Thursday, 21 April 2011

21/04/11 - Royal Wedding 'Pips

If you’ve got any sense, you’ll have booked next Tuesday-Thursday off work so that you can capitalise on the two long weekends and have a full eleven days off. 99% of people know this, and most have acted on it. I certainly have. If it hadn’t occurred to you, you’re probably feeling like a right tit now. And it’s far too late to do anything about it. Still, you can rest easy in the knowledge that no-one else in the country will be at work, so you won’t have much to do.
So, since this is the last JuicyPips before the Royal Wedding (capitalised, of course), it seems fitting to use that as a theme.

Westminster Abbey has hosted a fair few royal ceremonies over the years. The first was all the way back in 1100, when King Henry I made Matilda of Scotland his queen. They arrived at the ceremony in an Austin 1100, read excerpts from Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’ and danced their first dance to the tune of ‘Waltzing Matilda’. (Obviously none of that is true, but it’s hard to get interesting facts about something that happened 911 years ago.) There were three further royal weddings at the Abbey in the 1200s, and another in 1382, but most of them happened in the twentieth century, with several being within living memory (depending how old you are). The last one was in July 1986, when the perennially disappointing Prince Edward married Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas. Or was it Alex Ferguson? I can’t remember, I was only four. Charles and Di were married at St. Paul’s Cathedral, of course, so we won’t waste any time on them. The biggie was in 1973 when Princess Anne married the ineffably pompous Captain Mark Phillips. (Did you know that Princess Anne is the only royal to have competed in the Olympics? It was a horsey event though, so nobody really gave a shit.) Their wedding was televised, with an estimated 100 million people tuning in. OK, the marriage only lasted sixteen years before disintegrating but hey, you’ll never go to a wedding with a hundred million guests. Respect that.

Our very own beloved queen, the nation’s grandma Elizabeth II, was married at Westminster Abbey in November 1947. It’s quite a cute story – she first met the potty-mouthed buffoon Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark in 1934. In ’39, aged thirteen, she met him again and totally fell for him. They started to exchange letters (yes, he was eighteen, but there was no such thing as grooming in the thirties) and became secretly engaged in 1946. Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles and converted to Anglicanism – probably for the best, given his wacky and unfortunate views on Johnny Foreigner – and they married after Liz turned 21.
The stats were impressive: the ceremony was broadcast on the wireless to 200 million people worldwide, and the happy couple received 2,500 wedding presents and over 10,000 telegrams of congratulation. Where did they go for the honeymoon? Broadlands in Hampshire. That’s Philip’s uncle’s house. Lucky girl, Liz.

And now she gets to watch her grandson do it all in the same venue but in rather a different way.

Ah, Wills and Kate. He’s an RAF Search & Rescue pilot, second in line to the throne, and she’s a posh socialite and daughter of an airline stewardess. The aviation connection ends there; her previous jobs as a clothes buyer for Jigsaw, photographer and ‘fashion icon’ don’t quite mirror Wills’ past of getting hammered with his wayward ginger brother and shooting bad guys in Afghanistan (not at the same time, obviously, that’d be asking for trouble), but they make quite a cute couple together. He seems like a genuinely nice guy - well, he’s very smiley on camera - while she’s got a sweet rabbit-in-the-headlights demeanour that suggests she’s quite aware of how damn lucky she is to be marrying someone so impressively connected.

I’d love to be dead against the Royal Wedding on principle, given how expensive it’s going to be. I mean, there are better things to be spending money on at the moment. But to be honest, everyone will be in a good mood and I get a load of time off work, and I’m pretty happy with that. You?

I Could Have Married Kate

There isn't enough barbershop in the charts these days. Or rapping horses.

Tom Hanks is a lot of animals

One of my favourite finds of the week, it's just so weird. Click here.





The T-Mobile Royal Wedding

Yet another cheesy viral from T-Mobile. (Which, annoyingly, is actually really good.)

AV propaganda dissected

Click the image to see in full...

Centraal Beheer - Sheep

Dutch insurance ad. Made me chuckle.

Royal Wedding Pizza

Um... yeah. It's a Royal Wedding Pizza. Brilliant.

Shaun of the Dead - in 60 seconds

Wow - what a timesaver!

Cookie the ticklish penguin

Massive viral of the week... fast-forward to 1:03 for some very cute ticklysqueals.

Cuteroulette

Chatroulette, as we all know, is a great way of seeing a lot of penises. But if that isn't your bag, why not give Cuteroulette a bash instead? As the name suggests, it's a random selection of cute videos. Click below and have a go.

Kilian Martin: A Skate Regeneration

Honestly, how hard can this be? It's just standing on a wheeled tea-tray, right?

Kilian Martin: A Skate Regeneration from Brett Novak on Vimeo.

Friday, 15 April 2011

15/04/11 - 1982 (The Only Way Is Manger)

On January 10th 1982, Britain’s lowest ever temperature was recorded: −27.2°C in Aberdeenshire. This set a precedent for rather a grim month. An Air Florida plane crashed into Washington D.C.’s 14th Street bridge, killing 78. (That was a crap day for D.C. – in an unrelated incident a subway train derailed, causing the system’s first fatal accident.) UK unemployment hit an all-time high. Mark Thatcher got lost in the desert while competing in the Paris-Dakar Rally, although he did turn up a few days later, much to everyone’s irritation. And the year didn’t get much cheerier...

In February, the Ocean Ranger oil platform collapsed, killing everyone on board. Political unrest in Syria saw thousands massacred. Laker Airways and the DeLorean Motor Company both dissolved, and a Japan Airlines flight crashed in Tokyo Bay.
The US started stirring up some trouble in Libya in March (these things are cyclical), and April 2nd saw the start of the Falklands War. Gilles Villeneuve was killed in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix in May, the Lebanon War started in June, and in July ASLEF called a fifteen-day strike for train drivers. (OK, that last one doesn’t sound as bad as a war or a plane crash, but it was probably pretty annoying.) July turned out to be pretty awful, with the Provisional IRA detonating two bombs in London, mudslides destroying Nagasaki and killing hundreds, and France’s biggest ever road accident wiping out 53.
In August, Mexico sparked a debt crisis in Latin America. September saw thousands of Palestinian refugees slaughtered by the Lebanese Christian Militia, and seven people died in Chicago after buying Tylenol that had been spiked with potassium cyanide.
The Ford Cortina ceased production in October, and an exploding petrol tanker killed hundreds in Afghanistan in November. In December, 1500 people were squished by an earthquake in Yemen, and the state of Texas carried out its first execution by lethal injection.

But it wasn’t all bad news. In April 1982, a Hampshire-born headmaster and his young Essex wife travelled with their baby daughter to a hallowed land. The wife was great with child, and the time to bring forth the bounteous bellyfruit was imminent. Unbeknownst to them, their next-born would be a special baby; the son of God.
They journeyed across challenging terrain in their Hillman Husky, over many dusty days and wearisome nights, until they finally reached their destination: sunny Southend-on-Sea. But lo, the town was rammed to bursting point with April tourists, lured to the resort by a shared common feeling that something spiritual was afoot. There was no room at the inn. Any inn. The exhausted, near-penniless family had no option but to bed down for the night in Rochford Hospital’s maternity ward.
And so it came to pass that, at 10am on the morning of Saturday 17th April, a son was born unto Rick and Sheila. And it was good. They wrapped him in swaddling cloth and laid him to rest in the hay (Rochford being a basic and agricultural place), naming him Jesus. Then they decided to spare him the embarrassment of a lifetime of being called ‘hay-zoos’ and scribbled ‘Daniel’ on the birth certificate before The Almighty had time to rubber-stamp it.
On a hillside overlooking Southend, some shepherds were watching over their sheep. A bright light appeared in the sky, and their hearts were filled with fear. But the light was an angel sent by the Lord. It told them not to be afraid; that the son of God was born, and that they should spread the word that the hallowed child could be found in Essex. The shepherds followed the light to the baby, and when they saw him they fell to their knees to worship him. They told Rick and Sheila that the angel of the Lord had come unto them, and that this child was the saviour of mankind. And the saviour’s big sister was all like ‘what the fuck?’.

You know what this means. Bring me gold. Bring me frankincense. I’m not too bothered about the myrrh, but a nice bottle of single malt wouldn’t go amiss. Cheers.

The AWESOME Button

...is awesome. Obviously.

Chicks With Steve Buscemeyes

It's impressive how the addition of Steve Buscemi's eyes can make any woman look a little, er, unsettling.
Below we have Emma Watson, Natalie Portman and Pink. Click here for plenty more!





The Power of Words

Bit cheesy, but kinda sweet.

Solar System Scope

Fancy being the puppet-master for the entire solar system? Click below and spin those planets...

Jeremy Kyle recut

Kind of like Cassetteboy, but not as good. Still amusing, though.

Ridiculous Pictures of Celine Dion

The big-chinned chanteuse can't help but look an utter cretin whenever a lens is pointed in her direction, poor lamb. Click here.





Lego Zombie Apocalypse

Sad Stuff on the Street

You know the scene in American Beauty where we see the bag dancing around in the eddying wind, demonstrating the fundamental beauty of the world? Well, this is kind of the opposite of that. Every picture alludes to a depressing and unfortunate happenstance. Click here.







Wonders of the Stoner System

Brian Cox is clearly fucked all the time. Enormously clever and generally lucid, but definitely fucked.

C21 C64

Crikey Moses, the Commodore 64's back! It looks like a C64, it feels like a C64, but it's stuffed full of fresh internals to work like a modern 'puter. This is genius. Click here.







Wilkins Coffee - Muppet ads

Damn, Kermit was a prick in the sixties.

Magnum Pleasure Hunt

A clever little thing from Magnum in which a small woman runs around the internet eating chocolate. Click the image and have a go...

Ad of the week - Tropicana Energie Naturelle

It's a billboard powered by oranges... what's not to like?



Friday, 8 April 2011

08/04/11 - The Great JuicyPips Collaboration

Five years in advertising. You may remember me banging on about that last week. And what’s the one key lesson I’ve learned after all these years? That projects are very rarely deliverable on time. In this case, however, it’s nobody’s fault but mine; I had this great idea about having a load of guest writers to create a kind of collaborative JuicyPips extravaganza, but then I forgot to mention it to anyone.
Don’t despair, though – it happened anyway! Entirely spontaneously, a number of eager Leo Burnett employees have each contributed their very own take on the JuicyPips formula. There’s laughter, tears, confusion, fear, extremely large Japanese testicles... the broad spectrum of talent within these four walls has manifested itself in a technicolour showcase of clever ideas, witty prose and bilious angst. Which is prime Pips fodder, natch.

This isn’t the first time that JuicyPips has been written by someone else. It was originally invented by the enthusiastically mercurial Fern Powell, who used to send out a weekly all-staffer featuring a lookalike, an interesting YouTube clip or two, plus some snippets of agency news. It didn’t feature any kind of rambling preamble, and many might argue that it was all the better for it. But sod them – I may whinge about not having the time to write a book but damn it, I’m going to continue contradicting myself by wasting loads of time writing this instead! (The three people that do actually read this shit probably appreciate it to a degree, so that’s how I justify it...)
Full-fat JuicyPips – i.e. an impenetrable bit of prose, followed by some random internet stuff – has twice been written by other people. The first time was when I was on holiday in November 2007, when the inimitable JJ White and Phil Atkins took the reins. I never let them do it again, because it was so, so much better than anything I ever did. They showed me right up. Having not fully learned my lesson, I let Aaron Witcher do the same a couple of years later. This was foolish, as he also turned out to be far wittier and more interesting than me. (I mean seriously, look at this tedious bilge I’m writing now. Yuck. Those other guys would be enthralling you with a kaleidoscope of beautifully-textured wordsmithery right now, rather than whinging about the past.) But yeah, this is my niche and there’s no room for anyone else.

Apart from this week, obviously.
I’ve eased open my capacious back door and a stream of brainy girls and boys have elbowed their way in, positively foaming at the lips with fresh new ideas. It’s a JuicyPips carnival. The eloquent folk of Kensington Village have brought forth a smorgasbord of intrigue for you – included in the entertainment are the following:

Julia Hardy, who gives us a spellbinding account of London adland circa 1976.
Louise Alexander, who muses on the behavioural changes brought on by one’s environment.
Angus Golding, who detests the Daily Mail and has good reason to do so.
Stuart Royall, who’s a bit frightened of technology and that.
Tom Sussman, whose head is brimming with ads and sees them everywhere.
Stephen Attree, who has some interesting ideas about LB folk and their Twitter feeds.
Ian Hilton, who’s been ruminating on jury sevice.
Emma Griffiths, who thinks archaeology rocks.
Johnny Drennan, who’s intrigued by Mundocom’s reception area.
Jacqui Gray, who had her glasses pissed on by a fox.
Ed Richards, who knows a joke about an alcoholic.
Richard Galt, who used to live in Japan. (His article has pictures!)
Rachel Woolley, who has written you a poem.
Rob Tenconi, who told his mum to fuck off.

Apologies, though - this is a massive tease if you're reading this online. There isn't space here to share them all, so I've picked just one for you: Rob Tenconi's. It was hard to narrow such an excellent selection down to just one article, but maybe I'll put some of the other ones in the comments section under this post. If they'll fit. (Although I did tell them all that I wouldn't put their articles on the blog.) Anyway, enjoy...

Fuck off, mum.

I had decided to tell my mum to, ‘fuck off’. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I’d made it and I was determined to stick with it. My lovely mum who loved me dearly was going to be told to ‘fuck off.’ I did wonder how she’d take it. I wondered if she’d be upset or angry or happy or proud - I genuinely had no idea. After all, I was only six and I hadn’t a clue what, ‘fuck off’ meant.

I’d chosen a family outing to McDonald’s as the venue in which I’d tell her to ‘fuck off’. So as we all sat down and tucked into our food I ran through in my head one last time what I was going to say, which was, ‘Fuck off, Mum.’ But something didn’t feel quite right. It didn’t feel like the sort of thing I could just come out with from nowhere, and besides, there was no one around our table and I wanted an audience. I wanted people to witness the occasion.

I faked a strop. I grabbed my tray and stormed off to the other side of the restaurant. I knew my mum, who remember, loved me dearly (she still does, she’s not dead) would come over to see what was wrong, and then I’d tell her.

After a couple of minutes worth of hard fake-stropping I felt the caring touch of my mum’s hand on my shoulder. ‘What’s wrong poppet?’ She asked me. I didn’t answer. I took her hand off my shoulder, put down my cheeseburger and stood up. I walked around the table to the centre of the restaurant like a lawyer does in films to address the jury.

And with one hand in my pocket and the other gesticulating in the general direction of the door, I shouted, ‘FUCK OFF, MUM.’

It came out in a cockney accent, which surprised me a little. But even more of a surprise was my mum’s reaction, because she didn’t react at all. She just did this sort-of half smile thing and turned away, then went back to sit with my dad and sister.

So I sat back down in my seat away from my family. I remember thinking what a massive anti-climax it all was. I remember being, what I now know is, really fucked off. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw my dad get up from his seat. I pretended I didn’t see him coming. I turned my back to him. In one last-ditch attempt to salvage something from a very disappointing meal, I decided I would tell my dad to ‘fuck off’ too.

I felt the touch of my dad’s hand on my shoulder - it was nowhere near as caring as my mum’s. It was this very moment I realised that I shouldn’t have told my mum to, ‘fuck off’ and now all of a sudden the idea of telling my dad to, ‘fuck off’ seemed a bad one too.

My dad dragged me out of the restaurant and stuffed me into the car, I was screaming, ‘Sorry Mummy!’ all the way. He locked the doors and went back inside. I watched through the window with salty tears streaming down my face as they all finished their McDonald’s.

That was the only time I’ve ever told my mum to, ‘fuck off’.

Five note sting.
I’m lovin’ it.

Flashmob recycling

If all recycling were rewarded in this manner, perhaps more people would bother to do it...

Cold War City



Fresh from the perennially fascinating How To Be A Retronaut is this account of 'Cold War City' - a bunker 120ft beneath Wiltshire, created in secret as a hideout for the cabinet in the event of nuclear attack. It's an astonishing 1950s timewarp. Click here.





Cassetteboy vs. The Hairy Bikers

Pure unadulterated filth. But of course.

The Unrehearsed Voiceover Artist

This man may well actually be a genius - click here for his blog.



iPad x-ray

So... you can use your iPad 2 to see through people's clothes. This actually is the future.

Better Off Soaked

I can't believe that nobody's invented a windproof umbrella. How hard can it be? It'd stop this kind of thing happening...



Videogame deaths...

...across the ages. How many do you remember?

Benefit Banquet

There's a lot of shit food out there. Yes, it is entirely possible to feed your family for under a pound, but none of you will enjoy it, and you'll all end up with rickets eventually.

Benefit Banquet tests all this shit food so you don't have to. Click the alluring image below to find out more...

Find the mystery rocker!

A lovely little story, if it's true. Which it almost certainly isn't.



Smacks of corporate viral to me - I just can't work out what it might be for.

Skip conversions

Putting rubble and domestic debris in skips is so unimaginative. Click here for some more creative applications...





Fight For Your Right...

...the all-star revisit.

Peter Gabriel's back passage

fnar.

Instacat

Instagram + cats = Instacat. Click here.

Parisian Escape Machine

Very odd indeed.

Friday, 1 April 2011

01/04/11 - Fifth anniversary

Yesterday was my fifth anniversary at Leo Burnett. For five whole years you’ve had to put up with these annoying ramblings, and I applaud your tolerance. Nobody seems to have noticed quite how much time I spend dicking around with JuicyPips when I should be working, and long may that continue; I can keep pretending it adds something to the rich fabric of Leo Burnett life, and you can keep using it as an excuse not to do any work on Friday afternoons. Glorious symbiosis.

It seems only fitting to offer a few thanks, so my heartfelt good cheer goes out to the following folk (some of whom have now left, but I know they’ll be reading the JuicyPips blog):
Madonna Deverson, for hiring me in the first place, and seeing some spark of potential in a very rough diamond who knew sod all about advertising. Paul Lawson, for being so relentlessly and generously supportive, and for setting the profane agency tone that allows me to be so horribly offensive all the time. Ali Bucknall, for being just the loveliest of the lovely. Bruce Haines, for remaining a loyal JuicyPips fan even though he emigrated to another continent years ago. Julia Hardy, for making my job so much easier on a daily basis by doing all the actual work, leaving me free to write stupid emails and stuff... and also for being a fun person to hang out with every day. Kim Armstrong, for being my research buddy in the early days when I was too scared to admit to Madonna that I didn’t have a fricking clue what I was doing. Aaron Witcher, much missed, for being my best work chum and making every day fun. JJ White and Phil Atkins, for being the coolest people here, and for inventing Cigar Club. Andrew Edwards, for flying me to Chicago for five days when I only needed to be in the office for one. Kasia Gibbs, for being my friend. HR, for letting me get away with all the awful things that I say and do. Fern Powell, for inventing JuicyPips in the first place. Alex Everett, for taking me out to lunch in my first week and getting me so comprehensively shitfaced that I immediately understood what advertising was actually about. Ben Hourahine, for proving that you can be Shoreditch without being annoying. Ann Hunter, for adopting me from day one as her agency son. Jess Summerfield, for being JuicyPips’ number one fan. And everyone else, for everything. (Except the people who’ve pissed me off over the last half-decade, which is actually quite a few of you.)

So, yeah. Things are quite different now to how they were in early 2006. Take the bar: there was another staircase in there, people smoked inside, the drinks were… actually, they’re still pretty cheap… but you knew that if you went down there on any Thursday or Friday night, it wouldn’t be long before it was rammed to the rafters.
The car park used to be full of 911s. The lunches were free and frequent. There were people on the second floor. Rather less of the furniture was smeared with Harry Dromey’s DNA. Ann Hunter and Mike Treharne used to work here. (Ha, see, that’s funny because they worked here when I started, then they left, and now they’re back again… never mind.)

JuicyPips has covered myriad themes over the years, from the absurdity of X Factor to the spiralling mindpulpery of the cosmos, via Monticello, webuyanycar.com, the Rocky Mountain Locust, religion, home shopping, the Gran Turismo series, caravans, fireworks, sexual intercourse, the IT department, the eighties, the nineties, the Theory of Relativity, Tom Cruise, the World Cup, The Simpsons, Father Christmas, Henry VIII, mechanically recovered meat, United Fruit, Ryanair, beer, lies… and they’ve all had one thing in common: I wrote them for you. And it’s been a pleasure.

Well, it wouldn’t be JuicyPips without me randomly harping on about some obscure subject that nobody really cares about or understands. So... here’s a theory for you: I think there might be something wrong with Alfie Moon’s Capri. Why would I think this? Allow me to explain.
On Monday, Kat was very vocal in throwing Alfie out of the Queen Vic, as you may have seen. (If you don’t watch EastEnders this’ll mean nothing to you.) Outside, sitting in the square, he handed the keys to his Capri to Michael and said ‘give these to Kat; tell her it’s an automatic choke’.
Now, that’s a redundant point to make. The natural assumption for the average non-enthusiast is that it’ll have an automatic choke, as it doesn’t occur to people that there may be an alternative. The point to make, if any, when talking about a classic car might be ‘tell her it has a manual choke’, because it’s perfectly possible that she might sit in the car and not realise why it’s not starting. With an auto choke, it’s unlikely she’d start it up, then confusedly fish around under the dash looking for the choke pull, right?
This suggests to me that Kat knows her Capris. (To an extent, at least.) Perhaps Charlie Slater had one when she was growing up, or part of her wayward youth involved sliding around Essex in Dagenham’s finest. Who knows? But is there an implication there that she’s had, say, a mkII Capri which had a manual choke and she might think that Alfie’s mkIII is the same? It’s possible. What’s more likely is that she used to love Capris, but something about Alfie’s put her off, made her not care about them any more. Unhappy memories associated with journeys with Tommy perhaps? Or maybe there’s just something about it that she doesn’t like, that took her timeworn, carefree love of the Essex Mustang and destroyed it, leaving a coupe-shaped hole in her soul.
I’ll be keeping a keen eye on her in future, observing her reactions to his 2.8i. Maybe she just doesn’t like the gearbox or something.

...actually, hang on a minute - it's a 2.8i. It's fuel-injected, it wouldn't even have a choke. Oh, none of this makes any sense.


Um, so anyway, thank you for reading JuicyPips over the years. It means a lot.
Now buy me a pint, it’s only fair.

April Fools Day 2011

April 1st gives people an opportunity to dick about in ways that they normally might not get away with; of course, some people have a better sense of humour than others. Here's a brief round-up of this year's April Fools japery - some brilliant, some appalling.


YouTube have made a superb 'top virals of 1911' film.



BMW's M3 Royal Edition. (Click to enlarge.)



Land Rover's self-levelling tax disc holder.



BBPR's really, really poor taste 'injecting fat into starving people' thing.



If you Google 'Helvetica' today, it'll change all the fonts on the page. (Also works for Comic Sans.)


Google are also advertising a hilarious job as an 'Autocompleter'. Click here.



Flickr are spelling their logo 'Flicker' today. This is kind of shit as April Fools gags go, and they haven't even done it on the homepage either. Half-hearted at best.



The Playmobil iStore is pretty cool.



Another one from Google - GMail Motion.



There's loads more stuff around too, including:
- The Sun's 'Planet of the Apps'
- Richard Branson buys Pluto
- IKEA's dog highchair
- Ed Miliband's street party wedding
- Marmite Vaseline
- Radio 4's piece on 3D radio
- The Zimmer skateboard
- Dads launch class action against Mumsnet
- The edible Metro
- Ryanair's child-free flights
- Nick Clegg: Olympic archer
- LinkedIn suggesting famous dead people as 'people you may know' (sign in to your account to see)
- Kate Middleton's hen night
- TalkTalk's social networking for pets
- Coalition plans to tax fresh air
- Comic Sans Pro
- The Guardian's live Royal Wedding updates
- Portugal solves national debt by selling Ronaldo

3eanuts

In the same vein as the superb Garfield Minus Garfield, 3eanuts is a collection of Peanuts cartoons with the final panel removed; without the punchlines, it becomes hilariously bleak. Click here.







Smutley - 'Gettin' Tail'

Brilliant little AIDS awareness cartoon. (Look out for 'Smutley woz ere' at 0m31s!)

StreetArtView

Nice little Red Bull project, globally mapping street art/graffiti via Google Maps. Click the image to have a play.

Rebecca Black - Gang Fight

Infuriated by Rebecca Black? You'll look at her in a whole new light after this...

Geographically-accurate Tube map

Something in my brain finds this enormously fascinating. Click the image to see it in full.

Chanel - Keira's Ducati

Is three minutes too long for an advert? Yes. Yes it is. And there's no excuse for the godawful Keira Knightley.
...although she is riding a staggeringly beautiful Ducati. The whole ad's pretty beautiful, in fact.

Intel - The Chase

Kinda cheesy, but also pretty clever.

Houdini's prop list.

Click to enlarge. (Via Flickr.)