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How digital advancements will change the media landscape

How digital advancements will change the media landscape

By Danny Morris, Speedshape UK.

There appears to be no ceiling to the technological development and advances - ten years ago who would have believed that 3D cinema would become so mainstream.

In addition to the world’s biggest movie studios pushing the boundaries of what is technologically possible, consumers can now get the 3D experience from the comfort of their own homes with the first 3D TV sets now on sale in the UK.

Apple’s innovations are also becoming increasingly sophisticated, with the company recently revealing that they are now working on iSpecs so that consumers can watch movies in 3D while on the move and not just in cinemas or on TV. A lot of brands of varying types are jumping on the 3D bandwagon.

The availability of 3D TVs has opened up whole new opportunities for 3D advertising and marketing. The Six Nations rugby, Premier League matches and live fashion shows have now been broadcast in 3D.

Even this year’s football World Cup will have 25 matches filmed in 3D, and both Samsung and Sony are so confident in these trends that they are aiming to sell over two million 3D televisions in 2010.

If technology is going to continue to grow and become more sophisticated and advanced, the marketing and advertising industries need to ensure that they harness these tools and use it to their advantage.

While 3D has become mainstream in TV and movies, for the marketing and advertising industry it is the advancements in CGI that will offer executives a financial and technological edge in an ever competitive marketplace.

The use of CGI technology in marketing has had less cut through than the use of 3D in recent times, and it seems is not as much on the radar of some marketers in the UK as in the US. The availability of CGI offers a smart alternative for marketers who are focussing on the cost benefits of various marketing solutions.

CGI, the application of computer graphics for special effects, can be used as much for adverts, TV and printed materials as it can for movies, enabling the development of computer generated effects, and replicas of products or humans that are nearly indistinguishable from real life.

The momentum CGI has gained in the US is looking set to continue in the UK now as marketers and brands begin to understand its use and recognise its validity within the marketing life cycle.

The growth of digital marketing is only set to continue and new technologies such as advances in CGI can dramatically cut the cost of creating ad campaigns. The advantages mean a reduction in the costs involved of shooting on location, saving companies thousands on overheads.

However, the average digital experience and expectations from many clients are now vastly higher, meaning that companies need to ensure that they are up to date with the latest technology. CG assets are created using CAD data before a product is put into the initial stages of production, and can be used for almost any industry whether it’s virtual cars, crisps, buildings or computers.

While the flexibility of CGI technology enables the models to be transferred across print, broadcast and online marketing campaigns, creating real consistency of imagery across the whole campaign, it is the interactive nature of the product that gives it that elusive edge. CG assets can turn a casual interest in a product into sales and make a serious difference to a company’s bottom line, allowing companies to create virtual customisers so that consumers can engage with their products before production has even begun.

The use of CGI in advertising and marketing campaigns will continue to grow and expand within different industries. For the sporting and entertainment arenas, while paying through the nose for advertising slots during events such as the Superbowl and World Cup, brands can save money on production costs with CGI assets without sacrificing quality or impact.

The beauty of CGI technology is its flexibility. While it can hold its own as a standalone marketing technique or product, it can also be used in conjunction with the more traditional methods to achieve even higher cut through in a crowded marketplace.

As budgets are being scrutinised more closely than ever, the cost benefits of CGI become significant; as once a digital model is created it is a multi-platform asset that can be easily used and modified without having to foot massive production bills.

This lifecycle also helps avoid commonplace minor differences or inaccuracies that can typically apply across the different mediums in a marketing campaign.

As 3D technology becomes more widely available with home 3D TV sets and the use of 3D in the entertainment, sports and fashion arenas, it is an exciting time for the advertising and marketing industries to capitalise on the technological advances now available to them.

CGI technology will not only provide agencies with cost effective solutions, but allows them to be at the cutting edge of the digital age.

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