It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s…a giant 3D BMW driving towards me in the middle of Times Square?
We don’t need to tell you much about billboard advertising. The idea has been around since the 1830s when a man going by the name of Jared Bell began printing large posters to advertise circuses in New York. Shortly followed by P.T. Barnum (the extravagant entrepreneur who inspired The Greatest Showman film) who added elaborate colour and features for his upcoming shows.
However, almost 200 years on, these humble posters have evolved into 14,000 square feet displays that tower over pedestrians in the middle of Times Square in New York. A recent BMW ad for their new XM SUV was the perfect attention-grabbing example to welcome 3D advertising as a great new tool in the modern OOH advertiser’s toolbelt.
Image Source: Optics3D
The end-result is an extremely convincing and attention-grabbing advertisement, which is significantly more capable of standing out from all the surrounding visual clutter, particularly in a crowded environment such as Times Square.
Image source: Ultralinx
Now, thanks to the technology available from 3D billboards, there will be no more cutting-off-the-top necessary. Advertisers can now create a significantly more convincing optical illusion that is far more likely to be visually salient.
Samsung Galaxy Unpacked: Tiger in the city (multiple locations)
Samsung was drawing eyes all across the world in their February 2022 Galaxy Unpacked campaign, with a tiger as the lead character!
Nike Air Max in Tokyo
This billboard has a serious ‘wow’ factor about it. The moment the shoe box pops and the classic Air Max shoe appears to float in front of your eyes…you can’t look away.
BMW XM in New York
With a clever use of angles and shadows on the outer border., BMW appears to make the XM appear as if it’s driving out of the screen certain moments. I don’t know about you, but I would certainly look if i saw a giant BMW drifting right above my head!
Meta Quest 2 in London
Similar to the BMW ad, this Meta billboard uses a clever combination of shadow overlapping the outer border to give the feeling that certain characters are ‘diving’ out of the screen.
House of Dragon in New York
Ok, maybe we’re a little biased as massive GoT/HoD fans, but what grabs attention better than a fire-breathing dragon?
Tip 2: Test multiple variations in the same setting
Let’s assume you’ve decided on a location for your billboard for strategic reasons. Perhaps due to the type of people who visit the area, the number of people or another reason that is important for your marketing goals. Now, you need to ensure that you’re making the best possible creative asset for that location.
You can actually see a great example of testing multiple variations in the above comparison of the 2D and 3D billboards. By testing two different creative concepts in the same location, we can identify which one will receive more attention, and therefore more eyes on your brand and/or product.
With a quick test on expoze.io (see examples below), we were able to identify that the billboard with the white background received 1.8% more attention than the version with the yellow background. This may seem like a minor change, but it’s important to note that subtle things like colour changes will indeed have an effect on the attention given to the billboard. Especially with significant foot traffic in major cities, this could result in major gains for your campaign.
Tip 3: Grab attention with contrast
In out-of-home advertising, contrast is key. Especially if you’re advertising in high population-density areas (which is often the case). There will be a lot of visual clutter and other stimuli to compete with. So make sure you use colours that have a high level of contrast against the surrounding environment. For example, use lighter, bright colours if your billboard is in a dark environment (for example, in a tunnel) or if your billboard is in a lighter coloured area (like outside a new building with a bright shiny façade) try using darker colours and shades to make sure your billboard stands out.
Tip 4: Create a central focus point
People don’t go out to look at billboards. So when they do see your billboard, they’re probably on their way somewhere and don’t have much time to stand around trying to understand what’s going on. Most would just see a billboard for a matter of seconds before they are off on their way again.
Keep it simple, create a central focus point with as few visual elements as possible. If you test your billboard with expoze.io and see too many different attention ‘blobs’ (more than 2) on your heatmap, you know you’re not on the right track.
Tip 5: Use faces, and point their eyes towards your product
Through years of eye tracking studies with Neuromarketing research company Alpha.One and Junbi.ai, we have learned that faces consistently grab the attention of the human eye. It’s instinctive and subsconscious, but we have consistently found that using faces in advertising will draw the attention of people. However, be careful if you do use faces. Ensure that the eyes of the face are pointed towards the brand, product or whichever element you want the target audience to notice. This is because our gaze tends to follow that of the face which we are looking at.
That wraps up the tips on how to test your billboard. We hope you find these tips helpful, and you have learned something new about 3D billboards and the technology behind them. If you want to get started with the quickest, most cost effective way of measuring attention to your 3D (or 2D) billboard, get started with a free expoze.io account today.