With Christmas bearing down on me like a drunken uncle (and with my gift buying barely begun) I took myself off to Westfield’s brand-spanking-new Stratford City shopping centre this week, along with tens of thousands of other badly organised men.
Did I return successful, arms laden with gifts and gadgets for my friends and family? No. But I did come back with some good pictures of how brands are using Westfield – and the latest out of home technology – to execute some eye-catching and immersive advertising.
My first observation is just how drab the centre would be without the universe of ads which it hosts. In a space this size, the ads help break up the monopoly that steel and polished stone (nice as they are) can hold in places like this. Plus, I never want to look at an unadorned lift door again:
The nature of Westfield’s layout (and the distribution of its electronic screens) means that each floor can carry a series of different campaigns simultaneously. As I negotiated the shops on the ground floor it was ads for Orange and Christmas must-have-game Drake’s Deception:
Not my cup of tea (though no doubt very popular with tens of thousands of young shoppers who were, to use the old journalistic cliche, “thronging” the centre). Up on the first floor, however, was an ad that had my (dusty) wallet itching:
Impressive stuff – but perhaps the most striking was the screen above one of the outside courtyards. On sunnier days the space underneath this screen would be packed with shoppers taking a breather:
It wasn’t quite enough to push me in the direction of Westfield’s third floor cinema (to be fair, I’m not the target market for Alvin and the Chipmunks) but in a space packed with kids and families (and one which also contains a cinema) it struck me as a smart piece of planning.
With Christmas footfall at Westfield potentially in the hundreds of thousands – (made up partly of desperate men like me, clambering at the last minute to part with their cash) the centre really is a clean, modern and well-designed advertising site…with a few shops thrown in for good measure.
See you soon,
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