Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a lot of businesses are struggling. This is especially true in the product retail environment where sales are flagging, and many teams are unable to deliver product, or even receive prototypes, on time. Person to person interaction has been all but eliminated, which is a triple whammy for most product manufacturers, who can no longer count on in-store sales, meet with re-sellers to demo a new line of physical product, or showcase their wares at industry trade shows and events – historically a major avenue for seasonal sales.
Turning to traditional photo and video shoots to bridge the gap is often no longer an option, as social distancing has made it all but impossible to schedule productions. We’ve personally witnessed a half-dozen major projects evaporate before our eyes in less than a week’s time, including live event product launches for major trade shows, product marketing campaigns that were dependent on photographing prototypes that were delayed, and a commercial shoot for the Summer Olympics.
So, while we all find our way during this new work-from-home normal, the question is how do we maintain an effective marketing and sales presence for our brands? Well, there is a silver lining to be found for both creative agencies and clients who still need to market and sell their products, regardless of the limitations we are all currently faced with.
Typically, when people hear the term “CGI”, or Computer Generated Imagery, they think of movies or computer games. And while CGI is certainly common in those arenas, it is used, maybe more often than you think, in the world of product marketing and advertising. A flower releasing pollen into the air in an allergy medicine commercial, or a laptop opening up to reveal it’s inner workings on a product launch web page, or cars traversing a futuristic cityscape on a large format trade show screen – that’s CGI. Even more mundane moments – a print ad for a new mobile phone or a woman wearing colorful cosmetics, or a 360 view of a tent on a product display page – all leverage CGI to tell an effective story. More elaborate tools, like VR and AR product experiences and interactive apps, use the same CGI elements to expand on that product story across a more complete marketing campaign.
Perhaps the most important takeaway is that CGI has been used for years, and the level of realism in combination with the skill of a high end artist is such that it is nearly impossible for an average consumer to tell whether photography or CGI has been used.
Ultimately, CGI offers certain advantages over traditional tools. Below are five examples of why a CGI visual presentation can create a unique connection with customers and clients, and have a bigger impact than seeing a product in person.
#1. CGI is FAST
Product CGI is often faster to produce than traditional mediums like photography and video. CGI does not require the same logistics in terms of production planning for a traditional shoot. A final rendering can be brought to market in a matter of days, and a complete animation in a matter of weeks.
#2. CGI is VERSATILE
With photography or video work, your final product is a single linear video or a series of one-off photos that can only be used in the manner they were specifically shot. With CGI the initial element that is produced is a digital model of the product, which then affords you an infinite degree of versatility with regard to angles or animation paths. In other words, you are not limited in terms of creativity and can produce any number of desired results. The same goes for CGI being used and reused across different platforms. The same 3D models created for producing a rendering, can be used for interactive, VR and AR experiences.
#3. CGI is COST EFFECTIVE
Live shoots are notoriously expensive and unpredictable. All sorts of factors beyond your control can quickly escalate your budget. Weather, logistics, location issues, talent issues – they can all cause problems. Large crews cost money. With CGI, while up-front costs might be similar to traditional shoots in some cases, the value created by CGI quickly equates to a cost savings over the medium and long term. The digital model you create can be used over and over again. Even if the model, color, or size of your product changes over time, simple adjustments to the original can be done quickly and inexpensively, without the need for another costly shoot. Propagating variations is a matter of making a few small tweaks and outputting additional renders
#4. CGI achieves the IMPOSSIBLE
Want to fly over an entire cityscape through restricted airspace? Or through the guts of a new laptop computer, showing each chip? How about seeing fabric interact with water on the molecular level? Want to spin a product 360 degrees on any axis in real-time smoothly? All of this is only really possible using CGI. CGI takes away almost all creative restrictions and lets your imagination soar. If you can envision it, CGI can help make it a reality. And CGI can be combined with “reality” for even more dramatic results, like showcasing your product with an actor or integrating into a video scene.
#5. CGI ENGAGES your Audience in Real-Time
Sales and Marketing teams can take immediate advantage of CGI visualization. Without the need for prototypes or complete colorways, or in-person shoots, you can start presenting your product on the Web, via an app, or simply across a Zoom call, without losing precious time. Virtual presentation of your product will immediately bridge the content gap and get your product in front of your target audience now.
CGI is here to stay.
At Transparent House, we have been effectively helping clients to transition from traditional marketing tools to CGI for years. And now, while we all shelter in place to help combat the virus, is a perfect time to leverage CGI for your marketing needs.
Transparent House delivers high-quality product visualizations that resonate with your targeted audience. We help products stand out in the market and help salespeople achieve their internal goals. And we do it with unparalleled professional support and flair. Apple, Logitech, HP, Samsung, and Dell are in our happy client’s list.
Even when COVID-19 has been resolved and we are back to “business as usual”, CGI will continue to deliver its advantages to clients who were smart and saw the writing on the wall. The present and the future of marketing and advertising is CGI and Transparent House is here to help you take your CGI marketing game to the next level.