Illuminated advertising: an iconic media


Illuminated advertising is a medium that everyone has heard of or seen, but its role is often overlooked. Its history is rich and its power is undeniable. Discover illuminated advertising in Paris from an angle you probably don’t know: from its crazy years to its more reasoned era.

A strong image from the start

Over time, the image of this media has changed. At the beginning, illuminated advertising was present in large cities such as London, New York and Paris. Made of neon tubes, they take different shapes in the name of brands seeking to be visible and to diversify their communication strategy.

Despite the many criticisms about neon lights, this media became a sign of power in the 1960s. At that time, illuminated advertising was part of the image of capital cities. Brands profited from incredible visibility during the day, but also at night, in highly visited cities.

The Paris ring road, a key axis

In the 1970s, with the changing regulations and the parisian ring road under construction, the main home for these luminous logos shifted. Of course, it is still found inside the city, but it is mainly used to cover the greyness of the ring road.

The periphery of the city, where a large number of people travel, becomes an obligatory stop for advertising. The big brands choose this media in addition to the radio and/or the television to reach a large target group.

A continuous evolution over time

Around 1990-2000, being the busiest road in Europe, foreign and particularly Asian brands use the ring road as a platform to enter the French market.

To keep up with the times, DEFI Group also continues to develop its intra and extra-mural locations to meet the demands. The company also reviews its SER policy approach by changing the illuminated advertisements from neon to LED. This technology is more advanced and more environmentally friendly, as it uses less energy and does not lose heat. Having a luminous advertisement powered by renewable energy is also possible thanks to solar panels.

The last twelve years have seen this medium continue to grow with the world that surrounds it. DEFI shrunked the number of locations available to allow brands to be more unique and visible.

In addition, the majority of advertisers are no longer Asian; on the contrary, we find many French brands. We also find companies that are digital (pure players) and that want to reconnect with everyday life to assert their position and be visible to a large audience.

What next? What future for illuminated advertising?
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Let’s sum it all up in pictures! ⬇️

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