13.12.16

Piccadilly Lights switches off in January for giant LED replacement

Piccadilly Lights

The largest single digital screen in Europe is being claimed by Land Securities as it reveals plans to replace the iconic Piccadilly Lights in London in 2017. The single LED display will cover an area of 784m² and will offer greater than 4K resolution (5490 x 2160).

Land Securities, which owns the West End advertising space, worked with media owner Ocean Outdoor to secure permission from Westminster City Council to install the Daktronics curved 17.56m high by 44.62m wide display with an 8mm pixel pitch.

The screen, that will be installed by Electronic Display Services (EDS), will rotate between six full-motion sections in order to maintain the patchwork of advertising space the landmark is known for. The screen can now also be taken over in its entirety.  

Interactivity is also key to the new display. Content is fed via a high-speed WiFi network, live video streaming is supported, as are updates and real-time social media feeds.

Coca-Cola, which has advertised at the spot for 62 years, has already signed up alongside Samsung. They will be joined by four other brands. 

Vasiliki Arvaniti, portfolio manager at Land Securities, described the new display as a “milestone” for Piccadilly Lights.

Tim Bleakley, CEO of Ocean Outdoor, added: “We understand the need to protect [the] heritage [of Piccadilly Lights] while keeping ahead of trends, and this next phase will ensure it is a testament to London’s global reputation for defining invention and innovation.”

Aedamar Howlett, Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland marketing director, was keen to take advantage of new opportunities after the installation. “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," she said. 

Russell Taylor, chief marketing officer, Samsung UK & Ireland, was also looking forward to the redevelopment, describing the company’s association with Piccadilly Lights as a ‘’privilege”.

The six existing screens will be switched off in January 2017 to allow works to commence. Apart from occasional power cuts, Piccadilly Lights has in the past only been turned off during World War II, for Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965 and Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. It is also briefly turned off every year for Earth Hour. The new Piccadilly Lights is due to be unveiled in autumn 2017. In the meantime, a static advertising banner featuring the signed brands will be in place.