Saturday, 7 July 2012

BT Artbox Spotting in London, WC2N

There seems to be no end to the rampant consumerism on display in London at this time.  Certainly, nobody is missing out on the chance to take advantage of the excitement of the Queen’s Jubilee and the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games to peddle their wares.  So it is little surprise that the installation of BT Artboxes across London met with more than a little bit of scepticism.  The Londonist branded the jazzed up K6 telephone boxes as Tartboxes, a reference to both their tarted up looks and their excessive branding. 

Well, it turns out there may be very noble reason for the appearance of these boxes in our fair city.  Childline is turning 25 this year and the BT Artbox initiative is raising money for that cause.  Big brands are invited to sponsor a box and are put in touch with top artists and designers to create their piece of art.  The BT Artboxes will be auctioned off at the end of the summer and all proceeds will go to celebrating Childline’s 25th anniversary.

On a personal level, I quite like these replicas of the old Gilbert Scott phone box.  I like them a little bit more than the Easter eggs (maybe because I spotted so few!) but not as much as the beautiful Elephants from the Elephant Parade.  That is one of the best things about living in London, there is always something quirky and unique going on.

BT Artbox 15 - Fred Butler - Mobile Phone BT Artbox 19 - David Mach - T for Telephone BT Artbox 22 - Ted Baker - Teds Ding a Bling Box

BT Artbox 27 - Cosmo Sarson - Peekaboo BT Artbox - Harvey Nichols BT Artbox 80 - Heart 106-2 - Heart Box London

BT Artbox 28 - Rob & Nick Carter - Untitled BT Artbox 21 - Harvey Nichols - Harvey Nichols London BT Artbox - Accessorize - Ring Ring for Britain

What do you think? Do you think these boxes exude personality and quirkiness, or are they just advertisements that are just too obviously branded to be lovable?

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15 comments

  1. Emm, these are great pictures. I have seen one or two of these but it is wonderful to see so many of them and I am intrigued by the variety.

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  2. I like them! You are so right, there are so many neat things to see and snap all over London all the time. Lucky you!

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  3. They are both really. Quirky and cool to look at but huge ads as well. When my friend was here a few weeks ago we were in the area and took a bunch of snaps. I think we are at the point in society where we know everyone every where is trying to sell us something. I am good at blocking them out so I just took these in as art and nothing more.

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  4. what a lovely series of london photos!
    you make me want to go there!

    xx

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  5. Did you take all those? I haven't seen any of those ones, but I did catch a knitted booth at Trafalgar Sq and a bright one at Potter's Fields.

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  6. There always seems to be something offbeat and bizarre around every corner in London. I love this concept especially if it’s for a good cause.

    Here in the US, you’re lucky if you even find a painted fire hydrant. lol

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  7. All the colours add some excitement to the boxes, rather than the normal appearance.

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  8. @ Ola: I'm glad! The more I spot of them, the more excited I get!

    @ Jenny: Thank you! I did enjoy reading about their origins and who made them. There are indeed a wide variety of them.

    @ Kathy: I know! I truly feel lucky and charmed every day.

    @ Melissa: They are definitely a lot of fun to track down and find, aren't they?

    @ Betty: Come to London!!! And thank you for the kind compliment.

    @ Jen: Yes, these were all taken in or around Covent Garden.

    @ Lauren: there is always something like this going on in London - elephants, eggs, cows, you name it. It is awesome.

    @ Rainfield61: aaah, but those aren't 'real' boxes - there are no working phones in them!

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  9. They look really cool. It looks like they must have had a fun time designing and building them.

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  10. i enjoy this kind of art installations. i gotta say some of them are tastefully designed.

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  11. I think these are cool! They would be tacky if they advertised BT all over them, but each one of these are unique.

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  12. Hmm... interesting post as usual, but I really don't like these boxes lol

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  13. @ Clueless in Boston: I'm appreciating them the more I see them! I like how absolutely unique each one is.

    @ Life Ramblings: Some of them are just gorgeous, especially the ones around Westminster.

    @ AVCr8teur: Yes! The only attachment of BT to the artboxes is in name only so it is very well done.

    @ Dominic: ha ha! Well, then, you'd best avoid London at the moment because they are everywhere.

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  14. I've still only seen one - and I've actually been looking...

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