Case Study – Three Dimensional Thinking

Anomaly has drawn on the ample skills of director Jonathan Glazer and footballer Kaká to advertise Sony’s first 3D TV sets. Three reviewers tell us what they think.

Anomaly has created a World Cup ad with a twist for the launch of Sony’s 3D TV range. The spot, directed by Jonathan Glazer of Academy Films, shows an action-packed footie scene shot in 3D, which appears to be transmitting incorrectly when viewed on a standard TV. As the effects get more dramatic, the statement “Do not adjust your set” appears, followed by “This is 3D TV” and finally “Maybe it’s time to get a 3D TV”. A URL then appears, giving information about where Sony 3D TVs can be bought – this weblink is localised to the country airing the ad.

Direct approach
The challenge for Anomaly was to find a way of advertising 3D technology on 2D screens. The agency decided to suggest that the footage being viewed could be seen in a better version elsewhere. “We genuinely felt that whenever people came across a 2D mess-

age from Sony about 3D, it had to do more than just pretend to be 3D,” explains Paul Graham, a partner at Anomaly. “You can’t have another fancy TV ad that does a good analogous description of 3D…. I think everyone knows that 3D is amazing. So what we needed to do was shake them up a bit and show why they should go and see Sony’s 3D content.”

The solution was to use the directing skills of Jonathan Glazer to create an ad that emulates “different aspects of what football feels like”, according to producer Simon Cooper. These include footage of star footballer Kaká doing what he does best, as well as an exploding trophy cabinet and a number of cannons firing balls. It was the first time that Glazer had shot in 3D, and the process was not without difficulty. “Shooting 3D is anything but straightforward,” says Cooper. “It’s incredibly complicated because you have to use these enormous rigs with two cameras fixed into them…. We had four of those rigs, so we had eight cameras, and they’re not an easy way to shoot. A lens change takes anything up to 45 minutes so most of your lens decisions have to be made before you shoot. There is meticulous planning beforehand … it’s exciting but not nearly as open to spontaneity as a normal shoot would be.”

Defining moment
The 3D version of the spot will show at cinemas and on 3D sports channels, while the 2D version will air across Europe during the World Cup. Anomaly hopes it will signify a defining moment in the way football is broadcast. “Every red-blooded male that likes football remembers the first World Cup in the 70s that was broadcast in colour,” says Graham. “That really changed everyone’s opinions. This World Cup will get everyone talking again, about the move from 2D to 3D.”

Response

Eben Mears, director/founder, Psyop, New York
The most effective and unique aspect of this commercial is that it is leveraging the current debate over whether 3D will really take off. Instead of trying to show 3D in 2D, Sony is showing what 3D would look like without 3D equipment in the hope of people saying “wow I wish I could see that in 3D, that would be cool!”. The question is; are the images themselves compelling or interesting enough to illicit that response?

I have seen the 3D version, and it’s impressive. I would have liked to see a little more of a story which could have been enhanced by the use of 3D, instead of this more esoteric approach, but they did it ‘properly’ by shooting in 3D (vs converting 2D images), and the use of slow motion lets the beauty of that play out.

I assume the hope is that most people see this spot and the 3D version at the movies, or in store, therefore realising what they are missing. Will that be enough to get people to part with a few thousand dollars for yet another TV and wear those glasses for hours at home? Not sure, but it’s a good first step.

Kevin Chesters, planning director, W+K London
The World Cup’s here. And I genuinely need a new telly right now. Here is Sony trying to convince me to buy their one. And it’s a super 3D one too! Now I confess I’ve never been a big fan of 3D since throwing up at Alton Towers watching their big screen in 1982. But I digress.

This ad is fine. Its fundamental issue though is that it’s trying through the medium of my existing telly to tell me that this telly is better. But I can’t experience the experience can I? So they are going to have to find a wickedly clever ‘creative’ device to do that for me. Just like Sharp are doing with their George Takei work to fundamentally the same brief, or Sky with their Supertelly work (to the same brief) or Samsung with their lots of tellys together/fountain work.

No one ad really stands out much. And I don’t get anything from this that would make me think I have to run out and buy theirs. It’s also all a bit chaotic, and feels like the client has tried to cram two minutes worth into one. It sort of gets the point across, and it looks quite striking – but it doesn’t do enough for me to raise it above the mass. I think the Samsung work is more elegant and simple.

Maybe I’m still bitter about spewing my Irn Bru down my new Gola trainers whilst on a simulated roller coaster all those years ago.

Russell Ramsey, executive creative director, JWT London
I’ve watched this ad ten times and I still don’t understand it.

Open on a football training session in slow motion. Every slot is in triplicate so it gives a strange blurring effect. Cut to girls running down a corridor.

Cut to bloke with a football. Cut to a sports car, a body builder, a trophy cabinet. Cut to someone scoring a goal: the goals explode. A title tells me not to adjust my set.

So, OK, it was shot in 3D so it probably looks better on a 3D telly, but is that it? It seems to be a random collection of footage that would look good in 3D but that doesn’t tell a story or make a point.

There doesn’t seem to be an idea beyond ‘this might look more interesting if you had a 3D TV’. Surely the trick here would be to get me to believe so I wouldn’t mind shelling out a couple of grand for the experience. I’ll stick with HD for the moment.

 

Creative agency: Anomaly. Copywriter/art director: Anomaly. Production company: Academy Films. Director: Jonathan Glazer. Producer: Simon Cooper. Post-production: One of Us

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