16 August 2018
Crowds gathered at Manchester Castlefield Bowl, people stood side by side, waiting eagerly and with bated breath in front of ADI’s gigantic iCONIC 120SW LED screen for 7pm to arrive to see whether England would make it to the 2018 World Cup Final.
As England were awarded a free kick less than 5 minutes into the game, Kieran Trippier placed the ball in the top corner and scored the opening (and sadly only) goal for England. The crowd erupted. Thousands joined together in celebration of what we thought would be our ticket to the World Cup Final.
It was worth it just for this… Thank you Manchester 🙌 pic.twitter.com/EznHWRyagQ
— AutoTrader.co.uk (@AutoTrader_UK) July 12, 2018
And although the outcome may not have been as we had all wanted, something else quite special happened. People were brought together, united by their sense of hope that this year would be our year. They stood side by side, cheered, laughed, gasped and when the fate of the English team was sealed, some even cried. They did it together.
That event, played out on that screen, brought people together and helped them share in a special (and sadly for some, heartbreaking) moment. Without that screen, playing out that event, those people would not have been able to join together in celebration when England scored and then comfort each other when the final whistle blew.
Councils and BIDs are under increasing pressure to bring back a sense of community within the towns and cities they serve – to organise events that create a sense of togetherness and inclusion. As a result, we are being approached more and more frequently to talk about how LED screens can facilitate in these objectives.
As objectives change, so to do the requirements of LED. The screens we have installed so far this year have not been bought to be used as giant digital billboards. The customers buying these screens, and in particular councils and BIDs, believe their value lies not in hour after hour of advertising, but in what they can do for local communities and local businesses.
These screens are being installed in order to serve communities, and to bring people together. They are being used at the centre of shared experiences and as a supporting mouthpiece for local and civic events and initiatives.
Whilst revenue generation is still a necessity, it’s coming not through national advertising from media agencies, but through local businesses sponsoring screen focused events, through local companies paying to sponsor the delivery of engaging content via the screen and through the events themselves.
Importantly, these screens aren’t being driven by commercial content, they’re being supported by it. Just as more town centres are putting communities and local businesses before high street brands as they plan their spaces, the same strategy can be applied to their content.
So, whilst you’re waiting for England’s next opportunity at World Cup glory, there are hundreds if not thousands of events your screen can be used for and just as many ways you can use your screen to engage your local community.