June 19, 2012

Palace projection provides inspiration for advertisers

Who could have failed to be impressed with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations at the beginning of June? The street parties, the flotilla and the amazing 3D projection that turned Buckingham Palace into a work of art during the Jubilee concert; all were visually striking, exciting and memorable.

The advertising technique The Times went so far as to declare: ‘a triumph of illumination that made us all gasp,’ and was used to turn Buckingham Palace into a block of council flats, a karaoke screen and a Union Jack is known as ‘projection mapping’ and is by no means a new concept.

In 1999, FHM magazine famously projected a 60ft picture of Gail Porter onto the Houses of Parliament. It was voted best guerrilla advertising campaign of the 20th Century by the BBC, and today, the concept is enjoying a stunning renaissance. These days, though, the idea is stepping up a gear by going 3D and taking the creative industries by storm.

According to Wikipedia, projection mapping is – ‘any method of mapping three-dimensional points to a two-dimensional plane’ and allows marketers and advertisers to create surreal landscapes by projecting images onto objects, such as buildings, cars and famous landmarks.

Big brands such as Nokia, Samsung and BMW are fast making it the coolest form of advertising around and with the palace simply a ‘dry run’ for the closing ceremony of the Olympics it looks like it’s only set to get bigger and more visually amazing than ever.

And let’s not overlook the power of 2D technology. This year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California saw Snoop Dogg perform with Tupac Shakur, who has been dead of course for 15 years. Now the estates of other artists including Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Marilyn Monroe are considering the idea of holographic live performances meaning 2D projection technology is capable of bringing some of our favourite artists back to virtual life. Amazing.

There are a few things to remember when considering projection mapping: creativity is key, it’s best done at night, and to get the most from the campaign and budget spent it’s important to go viral.

Projection mapping campaigns are designed to grab the attention of the passerby, who will be intrigued to know who is behind the visual event and record and photograph it via their mobile. Brands usually seed the video content but those lucky enough to have witnessed it will undoubtedly share their own versions too.

Projection mapping is an exciting and cool advertising technique and while it can be done on a reasonable budget (the equipment to project the images isn’t too costly to hire and of course budgets can be controlled by keeping it two-dimensional), an all-singing, all-dancing Buckingham Palace-style projection won’t come cheap. But then again any project which gets over 100,000 people sharing and talking about a brand on Facebook alone – as was the case with BMW’s projection mapping campaign to promote the new Series 1 at the beginning of the year – won’t.

Because we always keep ahead of the trends we’re here for a chat should you like to know more about all the possible projection mapping options for your brand. The number to call is 01603 252555.