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The Future is Now! The Evolution of The OOH Scene in A Digital World Comes in The Form of 3D LED Billboards

By Mariam Elshafei
December 1, 2021
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Out-of-home advertising is one of the oldest forms of marketing, and it still has an effective way to boost brand awareness, even after the inception of technology. OOH ads were accustomed to being completely static as a poster before the birth of technology. While this traditional format is still being used by marketers today in many countries such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and other regions of the world, appearing on a variety of OOH types such as Unipoles, Hoardings, Lampposts, Wrapping Walls, Bridge Billboards, and more.

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According to Blue Line Media, the esteemed advertising company in the US, out-of-home advertising has become the second fastest-growing ad medium in recent decades after digital marketing has taken over the top spot in advertising, thanks to technological advancements. Therefore, the outdoor advertising medium has started to outperform its traditional formats by interweaving new techniques into the market. It is all started with the renowned brand Coca-Cola, which represents a great example to demonstrate the evolution of OOH from the 60s to the 2000s, where the aforementioned multinational beverage corporation developed a new method of marketing its campaigns to be the first among other brands to launch its first-ever digital billboards in Times Square in 2004. Then, Coca-Cola debuted the world's first 3D robotic billboards in Times Square in 2017.    

As previously mentioned, conventional OOH advertising is considered an effective option for brands to get the exposure they want by reaching a wide range of audiences across the busiest of public spaces; however, 3D Digital billboards are more effective. In this article, we will be exploring what exactly a 3D LED billboard is, how it operates, and what makes these billboards superior to traditional ones.

The mystery behind the naked-eye 3D LED Billboards: What Exactly is The Outdoor 3D LED display? 

The naked-eye 3D LED billboards are a combination of three-dimensional images and conventional keyboards. In other words, 3D LED billboards function similarly to other 3D displays, where two different images are presented on the screen from two different perspectives to be blended in single footage. Thus, this creates the 3D effect and causes the human’s eye to form a visual illusion and view the projected 2D images as a 3D scene. In a nutshell, this technological transformation is nothing more than the merging of two worlds, the actual and virtual, resulting in a force known as the "Metaverse."

The Naked-eye 3D digital billboards are picking up the trend in technologically advanced countries such as China, Japan, the UK, the US, and South Korea, where 3D displays were installed on the roadways, blowing people’s minds. Several videos of giant screens have recently gone viral on social media platforms, displaying stunning animation looks that seem very realistic. For example, there was a 1.04-minute video of a 3D display screen, spotted in Chengdu, China, circulated on TikTok, depicting a lion breaking out from the screen and fleeing, leaving audiences on roads with many stunned and startled.

A clip also records a 3D billboard image of a giant cat that draws attention in Tokyo while walking, meowing, and falling asleep in its paws, as well as a flying saucer that has been featured in Guanyinqiao CBD of Chongqing. Another 3D billboard has drawn onlookers' attention on roads; Seoul's majestic wave digital screen, rearing up from the bottom of the screen and crashing into the top, creating a giant large wave.

Balenciaga, a Spanish luxury fashion brand, and Fortnite, an Epic online video game, have joined forces to create a phenomenal real-world Impressive 3D billboard experience for people of London, New York, Tokyo, and Seoul. 

This deep-screen advertising campaign from Balenciaga and Fortnite entertainingly brings the physical world by featuring Fortnite's favorite Doggo wearing from Balenciaga fashion house and hovering over the walkways.

Amplify and Amazon Prime Video recently collaborated to develop a DOOH 3D anamorphic billboard to promote the upcoming fantasy series "The Wheel of Time," which debuted in London's Piccadilly Circus and will soon be installed in Tokyo, Milan, New York, Oslo, and Stockholm.

This breathtaking DOOH features the leading actress Rosamund Pike, embodying the Moraine character, with an antagonist from the dark army breaking out of the screen. 

Similarly, Netflix has launched a 3D billboard campaign to promote Zack Synder's hit blockbuster "Army of the Dead," which features Valentine, a zombie tiger who roams across post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. 

Advertising of The Future; Grabbing Attention & Telling A Better Story

There is no doubt that traditional billboards are still mainstream across the industries and have a great impact on audiences since they have been used for many years for brand awareness and promoting products and services. However, 3D LED billboards are more attractive and engaging than traditional billboards, as 3D Digital billboards grant more benefits. For instance, the most exciting fact of 3D digital billboards is that they not only advertise for a brand but also provide a memorable and pleasing visual experience.

Things like colors, transitions, animations, moving visuals and effects are eye-catching for the passers-by on roads, where it makes people stop by to experience for a while these gratifying visuals and effects. In addition, this kind of billboard also maintains audiences engaged for a longer period, unlike the traditional ones, where some started losing interest in beholding static ads.

Audiences do not need to exert any effort to understand the brand's message on these billboards since video format ads facilitate communication and flexibly disseminate the brand's message among the masses, so it offers better communication.

It is customizable! Throughout the year, marketers can customize their ads based on their marketing plans. As a result, these billboards are ideal for advertising campaigns, as messages can be changed on these OOH scenes throughout the day to target different demographics.

Trends are evolving, and large-scale organizations are switching from traditional methods to 3D LED methods  

With the resumption of physical life following the pandemic, the out-of-home (OOH) sector has witnessed a shift in the use of the approach to customers, as the number of digital screens in public locations all over the world is upswinging and responding to the modern market. 

This digitization has pervaded the commercial streets of the cities in Asia, America, and Europe and this technique will also show off a growing interest in GCC and the MENA region since technology attracts communities and public interests.

This new communication system has already arrived in Saudi Arabia, where they have applied LED displays with naked-eye 3D creative content during the Riyadh Season 2021 in Boulevard Riyadh City, yielding good results and attracting OOH audiences. But this is just the beginning though, and the birth of a new engaging communication system. So, the next displays are expected to be much better, achieving exceptional results in the near future.

Since digital screens have become widespread across Dubai and are currently trending in Egypt, it is predicted to see 3D billboards soon on roads and for them to become more common in the future, as the popularity of digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads grows in tandem with the amount of digital inventory available.


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