- Paramount Pictures is promoting the upcoming release of the Stephen King adaptation "Pet Sematary" through a new 3D mobile ad format developed by OmniVirt, according to news shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The technology takes 2D assets — in this case, a movie poster and existing banner ads for the film — and adds a depth of field effect to make it appear as though an undead cat's eyes are following users as they scroll through their phone.
- OmniVirt, which focuses on immersive advertising, is promoting 3D Photos as a cheaper alternative to augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) campaigns. The firm is also positioning the offering as more dynamic than a similar 3D format that Facebook debuted last year. It noted that the social network's product doesn't allow marketers to convert non-iPhone photos into 3D or the ability to turn 3D photos into promoted posts.
Paramount is tapping into 3D technology to try and add more dynamism to the typically static advertising formats served to mobile users. The campaign for "Pet Sematary" is another indication of how major studios and media owners are investing more heavily into mobile channels as consumers, and particularly younger consumers, spend more time on their smartphones and less time watching TV, where movie trailers and promotional spots are often traditionally served.
It's not the first time Paramount has worked with OmniVirt on an immersive campaign. The two previously promoted "Mission: Impossible — Fallout" through a 360-degree video taking viewers behind the scenes with Tom Cruise as he performed stunts in the film. The partnership followed up on a prior promotion for the franchise entry that played VR clips on the GIF-sharing platform Gfycat.
OmniVirt moving into 3D advertising shows the company trying to monetize a relatively nascent format that bigger technology players, like Facebook, have only recently started to experiment with. Much of OmniVirt's prior work with brands, like Sony, Takis and Universal, has been more squarely centered on 360-degree video and banner ads.
The 3D Photos format being pushed by OmniVirt as lower cost signals that marketers — and especially small- and mid-sized marketers on tighter budgets — might be losing some of their interest in the heavier cost and technological lift required by similar mobile formats like AR and VR.
"We know that ad blindness is a huge issue for the industry," Brad Phaisan, CEO of OmniVirt, said in a statement. "3D Photo Banners are giving advertisers the ability to solve this with their existing creative and media spend."
It's also possible that some of the initial hype attached to AR/VR has cooled as the novelty wears off with viewers and use cases for brands remain limited. VR, in particular, often requires a headset to execute, and has appeared to experience low consumer interest. IMAX late last year scrapped its VR activations in theaters altogether after launching a program experimenting with technology in 2017.