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23/01/2011 by

How 3D Projections Create Buzz & WOM?

Traditional billboard advertising is in many ways appropriate. In fact many and major advertisers still give it a fair position in their marketing budget, and they should.. Nevertheless, having the consumer’s attention swapping around as fast as windshield wipers, advertisers need to show off in a serious and astonishing way in order to draw some serious attention.

In this article I will give an impression of this development, accompanied with some nice examples and an example breakdown of the costs.


It all started with wandering around in a shopping mall where suddenly a bright static logo was roaming the street. This was actually not more than a simple mirrored one color projection which, if really neat, was moving around as well. Bingo! Attention grabbed, message communicated. Nevertheless with having three or four of these lights around in one street, the appearance was not quite original anymore. Next to it,  it was just covering a relative small spot on the ground which could easily be missed.

Projection used for advertising is  evolving in a fast pace. From a small spot on the ground, creators moved to walls and even on complete buildings! Eventually turning towards the use of complicated systems of multiple full color projectors. Now that is what we can call massive.

Massive, to the extent of people who are actually viewing this kind of ad. Next to it, with a twelve stories high building as its surface, literally massive as well. And not only static pictures but complete 3D video building captures are taking over the scenery. Some are one way traffic, but we got some examples of interactive projections as well.



LCI Productions Ltd. did a projection for Nissan’s Juke. The company placed the car in the middle of different sceneries in the center of Edinburgh.


This example of an interactive building projection by Mindshare and Mobilera for Cornetto is brilliant. On Taksim Square – Turkey a gigantic projection of a ‘Pac Man’ like setting was created where action-figures need to collect three ice creams in 45 seconds.

These action-figures were controlled by people on the street with their mobile phone. The game was displayed for 2 weeks, 2 hours per night where in total 3,500 people played the game (125 per night) and at least a million people watched it closely. Mindshare was so kind to put an impression of this success on YouTube.


Another case from Mindshare is for Diesel in Denmark. It’s not as big as previous cases, but as you can see in the video the reactions are priceless.


On May 23th 2010 colleague blogger Laurens Bianchi wrote about this piece of art. In Amsterdam Samsung used the Beurs van Berlage building for the promotion of her 3D LED televisions. 


For the opening of their new Flagship store in Amsterdam, H&M wrapped the building with a red ribbon, showing a surreal fairytale of light and magical effects.

What does it costs?

It is hard to put a price-tag on “creation”. Let say that a ‘simple’ static picture can cost you around €2,750 per night. But if you want to have the whole works (and you want that..!), you should count on a fair €120K to €240K per night. What will you get for that investment? A whole team who will actually make a storyboard. A team who will cover the complete 3D mapping on ANY suitable building in the world. A complete arsenal of 3D projectors and supporting hardware, operated by professionals who are ensuring you and your target group of having the experience which both you and your audience will never ever forget.

But that isn’t generating any ROI for you does it? No, the real return on investment is even more spectacular compared with what is happening on the background. If the spot is chosen well, let say a busy square in a metropolis environment, you easily attract a million+ of views (if the production is repeated multiple evenings within a period). People will grab their mobile device and will spread the word through “the Social Network”. In other words instant WOM. Next to it, video. Multiple postings will be placed on portals like YouTube or Sevenload. All because of people who were there want to share it. You could add these worldwide views (between 500K and 1million) to your total views. All are people who wanted to see this, who took a few minutes of their time to watch your brand, dedicated. If we break down the calculations you probably would have a result like this:

(€ 120,000 x 5 nights) / 1,500,000 views = € 0,40 per contact. Ending with countless comments like: “now that’s advertising !” “Sick visuals!” “This is what you call eye candy!” and the final work for ever available on the internet which will generate views in its long tail. In other words a commercial message with a sky high appreciation. Although you can say that online views are not the same as the views generated during the projection.

If you choose to exclude these online views (500K) from your calculation, than the result would be € 0,60 per contact. Next to it, the final investment will vary with the number of nights of projection.

Next projects

It is very hard to get information from producers for future projects. In fact several companies stated to have multiple projects in 2011 but unfortunately were not allowed to share any dates.

But for one project ViralBlog did get ‘some’ facts. On February 17th in Xi’an China  you might want to be around in that region, according to Nuformer.


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