30 Oct, 2009

Your ad on Victory Arch

Posted by: admin In: Creative Review

If you’re based in London and journey home via Waterloo, you might notice the station’s Victory Arch start to collapse around 5.30pm, thanks to an ultra-realistic digital projection. Perhaps more worrying though, is that this famous memorial to the station’s staff killed in the first world war, is now a licensed ad site…

Projection Advertising and Titan Outdoor are unveiling AdTrace, their new “3D mapping projection technology”; essentially a digital projection that can be tailored to the exact features of the station façade. AdTrace apparently allows the mapping of complex buildings so that a projection can be matched to the contours of the structure without distorting the image. 

The press release claims that this, naturally, “makes it possible to project onto virtually any building, opening endless opportunities for advertisers and building owners.” Fair enough – and by the look of the other work on Projection Advertising’s site, for the Watchmen film for example – they do it well.

But technical innovations aside, the claim itself sounds like a fairly frightening prospect. (Remember when a static Gail Porter was beamed onto the House of Parliament for FHM years ago? Well now imagine her writhing around Big Ben itself. OK, bad example).

Joking aside however, the press release states that Waterloo’s James Robb Scott-designed, Grade II listed façade is now, apparently, “available for commercial bookings from the beginning of November”. Titan Outdoor already have the exclusive contract for ad sites at the 16 other stations owned by Network Rail.

Tonight’s digital spectacle of Waterloo “collapsing” is one thing (even if not wholly appropriate for a war memorial) but what happens once big brands get to project what they want onto the structure, using the same technology?

Network Rail clearly has other priorities. After the Victory Arch is reduced to rubble tonight, we wonder who will be the first brand to add their message to one of the capital’s grandest war memorials?

You can watch a preview of the Waterloo station projection, here.

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