Iconic outdoor advertising sites across the UK were lit up to mark Holocaust Memorial Day last Saturday at 8pm in an initiative devised by creative agency St Luke’s for its client, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
A total of 400 OOH (out-of-home) sites simultaneously showed thousands of candles being lit – with a nationwide total of six million candles appearing, representing the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
The lit candles were displayed for a 10-minute vigil, which everyone was invited to join, either in person or online.
The sites include Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Towers, Manchester Arndale, the Edinburgh Arch, major London train stations – and a complete takeover of London’s Piccadilly Lights.
All the ad space was donated by Global, Clear Channel, National Rail, Ocean Outdoor and JCDecaux.
Moreover, St Luke’s work for the Trust was also pro bono.
Holocaust Memorial Day
The candle vigil forms part of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s annual “Light the Darkness” national moment, which each year sees famous British buildings and landmarks lit up purple.
Speaking ahead of the event, Olivia Marks-Woldman OBE, CEO of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “At 8pm, people across the UK will light a candle in their homes while iconic landmarks light up purple in a powerful moment of collective remembrance of those murdered for who they were.
“The theme of this year’s commemorations, the Fragility of Freedom, presents an opportunity to reflect on the freedoms that we hold dear, and ways that we can challenge prejudice today.
“In the face of rising antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred, it is more important than ever that we come together to create a world free from identity-based persecution.
“We are immensely grateful to every landmark that is taking part, as well as our partners at St Luke’s, Global, Clear Channel, National Rail, Ocean Outdoor and JCDecaux, for encouraging people to light the darkness.”
Rich Denney, Joint Chief Creative Officer at St Luke’s, said: “The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has worked tirelessly over the last 23 years to shine a light on the darkness of genocide.
“We are proud to play our part alongside our incredible media partners in commemorating the six million lives lost in the Jewish Holocaust, in this touching and important digital vigil.”
Ed Palmer, Managing Director at St Luke’s, said: “It’s hard to grasp the sheer enormity of the 6 million lives lost in the Holocaust.
“By seeing six million virtual candles light up across hundreds of poster sites around the UK, one for each life lost, it puts these atrocities in a new light.
“We hope this ‘digital vigil’ will play its part in commemorating the Holocaust and other genocides around the world, offering a message of hope.”
St Luke’s worked with renowned CGI artist Richard Green to create the images of thousands of candles.
The agency also created a 90-second social film ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, explaining why it is such an important event.
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place internationally every year on January 27, to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups and during more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust promotes and supports the day, and has been supported in recent years by luminaries including Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley and Judge Robert Rinder.