Creative Advert Concepts: Big Shaq’s Trainline Voice Rap

The Creative Advert Concepts Blog

My take on the best, worst, most interesting, innovative and creative advert concepts, ideas and campaigns. This week:

Big Shaq x Trainline Voice Rap

Creative Advert Concepts - Big Shaq x Trainline

The background

For those readers not based here in the UK, Big Shaq might take a little bit of explaining. He’s not really a rapper. At least – not in the traditional sense.

Big Shaq is a comedy character – created by British comedian (and, luckily, rapper) Michael Dapaah. First appearing in Dapaah’s online comedy series Somewhere In London…


…it was an appearance 0n BBC Radio 1Extra’s ‘Fire In The Booth’ that saw Big Shaq hit the big time.


This made-up rapper – a parody of the over-hyped over the top ‘roadman’ rappers that the UK grim scene has in plentiful supply – captured that nation’s imagination thanks to one ridiculous lyric: “The girl told me, ‘Take off your jacket. I said, ‘Babes, man’s not hot’”.

That line went viral – and was quoted everywhere. Even on stage at the Labour Party Conference – where Jeremy Corbyn tried to get in on the action. So Dapaah did the only sensible thing: released his ‘joke’ track as an actual, serious, record.


It’s one of the biggest UK Grime records every realised. The music video – which features Big Shaq not taking off his coat in Miami, London and Amsterdam – has 300 million views alone.


The Idea

Trainline – one of the UK’s biggest online portals for train tickets and travel information – teamed up with Big Shaq to showcase their new Google Assistant powered Voice App. This is, they claim, the first rap battle featuring a voice bot.


The Verdict

A solid idea in principle: jump on the bandwagon of a viral sensation, and try to use their popularity to boost the reach of your content. And sure – that gets people clicking. But it’s not enough to keep them watching until the end.

My two pence: there’s a few funny moments – but with a cleverly crafted script, this could’ve been so much funnier. And if you’re trying to use a comedian’s popularity to help your content go viral – you can’t afford to forget about the funny.


About the Author

Adam Hunt is a Script Writer and Creative Consultant. Based in London, he works remotely for clients around the world.

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