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What do clients, media owners and media agencies need to know about the process to successfully create anamorphic and 3D creative on digital OOH and how can brands get this right?

Creative Director

Immersive Media

Tania Quinn

Tania Quinn

29 May . 7 min read . Opinion

Out-of-home advertising has come a long way from the traditional static billboards of yesteryears. Today, DOOH provides brands with a much more dynamic and engaging platform to connect with their target audience. In addition, with the increasing demand for immersive experiences, anamorphic and 3D creative have become popular for brands looking to create visually stunning and memorable campaigns. However, creating 3D/anamorphic creative for DOOH requires careful consideration and planning. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what clients, media owners, and media agencies need to know to create anamorphic and 3D campaigns for DOOH successfully and how brands can get it right.

Understanding Anamorphic and 3D Creative on Digital OOH

Before we dive into creating anamorphic and 3D creative on digital OOH, we must understand what these terms mean and the difference between Anamorphic and 3D. 

We need to pay attention to the DOOH site to classify a creative anamorphic. These sites are usually curved screens that lend to having a specific focal point in which the creative is best viewed. The anamorphic technique is what the creative itself utilizes in stretching an image to create a distorted effect when viewed from a specific angle, giving the illusion that the image appears outside the parameters of the screen. This technique creates the illusion of depth and can be a powerful tool for brands looking to create eye-catching visuals. It is important to note that with anamorphic, once the viewer is not on the focal point – the ‘sweet spot’ there will be a slight distortion of the objects; however, while on this sweet spot, this is where the magic happens. When planning for a campaign, this needs to be taken into account. The considerations should be how we get the consumer to the viewing angle, whether through physical direction or the angle in which the screen is located, to ensure the direction of foot traffic is towards the viewing angle. Further, one needs to consider that part of a successful anamorphic campaign is the documentation of such a creative afterlife; many global campaigns that have been done have lived further in an online space, making this truly long-lasting to the brand and creating hype from the consumer.

3D creative, on the other hand, involves using three-dimensional graphics to create a lifelike visual experience. With 3D creative, viewers can experience depth and perspective, which gives the illusion of the creative aspects coming out of the screen; this can be viewed with a larger focal point without distortion, which can help brands convey their message more effectively.

With both, the use of a stage is created, which sets the scene for the creative this is where we will see the illusion of depth on the screen; after that, objects are manipulated by coming outside of the stage to give the illusion. 

The Process of Creating Anamorphic and 3D Creative on Digital OOH

Creating anamorphic and 3D creative on digital OOH requires a specific process to ensure the final product is visually appealing and effectively conveys the brand’s message. Here are the critical steps involved in the process:

  1. Site Selection: Site selection should be made upfront before the design process. Ideally, the sites selected are of top quality as this creative requires brilliant screen technology to complement the creative. Given the campaign’s objective, one can either go for iconic sites in major metropolitan or scale the campaign by utilizing various good-quality screens with the same aspect ratio. Ideally, as this creative lends itself to impact; therefore increasing the frequency of this creative and placing it on a large format screen is ideal. 
  2. Concept Development: The first step in the design process is creating anamorphic and 3D creative on DOOH to develop a concept that is well-suited to the format. This involves considering factors such as the viewing distance, angle, and lighting conditions of the location where the creative will be displayed. Creativity can change depending on the screen size and orientation to create the best experience for that particular screen.  
  3. Design: Once the concept is developed, the next step is to design the creative. The creative conception involves creating a detailed storyboard of the creative to ensure that it will work effectively in the digital OOH format. It’s important to note what assets a client has available for the execution, how much 3D modeling will need to be done from scratch, and how best to align with the brand’s objectives. 
  4. Production: After the design is complete, the next step is to produce the creative. Aspects of production may involve 3D scanning, 3D modeling, rendering, and green screen where applicable. It’s crucial to ensure high production quality to ensure the creative will be visually stunning and effectively convey the brand’s message.
  5. Delivery: Once the product has been completed, the files are rendered into mp4 deliverable, where this has been created specifically for each screen the creative will be flighted on. It is important to note that unless a screen shares the same aspect ratio, one can not simply plug and play this creative across multiple screens; each screen creative has been carefully designed from scratch to fit a particular size. This stage also involves working closely with media owners to ensure that the creative is flighted correctly and that all quality assurance has been achieved. 


How Can Brands Get It Right?

Creating anamorphic and 3D creative on digital OOH requires collaboration between clients, media owners, and media agencies. Here are some key considerations that can help brands get it right: 

  • Planning and time, planning is a crucial element in executing a spectacular 3D/Anamoprhic campaign; this allows time for additional thought to be put into a campaign and makes use of interactive technology such as real-time data, movement-sensors creative, AR, Gamification, and QR coding to name a few – South Africa is yet to utilize the many opportunities in which this creative lends itself to, and this is mainly due to lack of time and planning. In having more time and planning, the use of multi-platforms can too be used to create a campaign that is an eco-system all working together from Radio to DOOH to Digital, all synchronizing well together. 
  • Understanding the creative – understanding that within DOOH, we are using OOH, one needs to understand the environment in South Africa; we do not get as much foot traffic unless in malls and airports. DOOH is consumed mainly on the roadside; therefore, the creative needs to not be that of a TVC but more precise messaging, simple and effective in execution. The focus is on impact and the memorable experience the consumer has. 
  • Creative Assets and Direction, The success of executing a 3D/Anamoprhic campaign on a tight deadline, comes down to the ease of assets the client has for the production company, such as Immersive Media, to work with. The more assets, the better; the more clarity on font, messaging, logos, and corporate identity information, the easier and quicker this will take to produce.  
  • Understanding the process, understanding that each screen that is being created in 3D/Anamorphic and every element of the 3D/Anamorphic is modeled and built per the specific screen, this is not like traditional DOOH creative in which a simple resize can be applied, in this creative it will distort and will lose effectiveness. 
  • Costing – this creative type is an investment into quality and engaging creativity. This creative resonates with the audience provoking an emotive response and giving an experience to the viewer; we are essentially creating theatre within the DOOH space. This is an exciting space in which I believe the financial investment holds excellent value regarding what this creative can offer their brand. When it comes to costing a campaign, each campaign needs to be looked at individually, and only once a complete understanding of what is required can a detailed costing be given. It is as simple as what you pay for is what you will get. However, a successful 3D/Anamoprhic campaign based on all mentioned points makes for invaluable product recall based on the consumer’s memory and emotion when consuming this creative. 


In summary, 3D/Anamorphic creates an immersive experience that gives brands that ‘wow’ factor to their campaigns by showcasing them in a highly impactful 3D/Anamorphic experience. In addition, high-quality 3D/Anamorphic evokes an emotional response and leaves the consumer with a memorable experience and excellent brand recall. 

Tania Quinn is the Founder of Immersive Media and serves as the company’s Creative Director; with her team of skilled designers, Immersive Media has successfully assisted multiple large global brands in executing 3D/Anamoprhic DOOH campaigns. 

Through Immersive Media’s tailored approach, Immersive Media continues to aim to produce exceptional high-quality 3D/Anamorphic creative through following global trends. Tania and her team continue to excel in this creative.