Category - News
How good are keys? And secret locks? And surprise treasure?
One of my most vivid childhood memories and my first disappointments involved all of the above. If you are not English, female and born in the early-mid 80’s then chances are that you’ve never heard of the Clarkes ‘magic step’ shoes. So let me tell you about it in a nutshell.
Clarkes was a very English shoe shop with rather average shoes. All primary school kids got their shoes from Clarkes. And they were all as bad as each other. The only good bit about Clarkes was the awesomely hi-tech feet measuring machines [so cool].
Apart from above gadget, all was nice and normal in Clarke’s shoe world, and then along came the Princess Magic Step shoes. Pretty standard girls’ shoes, but some design GENIUS had the Einsteinian idea of putting a SILVER KEY in a BUBBLE in the sole. Genius. Can you imagine how exciting this was as a 7 year old girl? Thanks to an evilly manipulative t.v. commercial, schoolgirls up and down the British isles were persuaded that these shoes could unlock some secret treasure chest in some secret forest or something. Actually, maybe that was just my imagination, but anyway, these shoes were like crack for girls. You HAD to have them. That’s how compelling the lock and key thing was.
Growing up in the English countryside with nothing but imagination for company, I had quite a lot of time to fantasize about what the key in my new ‘magic’ shoes might open. I even had the forest to find the treasure chest in. And so, one fateful afternoon, I decided that the key could stay in the shoe no longer. It was time. And so with a stupidly blunt knife I took to the sole and dug and scratched and carved out the key. And do you know what I found? It was plastic. And crappy. And humph. This key was not going to open anything, let alone a secret, ancient treasure chest. Rubbish.
As Cat Stevens sang, ‘the first cut is the deepest’ and clearly my first advertising deception cut pretty deep. I plan to learn from it the best I can – by doing exactly the same thing and luring sea circus loyalists with the false promise of a lock and key. Yes, you heard it. In sea circus there are secret keys to lockers filled with gifts and goodies and quite possibly portals to other worlds. Who knows?
What I do know is that there may well be a little something sparkly for Bali brides and birthdays… and something super special for roaming gypsies.