Most understand Computer Graphics (CG) as a Hollywood tool, but not for corporations. I thought it may be helpful to explain some simple real-world scenarios of CG usage in marketing without the technicalities. As a client, you shouldn't worry about that mumbo jumbo, you should just enjoy the benefits of it.
CG Benefit #1: Visual Consistency
Client Scenario: Your company has a variety of products and has also just absorbed a subsidiary, adding even more products to your offering. The marketing result of this is typically product imagery that varies greatly in consistency and quality. This is a problem for your marketing and creative teams to deal with. From the customers perspective, it appears your company is not well put together and can influence their confidence to make a purchase.
CG Solution: With the same CG tools they use in Hollywood, we build a virtual copy of your physical products. These virtual models are often indistinguishable from the real thing. These tools are used to take pictures of the virtual models in a process called "rendering". Rendering works exactly like a photographer taking a picture in his/her studio. No shipping components or complicated photo sets to manage. Simply a virtual set on a computer. This makes future additions way more efficient and ultimately means every render of all your existing and future products will be consistent and cohesive. Engineering updates are easily adopted into existing CG models, resulting in marketing materials that always stay current. Consistent imagery shows that you have good communication skills and a long-term plan.
Two great examples of companies effectively utilizing this process in their marketing are Dyson with their continually iterative design process and Wayfair with their vast product line.
CG Benefit #2: Asset Versatility
Client Scenario: To support an upcoming trade show, your company has bought a booth and is going to have new marketing material created to support it. You pay for a product photo and video shoot, to use the imagery in an app, the trade show walls, as well as the print material. You had a shot list, organized all the teams/equipment needed and everything went well. Two days later you realize something was missed and some of the images won't be large enough to print for the dimensions required. Your print images appear pixelated up close, making the whole experience look cheap. Not too much you can do about any of this, you just have to roll with what you have.
CG Solution: If you had used CG to create your product photography, then all that would have to be done as a solution to this is to request a higher resolution output off the existing file to correct the size issue. You could even generate shots for the new booth configuration in time. Generating a new shot or different angle from an existing CG file is usually straightforward, doesn't require a whole team, or even much communication to do. CG outputs can be massive, so things always look crisp and high-end. Repurposing these same assets for different uses for the next few years is where you really get the best return on investment.
The real power of a digital 3D asset is that it can be massively leveraged after initially created. 3D assets can be widely re-purposed for:
- Video Production
- Interactive Web 3D Applications
- Website Imagery
- Print Materials
- Virtual Reality
- Augmented Reality
- 3D Printing
- Stereoscopic Imagery
CG Benefit #3: From White Paper to Reality
Client Scenario: As a young company going to market soon with your first product or patent, you don't yet have a creative agency. There also hasn't been any physical manufacturing yet so you haven't acted on any advertising moves despite a few big opportunities approaching that could benefit you. Stock video and photos can only go so far, especially in specialized fields where appropriate relevant content may be minimal.
CG Solution: Believe it or not, this is a great creative opportunity for a CG artist. We frequently create interesting content from just white paper alone. Having a narrated animation as a product teaser or custom product-specific imagery to help explain and sell can make significant difference in landing a manufacturing deal. Working with products in-development is an opportunity for a CG artist to fill the gaps with creative license. This can be very exciting for the artists and can lead to unexpected marketing opportunities and positioning we otherwise wouldn't have thought of within the restrictions of finalized development. With products in this stage, we can experiment and explore to find good visual solutions and can evolve with product development.
CG Benefit #4: Improve Launch Timing
Client Scenario: Long production development cycles can present all kinds of go-to-market strategy issues. Often in this case, you have to sell the product to pay for the manufacturing process. This creates an interesting chicken/egg scenario. Airplane engines, power plants, medical products, and cars all frequently fit this bill. With many iterations, governing bodies, and tollgates, it can be hard to know when to start marketing.
CG Solution: With CG, it is typical these days to create a realistic version of a product to utilize in marketing well before there is ever a physical manufactured product. We often start with work-in-progress CAD files and after working with your team we're able to render them photo-realistically. This allows us to generate the materials needed to close a sale. Then as product development progresses, we simply update our materials to follow ...and everything stays current. This lets you get funding sooner to get manufacturing faster.
CG Benefit #5: Creative Freedom
Client Scenario: Your ads and print material utilize all the same images because you just don't have a large library of product imagery. Your creative team can only do so much with a limited set of images or video clips.
CG Solution: With a CG tools and creative ideas, the possibilities are literally unlimited. Instead of being limited to an existing image or video selection, you can literally create anything you want. Any surface can become invisible, smoke, metal, glass, hair, grass, fire, candy, brick, etc. There are usually so many possibilities to explore, one of the first things we ask for is what roads not to go down. With virtually unlimited tools, limiting possibilities is actually usually very helpful in quickly landing at the right creative approach for a brand and its needs.
CG Benefit #6: Visual Explanation
Client Scenario: From power plant to microchips. Complicated technologies, very small components, or very large products all pose similar predicaments. All are difficult to sell or even explain without clear marketing materials. Parts, miniatures and traditional print materials can only go so far.
CG Solution: These situations are perfect for CG intervention. On the micro level, animation gives components context. On the macro level, animation can showcase "big picture" without being overwhelming. With everything in the CG production process is customizable, so finding what works from a storytelling aspect will drive what we see from a visual aspect. All of which is typically a group decision between the artist/agency and client.
Let's stop there....
Keeping this abridged has been a challenge as these are deep topics. Therefore, I cut through the weeds for simplicity sake. So if you suspect that CG may be tool that can help you, let's discuss and figure it out.
Contact us to see if CG can help you. We'll help point you in the right direction either way.