Previous slide
Next slide
Previous slide
Next slide

Who are 3rockAR and how do your products bring Digital OOH to life using technology?

Ian Brookes

Co-Founder/Managing Director

3rockAR

Ian Brookes

Ian Brookes

26 June. 6 min read . Opinion

(Credit: 3rockAR)

“The rise of technology and what it means for the OOH industry” is a weighty subject, while I don’t claim to be a wise old sage (old maybe) who has all of the answers, I’ve had some fascinating conversations with major brands from all corners of the globe. They throw around statistics, I’ll spare you the numbers game but one thing’s for sure: technology has probably taken a toll on the beautiful medium we all know as OOH. Despite that, more money than ever is being poured into it, so what do I know?!

Let me give you a quick background on 3rockAR, the OG of AR advertising. We’ve been rocking the scene for a solid 11 years. We helped kick start the AR advertising revolution and now there are lots of people following in our footsteps. We’ve had some mind-blowing accounts over the years thanks to our genius creation, the magic Mirror. It’s not your average mirror, it’s a screen that people actually pay attention to, amazing right?!  This innovative screen was designed to capture people’s attention and engage them like never before and we absolutely continue to achieve this.

However, when the pandemic hit, we had to adapt. We jumped ship to the webAR bandwagon, a technology that has not yet reached its full potential in terms of mass adaptation but is growing rapidly. WebAR allows users to experience augmented reality through their web browsers, no app, making it more accessible and versatile.

About 2 years ago I was sent a link featuring a 3D tiger jumping out of a screen and my initial thought was “This can’t be real!” To my surprise, it was indeed real and it marked my first encounter with anamorphic 3D billboards. Talk about blowing people’s minds!

But here’s the catch: those mind-blowing billboards? They look absolutely fantastic on social media but on the ground, you have to be in exactly the right spot to see the magic otherwise you’ll be stuck with a lot of distorted images. Not great for showing off logos and products. Corporate identity can take a hit when you’re seeing wonky visuals from the wrong angle.

OOH advertising has been around since long before I was born but what is its impact in the digital age? With the digital noise bombarding us from every direction, OOH often struggles to capture consumers’ attention. Companies have made attempts to address this issue in various ways:

One approach is adding QR codes to traditional OOH advertisements, allowing viewers to scan and visit related websites. However, this approach can be seen as mundane and lacks the immersive appeal that modern audiences seek.

Another solution is incorporating augmented reality experiences into OOH campaigns. By leveraging AR technology, brands can create more interactive and engaging experiences. However, consumer participation largely depends on the presence of incentives and compelling reasons to engage, without those, nobody will engage.

Marketeers crave impactful, memorable and scalable campaigns. Unfortunately, traditional OOH doesn’t always deliver the oomph they’re looking for. And those anamorphic billboards? They’re fantastic but not exactly scalable. So what should a marketing genius do?

Enter our latest creation, the dynamic 3D Anamorphic At Any Angle technology (3D-AAAA), it’s a beautiful thing. This delivers a 3D experience that can be played on any standard digital screen and you can view it from any angle! We’ve solved a problem and can now deliver impact and scale in one neat package!

I hear some agencies say “my clients are not asking for this”. My goodness, what is going on?! Clients want innovation that grabs attention and makes people say “wow, what was that?!” It’s your ideas the client will remember, not the same old mundane offerings which can be sourced by anyone.

At 3rock, we provide a comprehensive 360-degree service to global clients. We engage in detailed discussions, we brainstorm concepts, assess existing assets, suggest wild ideas, visualise them and ultimately bring them to life. The result is a single file which can be utilised on any digital screen worldwide with the same aspect ratio, delivering a consistent and mind-blowing experience.

Major companies are eating this up like there’s no tomorrow. Last month, I spoke with a global marketing head who told me that three different regions are itching to try anamorphic campaigns but the costs are enormous. They said our technology takes their marketing to a whole new level as it is scalable across the globe.

Our clients use this tech at events, some in physical stores and some to simply modernise their office spaces. The versatility and impact of our 3D-AAAA technology makes it an ideal choice on so many levels.

Let me drop some names and success stories. We have signed agreements with renowned companies such as Samsung, Red Bull, Coca Cola, Nissan, Mastercard, Lipton, Heineken, Pepsi (Lays), MTN, Flight Centre and lots of others I’m sworn to secrecy over!

They all want the same thing: impact, scale and the holy grail of one reliable partner. Check, check and check!

Looking ahead, our next step involved integrating AR into the mix. Imagine, for example the Lays campaign in South Africa, people could witness the 3D Money Heist campaign we ran but then at the flick of a wrist, they could wear the iconic mask or embark on a virtual treasure hunt. How cool would that be? We are actively discussing similar mind-bending ideas with several companies, aiming to push the boundaries of what is possible with our technology. We have a very high profile client activity coming up which will incorporate our 3D-AAAA as well as the AR Magic Mirror, never been done before, unfortunately, that’s all I can share right now!

As the market evolves, more companies are entering the realm of 3D anamorphic solutions. This expansion is great news for the industry as a whole. The pie will only grow bigger and there will be more than enough opportunities for everyone to flourish.

In summation, the OOH industry is thriving but many companies are not using its full potential. The latest technological advancements offer brands the chance to enhance their reach, attention and impact. We, at 3rock, are proud to be right smack in the middle of these developments, continually pushing boundaries and empowering brands to revolutionise the way they advertise. Not a gimmick but to exceed all of their marketing objectives in the digital era.

Ian Brookes is co-founder and MD at 3rockAR.

3rockAR has been at the forefront of the augmented reality world since 2013. Recent innovations include immersive AR anamorphic and 3D Anamorphic At Any Angle (3D-AAAA). Feel free to reach out directly to Ian at ib@3rockar.com