It sounds like something David Copperfield might have done back in the day, but the coalition of Pearl Media and Creative i got together recently to make an entire building disappear. How did they manage to pull off such a feat? Simple; through the sheer power of 3D technology.
In a measure designed to promote LoopNet.com, the top online marketplace for commercial real estate, the Pearl Media / Creative i team set out to prove that "if a commercial property isn't advertised on LoopNet Premium Lister, it might as well be invisible." It then took a 12 story building on W. 9th Street, between South Olive and Hill Street, and made it disappear.
Creative i, an integrated communications firm out of Palo Alto, reportedly focused on the communications campaign side of the affair while turning to Pearl Media to produce the 3D-based illusion that the building actually vanished. The projection that Pearl Media developed is being regarded as a "first of its kind" affair, and was used to great effect, even before Pearl Media brought out its accompanying musical act for the night, Grammy Award winner Train. This ties in with another promotion. LoopNet is putting on a contest in which users can enter to win an American Special Telecaster guitar signed by the members of Train, and can get a second entry by sharing the video of the disappearing building.
This may be the first time that Pearl Media has made a building disappear, but it's not the first time they've done a large-scale projection effort, having previously staged such efforts for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, THQ, Chevy and several others. The presentation didn't just feature a vanishing building, though, as it also brought out a lot of information about LoopNet and its capabilities, in a surprisingly entertaining fashion.
Just how much impact the Pearl Media / Creative i co-production had remains to be seen, but watching the video of the event shows that they did a pretty fine job indeed of making a 12 story building suddenly look like prime development land had opened up in the midst of Los Angeles.
Marketing in general has never really been as difficult as it is right now. With an increasingly jaded consumer market and an increasingly large number of devices and appliances designed to remove commercials from communications channels, advertising is becoming background noise for a lot of consumers, the kind of thing that's best tuned out. So how do marketers get attention back? A change in the way advertising is delivered, that's how. Fire up an ad in moving video on the side of a building? Sure, that's a good start. Advertising that engages the customer rather than annoys the customer is another. Put more ads in programs rather than interrupting them with ads. Make more ads into playable video games. There are lots of possibilities, and they're all worth considering.
Creative i and Pearl Media have hit on a terrific possibility for improving the impact of advertising, though it remains to be seen whether the ad will have the desired effect. Still, if it works, there may be a future in turning buildings into billboards.
Edited by Brooke Neuman