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eCommerce is the most significant innovation in consumer retail in the last thirty years, and there’s still a long way for it to go, with offline retail still accounting for the bulk of consumer buying. It would be a cliché to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of online retail channels, from reach, convenience, and supply chain efficiency on the one hand to trust deficiency, online security, and advertising difficulty on the other. Brands spend a lot of financial and social capital building their identities, loyal customer bases, and market positioning. Advertising remains a major mode of overt communication between a brand and its target audience. This is the big challenge in online retail. The average mobile user visits less than two websites in a session. Therefore effective, high volume advertising is the lifeblood of remaining in users’ top-of-mind recall group. CGI can be an essential way to achieve this.
CGI in Advertising
CGI, or “computer-generated imagery”, refers to all sorts of artwork created using a computer software program. This ranges from simple line illustrations and decently rendered indicative art for online brochures to complex 3D art and photo/hyper-realistic structures. CGI allows the artwork to be created once and reused as many times as desired across print, digital, and audiovisual media as standalone or ensemble elements. This is a huge deal. CGI is now a universally understood element for all visual effects in the film & TV world and plays a significant part in TV and online advertising as well. In general, CGI offers three main advantages to marketers:
Better Connect with Customers
Any marketing professor will describe “customer connect” as the journey a customer is willing to take with the seller to visualize their life because of the product the seller is selling. In other words, customer connect is about evoking emotional responses to override functional evaluation of products and services to influence buying behavior. Advertisers go to great lengths to set the right moods via lighting, models, locations, etc. Todays’ CGI capabilities can help advertisers create the perfect sun-kissed shoreline, the most luscious-looking sandwich, or the most luxurious sofa, taking uncertainty out of creating customer connect.
At other times, sellers want customers to buy into a vision. Especially for eCommerce applications, clever marketers can help create immersive experiences for customers. CGI allows potential clients to explore a variety of colors, veneers, textures, and configurations of products that may not even exist.
Finally, CGI also allows full-spectrum marketing campaigns to be conducted months before the products are finally ready. This shortens time to market and boosts brands’ responsiveness, marketing effectiveness, and ultimately, their competitiveness.
Post the Covid-19 affected year, the value of remote working is self-evident. During 2020, firms increasingly turned to CGI-capable agencies to replicate products and recreate vistas. Even without global pandemic-level forced isolation, CGI offers advertisers freedom from vagaries of nature, unavailability of models, impracticality of locales, and even the laws of physics! Want to show your product on the Moon? No problem! Create White Christmas-themed marketing material in July? Check! Have a real-life model sit in a non-existent room with a replica of the Mona Lisa hanging over their head? You got it.
CGI doesn’t just offer flexibility compared to location-based photography and videography, but it can be much cheaper too. Take for example, a skyline shot of Manhattan. It certainly needs travel, possibly a helicopter, or at least a drone to take that shot. In addition, consider the challenges of camera angle, lighting conditions, etc., and such a shot may be very, very expensive. With CGI, camera angles, lighting, elements, and even crowds can be recreated as required, and if any changes are required, it isn’t very difficult or expensive to make those changes. CGI replication of real-world elements also makes them compatible with new technologies like Augmented and Mixed Reality.
CGI is here to stay. For online marketers, it offers one more option for their continual efforts to create engaging, cost-effective marketing material. If you are an online marketer and curious to know if CGI is right for you, or you need an experienced partner to execute your ideas, consider an end-to-end service provider like Pikspire, which can work with you from idea formulation to discussing practicalities and executing your marketing plan professionally and cost-effectively.
“Video Marketing – Creative & Effective”, Pikspire