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Very hi-tech new British Airways ad goes live in Piccadilly Circus

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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.


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Comments (16)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Frenske says:

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

  • blenz101 says:

    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.

    • Rob says:

      … 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.

      • Blenz101 says:

        Well – I was only semi-serious.

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

  • Ed E says:

    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.

  • Mark says:

    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!

      • ian says:

        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.

          • John says:

            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.

          • Rob says:

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

  • luckyjim says:

    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.

  • ian says:

    It’s the one with the planes flying over it. 🙂

  • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

    It looks like the site on the corner of Haymarket and Coventry Street.
    Somewhere near here http://goo.gl/maps/z2ojB

  • 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?

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