Several of London’s tube stations had a makeover last night, courtesy of PlayStation. Just in time for the arrival of the PS5 console tomorrow, signage at Oxford Circus has been updated with the console’s trademark square, circle, triangle and cross. It follows on nicely from the brand’s 2013 stunt, when it lit up London’s Oxo Tower in the symbols to mark the launch of the PS4.
The outdoor signage for all of Oxford Circus tube’s four exits have been changed, each with a different PlayStation shape, while inside the four symbols appear alongside the station name and roundel (which handily doubles as a PlayStation circle). By chance (or not) the Oxford Circus Microsoft store sits right outside one of these exits.
Other stations have also reportedly been renamed to reflect upcoming PS5 games, including Mile End becoming Miles End for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales; Lancaster Gate becoming Ratchet and Clankaster Gate for Ratchet & Clank, Horizon Forbidden West Ham for Horizon Forbidden West; and – easily the laziest of the four – Seven Sisters being renamed Gran Turismo 7 Sisters.
Oxford Circus’s updated signage will only remain in place for 48 hours, and the other stations’ names will be changed back then as well.
Some on Twitter have bemoaned the apparent ‘corporatisation’ of public space, but there’s a sense that this is just the kind of cheeky stunt you might expect from PlayStation, making the most of the iconic status the symbols have reached since the launch of the original PlayStation in 1994 – which was chosen as one of CR’s top 40 creative moments that changed culture.
It also sees a return of the kind of playfulness that gamers love from the brand, which, as discussed in this recent feature on gaming advertising in CR, has been sorely missing of late.
— Mr Lawrence????????????????7️⃣ (@Mr_Lawrence4) November 18, 2020
It’s also likely that Transport for London was handsomely rewarded for handing over its sacred roundel for a couple of days too – something the organisation is in desperate need of in the wake of Covid-19.