Clear Channel

Visible since Edwardian times, the iconic Piccadilly Circus ad site has become synonymous with London.

Until now, advertisers have had to sign up for a 10-year lease, which realistically opens up the opportunity to very few clients.

Now, for the first time, the Piccadilly Lite screen is available to short-term advertisers and, as such, will have significant impact on brands planning outdoor campaigns in London.

Unsurprisingly, considering the cross-section of people travelling through Piccadilly Circus, the advertisers currently onboard are a mixture of West End shows, electrical manufacturers and property companies.

The site is impressive in quality, although when I visited it wasn't working correctly, with a "Windows task manager" box obscuring part of the site.

Sandwiched between Burger King and the larger Piccadilly sites, it may also struggle for standout.

That said, this is a great opportunity for brands to access the iconic site and have a presence in the very heart of London.

Being able to change the message throughout the day is a real bonus and will allow brands to be a little more creative with their messaging.

As for its impact upon media planners, this site will be most exciting on a local or tactical level.

But as more outdoor sites become digitalised, the impact of the Piccadilly Lite screen may be limited.

It will be very interesting to see the various case studies that emerge over the next few months and the level of impact that can be proven.

A final note; if you have a loose £1,000 in your pocket, you too can post your own personal message, lasting one minute on the screen.

- Review by Eva Powell, planning account director, Universal McCann.

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