New Piccadilly Circus screen will target ads at local audience

The iconic landmark and globally-recognised advertising space at Piccadilly Circus will soon be unveiling their new and improved screen to replace the six screens that were there previously. This giant LED screen measures 790m², making it Europe’s largest single digital screen. This LED display can produce over 281 trillion different colours from 11 million pixels that are each spaced 8mm from its nearest neighbour.

Brands will now have the opportunity to take over the entire screen, which wasn’t previously possible with the six screens of different sizes made by different manufacturers. Every ten minutes a single brand will fill the entire screen with their advert for 30 seconds. Coca cola, Samsung and Hyundai will be amongst the first to fill these spaces. For the rest of the time, the screen will be divided into six sections, that will each stream live videos, social media feeds and sports results.

This vast screen shows us that targeted advertising isn’t confined to the internet. Using recognition technology, the screen will use its hidden cameras to analyse the make, model and colours of cars that drive past, as well as age, gender and even feelings of nearby pedestrians in order to tailor the ads for the local audience. This technology can be used to program certain ads to play when a specific car drives past or in response to weather changes or news.

These illuminated advertisements have been a part of Piccadilly Circus since 1908, with the first sign being for bottled water brand, Perrier. Since then brands including, BP, Canon, McDonalds, Panasonic, Samsung and TDK have all advertised there. Piccadilly lights have only been turned off a handful of times in the past, during World War II, for Winston Churchill’s funeral and for Princess Diana’s funeral.

Landsec won’t reveal the exact dates that the screen will be switched back on as it doesn’t want to cause overcrowding in the area. However, when it does, the screen will also provide complimentary free public Wi-Fi for people in the surrounding area.