3D billboards are the best way to get real attention - envision what really matters (2023)

It is a bird! It's a plane! No, it's... a giant 3D BMW coming towards me in the middle of Times Square?

We don't need to say much about billboard advertising. The idea has been around since the 1830s, when a man named...jared campanahe began printing large posters to advertise circuses in New York. P. T. Barnum (the flamboyant impresario who inspired The Greatest Showman), who added lavish color and features to his upcoming shows.

Yet nearly 200 years later, these humble billboards have become 14,000-square-foot displays towering over pedestrians in the middle of Times Square in New York City. A recent ad by BMW for the new XM SUV was the perfect example to drive attention to the adoption of 3D advertising as a great new tool in the modern OOH advertiser's toolbox.

What are 3D billboards and how do they work?

3D billboards are large digital billboards that use "naked-eye" 3D imaging technology to give the viewer a vivid sense of perspective and depth. When done well (as seen above), the billboard creates an optical illusion that makes the viewer feel as if the billboard motif 'jumps out' of the screen without the need for 3D glasses. Perfect for attracting the attention of pedestrians on the street!

The 3D material used to create the illusion is made fromCombine two versions of the same contentfilmed from the exact angle from which the human eye would see it. The billboard uses what is known as a parallax barrier, which uses a series of linear "stripes" across the front of the screen. These so-called strips block light from individual images seen by the other eye. The aim is to mimic how our eyes "blend" the visual stimuli received by both eyes to create a three-dimensional perception of the world.

3D billboards are the best way to get real attention - envision what really matters (1)

Image source:optics3D

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The end result is a very attractive and eye-catching ad that stands out much better from the surrounding visual clutter, especially in a crowded environment like Times Square.

Why are 3D billboards important?

2D billboards and billboards have been a key tool in outdoor marketing for nearly 200 years, and it doesn't look like that's going to change any time soon. According to DashTwo,75% of US travelers have seen a digital billboard in the last monthand 55% said they were "very engaged" with the brand message.

In an increasingly digital world, billboards remain one of the most effective (and therefore most important) ways for brands to get their message across to target audiences in the physical world. And the numbers show just that, with moreIn the US alone, $7 billion was spent on out-of-home (OOH) advertising in 2021.it is expected to grow to nearly $8.7 billion by 2026.

But here, too, the digital world presents new challenges to advertisers. Consumers are exposed to more brands and advertising than ever before.(More than 5,000 a day in the US!). We use more and more screens at the same time. It's getting faster and easier to "subscribe" to updates from your friends, favorite stars and posts. The social media giants, whose very existence depends on getting as much exposure as possible, have some of the best product teams in the world, creating the ideal experience to capture maximum attention from their (almost) ever-growing user base.

Basically, there is fierce competition in the struggle for attention. But we still only have this.Same old mental processing power.We've seen a lot of clever attempts to grab attention with 2D billboards in the past. Just take a look at this Samsonite billboard below, which tries to give the impression that the boxes "stand out" by removing the background from the top of the billboard. By creating a kind of illusion that gives the impression that you have a pair of bags floating in front of you, products gain more visual prominence through a type of attention called attention.care from bottom to top. smart right?

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Image source:Ultralinx

Thanks to the technology of 3D billboards, it is no longer necessary to cut the upper part. Advertisers can now create an optical illusion that is much more convincing and more likely to stand out visually.

What are some of the best examples of 3D billboards?

So we talked a little bit about what 3D billboards are and why they matter. But how have advertisers actually used them? Check out 5 of our favorite 3D billboards below, handpicked by the expoze.io team:

The Wheel of Time in London
With excellent use of space and contrast, the Wheel of Time billboard creates an almost realistic view of a giant hand and other figures emerging from the darkness in Piccadilly Circus.

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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked: Tigers in the City (various locations)
Samsung attracted global attention with its Galaxy Unpacked campaign in February 2022, featuring a tiger as the main character!

Nike Air Max in Tokyo
This billboard has a real "wow" factor. The moment the shoebox explodes and the classic Air Max seems to float before your eyes, you can't take your eyes off it.

BMW XM in New York
Through clever use of angles and shadows around the outer edge, BMW appears to make the XM appear to leap off the screen at certain times. I don't know about you, but I would definitely check it out if I saw a giant BMW hovering over my head!

Meta Quest 2 in London
Similar to the BMW ad, this meta billboard uses a clever combination of shadows that overlap the outer edge to give the impression that certain characters "appear" off-screen.

Dragon House in New York
Okay, as big GoT/HoD fans, we might be a little biased, but what's more appealing than a fire-breathing dragon?

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How do 3D billboards compare to traditional billboards?

Now we saw some examples of 3D billboards. And indeed, they are very innovative and very fun, but how do they really compare to 2D billboards? Is there really an added value compared to buying a cheaper non-digital alternative?

As far as foot traffic is concerned, it completely depends on the location. A 3D billboard in Times Square would likely attract as many passers-by as any other 2D billboard in the same location. But the important question remains:How much attention would that get?

To answer this question, we look at some examples.expoze.io. In this case, we look at two photos of the same billboard in Piccadilly Circus, London. On the left, we see an image taken from the current 3D billboard in Meta Quest 2. In this case, we see that the billboard gets 80% of the image's visual attention. On the right we see the same billboard with a series of 2D advertisements. Only this version of the billboardreceives 51% of the attention, which means that the 3D version receives 50% more attention compared to the 2D version.

Note that there are also several factors that can influence attention, such as: B. the time of day, the colors used on the billboard and other surrounding images. But even taking these factors into account, the difference is huge.

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5 tips for testing attention on your own billboard

Let's say you're dying to get started and want to have your own 3D billboard (or even a 2D billboard) ASAP. That's great, but how are you going to test this? You can monitor foot or vehicle traffic in the area, but how do you know if your new billboard will turn heads? Thanks to our extensive research on OOH media optimization with our parent company Alpha.One, we have 5 practical tips for creating and testing your billboard:

Tip 1: Always test your billboard in context

Note that in the above example, we are not just comparing the images displayed on the billboards one by one. We actually used an image that showed the billboardsin the context in which they are presented to the target audience (Piccadilly Circus). This is important to ensure that you test your billboard in a realistic environment and get results that reflect the same conditions under which your target audience will view the billboard.

To give you an idea, we've quickly assembled the following example to show how this can be done. All you need is an image of where you want to display your billboard and some basic editing software (Figma, Photoshop, even Apple Preview or Paint).

All you have to do is upload your poster design and resize it to fit the space where your poster will be displayed.

3D billboards are the best way to get real attention - envision what really matters (4)

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Tip 2: Test multiple variations in the same environment

Let's say you've chosen a location for your billboard for strategic reasons. Perhaps because of the type of people visiting the area, the number of people, or some other reason that is important to your marketing objectives. Now you need to make sure you create the best possible creative asset for that location.

A great example of testing multiple variants can be seen in the 2D vs. 3D billboard comparison above. By testing two different creative concepts in the same location, we can determine which one catches the most attention and therefore draws more attention to your brand and/or product.

with a quick testexpoze.io(see examples below), we were able to identify thatThe billboard with a white background received 1.8% more attention than the variant with a yellow background.This may seem like a small change, but it's important to note that subtle things like color changes actually have an impact on attention paid to the billboard. Especially with high foot traffic in big cities, this can add up to significant earnings for your campaign.

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Tip 3: Grab attention with contrast

When it comes to outdoor advertising, the most important thing is contrast. Especially if you are advertising in areas with a high population density (which is often the case). There will be a lot of visual clutter and other stimuli to compete. So make sure you use colors that are high in contrast to your surroundings. For example, use lighter, brighter colors if the billboard is in a dark environment (eg, in a tunnel) or if the billboard is in a brighter area (eg, outside a new building). with a light facade, try darker colors and tones to ensure your billboard stands out.

Tip 4: Create a central focal point

People don't go out to see billboards. That way, when they see your billboard, they'll probably be somewhere and won't have a lot of time to stick around and figure out what's going on. Most would only see a billboard for a few seconds before hitting the road again.

Keep it simple and create a central focal point with as few visual elements as possible. If you test your billboard with expoze.io and you see a lot of different hotspots (more than 2) in your heatmap, you'll know you're not on the right track.

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Tip 5: Use faces and direct their eyes to your product

Through years of eye tracking studies with a neuromarketing research firmalpha oneYJunbi.aiWe learned that faces always attract the attention of the human eye. It happens instinctively and unconsciously, but we consistently find that using faces in advertising really gets people's attention. However, be careful when using faces.Make sure the eyes of the face are focused on the brand, product or other item that you want the target audience to notice.This is because our gaze tends to follow the face we are looking at.

That concludes the tips for testing your billboard. We hope you found these tips helpful and learned something new about 3D billboards and the technology behind them. If you want to get started with the fastest, most cost-effective way to measure attention for your 3D (or 2D) billboard,Get started today with a free expoze.io account.


What are the benefits of 3D billboards? ›

However, 3D Billboards outshine not only DOOH but all other forms of advertising channels. This is because 3D billboards offer three-dimensional visuals with ultrarealistic content. Such an experience instantly hooks passersby leading to higher engagement. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device.

Are the 3D billboards real? ›

A 3D billboard is a modern way of advertising that utilizes 'Naked eye' 3D image technology to create an optical illusion for the viewer. The subject on the billboard projects out and the viewer feels that the subject is coming out of the screen.

Why do 3D billboards look so real? ›

These digital billboards use naked eye 3D image technology to create a vivid sense of perspective and depth to the viewer. This creates an optical illusion that makes the viewer feel as if the subject of the billboard is coming out of the screen.

How do 3D advertising billboards work? ›

Digital Billboards display computer-generated images using software, as opposed to traditional static Billboards that typically use vinyl. 3D DOOH takes images from different perspectives and combines them into one source to create an optical illusion that the human eye views as almost lifelike.

What are the benefits of 3D? ›

TL;DR : The main advantages of 3D printing are: reducing costs, less waste, reduce time, get an competitive advantage, reduce errors, confidentiality, production on demand. Disadvantages … As far as recent inventions go, the advantages of 3D printing make it one of the most promising technologies.

What is the impact of 3D advertising? ›

3D advertisements offer a unique appeal to the customer through real-time interactivity and manipulation. This results in enhanced user engagement with the product, which improves sales conversion through better experience and understanding of the product and the brand.

Are billboards effective? ›

Billboards are one of the most effective forms of advertising when used alongside digital marketing, but this goes both ways — digital ads are more powerful with the help of billboards. Although they're still widely used, targeting very specific audiences through the use of tracking cookies has become much harder.

Did billboards catch our attention? ›

The company found: Two-thirds of respondents reported seeing a billboard in the past month. 80% of billboard viewers looked at the advertising message some of the time, and half did it all the time.

Are 3D screens real? ›

A 3D display is a display device capable of conveying depth to the viewer. Many 3D displays are stereoscopic displays, which produce a basic 3D effect by means of stereopsis, but can cause eye strain and visual fatigue.

What are the effects of 3D billboards on consumers attention and awareness? ›

H1 3D posters trigger greater attention, compared to traditional posters. recall can be attributed to the novelty of the use of artwork on the billboards. traditional posters.

Are digital billboards effective? ›

For a successful billboard campaign, ads should be placed in high-traffic areas to maximize reach. Digital billboards are ideal for campaigns aiming to build brand awareness among a mass market due to their placement around towns and cities with the highest levels of footfall.

What makes the best billboard design? ›

What makes a good billboard ad? Memorable, easy to understand, clear and easy to read are all factors in a good billboard ad. It should convey a concise message that is not overbearing to read or acknowledge while also being eye-catching.

How is 3D used in advertising? ›

3D advertising helps bring products to life, allowing customers to virtually handle a product by zooming in and out to check for details. The highly interactive characteristics of 3D ads help improve user experience regardless of the medium that customers are using–be it mobile or desktop.

How are billboards valued? ›

Value = Income/Rate (V=I/R)

The first step in calculating the value is to identify the income from market rent, which can be obtained directly from the property owner during the inspection process. The next step is to determine the appropriate capitalization rate.

What are the benefits of using 3D CAD models in advertising? ›

You can use 3D models on your website to show off your products in a realistic way. This can help potential customers get a better idea of what the product looks like and how it works. They'll be able to interact with the product before they purchase it, or you can show it off in a quick video!

What is one benefit of using 3D CAD models in advertising? ›

Makes Advertisements More Effective and Immersive

Compared to 2D advertisements, 3D advertisements offer customers a better perspective on your products. They are not confined to the angles provided by a 2D photo, but they can interact freely with the 3D rendering of the product to see more detail.

How beneficial are billboard advertising? ›

Billboard advertising is effective for building brand awareness. This is because it broadcasts your business (or product or campaign) to as many people as possible. Because they're in such busy areas, billboards tend to have the highest number of views and impressions when compared to other marketing methods.


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