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Not Just for Movies: Five Reasons to Use CGI for Marketing and Advertising

Everyone knows the magic of CGI from those beloved summer blockbusters: epic explosions, mythical creatures, and flying cars come to life on the big screen because of computer generated imagery. But did you know CGI is also used extensively in TV, video, display, and print ads? Chances are, CGI is behind that glossy print ad for an expensive face cream, or the TV commercial for a sleek new car. As a marketer, how can you use CGI to create your own “blockbuster” campaigns – without breaking the bank? CGI is not reserved for advertisers with big budgets. In fact, using CGI to create killer ad campaigns can cost less than traditional photo and video shoots. If you haven’t started using CGI for your marketing yet, here are the top five reasons you should start now:

1. Costs Less than Photo Shoots When it comes to showcasing your product in marketing materials and ads, you have two options: photography or CGI. A professional photo or video shoot will provide you with great images of your built product, which can then be photoshopped into different ads. However, If you’re unsatisfied with the final images, an expensive reshoot is required. Plus, if you change the look of your product even slightly, you’ll also need a new shoot. On the other hand, CGI provides photorealistic images of your product (built or unbuilt) that can be quickly inserted into multiple campaigns, including print and digital ads, videos, websites, and TV commercials. Using computer generated 3D modeling, your product images can be altered, manipulated, rotated, and updated on the fly. Change a small feature on your product before going to market? No problem. With CGI, just update the image in a matter of minutes.

As a marketer looking to wow customers with beautiful images, you no longer need to blow your budget on expensive photo shoots. CGI can replace high-end cameras, huge crews, and set pieces at a fraction of the cost.

2. Even Better than the Real Thing CGI has gotten so realistic – as we know from the all-too-authentic monsters seen in movies – you won’t be able to tell the difference between a photo and CGI. In fact, CGI often looks better than the “real thing”. With CGI, you can highlight your product’s best features. Have you ever seen a TV commercial for a big juicy cheeseburger that makes your mouth water? CGI is what makes the meat look juicy, the bun appear fresh from the oven, and the sauce drip at the perfect moment. And those dancing phones flying across the screen? Those are not filmed by tossing phones into the air; again, that’s CGI. Your creativity is the only limit to what you can accomplish with CGI. You can show the best version of your product in the most enticing and exciting way.

3. Flexible and Adaptable You want to see your product everywhere and your budget shouldn’t limit the reach of your campaigns. With CGI, you can show your product from all angles, in different colors, and in all variations without having to book multiple photo shoots. Need to create slightly different versions of your campaigns for different markets? That’s no problem, because once the 3D model is completed, it’s easy to adapt it. You can insert different versions of the image into any type of digital, video, TV, or print campaign. CGI slashes marketing budgets since you don’t have to create new visual content for each individual campaign. CGI also saves marketers time when creating future campaigns. When new iterations of your product come to market, simply update your CGI images. The CGI model of the first version can be manipulated quickly and inexpensively into version 2.0 and beyond. Again, no need for a new photo or video shoot.

4.  Not Just for Marketing CGI is great for marketing and advertising campaigns, but you can use it for far more than that. In fact, CGI is a valuable tool all along the product development lifecycle – from conception, to design, prototyping, manufacturing, and beyond. With CGI, you see your product “come to life” long before it’s built. CGI models can be used during the design study phase to explore different possible iterations of the product. Then, during communication with the manufacturer, you can use your CGI model for prototyping and product finalization. You could even use a CGI model to pitch venture capitalists for funding before your product is in production. With CGI modeling, your product design, development, and production teams will have a huge headstart over the competition. As a marketer, you, too, will have a big advantage: the ability to show exactly what your product will look like and how consumers will use it before it’s even available.

5. Static or Animated: Endless Options CGI is more than static images. When you choose CGI, you can use the 3D model for animations, mobile apps, videos, product tours on your website, and even virtual reality (VR). By placing CGI images in a VR environment, you allow customers to test drive your product via an immersive, life-like experience. VR places your customers into a virtual scene where they experience the product as if in a real-life showroom – and with the rise of cardboard VR devices that cost just a few dollars, more people will expect to interact with products in the realm of VR before they buy them. If you don’t want to jump right into VR, simply animate a CGI image to show your audience the ins-and-outs of your product. Online product tours let potential customers interact with the product, explore different features, and get to know it before seeing it in real life. Or why not integrate the CGI model into a mobile app so consumers can flip your product around, see it from different angles, or interact with it using a few taps?

WIth CGI, you’ll hook potential customers and build some serious buzz before your product hits the shelves. You may even have a line out of the door on launch day! Want to start using CGI for your marketing and advertising? L

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