The trend of creating outlandish OOH visuals through computer generated imagery seems to be picking up. Here is how the industry sees it unfold.
Brands, both venerable and contemporary, are embracing the avant-garde mix of computer generated or Faux Out-of-Home (CGOOH or FOOH) advertising. The advent of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) has allowed brands to transcend the constraints of reality and craft visual campaigns that are fairly unprecedented.
I mean, remember the Haldiram’s Diwali campaign? The one where helicopters hovered over the city delivering giant gift boxes? Or how about that Koffee with Karan teaser, where a larger than life sized cup settles on a ground wrapped in glitz and glamour of the talk show? Viacom18 chiseled out a peacock to promote JioCinema’s Peacock Hub services.
Internationally too, we’ve seen Maybelline run its mascara on a running train, Mattel take on the streets of Dubai with a huge Barbie doll, Adidas’ 3D billboard celebrating Lionel Messi’s World Cup win, among many others. But what does the OOH industry think of this trend?
Roshan Rawat, head – creative and marketing communications, Times OOH says that the trend has added an innovative touch to the OOH advertising. He says, “OOH advertising, with its public-facing nature, is bound by various restrictions and conditions. CGI, leveraging technological advancements, providing advertisers with an opportunity to captivate their target audience by introducing ideas that transcend traditional norms.”
CGI, in particular, has unequivocally enhanced the Out-Of-Home (OOH) medium, rather than competing with it. It's crucial not to view CGI in isolation from the broader OOH landscape.Roshan Rawat, head - creative and marketing communications, Times OOH
At the core of CGOOH advertising lies the intricate fusion of artistic vision and technological prowess. Brands now have the ability to fabricate hyper-realistic visuals that, in the past, would have been deemed impossible or economically unviable to bring to life. But does it take away from the conventional OOH advertising?
Rawat opines that CGI has only added to the medium of OOH advertising, and doesn’t take away from it. He says, “CGI, in particular, has unequivocally enhanced the Out-Of-Home (OOH) medium, rather than competing with it. It's crucial not to view CGI in isolation from the broader OOH landscape.”
Consider launching massive OOH campaigns in the real environment, further augmented with CGI campaigns online. “This combination holds the potential to significantly increase recall value among the audience,” Rawat adds.
In all essence, CGI enables meticulous attention to detail, allowing advertisers to control every pixel, every shadow, and every nuance of their creations, resulting in a level of precision that surpasses the constraints of practical production. But is there a risk for brands to take this too far?
Mitesh Kothari, co-founder and chief creative officer, White Rivers Media, says that CGI ads are a game changer, but require a certain degree of finesse to yield results. He says, “Its hyper-realistic visuals, adaptability, and budget-friendly nature make it a standout choice. What truly sets CGI apart is its versatility – once you create a CGI model or element, you can breathe new life into it through animation for different projects.”
Brands need to create ads tailored to specific groups considering age, gender, and location while ensuring that they truly resonate.Mitesh Kothari, co-founder and chief creative officer, White Rivers Media
The social media sphere, a crucible of contemporary culture, has become the primary arena where these CGI creations unfold. The virality of CGI OOH ads on platforms like Instagram, and X attests to the magnetic allure of these campaigns. The inherently shareable nature of CGI content amplifies brand reach, creating a ripple effect as users eagerly share and engage with these fantastical creations. But do all dogs go to heaven?
Kothari says, “Only if it's done with finesse. Brands need to create ads tailored to specific groups considering age, gender, and location while ensuring that they truly resonate. Metrics like reach, engagement, and return on ad spends (ROAS) serve as valuable tools, helping you fine-tune campaigns for maximum impact and success.”
One notable advantage of CGI advertising lies in its ability to transcend the physical reality, enabling brands to conjure up scenarios and visuals that exist solely within the realm of imagination. But how much is too much? And more importantly, what really goes into a clean and clear CGI ad?
P Sidhadh Binu, who is the co-founder of Wesualize Studios says, “CGOOH campaigns involve more than just stunning visuals. They require an interesting storyline, great production value, and a digital amplification plan.”
Instagram and reels giving traction to brands is why everyone is experimenting with this. With CGOOH, we have an opportunity to bring products and brands to life in a way that resonates beyond mere visualsP Sidhadh Binu, Wesualize Studios
Wesualize is the agency behind Viacom18’s recent campaign to plug its collaboration with NBCUniversal. He says, “The space is ever-evolving, and brands and marketers will continue to adapt and innovate to engage their audiences effectively.”
Incentivised by the need for brand visibility and the desire for creative expression, CGOOH campaigns are becoming the go-to strategy for brands. These campaigns offer a distinctive opportunity for brands to interact uniquely with their audience. “Instagram and reels giving traction to brands is why everyone is experimenting with this. With CGOOH, we have an opportunity to bring products and brands to life in a way that resonates beyond mere visuals,” Binu says.
Gautam Gulati, who is the CEO & founder of Screenox, a premium DOOH Network says that CGI innovation in the industry compliments the Outdoor media business. “While it is unrealistic sometimes, but if made carefully, it can attract a lot of eyeballs.”
As per Gulati, the intent of such innovations is for it to go viral on social media, where in his opinion, the real incentives of these ads lie. “CGI creates a certain buzz in that space. The whole point of CGOOH is to gain traction on social, and if the ad is made creatively, it supplements the larger OOH campaign.”
The rise of Faux OOH advertising represents a paradigm shift that transcends conventional boundaries. As things stand, attention is fleeting and discernment is acute. Can CGOOH advertising make the mark?