Long live Faux OOH.

Long live Faux OOH.

In recent months there has been a burst of Faux OOH, CGI OOH and Faked AR campaigns hitting socials from an array of brands – from Maybelline to Netflix, Victoria Beckham to McDonalds: with the latter example in this veritable McFlurry of activity coming from Pebble Studios 🙂

If you aren’t yet aware of this new phenomenon, Faux OOH is the creation of fake installations, billboards or experiences through a combination of UGC style film overlaid with CG assets and animation – commonly resulting in a ‘is that for real?’ reaction from viewers.

Unsurprisingly, these campaigns have received mixed reviews from the marketing and advertising world. Some claim that ‘faking it’ does a disservice to the demands of real OOH, while others believe that it provides creative freedom from the time and budgetary constraints of real-world advertising media.

Personally, I think that Faux OOH is an entirely valid way to capture audience attention in a cluttered and competitive market. It’s a way of reacting to modern content consumption trends with a healthy sprinkling of the magic and production value you should expect from big brands.

Consumers certainly don’t care that some of the OOH they’re seeing on social media isn’t real. They’re there hoping to be diverted, entertained and informed, after all. In fact, Faux OOH commands more attention and interaction thanks to the healthy debate about its validity. And this is certainly not a new tactic: just think back to the infamous David Beckham beach football ad.

At Pebble Studios, we are constantly tasked with creating social video that will pry eyeballs away from the plethora of low-quality ‘youtuber’ content that fills our feeds. I believe that Faux OOH campaigns offer a fantastic way to accomplish this. The UGC film look draws viewers into the content subconsciously, and then the exceptional fidelity and irreverence of the CGI does something that blows their minds – and puts brands at top of mind.

As far as we, and our very happy clients are concerned, Faux OOH is the real deal. CGI is at an incredibly exciting stage, where technological developments perfectly complement the craftsmanship of VFX artists, enabling photo-realistic CGI to be created in incredibly tight timeframes and to client-pleasing budgets. When done well, Faux OOH campaigns can also be highly creative, and, most importantly, deliver a healthy dose of fun, humour and surprise for viewers.

When you factor in the added bonus of speed of production vs traditional ‘stunt’ or OOH activations, I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Faux OOH in the future.

Learn more about our CGI work below.

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