I’m not much of a Superbowl fanatic, but I work in the ad industry so I at least appreciate the abundance of Tostitos and “Magic Freezer”-ish spots. This year, though, I’m buying into the hype, specifically because of this week’s buzz around 3D film and television, a new wave of technology and entertainment that’s about to hit the mainstream. This post looks at two proof points – the Superbowl and the slate of new products being showcased at CES this week in Vegas.
On Monday, Pepsi, DreamWorks Animation, NBC and Intel announced they would be partnering to produce the first ever 3D commercial. In the break, viewers will see a 3D trailer for the upcoming DreamWorks “Monsters vs. Aliens” movie and a 60 second spot for SoBe Life Water. NBC will leverage the 3D technology for a special episode of “Chuck” the following day. Pepsi is set to manufacture about 150 million pairs of 3D glasses, which will be available (for free) in SoBe retail displays. To drive purchase, NBC will begin running tune-in spots starting mid-Jan, instructing viewers to get the glasses and stating, “Don’t Chuck Your Glasses,” instead encouraging them to re-use them for the next day’s episode of Chuck (Ha. Ha.)
Here’s why this is important. First, this is exactly the kind of “best-of-breed” collaboration between producer/content provider, distributor, technology enabler and brand that is the mark of branded entertainment success. Secondly, it actually looks like this is a logical, strategic partnership that makes sense for everyone one – not a “brand as checkbook” sponsorship. Pepsi’s new creative features the SoBe lizards dancing (remember them from this 2008 “thriller” alongside NFL stars and characters from the DreamWorks movie, “infused with the refreshing and reinvigorating impact of SoBe Life Water” (AdAge, 1/5/09). DreamWorks Animation gets to screen a trailer for its upcoming “Monsters vs. Aliens” movie in an innovative way. Intel gets to flex its muscle as a technology guru. And NBC gets to capitalize on its one of the year’s most watched sports events to drive tune-in to one of their shows. Check, check, check and check.
What’s even more impressive is that the infrastructure for 3D film and television is closer to hitting mainstream than most may realize . Numerous 3D–ready TV sets and related technologies are being touted this week at CES, with the wave of 3D television anticipated to be the next thing to revolutionize the industry since high-definition. There’s consumer interest, as well, with about 16% of US consumers reporting they’d be interested in watching 3D movies or TV at home and 19% saying they’d prefer to watch a film in a theater in 3D.
So, like most technology trends in their early stages, the hardware available is outpacing current infrastructure. The unique piece here, though, is that 3D film and television is disruptive enough across numerous industries – broadcasting, marketing, entertainment, media – to make it viable and sustainable. So regardless of whether people actually think there are lizards dancing in their living room on February 1st or just think they’re going blind, it’ll be pretty cool to watch the American mainstream’s reaction to this new form of in-home entertainment.
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