Wowing Audiences with Animated 3D Projections

What if you could blur the lines between fantasy and reality for your audience? With 3D technology being weaved into everything from home televisions to cinemas these days, it’s high time that companies were easily able to use it as an out-of-the-box vehicle to deliver their brand story.

Bringing excitement to events

supermarket2

Imagine attending a trade fair and seeing an exhibitor’s information dance away at your feet; or seeing visuals of a product’s features come to life in vivid 3D animations at it’s launch event. Wouldn’t that be fascinating? Thanks to cutting-edge 3D technology, bringing a sense of virtual reality to almost any environment is now possible; and without anyone having to put on clunky 3D glasses.

As a medium that’s anything but static, the storytelling powers of animated 3D projections are limitless. It communicates ideas in a far more compelling way than a flat poster or video ever could, through life-like moving visuals. It breathes life into any message, allowing it to come alive in front of a person, creating a sense of wonder and excitement for people who stumble upon it.

Because it’s so disruptive and unordinary, animated 3D projections can bring an element of virality to events, outdoor and indoor marketing campaigns. It’s a great for grabbing attention as the animations are projected outside the usual confines of a screen.

Innovating the in-store experience

Alt picture

Effective shopper marketing goes beyond displaying shelf advertisements or stacking products on gondola ends. Shoppers want to be entertained and inspired when looking for products to fill their baskets with. That is why retailers are continuously looking for ways to enhance the in-store shopping experience; in hopes of driving footfall and increasing basket size.

Animated 3D projections seeks to address this missed-mark for retailers. During a recent trial in a Tesco UK store by independent market research company, Marketing Sciences, shoppers were intrigued by moving 3D animations on the floors. While most shoppers regarded it as entertainment, stopping to stare during their weekly shop, others agreed that it disrupted the mundane routine of grocery shopping and livened up the experience as a whole.

It reminded shoppers that brands being projected were well alive in the supermarket and associated Tesco with being a forward-thinker for using technology to improve the in-store experience. See the full results of the study here. Reactions of shoppers were compiled in a video by Visual Retale, the company behind this 3D technology.

Driving brand recall with 3D technology

supermarket

A Mass Merchant Shopper Engagement Study done by POPAI in 2014 revealed that 82% of purchase decisions are made in-store. That’s a vast majority of shoppers who still have the capacity to be influenced. Brands are allowed one last attempt to engage with shoppers. A precious attempt that should seek to deliver campaigns that drive emotional engagement and change buying behavior.

Instead of having to opt for traditional shelf banners or flat 2D displays for in-store advertising, products can now tell their story through engaging 3D in-store media. Not only does it easily seize the attention of shoppers where important purchase decisions are made, it also cultivates emotional responses, driving engagement through the roof in comparison to traditional in-store media.

To find out more about how you can integrate this 3D media innovation into your next event or marketing campaign, visit www.visualretale.com.

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Lost & Unloved in the Supermarket

Ok, so we are in the shopper marketing business and we all have an agenda, but have you ever felt alone and unloved in your local superstore? Have you experienced those vacuous areas, those lifeless zones down the supermarket aisles where no one ever seems to go, the places where you can suddenly find yourself lost? You look around and the endless ranges of own label and branded products continue in every direction. Maybe I took the wrong turn back in household. There there are no customers or store events here, no POS, and no sign of any brand love for the customer. I feel somewhat at a loss as I drift through specialist foods, electrical, and eventually the toy department. Where is the customer engagement in this ocean of brand choices?  Everything is a blur. Confused and alone I continue through the store and try to get back on track with my weekly shop…

All the talk in shopper marketing now is about the customer experience, customer loyalty, the customer journey, joining up the dots, big data, granular data, relevancy, proximity, driving footfall and increasing basket size, to name just a few. But what is the point when the in-store experience can be such a let down? Customers like to be entertained and need to be inspired. Delivering campaigns that drive emotional engagement is the key to brand marketing and getting customers to change their buying behavior. This is also the essence of activation and shopper marketing: moving brands by moving people.

The feel good factor of an experiential team dressed as superheroes as I entered the store earlier was memorable, but in-store activation at the point-of-purchase is really key to engaging the customer and selling your brand (over 70% of purchase decisions are made within the aisle). That Moment of Truth when the customer makes the buying decision and takes your brand (or your competitors) from the shelf, what motivates them and drives consideration is often about how they have experienced your brand.

Meanwhile, what is happening here in the toy department? What is on the traders mind, and what is the marketer thinking? Maybe a gondola end at Christmas, if you’re lucky.

So how to enhance the customer experience?  How can we disrupt the routine of the shopper and influence their buying behavior? With so much new tech out there surely it’s time to transform the in-store experience, and make the supermarket shop a real destination. The term band theatre comes to mind. But what does it mean?

Now here’s something I like…Visual Retale, a shopper marketing tech start up.  They are a creative media company with a patented technology that can project 3D content in-store.

Seriously?  Yes, think Star Trek meets Walmart. I’ve just seen larger than life Coke cans appear out of nowhere down the next aisle!

The actual technology has been developing since 2008, and has been evolved from the science behind 3D floor media. The media is currently under trial with Tesco UK and has led to projects with leading brands including Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Burger King. And judging from Dunnhumby customer insight the customers like it too…

Shopper Feedback

Shopper Feedback – Tesco UK 

From a shopper marketing perspective it clearly adds value to the shopping experience but Visual Retale is also a real media first, there is nothing like it in the market. The insight revealed the media not only holds the customers attention, but also generates an emotional response, and gets the customer talking about the brands. Not that’s more like it.

Nothing like a new technology to create some excitement!

 

Its Not About Dumbing Down, Its About Relevance!

Relevance

Blame it on our digital lifestyles, blame it on the multi-tasking, blame it on global warming if you must, but the truth is that we take in less and process less than we used to. For marketers this is a nightmare- imagine millions spent on advertising and promotion which the consumer just doesn’t register.

One of the buzz words that is floating around is “Snackable Content.” If it is true that the human attention span has fallen to an average of 8 seconds, then one obvious solution is to deliver a message in less than 8 seconds.  No doubt someone has already come up with an award winning formula to deliver message blasts in 6 second intervals, and then… then guess what? The consumer is going to learn to tune that out too.

And this is the problem with the 8 second statistic. 8 seconds is the time we take to decide if something is worth remembering, focusing on, or relevant to our needs. 8 unmemorable seconds of drivel are just that- so perhaps the challenge is not to make things shorter, but to make them more relevant and memorable.

Our Research Results (conducted in Tesco Malaysia):

Research Results

In a world driven by ROI, brand owners need reminding that the whole purpose of communication is to charm, seduce and persuade. If all you care about are price points, then sure, 8 seconds or less ought to do it. But real brand building is about far more than that. So lets ditch the 8 second mentality and create communications that create meaningful moments.

Our 3D media platform can not only increase engagement time to over 1 minute, Visual Retale will deepen the engagement, and get customers taking about your brand.

The Fine Art of Customer Retention

Customer loyalty

Ask any marketer and they will tell you consumers are a difficult bunch. The shopper of the past was a brand loyalist. Today it seems everyone is a bargain hunter, or a novelty seeker, or a combination of both.

So what do shoppers want? In the past marketers tended to focus on the infamous 4Ps, product, price, promotion and place. In short the thinking was that all one had to do was create a product, price it correctly, promote it with zeal and ensure it was available in the right place. The 4P’s assume that consumers are rational beings, that logic will always carry the day. Maybe it’s time for a 5th P- putting people first, and by this we mean appealing not just to the logical brain, but the emotional core of the consumer.

Customer retention is about building relationships, not merely issuing loyalty cards or dishing up points. In the immortal words of Otis Redding,  maybe its time marketers “try a little tenderness.”

Consumers today are grateful for any relief in the shopping environment. Remember Selfridges Silence Room in 2012/2013? Its that kind of mindfulness of consumer need that makes it unsurprising that Selfridges has been named the world’s best department store repeatedly (in 2010 and 2012).

The fact is that relaxed consumers buy more and more often. One of the most surprising insights that we discovered when we tested our 3D animated illusions was from parents. Knowing that their kids were engaged for a couple of minutes, gave them breathing room to take a few minutes for themselves.

Currently under trial with several major retailers, our 3D in-store media innovation is generating fantastic customer feedback. The customers love the entertainment value and the new experience, which works for the retailers and brands, because happy customers equals loyalty and increased sales!

Whatever Happened to Shopper Excitement?

Frozen Turkey Bowling from 10 Items or Less

David Ogilvy is credited with having said “The consumer is not a moron, she’s your wife.” In today’s more gender conscious environment he might have said the consumer is your spouse, whatever gender that may be. Worse than treating shoppers like morons, is the tendency to treat them like automated robots trundling down the aisles.

While on the one hand there is a certain kind of nostalgia for the good old days, when the High Street reigned supreme, marketers can take comfort in the fact that people aren’t buying less. Does it really matter whether they are buying online, in store or any number of other myriad ways, as long as the buying never stops?

We live in a world of big data. With the right tools there is endless potential for both demographic and psycho-graphic information all tailored to up-sell, cross sell and promote the incremental spend. But having said all that, what’s happened to the magic of shopping?

Increasingly shoppers find shopping a bore, something to get through. Lack of time creates stress. For a start there’s the traffic; and in the store, the queues. The advent of the superstore was meant to create a one stop shopping experience. In reality it means miles of trudging, with basket or trolley. Take heart though, that’s at least one way to make your quota of 10,000 steps a day.

The question then remains, why aren’t marketers making more of an effort to make shopping fun? Where are the surprises? And we don’t mean free sampling, though it does fill the empty hours between meals.

Restaurants and many pubs have embraced the idea that people want to have fun when they leave their homes. It is therefore rare not to find a big TV screen showing the latest Premier League highlights on demand. Pub quizzes, specials, treats for the kids. Why not retailers? Isn’t it time we went beyond having the latest club remixes playing in the background in trendier clothes shops, which according to psychologists tend to inspire greater purchase and more adventurous purchases.

Cost as always is cited as factor. The obsession with targets and numbers means that key decision makers want some proof of success before venturing into anything new. But fortune favours the bold. Any brand that dares take on a ‘media first”, sets itself well above its competitors. The technology exists.

Visual Retale has now arrived in-store. We have developed an exciting new in-store media innovation, a patented technology that projects animated content in retail environments. And for brands, this means a compelling new way of engaging customers, a brand new in-store media channel. Coming to a retail store near you soon!

Who’s going to be first?

Check us out….

Understanding the Science of 3D Illusionary Media

“Everything is an illusion.” Buddhist philosophy or neuroscience? Both actually. And yet, how bland life would be without taste, texture, colour and scent! These “constructs” of the mind are essential to creating desire. And yet the mind can so easily be fooled.

3D Illusionary Media

Escaping Criticism by Pere Borrell del Caso, 1874

Artists have been fooling the eye since the days of the caveman. The art of 3D illusion developed over time, and cultures, with the Chinese developing the technique of the floating perspective to depict dimensions and depth in the 10th century, while in Europe, trompe l’oeil was all the rage during the Renaissance.

The first 3D film was made in 1922. Critics are quick to deride 3D movies as faddish, and no one is all that keen on those dinky 3D glasses in the cinema, however, James Cameron’s Avatar still holds the record as one of the highest grossing movies of all time.

So how easy is it to fool the brain? Bear in mind that our perceptions of 3D-objects are reconstructions. We perceive depth from neural calculations based on perspective and stereopsis (or the way our eyes receive parallel images of the same object). Depth is also judged by occlusion, blocking, and shading, how images come in and out of focus. With the right lighting conditions, and the proper manipulation of image angles, it’s not hard to convince the brain that it is seeing things that are in fact not there at all.

Julian Beever

Chalk artist, Julian Beever who has been creating Trompe-l’oeil chalk drawings on pavement surfaces since the mid-1990s. Any marketer knows that a picture can be worth a thousand words.  A great visual conjures memories, makes associations and evokes emotions. If a single still image can do all that, then just imagine how much more compelling a 3D animated illusion can be.

In the spirit of the Renaissance artists and Julian’s revolutionary street art, we have applied this 3D illusionary science to a hi tech innovation, to develop an exciting new in-store media channel for brands. We are 3D illusionary media experts, with a patent to project animated content in retail environments, our media is a game changer and one of the most exciting developments in shopper marketing.

Our 3D branded content delivers the emotional response, and creates a real experience for the customer. And for a brand, this means a compelling new way of engaging your customers.

Check us out here…