Piccadilly Circus has long been one of the world’s most iconic advertising sites. In this campaign, Ancestry® takes the iconic Piccadilly Lights back in time, recreating London’s famous illuminated signs over the past 80 years, from the end of The Blitz to the present day.
Created by Anomaly, the idea was one of the winners of Ocean Outdoor’s annual Digital Creative Competition. The idea to bring Piccadilly's backstory to life secured a prized slot on Landsec’s iconic Piccadilly Lights which joined Ocean’s 2019 digital out of home (DOOH) competition for the first time last year.
The outdoor showcase is aligned with the 80th anniversary of The Blitz and forms part of Ancestry’s UK wide integrated commemorative campaign which is rolling out across print, digital, PR and social media, supported by influencers and on-site marketing.
The screen time for two 30 minute dominations was donated by Landsec and Coca-Cola, which has had a presence in Piccadilly Circus since 1955.
The spotlight opens in 1949 when the illuminated advertising signs were first switched back on at the end of World War II after a 10 year hiatus. The lights had previously gone out in 1939 to comply with wartime blackouts.
The content remains true to each featured decade, combining historical imagery with archive film footage of famous signs from multiple angles to accurately recreate the classic advertising hoardings from the 1940s, 1960s and 1980s.
As a result, each individual historical sign, from Bovril and Coca-Cola to the Guinness clocks and Schweppes fountain, required a different treatment in 3D render so that when people see the ads brought to life on the new full motion screen they precisely mirror the originals.
An end frame directs viewers to Ancestry® where they can bring their own backstory to life.
Animation and Post Production: Blind Pig
• Executive Producer: Thierry Levy
• Creative Director: Ric Comline
• Creative Lead: Sean Cooper
• Animation: Sean Cooper, Lawrence Scanlon
Media Planning: Ocean Labs