We get a daily glut of emails from companies performing random stunts around town, to try and grab the public’s attention. They fall into three categories: most are boring or involve celebrities, and so are ignored; a small minority are imaginative enough to warrant comment (Lego Tube maps, for instance); and then there is the PR stunt that is so hilariously naff that we feel obliged to share it.
In that last category falls Virgin Trains’ “swathe of real grass framed by a white picket fence”, which can be found all week between platform’s 2 and 3 at Euston Station. Passengers are encouraged to remove their shoes and walk along the mock paddock, to experience the “therapeutic sensation of grass between their toes”. Forget about London’s 3,000 parks, this is the business.
We’re being a little unfair — most people will find this a harmless and pleasant diversion in the stressful environment of a mainline station. But one final factor persuaded us that this faux-lawn should win the coveted ‘golden nugget of naff’ award: its description in the press release as “a piece of experiential installation art”. Shouldn’t one always call a spade a spade, especially when gardening?
We invite reviews of Branson’s Paddock in the comments below. And, yes, we are still giving them publicity by taking the piss, but they deserve it for outstanding achievement in the field of naffness.