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New Talent

New Talent: Simon Carr and Tristan Lenczner

How these Innocean Worldwide creatives punked Londoners by making it look like the Piccadilly advertising screens had fallen victim to adblocking

New Talent: Simon Carr and Tristan Lenczner

It was recently announced that the famous Piccadilly advertising screens in London would be switched off for eight months as part of renovations to bring in a new digital screen. Rather ironically, given the sudden lack of advertising space in the area, two creatives from Innocean saw that as an opportunity for some fun.

After various iterations involving lighting companies and such, Simon Carr and Tristan Lenczner landed on the idea of posting a guerrilla style AdBlock sticker in front of the screens, making it look as though the UK’s equivalent to Times Square had come under attack by adblocking.

LBB’s Addison Capper caught up with the duo to find out more about the project and their ambitions for the future...

LBB> Your adblocking prank with the blacked out Piccadilly screens made us chuckle - what inspired it?

Simon & Tristan> On that morning of Monday 16th January, we noticed that everybody was talking about the Piccadilly lights being turned off for refurbishment. This space is obviously synonymous with the adverts and we felt we had to do something. Our first thoughts revolved around lighting brands, however we felt there was a stronger idea in the joke that the space had been AdBlocked.

With AdBlock being a hot topic within the industry, we thought it might get people talking, and it could be a good edition as a filler until the lights get turned back on.


LBB> What kind of reaction did it get? Did you have many people falling for it?

S&T> We didn’t really expect anything from the prank. It was just a bit of Monday morning fun, however it received a fantastic reaction. Last time we checked, the article had been shared over 1000 times and had been in The Drum’s top trending list for three days. At Piccadilly Circus we did see a few confused tourists who took a few snaps.


LBB> As we’re on the subject, how can the ad industry combat the use of adblockers?

S & T> The majority of ads are annoying, and the rise of AdBlock is a clear indicator of how people feel about them. But it can be a good thing because it creates a challenge for us to think beyond just ads and look at making entertaining, useful things that people will want to engage with.

LBB> Do you use them yourselves?  

S&T> Ironically, we do. But mainly to stop pop up spam adverts that tell us we’re the lucky winners of £10,000,000,000 and a holiday for two in the Maldives.


LBB> Tell us a bit about yourselves – where are you from and what kind of kids were you?

S&T> Simon grew up in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and Tristan in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. I think we were your fairly average kids growing up in English towns; slightly bored, slightly badly behaved and loved hanging around the Town Centre eating sweets.


LBB> Did creativity play a big role in your childhood?

S&T> From bad paintings made using the finest pencil caddy kit Argos had to offer to learning to pitch by selling old clothes in a car boot sale, we both had a dabble, and the creative strain stayed on through school and eventually into uni.


LBB> When did you decide you wanted to work in advertising?

S&T> I think we both realised that advertising is one of the few jobs out there where you can make a living from letting your brain wander. The perfect balance of business and art really appealed to us.


LBB> When did you meet and why do you think you work well as a team?

S&T> We both met at the University of Gloucestershire back in 2011, worked together as a team when we were there and have been together since. We have different qualities personally and professionally which complement each other well, so it makes for a good partnership.

LBB> Which projects that you’ve been involved in are you most proud of and why?

S&T> We recently tweeted Parkinson’s UK that we had an idea around the Mannequin Challenge social media trend. After them buying the idea, we had about two weeks to develop it, get a production studio on board, film and edit four films within the tightest of budgets. We’re very proud of the result and it was a fantastic experience working on the project [video below]. You can check out the rest of our work here ;) -


LBB> What are your aims for the rest of 2017?

S&T> To make standout work. For a team in our second full time year we have made a decent amount of live work, but we feel we need to focus on quality and try and make something impactful that gets recognition within the industry.


LBB> Who and what are your biggest influences?

S&T> A few of our influences are Kanye West, Steve Jobs and the Louis Vuitton Foundation building for Simon. Tarantino, music and Humankind for Tristan.


LBB> What do you get up to outside of work to keep your creative batteries charged?

S&T> We love coming up with side projects such as the AdBlock idea and already have a few more ideas to hopefully be revealed throughout the year. Aside from that, Simon enjoys a good art exhibition and Tristan likes to think he’s a bit of a musician. Travel and spontaneous adventure are things that really keep us going though. Gaining these new experiences also helps us massively in the creative process.

Genre: People , Strategy/Insight