Very hi-tech new BA ad goes live in Piccadilly Circus

This is spooky stuff, and is really pushing the boundaries of what can be done with IT today.

This shot is from a British Airways billboard installed in Piccadilly Circus:

BA ad

Looks a bit dull?  Take a look at how it looks in ‘real life’, via this short video:

As you can see, the child jumps up and points at the plane as it moves across the sky.  At the same time, the text identifies the plane and puts up current fare deals to that destination.

It’s all very, very clever.  Similar billboards have been installed in Chiswick.

Hard to believe that this comes from the same people who built an airline terminal without thinking about how they would change the lightbulbs, with the net effect that 60% of bulbs are now dead and not a single one has been changed in five years.

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Comments

  1. Wow clever stuff. To be fair, BA does not own Heathrow and did not built T5, but probably had some input in it.

  2. Raffles I expect better! Since when did BA build an airport terminal? This was built by BAA.

    Furthermore, there IS a mobile roof gantry installed for just this purpose – it has failed. HAL have decided to upgrade the lighting though rather than spend money repairing/replacing the gantry infrastructure. This removes the need to have permanant gantry as access will be required far less frequently.

    Facts – they do soil a good story.

    • … but it wasn’t my story, to be fair! I just linked in to it. Note that I didn’t do a full post on this.

      • Well – I was only semi-serious.

        Always frustrating to read the press version of something when you know the facts!

  3. I saw this ad for the first time in Chiswick yesterday as I was driving back from a T2 trial.
    Very impressed, even if I couldn’t go on Flightradar and check the accuracy as I was driving.

    I don’t know if it would become annoying if one was stuck in traffic there though.

  4. I wonder if its clever to know if the plane is actually the one stated. Has anyone used flight radar to check?

    • flyforfun says:

      On another forum somebody saw the ad, then got their FlightRadar app out and checked. It was correct! Sorry, I can’t recall which forum. I read too many!

      • Planes transmit all sorts of things, so it’s not that difficult technically.

        The clever bit is thinking of the idea in the first place!

        • Anthony Thomas says:

          It might just be programmed based on where the plans *should* be, assuming their daily schedule is going correctly with no delays – reducing the need of technology even further, I guess time will tell. Someone go check it out when snow has cancelled all flights.

          It’s still a nice ad though regardless.

          • OK, you really need to work this out in degrees of arc, but if the average plane flies over London at 250km/h, that’s about 70m/s, so even 1 minute of delay would make it quite inaccurate. Also, there are things called holding patterns and wind, which changes every flight plan.

          • Flight Radar can tell you exactly what plane is overhead at any point. Using that data to create the ad would not be tricky.

  5. Aer Lingus used to have the slogan ‘ Look Up, It’s Aer Lingus’.

    On the approach to Dublin Airport they had a billboard which simply said “Look Up”. Nine times out of Ten (in the days before Ryanair) there would be an Aer Lingus plane in the sky.

    The funniest thing though was the fact that the billboard was on a bend and would often have a car-sized hole in it.

  6. The one in Piccadilly is not up yet, apparently. Yesterday a friend of mine been there to try to see it, but she couldn’t find it. Or maybe it’s not right in the middle of Piccadilly Circus.
    I’ll go on the weekend and try to find it.

  7. Myrtlepies says:

    What happens when departures are in an easterly direction, and therefore arrivals are coming in over Windsor? – do the billboards have some kind of a “neutral” setting for when there are no incoming BA flights to identify?