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Harrods ups its bid to compete in the media big league with the launch of a six-storey LED installation

Harrods is making the most of its iconic high footfall space, tempting greater advertising spend with the launch of 12 hi-spec, LED screens across the six floors of its escalator atrium.

Delivered by Chinese LED supplier Aoto, the digital site was formally unveiled at an event for its brand partners today (23 November). It forms part of Harrods’ £20m redesign of the Grade II-listed Grand Entrance Hall and showcases the department store’s dedication to evolving its offering to luxury advertisers, a sector that Harrods Media’s director, Guy Cheston, believes has been “a little bit slow” to catch up with digital media.

“Harrods is a media in itself,” said Cheston. “We’re really seeing momentum [for digital advertising] build over the last 18 months. So we’re giving brands a bigger canvas: we've gone from more than 50 advertising sites to 12 locations, but they’re much more impactful, they’re bigger and they’re state of the art.

He added: "Brands can get real impact from using these large media opportunities ... it’s a slightly different opportunity for them to cut through the media jungle.”

Advertisers can buy 15-second single screen slots, repeated on a loop every 2.5 minutes, and can also negotiate weekend ‘takeovers’ of the entire inventory at certain times of the year. Corresponding audio is also on offer for what Cheston refers to as “complete domination”.

While the LEDs are open to all brands – not just those sold in-store – Cheston admits to being “picky” in terms of which labels Harrods Media will work with across its media portfolio, which includes print, its windows and other in-store display.

“It’s not just always about the money for us - quite often we're actually turning away brands that we don’t think are appropriate,” he explained. “We're also very particular about creative quality and about how brands are presenting themselves.”

Next on the horizon for Harrods Media is a shake-up of the rest of its digital inventory, such as in-department screen networks and in-store concessions. “For us it’s about maximizing the current portfolio, such as upgrading to new technologies like LED.

“It’s still an ongoing investment,” said Cheston.

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