Tuesday, May 31, 2011

3D Advertising--Flash in the Pan?

According to a leading producer of stereoscopic 3D commercials and recent studies from multiple independent sources - including ESPN, Xpand and Texas Instruments- the use of 3D in advertising yields:
  • 92% total recall of an ad 
  • 68% of that number showing a higher likelihood of following through with a purchase of the product advertised
  • average increase in viewer retention of 15% for 3D commercials
Did this catch your attention? Perhaps I ought to bing blogger.com to find a way for these words to magically pop out of the screen for you and then perhaps you will take notice. Those statistics are phenomenal. What advertiser would not want to be part of that? Of course, that explains the rush of sorts for certain brands to jump on this and for us as media providers to find ways to leverage such value. Statistics like that indicate that 3D is not some tiny trend which is here today and gone tomorrow. The silver screen is certainly using this as a way to revive sluggish box office sales and freshen things up for movie goers, so why not a deeper push within advertising to this point? 

For a nominal increase in cost but a huge jump in statistics that all advertisers want to see such as high retention rates, high brand recall and increased likelihoods for future purchases, it seems like a no brainer.

However, there are some good reasons as to why things have not taken off completely just yet.  The first one is certainly technology related and its limitations to date. Namely, I strongly suspect that the technology is good enough for home viewing but it has not penetrated deep enough via home equipped television sets, glasses. The second issue is the home programming. Of course there are some good examples of 3D programming such as the Discovery Channel, ESPN and others, however as a whole we still have a ways to go before networks will invest consistently in wholly 3D based programs.  Until this happens, most advertisers will not jump off their tried, tested and true 2D and accompanying huge metrics for this tiny--albeit a growing one--niche segment. 

In essence, I really feel that 3D advertising is like that rolling snowball analogy. It simply takes motion and a persistence in the beginning to get things moving. Before you know it, that tiny little snowball has picked up what was needed and is now boulder sized and thundering down the hill enveloping all in its path. It is at this point in which the advertisers will fully jump on. One has to look no further than 3D in movies for that type of thinking to be validated. 

My confidence in this is really based on knowing and understanding that the purpose within advertising at its simplest and core is providing cut-through to a targeted segment. 3D certainly offers the cut-through and now its merely allowing the channels to develop which will allow advertisers to reach out (pun intended) and attract.  Therefore, I do think it is here to stay and it is not even close to being a flash in the pan phenomena. Given time, you will see 3D penetrating even deeper into other forms of media via AR, billboards, other 3D optical illusions and of course more television and commercials. All sorts of fun stuff is on its way! 

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