Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Cockney cash machine - I found one! [PHOTOS and locations]

Widespread news coverage today of the 'Cockney cashpoint', where 5 Bank Machine cash machines in London have had a 'Cockney' language option added - the menus and commands are all displayed in cockney rhyming slang.

The majority of the news reports (like this one in the Times) seemed to have picked up the press release verbatim, but it is a bit difficult to establish where the cockney cash machines are actually located (the stories tend to just report 'five Cockney cash dispensers from East London to Barnet'.)

However, Andy has managed to note the 5 addresses of the cockney cash machines:

- Murco Service Station, Hatch Lane, Chingford, London, E4 6LP
- 447 Roman Road, London, E3 5LX
- 73 Commercial Street, London, E1 6BD
- 24 High Street, Walthamstow, London E17 7LD
- 197 Mays Lane, Barnet, EN5 2DY

I went to the cockney cash machine in Barnet tonight. More entertaining than a normal cash point visit, here are the screen grabs:

Cockney cashpoint select your languageCockney cashpoint - select your language, 'English' or 'Cockney'

cockney cashpoint - enter your Huckleberry Finn PinCockney cash machine - 'Enter your Huckleberry Finn' (pin)

Cockney cashpoint reading your cardCockney cashpoint - 'Reading your bladder of lard' (card)

Cockney cashpoint servicesCockney cash machine - 'some moolah for ya sky rocket? ya rattle & tank balance?'

Cockney cashpoint contacting bankCockney cashpoint - 'we are contacting your rattle and tank' (bank)

Cockney cash machine - transaction Nigel Manselled (cancelled)

Cockney cashpoint transaction Nigel Manselled cancelledCockney cashpoint - 'Tom Hanks Me Ol' Dutch plate' (Thanks mate)

The Cockney cashpoint livened things up by offering me some Welsh too:

Cockney cashpoint WelshCockney cash machine - Welsh (!)

However, the cockney cashpoint had an 'out of order' sign over it when I arrived. The cashpoint light was flashing behind it though, so I took the sign off and had a look. At this point a shop worker from the shop next to it came out to inform me that 'it's out of order as it's all turned to goobledygook' (which I can only assume was in reference to the cockney!) I used the cockney cash machine anyway and took my photos, but the sign went back up afterwards:

Cockney cashpoint - out of order

On the drawing board the cockney cashpoint looks like a great idea (change 5 machines, get mass news coverage and prompt social media discussion) - and this stunt has received a massive amount of coverage from across the globe.

However, if members of the public who are actually using the machine don't know what's going on then the cockney cash machine is more likely to cause anxiety rather than enjoyment - and if they are all signed as 'out of order' then revenue per machine may actually go down rather than up. The news stories state that the cockney cash machine experiment may also be replicated in other parts of the country, with Geordie or Brummie cash machines in the pipeline. If this does happen, until word of the stunt has spread properly, I would firmly recommend that there is something on the machine itself to let people know what is happening + a briefing to those working in the vicinity.

The cockney cash machine is another great example though of how the new word of mouth / social environment works. Stunt / event to fuel discussions, with journalists, tweeters and bloggers amplifying the message for you afterwards - one press release and five altered cash machine have generated huge coverage!

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16 comments:

MadMenMedia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadMenMedia said...

I welcome product & tech ingenuity especially when it places consumers at front of mind but not at the expense of good diction. Enough money is pumped into the education system so we do not speak in 'slangs'. Whilst this might very well create an uplift in cash withdrawals I'm not sure if this should be encouraged.

Christian Hughes said...

I'm loving this, though the equivalent in Dublin (a Scanger Cash Machine) would never work. Even us natives wouldn't be able to understand it!

David said...

Fantastic! It's great to see that even the respectable banks are sometimes capable of embracing things a bit outside the normal! Unlike a certain earlier commenter who seems to think that language should be set in stone with only one 'correct' way of doing/saying things! Which sounds very boring if you ask me. :-)

tomasz. said...

MadMenMedia: "Enough money is pumped into the education system so we do not speak in 'slangs'."

Usage of slang is not a marker of any kind of "lack of education". It merely indicates that the speaker does not conform to whichever mode of speech has been arbitrarily deemed 'standard'. (Or else you must think Charles Dickens was having a bad hair day every time he wrote a line of Cockney dialogue in "Oliver Twist", for instance; or when Shakespeare wrote servant characters, etc.)

It's not like there was a point in history when English was One Hundred Percent Right™ and it's all been downhill since then.

Nick Burcher said...

Thanks for the comments, butI don't think we should read to deeply into this!

It's a promotional stunt that has gained an extraordinary amount of press coverage, but (from my admittedly small sample of 3) mixed reactions from the people who've actually experienced the cockney cash machine so far - Christian, I can only imagine what would be featured on a Dublin version....

The 'cockney cashpoint' is also the sort of randomness that appealed to people when 'Pirate English' launched as a language option on Facebook!

IHaveGirlParts said...

There was a Cockney Cash Point at Thorpe Park. Now that I know what that means I want to go back and use it!

Anonymous said...

Shame its not using the correct Cockney rhyming slang. But good all the same, me ole' china

furpurrson said...

B***dy hilarious!!

butmadnnw said...

What a boring world this would be if we were all identical! Spoke in identical accents, using identical words...

Slang, accents, diction, colloquialisms are all regional markers for language. They make visiting London a different experience than visiting Brooklyn (which itself is different from visiting the Bronx!), and form part of a group's camaraderie/bond - like it or not, *every* group, whether genetic, social, regional, or business - oy, especially business, with all those "buzzwords"! - has some phrases that are unique to that group. I thoroughly enjoy the variety within the English language and make an effort to learn regional slang - it's an interesting exercise, like learning an entirely new language. I like to think it also "shortcuts" conversations with locals (since neither side has to explain what is meant), although it can be a mixed bag between immediate clear understanding and confusion that an American just used a Britishism like... (ack, I can't think of a good example word/phrase at this hour, except overly easy ones like "loo," "lift," and "oi").

(Let it be clear that I do subscribe to the idea that one *should* learn "proper" English, especially before one attempts to abuse it through Netspeak and such. Learn the rules, so you know HOW to break them.)

As for the cash points, I don't understand why people would be confused. The first screen you see makes clear the choice, doesn't it? Were they not paying attention?

Dan said...

How strange.

I hope this stunt isn't repeated in the Midlands, it would be incomprehensible.

hakllssoi said...

I want a Geordie one.

Joseph McAllister said...

The first screen gives you a choice. I would think one of any intelligence would figure out how to get back to the beginning and choose English if they accidentally chose Cockney at the start.

Waiting for one with Klingon at the Comicons. :)

Watches said...

Lol, i had no idea that cockney cash machines existed. Those are so funny. Now i must use one :D Thank you for giving us the addresses. Maybe the cash machines would attract more tourists! lOL

Anonymous said...

What makes me laugh the most is that the boring 'MadMenMedia' who wants us all to conform with the same diction obviously messed up his first post with a mix of bad language skills / misspellings and had to delete it and write it again... massive fail to him but great to see that the banks can have a bit of a laugh and try something new. (And yes, I realise this thread is almost 3 years old!)

Romulus said...

Shouldn't the sign say something more like "chowder and porter" ?