Advertising Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly Lights

London’s famed Piccadilly Lights to reilluminate in October with Bernardo's charity drive


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

September 15, 2017 | 3 min read

After a nine-month window of inactivity, one of London’s most prominent ad boards is to be illuminated in October as part of a philanthropic relaunch intent on raising money for Bernardo’s.

Piccadilly Lights

Piccadilly Lights to be reactivated in October

The iconic advertising inventory has been digitised in a lengthy renovation with a single state-of-the-art 4K LED screen capable of hosting live videos, weather, news and sports results, in addition to real-time social media feeds.

On a day-to-day basis the screen can be split into numerous sizes, but will primarily function as six sub screens to accommodate multiple buyers. As such Landsec and Ocean Outdoor now boast the largest screen of its kind in Europe.

Marking the launch in October will be a Facebook Live broadcast, aptly titled the PiccadillyOn campaign. Generating money for charity is a drive urging members of the public to sponsor a colour chip comprising a 3D countdown clock on the screen that will later join into a choreographed reveal moment at launch. Contributors are urged to provide a minimum of £2. Further to this, Coca-Cola, a longtime buyer of the inventory, has kicked off the fundraising with a donation to sponsor their red colour chip.

Tim Bleakley, chief executive of Ocean Outdoor, said: “Piccadilly Lights is the world's most complex, feature rich advertising display and surpasses all other out-of-home sites for its technical and interactive broadcast capabilities.

“Operationally, Piccadilly Lights will be like running six TV channels. No other screen can synchronise content from six advertisers to a precise broadcast transmission schedule which is timed to the second. This project is a terrific investment in the development of digital out of home; it demonstrates pioneering leadership and innovation in this field.”

Javed Khan, Barnardo’s chief executive, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Landsec has chosen Barnardo’s, the UK’s leading children’s charity, to be the beneficiary of the #PiccadillyOn campaign. By sponsoring a colour, members of the public will literally be lighting up the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and helping them to have brighter futures.

Longtime partner Coca-Cola also pitched in; managing director Aedamar Howlett said the company has been “an important part of our marketing strategy for over 60 years and we're proud to continue this legacy”.

The shut down site hosted a prominent physical adblock prank from the creative community.

Advertising Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly Lights

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