in favour of Black Friday being an event that spreads Christmas cheer, but is there anything wrong with a festive advert pulling at your heart strings?

Genuine happiness creation, or just a clever marking ploy?

P.S Next time you’re in a food retailer, why not ask an assistant if they have any Christmas spirit in stock!

Categories
Competitions Gadgets

Go Go Car competition winners announced

Way back on the 4th of December, we launched a competition to win a build your own solar powered car kit, thanks to British Gas, who provided us with 5 fantastic Go Go Car’s to give away, to celebrate The Future Car Challenge!

The competition closed on Wednesday the 12th of December, and the winners were announced shortly after. Three of the winners got straight back to me with their addresses, and soon had their Go Go Car in the post to them.

Of the other two winners, one lived outside the UK, so asked us to redraw their name, and another never replied to my messages, so after nearly a month of waiting, I was forced to redraw their name. British Gas have received the names and addresses of all five winners, and they each now have their prize, or it is currently on the way to them.

I thought it would be good to share some of the responses I received from the winners.

The five winners (that are now displayed on the Rafflecopter entry widget) were:
Build your own solar powered car set - John Lewis

  • Claire R
  • Julie K
  • Mel J
  • Michelle J
  • Christopher T

Julie was very appreciative, saying

“Thanks so much – my son will be over the moon”

One happy customer 😉

Chris replied:

“Thank you Technology Bloggers, I’m thrilled and delighted to have won this prize, I always wanted a steam powered model as a child and in the 21st century here I am with what I consider the modern equivalent.

Thanks again, I’m sure my grandson will be fascinated with his new toy.”

I am not sure John Lewis make the steam powered kit anymore, but I am sure the solar substitute will be just as good!

Mel thought the car would be great for her nephews, saying:

“Thank you I am really happy to have won. I’ve told my nephews about it and they think it looks really fun and futuristic and are really looking forward to going solar powered.”

Hopefully we have made more than one person happy with that kit 🙂

Claire jokingly replied:

“Oh my gosh! That is amazing! I can’t wait to drive my new car!”

Claire even sent a picture of the car fully constructed!

Solar Go Go Car picture
The picture Claire sent of her fully constructed solar Go Go car.

Michelle’s story is probably the one that will touch you the most, when I emailed Michelle, she responded:

Thank you so much for your email. It’s made my day! I have MS and am currently experiencing the worst relapse I’ve ever had. The pain is ridiculous and it’s taking me for ever to type this reply as my hands are currently on strike – along with my body and legs!

It will be lovely to see the look on my youngest daughter’s face when I give her this prize. It’s perfect because she’s been learning about the importance of this kind of technology at school and she’s going to feel like Adrian Newey when I give her this!

Five deserving winners and an overall good competition – well done everyone!

Our thanks go out to British Gas for offering the prizes, and to everyone who took part for their entries. Stay tuned to the blog, as we hope to run another (our fourth) competition in the near future.

Categories
Competitions Gadgets Technology

Win a Solar Go Go Car to celebrate The Future Car Challenge

Petrol cars have no future. That is a fact, in 50 years time there will be no crude oil left on planet earth (assuming current consumption rates don’t decrease) therefore there will be no oil left to make petroleum or diesel.

Biofuel, hydrogen, LPG and electric cars are the future, there is no doubt about that. Right now there are many hybrid cars which use petrol with another power source, but in the future, petrol from natural oil will be no more.

There are of course other ways you can power cars, using compressed air is one method as is water-cell technology. These are not however currently concepts in mass production. If you follow those two links, you will find posts written by Jonny on the concepts mentioned.

Arguably the greenest option for the future is electric cars. The electricity used to power the cars can be generate from renewable sources, (it isn’t necessarily, but that is an option) and electricity from renewables is a lot less damaging to the planet than energy generated from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels – be it in on the micro scale inside an engine of a car, or on a macro scale in a network of power stations.

Electric cars are starting to look more and more normal, (in the past some have looked somewhat abstract!) and are becoming more efficient every year.

The Future Car Challenge

This year, British Gas (the company who installed Remote Heating Control in my home) became an official partner of The Future Car Challenge. The Future Car Challenge is an annual event, which showcases the latest developments in the electric car industry. This year, members from the British Gas team drove fro Brighton up to London, with the aim of using the least amount of energy as possible, using the latest electric cars. The team included comedian Robert Llewellyn, Ben Collins, (A.K.A. ‘The Stig’), and Commonwealth gold medal swimmer Ross Davenport.

The Future Car Challenge Ross Davenport
Ross Davenport playing his part in the British Gas Future Car Challenge

British Gas are setting up a national charging network, to help increase the viability of electric cars. A charging network is as vital to electric cars as service stations are to petrol and diesel cars. Some electric cars do have the ability to transfer energy generate from breaking into electricity, (as seem in Formula 1 cars) however this alone isn’t enough to power them, so electric recharge points are essential.

Here is a statement from British Gas on their involvement with electric cars:

The Future Car Challenge Robert Llewellyn
Robert Llewellyn taking part in the Brighton to London Future Car Challenge

“British Gas is dedicated to making the world a more sustainable place now and in the future. We are leading the way in providing expertise and charging solutions in the Electric Vehicle market through partnering with Nissan, Renault, Hitachi Capital, Toyota and Vauxhall.

British Gas’ dedicated charging solutions are safer, convenient and more compatible than plugging electric vehicles directly into the mains supply socket at home. Not only do we offer charging solutions that can cut charging times by around a third, but British Gas also offers its customers specially designed tariffs to help them charge for less.”

For more information on The Future Car Challenge, check out this article on British Gas’s blog. The article also has an embedded video of the event.

The Giveaway

To celebrate the event, we have five solar power car sets to giveaway, courtesy of British Gas!

The prize is a John Lewis Solar Go Go Car, (click the link for more info) a cool kit from which you can build your own solar powered car! Okay it isn’t quite as good as an electric car, but it looks great fun, and could make a fantastic Christmas present…

John Lewis Solar Powered Car KitThe giveaway will run for 8 days, from today until the end of next Wednesday (12.00am on Thursday the 13th).

The prizes will be sent out by British Gas to the UK only, so if you don’t live in the UK I am afraid you can’t enter. If you have an address in the UK you can get the prize sent to if you win, you are in!

How To Enter

It is really easy to enter the competition, all you need to do is enter an email address we can contact you on (if you win) in the Rafflecopter widget below. If you like the blog on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or are subscribed to our feed via email, then you can gain some extra entries.

Want a Solar Go Go Car kit? Enter below!

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Winners will be emailed on Thursday the 13th to let them know that they have won, and will be announced on the blog shortly after.

Good luck everyone!