London has a reputation for being this hip and vibrant city that is always in sync with the modern times. This also applies to its use of social media that is used in marketing. Although marketing in London still relies heavily on traditional social media like posters and billboards, digital video is becoming more prevalent to boost the branding relationship between consumer and company. In other words, from my observations shopping centers and international clothing brands such as H & M and Top Shop are going from the traditional strategic platforms such as posters to animated marketing using digital video. During my time in London, I have found this animated strategy is heavily focused in tourist locations such as Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus.
On Oxford Street, I found digital videos is widely used specifically in clothing departments. One of my most earliest memories seeing this type of marketing strategy was when I was in Primark. Rather using traditional posters to promote its clothing, the store projected video footage of models wearing Primark clothing on walls. Here, the video shows the models virtually walking and running to demonstrate how the clothing looks on a real person rather than a stationary manikin. Unlike Oxford Street that uses digital technologies to market specific brands, Piccadilly circus uses the technologies to promote multiple brands all at once. The prime example of this is at the epicenter of Piccadilly where the large LG screen is located. At once, the screen can hold up to seven promotional ads.
Apart from social media technologies being used as a marketing tool, it is also very interesting from my time walking in the streets of London that every person, regardless of age, is digitally connected. Above all the media technologies used by individuals, smart phones are more prevalent. For tourists, smart phones are primarily used to help navigate around the city, whereas, residents use smart phones to converse with friends, family, and conduct business transactions while walking from destination to another. It was also interesting to find a reoccurring trend that is also found in the U.S. that the smart phone is taking over the responsibilities of the laptop computers. This is highly demonstrated in coffee shops such as Starbucks and at restaurants where WiFi is easily accessible.
What is also interesting regarding smart phones is that they have replaced the traditional printed newspaper and magazine. As a traveling spectator, I have found when passing individuals on the streets and at restaurants they are using their smart phones to read the news rather relying on a hard copy.