Smirnoff Rings in the New Year with Piccadilly Lights


Last October saw the renovation and relaunch of London’s iconic advertising space known as Ocean Outdoors’ Piccadilly Lights. Ever since the deployment of its new and improved 4K LED digital screen with 8-millimeter pixel pitch, more than 44 meters of width, seamless curvature and certain weather-reactive capabilities, major brand names like Coca-Cola, Samsung and eBay have been eager to get their customized creative featured at the spot that sees footfall of 100 million people each year. Think of Piccadilly Lights as the miniature version of the digital signage extravaganza and forum that is New York’s Times Square–both being gargantuan canvases worthy of ad messaging to match.  

Well, the latest household name to roll out notable content for this screen with a real purpose was Smirnoff—everyone’s favorite mixer from the middle shelf. The company’s “We’re Open” campaign managed to book the space for the prime time slot of Christmas through New Year’s Eve, and it ended with a colorful countdown to 2018 that enticed massive crowds of tourists and locals to join in the festivities. On top of the not-so-subtle suggestion to ditch the traditional champagne and ring in the New Year responsibly with … let’s say … a vodka … or two, the campaign ran alongside the Mayor of London’s gender-equality initiative.

At the stroke of midnight, the “We’re Open” campaign transformed into “Free to Be,” and Smirnoff supported the Mayor’s efforts with larger-than-life 4K images of models doing their best Ziggy Stardust impersonations at a breakneck pace. In other words, the party turned into a music video/fashion show celebration of gender inclusivity and fluidity. As the campaign says, “Labels are for bottles. Not people.” Want a closer look at the video that played on the Piccadilly Lights screen during those first few minutes of 2018? Check out the video here.

About Author

Jason Kushner is a videographer, editor, writer and filmmaker living in the Greater Atlanta Area. With an educational background combining film and journalism, Kushner has shot video and written for a myriad of publications and multimedia projects including Creative Loafing Tampa,, Starline Films and Digital Signage Connection. His 2009 documentary American Colonies: Collapse of the Bee became an Official Selection at 12 international film festivals, won Best Documentary at the 2009 Central Florida Film Festival and a John Muir Gold Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival.  In 2015, he became Digital Media Editor for Digital Signage Expo, LightShow West and LED Specifier Summit and has since become Digital Content Manager for those shows’ parent company, Exponation.

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