The enormous light show that is Piccadilly Lights and arguably one of London’s most iconic viewpoints, is going dark this January.
The owner of this unique West End site, Land Securities, is planning to replace the current LEDs with Europe’s largest single digital screen which will retain its famous curved shape, surface area and its ability to have a patchwork appearance. This upgrade, debuting in Autumn 2017, will see the Piccadilly Lights having one of the highest resolution LED displays of this size in the world with the ability to stream any event live across the globe connecting our capital to the world.
The dimming of these lights is an historic event in our lifetime and something of a big deal. Apart from the odd power cut, the lights (which switched on in 1908) have only been turned off during WWII, for Earth Hour, Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965 and Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. Piccadilly Circus has always been one of the city’s busiest intersections with thousands of tourists passing through to see London’s most iconic advertising hoardings every day. The earliest signs in 1908 used incandescent light bulbs, replaced with neon lights then digital projectors and LED displays. The hoardings used to stretch across to the adjacent London Pavilion as well but the number of signs has reduced over the years as rental costs increased.
Two brands have already signed up for the new look. Coca-Cola is to continue its 62-year residence and will be joined by Samsung. They say:
Aedamar Howlett, Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland Marketing Director: “At a time when there are more advertising opportunities for brands than ever before, there are only a handful of advertising spaces in the world that are as iconic and unique as the Piccadilly Lights. This new technology will allow us to be more agile and tailor our messages in real-time, as well as be more creative when it comes to the content and engaging consumers directly.”
Russell Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer, Samsung UK & Ireland said: “Samsung has had the privilege of being associated with Piccadilly Lights, one of London’s most iconic landmarks, for over two decades. We look forward to the redevelopment of the site, as will the millions global consumers that pass by it every day.”
So here’s to the future – can’t wait to see the new look unveiled in the Autumn.
Contributor: Sue Lowry Imagery: Land Securities