Took myself and the boys off to see Avatar at the weekend. OK Sci Fi story but the 3D special effects were magnificent.
It has to be the future of video – and video advertising. Cars would leap out of the screen at you; well-honed bodies would thrust beauty and grooming products at you; and you’d positively want to reach into the screen to help those poor freezing meercats.
But is this realistic? Whether or not film studios decide that 3D is the future of block-buster movies, the future of TV is far more uncertain. It isn’t that 3D-capable TVs would be massively expensive to manufacture. Or that home audiences would be reluctant to wear 3D glasses.
There just isn’t a lot of money around in TV studios at the moment. Sky (buoyed up by subscription revenues) is planning a 3D TV channel later this year. But it is unlikely that many other commercial broadcasters will be spending a lot of money on creating 3D programming. Even with the benefits of Moore’s Law, this would require an unrealistically large investment in new equipment for several years yet, as well as the development of new skill sets within TV production and artistic staff.
Nonetheless 3D advertising does have an allure that perhaps advertisers will find hard to resist. So if they cannot find an outlet in TV, where will they look?
Well, cinema of course is one place. Wrigley launched a 3D cinema ad last summer. And more recently brands like Royal Caribbean have created ads that do make good use of 3D technology. But cinema, although a fine place to display high quality advertising, is limited in terms of reach and frequency.
Perhaps the future lies elsewhere. Increasingly TVs come ready for connection to the internet. And “watching” the internet on TV – whether it’s for catch up TV, looking at Youtube videos or simply communicating via Facebook – is increasingly common. Is there an opportunity then for TV-delivered internet to be the place that 3D advertising comes alive?
Hmm – I can’t see many people donning those 3D glasses to just to watch advertising! So if 3D advertising is to succeed it will have to be placed in a context where people are already wearing their specs. Where could that be? Well, some might argue that 3D effects make more sense in a video game than in a movie. And certainly 3D video games are going to be big business in the next months…
Could “in-game” or “advergaming” be the future of 3D advertising? The medium has beeen around for years (remember the Peperami animal game?). But it’s never really taken off. Perhaps this time round it will.