Five of the best Christmas light activations

'Tis the season of Christmas light unveilings, and what better way to celebrate, than by taking a look back at some of the most creative switch-on events of recent years?

Approximately 2,000 people lit up Borough Market's Christmas lights through human contact
Approximately 2,000 people lit up Borough Market's Christmas lights through human contact

Borough Market’s kiss generated lights  

To celebrate its 1,000th Christmas in Southwark, London’s famous food district, Borough Market enlisted agencies Tin Man Communications and Tea Time Productions to switch on its lights though human contact – namely the act of kissing.

A total of 2,000 people came together to perform the stunt, which saw individuals positioned under a 300 square-foot ceiling complete with mistletoe. Participants were then asked to execute 1,000 one-second kisses at the exactly the same time, at which point they lit up the lights.

Marmite’s Oxford Street installation

In the lead up to Christmas 2013, Marmite teamed up with production company Grand Visual and agency DDB to create a series of social-powered Christmas lights on Oxford Street.

Members of the public were invited to post their ‘love it or hate it’ expressions along with a selfie on the brand’s Facebook page, to see it appear on a digital banner next to Selfridges.

Westfield’s Mariah Carey launch

The shopping centre brand selected singer Mariah Carey to turn on the Christmas lights at its London property in 2009. The centre’s Southern Terrace was complete with pink carpet, and butterfly confetti was released into the air as Carey made her entrance.

The brand has selected artists including Rita Ora and Rihanna for similar events over the years.

London’s simultaneous switch-on

The capital hosted its largest simultaneous Christmas lights switch-on in 2009, with Oxford Street, Regent Street and St Paul's Cathedral all taking part.

Approximately 50,000 people are said to have attended the event, which was designed to coincide with the world premiere of 3D Disney film, A Christmas Carol at Leicester Square. Piggotts produced the display; meanwhile The ADI Group supplied screens, enabling attendees to view the lights from multiple angles and locations.  

Regent Street’s installation with Jo Malone 

More recently, Regent Street unveiled its Christmas installation by Art Lighting Design on Sunday (15 November) with sponsor Jo Malone.

Coined Timeless Elegance, the lights feature video animations and projections that are in constant transformation. Branding by Jo Malone and Regent Street features on the circular objects that hang overhead, and some showcase the brand’s iconic white packaging. 

More: The best Christmas brand experiences from the past five years

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