Friday, 17 June 2011

Projection Mapping Events Succeed by Attracting Attention Online

Projection Mapping Events Succeed by Attracting Attention Online


Projection mapping, which is the technique of beaming video onto three dimensional objects in a way that makes the objects themselves appear to move, has been a hot topic of conversation in the ad industry for some time. We have been seeing more sophisticated examples of it over the past year; smart marketers find success by making sure their projects are seen online by as large an audience as possible.

Adidas brought a musical projection mapping experience to the centre of Marseilles in France recently, causing the building to appear to crumble in front of spectators while soccer, skateboarding and biking demonstrations occurred on virtual planks and platforms. Lexus staged an event in April for a Malaysian audience where a car appeared to drive on the surface of a historic building. Both of those events bred videos that enjoyed substantial attention online, but Samsung orchestrated one of the most successful projection mapping campaigns by turning the video of the event into a YouTube takeover and interactive game. The effects created at the event were replicated on the YouTube page, where viewers were challenged to click on as many butterflies as possible for the chance to win a Samsung 3D LED TV.

Projection mapping may be garnering a lot of attention, but most marketers want to know that their investment is going to pay off tangibly in the short term. So does projection mapping hold up as a marketing tactic once the novelty wears off?

Hyundai recently turned heads with a projection mapping extravaganza that took 4 months to produce. The event required 10 high definition cameras, 6 high definition projectors, 6 cranes and a crew of over 120 people. Was it worth it? Over 1,000 people attended the event and the video that captured it has racked up nearly 800,000 views on YouTube and Vimeo. A standard projection mapping event will cost around $25,000 or more and one this extravagant would be significantly more expensive. If the company spent $50 or $100 per person that saw it live that might sound expensive, but they could have spent only 5 or 10 cents per person that viewed it online. It’s also important to consider the ramifications of going through a four month planning cycle for something that is essentially a one-off tactical execution.

This all points to a prescription for diligence and strategic thinking when putting projection mapping to use for a brand. Since the event is going to take a lot of time and money to orchestrate, marketers should put significant effort into making sure it is seen by as many people as possible. This means producing a high quality video and seeding it online. Social sharing should also be encouraged, as Facebook and Twitter have become the digital water coolers where people pass interesting links around. And creative spins on the situation such as Samsung’s YouTube game or video commerce integration will further bolster online visibility and brand reinforcement.

When planning a campaign that includes projection mapping, brands will succeed or fail based on their ability to give the event an extended life online by driving viewership of event videos. If you want to take advantage of this exciting new technology, make sure to have a strong online promotional plan in place as well.

Greg Steen, 06.16.2011

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