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By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

September 18, 2014 | 3 min read

Philips has launched its first ever connected lighting campaign with an ad showing the history of the light bulb in the home - followed by a hint that the future will involve the firm's dynamic smartbulb range.

The ad has been called ‘How many years does it take to change a light bulb’ - loosely named after the popular joke. It takes viewers through the history of home lighting, showing how little it has changed in the last century.

Designed to promote the firm’s new connected lighting range, the ad, developed by creative network Iris and Cannes Lions award-winning director Martin Stirling, shows how the dynamic bulbs can adapt to the mood in the room.

The ad features a family operating in the living room during different eras - highlighting all the aesthetic design disasters present at the time.

Chris Baylis, executive creative director of Iris, said: “It’s an idea that starts conversations, gets people remembering what they grew up with, and gets them thinking about how quickly technology has changed and enhanced their lives. Now it is lighting’s turn to change and transform their lives and homes.

"We unlocked this idea when we realised how many things had changed in people’s homes and lives, even in just the last few years. You wouldn’t write a letter on a typewriter, so why would you still use a nineteenth century light bulb?"

Baylis concluded: “Light bulbs have largely been left to sell themselves for much of the last century as there was very little new to say about them until now."

Filip Jan Depauw, senior global director of connected lighting at Philips, said: “While every other aspect of our homes and lifestyles has undergone rapid change over the past 150 years, lighting has remained much the same.

“Philips Hue is changing the landscape of the industry irrevocably, empowering people to enrich and improve their lives through light, so showcasing this in a campaign is a natural step forward. Thanks to Hue, the market for light bulbs is getting exciting and changing from one driven by need to one fuelled by desire.”

Through internet automating service,, Philips Hue connects with the web and other connected products such as fitness wrist bands, meaning lights can be programmed to illuminate as users wake up, indicate when it is about to rain, or flash when a selected sports team has scored.

The ad will air online and outdoor and via smart TVs through September and October in the UK, US and Benelux countries in 30, 60 and 90-second formats.

Earlier this year, Philips digital innovation director Vijay Solanki told the Drum his firm uses the Internet of Things to solve specific consumer problems and make new innovations meaningful to the consumer."


Content created with:

Philips Electronics UK

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