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.