Brands lighting up the sky

3 Jun

This post links back to my trip to Paris this week. As it was my first visit, I made sure I soaked up all the information I could about the landmarks I visited. It wasn’t long until I was hit by how French car manufacturer Citroen had the great idea of emblazoning its brand name on the Eiffel Tower –  using 250,000 lights – back in 1925.

I remember quite well when 90’s pin-up Gail Porter seduced the nation to find FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women on the Houses of Parliament. At the time I thought this was a brand new approach to marketing; a never-been-seen before stunt. But, to find out that landmarks were being used more than 70 years earlier (if not before)  just proves that some of the best PR campaigns don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Putting a new tyre on it works just as well.

Citroen’s bright idea remained in place until 1934 when the electricity bill became too much. But it did find some spare Euros to celebrate the company’s 90th birthday in 2009, to put on a 12-minute light show performance, complete with cars streaming live footage from webcams around the tower.

So, to salute this celebrated channel for brand advertising, I’ve listed my top three outside projections:

1. Buckingham Palace: Face Britain project, 2012. Created by Prince Charles’ foundation Children and the Arts, a giant image of Queen Elizabeth, made up of self portraits by school children, were projected onto her home.

In the year of the Diamond Jubilee, this was always going to cause a stir with the media.

2. White Cliffs of Dover: Carlsberg, 2011. To kick start its campaign ‘That calls for a Carlsberg’, the company projected an impressive 3D advert on the White Cliffs of Dover.

Great use of an ‘off-the-wall’ location that guarantees talkability.


3. Battersea Power Station: Natural History Museum, 2010. Giant frogs and dragonflies covered Battersea Power Station for the launch of the OPAL Water Survey, a national initiative to get people to explore England’s lakes and ponds, collecting valuable scientific information along the way.

Cute and clever…and possibly the only way to make the survey seem exciting. 

What are your favourite projections? What was it about them that made them so memorable?

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