What is fake out-of-home advertising?
Shot in portrait and dipping in and out of focus with the occasional camera shake, FOOH videos are setup to appear as though they’ve been shot by an unassuming member of public. They seamlessly merge 3D renders of branded products into the natural surroundings, igniting the imagination. And this is precisely what makes them so captivating; they hover on the fine line between plausibility and incredibility. In a parallel universe with big enough budgets and small enough regulation, they could well exist. For brands, it’s the big idea that never made it beyond concept. For viewers, it’s a hit of escapism.
Who’s making the best fake out-of-home ads?
Ian Padgham, who goes by the alias @origiful on Instagram, is the pioneer of this new era of content. Padgham’s work spans across various categories; collaborating with the likes of Maybelline and Vins de Bordeaux. It was his campaign for Jacquemus portraying bus sized ‘La Bambino’ bags driving through the heart of Paris that first caught the eyes and minds of the masses.
If imitation’s the greatest form of flattery, the early adopters will be delighted to see Alexander Wang’s take on FOOH, which shows a giant piece of lingerie hanging from the Manhattan Bridge. In similar vein, L’Oreal Paris has captured the essence of its hometown with an impressive social media activation for the release of the brand’s new liquid lipstick. L’Oreal advises viewers to ‘fasten your seatbelts and prepare to make a bold entrance’ as a Citroën 2CV trails a giant render of the new lipstick through a dainty cobbled street, leaving a perfect line of block colour behind. C’est incroyable.
Why fake it when you can make it?
While traditional channels still provide brands genuine value, there are plenty of convincing reasons to trial fake out-of-home advertisements. The obvious answer is cost, or lack thereof. Why pay for premium advertising space when you can gain countless times more traction on socials for a fraction of the budget? Reallocating just a sliver of physical media budget to online spend would go a long way, too. By avoiding large-scale physical productions, not only are brands making the most from thinning budgets, but they’re also minimising their environmental impact. Physical shoots often emit over 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and over 80% of those emissions can be directly attributed to transport (Martech); an entirely avoidable detriment with the rise of computer generated creative.
These are two functional reasons, that overlook the impact of the content itself; FOOH advertisements put stretch ideas in touching distance for every brand brave enough to embrace them.
What’s the future of fake out-of-home?
As it stands, the FOOH videos making waves across social are all shot, edited, and uploaded by independent creators and brands – of course, it’s essential that the content needs to be believable and finessed. But what if these activations became accessible for the general population? With accurate enough mapping, brands could develop sophisticated AR filters, whereby users could intertwine branded renders with everyday objects, becoming co-creators themselves, and ushering in a new era of engagement and interaction.
Explore the potential of the Object Capture feature with iOS 17. Our second demo video witnesses the transformation of a drinking fountain in Paris into a stunning 3D model, all directly from your iPhone or iPad Pro. Our upcoming AR Code app update promises to further streamline… pic.twitter.com/3VGdTOLtLP
— Maxime Maisonneuve (@maximemaisonneu) September 6, 2023
As always, only the very best ideas resonate with the masses. Without a strong concept, relevance to your brand, and impeccable execution, digital content always has the capacity to fall flat. Making yourself seen and heard is the hard part. But that’s where we come in.
Whether it’s taking brands from hundreds of followers to the tens of thousands, bringing to life captivating 3D renders, or rolling out global influencer programmes, we’ve got a proven track record across all areas of social. Fancy going further with fake out-of-home? Get in touch today, and we’ll show you what we do best.