The magic of television advertising often lies in its ability to transport us to different worlds, introduce us to out-of-this-world characters, and display products in ways that transcend reality. Ever found yourself watching a TV advert and thought, “Wow, how did they pull that off?” The answer, more often than not, is the artful use of CGI, or Computer-Generated Imagery.
CGI has become the invisible hero of the advertising world, silently stepping in to bring impossible visions to life. It’s the tool that lets us see dragons dance, cars fly, and smartphones morph into futuristic AI companions. When used effectively, CGI can elevate an advertisement from the ordinary to the extraordinary, creating memorable moments that linger in the viewer’s mind long after the TV has been switched off.
In this blog post, we’re going to take a journey through the world of CGI in advertising. From explaining what CGI is and why it’s such a game-changer to showcasing some of the most jaw-dropping CGI-generated TV ads to inspire your creative team and even guiding you through the process of creating your very own CGI ad. Let’s get started.
CGI, short for Computer-Generated Imagery, is the art and science of using computer technology to create visual content. It’s a broad term encompassing everything from simple static images to complex, dynamic scenes. In the world of television, CGI is like the wizard behind the curtain, pulling the strings to bring fantastical visions to life.
In essence, CGI is a key player in the modern advertising toolkit, offering a canvas where creativity and technology intertwine to create memorable and effective TV advertisements. From the subtle to the spectacular, CGI has changed the face of TV advertising and advertising in general, one frame at a time.
In the context of TV advertising, CGI is an invaluable tool that offers a realm of possibilities that are otherwise impossible, or prohibitively expensive, to achieve through traditional filming methods. Ever seen an ad where alien families live openly among us or where a car transforms into a robot? That’s CGI at work.
But it’s not just about creating fantasy scenarios. CGI can be used to present products in the most appealing light possible. It allows advertisers to show every gleaming curve of a new car, the refreshing fizz of a soft drink, or the intricate details of a high-tech gadget. This level of control over the visual presentation of a product can be a game-changer in TV advertising.
Using CGI in TV advertisements offers a wide range of benefits that can take your campaigns to new heights. When it comes to TV advertising, CGI becomes a great ally in telling a compelling story, offering an array of incredible advantages that can take your commercials to new heights. Harnessing the advantages of CGI in your TV advertisements opens up a world of creative possibilities, enabling you to create visually stunning, impactful, and memorable commercials that leave a lasting impression on your viewers.
With that said, let’s explore six remarkable benefits of harnessing the power of CGI in your TV advertisements.
With CGI, the only limit is your imagination. You can defy the laws of physics, transport viewers to breathtaking landscapes, or even bring fictional characters to life. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to create truly unique and captivating advertisements.
CGI can often be a more cost-effective option compared to traditional filming. It eliminates the need for expensive location shoots, set construction, and logistical challenges. Plus, once you’ve created a CGI asset, it can be reused and modified for future campaigns across all channels of advertising, saving time, budgets and resources.
CGI enables you to showcase your products in ways that are virtually indistinguishable from reality. You can highlight intricate details, demonstrate features, and create visually stunning representations that captivate your audience. It’s an effective tool for conveying the value and appeal of your products.
Once you’ve created a CGI character, setting or visual element, it remains consistent across all applications. This allows for seamless integration within different marketing channels and ensures brand consistency. Additionally, CGI offers flexibility in making adjustments or updates to the visuals, allowing you to adapt to changing needs.
Some scenes and scenarios may be too dangerous or inaccessible to film in real life. CGI provides a safe and practical alternative, enabling you to create high-risk or hard-to-capture visuals without compromising safety or accessibility.
The power of CGI lies not only in its ability to awe with stunning visuals but also in its potential to evoke emotions. By leveraging CGI to create compelling narratives and immersive experiences, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level, leaving a lasting impact and fostering brand loyalty.
Here, we’ll be spotlighting five of the most inspirational CGI adverts that you can use to get your creative juices flowing. These compelling masterpieces blend cutting-edge technology with unparalleled artistry, setting new standards for brand storytelling. From surreal landscapes to mind-bending characters, these CGI commercials not only captivate the viewer’s imagination but also strike an emotional chord.
With that said, let’s take a look at those five incredible CGI ads:
This award-winning commercial takes a unique approach by featuring a T-rex as the main character. The T-rex, feeling melancholic and longing for the glory days, becomes the subject of jokes and memes due to its short arms. The ad humorously showcases the T-rex’s struggles with everyday tasks, from making his bed and fluffing his pillows to protecting his precious jewels during a football match.
However, the T-rex’s fortune changes when it stumbles upon an Audi showroom and discovers the Audi RS 7 concept car with piloted driving. With the car’s autopilot capabilities, the T-rex regains confidence and embarks on a liberating drive along a German highway, basking in the sunset. This CGI-driven commercial highlights Audi’s innovation and the transformative power of technology.
This enchanting 2006 ad begins with a man approaching a Coca-Cola vending machine and inserting a coin to purchase a bottle. As the coin travels inside the machine, viewers are transported into a captivating world within the vending machine itself. In this whimsical realm, a variety of imaginative creatures work harmoniously to craft the perfect bottle of Coke. They navigate vast tropical landscapes, brave chilling temperatures, and overcome obstacles along the way.
Finally, with the bottle complete, the little creatures joyously celebrate their achievement with a grand parade. As the conveyor belt carries the freshly prepared Coke bottle back into the “real world,” viewers are left with a sense of wonder and the assurance that Coca-Cola is crafted with care and delight.
This captivating five-minute animated feature, released for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is the final part of Nike Football’s three-part advertising series. The ad takes viewers on an epic journey to save football from the clutches of The Scientist, a villainous mastermind who has created perfect clones of famous footballers. These clones play in a robotic and efficient manner, devoid of risks and creativity, jeopardising the essence of The Beautiful Game.
Enter Brazilian football legend Ronaldo, who unites with football icons Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Wayne Rooney, and others. They bravely challenge the “perfect” clones to a winner-takes-all match, showcasing their creativity, taking risks, and defying all odds.
The film, involving over 300 people, including 101 artists and 25 animators, took over seven months to complete. With its captivating story and stunning animation, “The Last Game” went viral worldwide, captivating football fans across the globe.
This visually stunning Guinness commercial back from 1999 takes viewers on a breathtaking journey into the heart of massive ocean waves. The ad begins with a lone surfer waiting for the perfect wave amidst a serene backdrop — in full black and white. As the waves build up, the scene transforms into an awe-inspiring display of power and beauty and the surfer is joined by fellow comrades to tackle ‘white horses’, illustrated by realistic horses, superimposed by the use of CGI.
The surfers skillfully ride the colossal wave, defying gravity and demonstrating exceptional balance and control, but only one remains. The CGI-enhanced imagery emphasises the magnitude of the wave, captivating viewers with its grandeur. This Guinness ad is a testament to the brand’s commitment to excellence and the pursuit of extraordinary experiences.
This captivating commercial brings together the beloved character Batman from The Lego Movie and the innovative offerings of Sky Fibre. Witness the thrilling adventure as Lego Batman, with his iconic flair, captures Lego Joker, all while a compelling voiceover details the incredible deal that Sky Fibre has to offer the viewer. Featuring some classic Lego Batman lines, of course.
Through seamless CGI integration of an iconic animated movie character, this ad combines humour, action and product messaging, capturing the imagination of viewers and highlighting expertise in crafting unforgettable CGI-generated TV ads.
Creating a compelling CGI ad involves a series of steps that bring together creativity, technology, and meticulous attention to detail. Through CGI ads, viewers can embark on a creative adventure as you bring your imagination to life on screen.
In this section, we’ll briefly take you on a step-by-step journey through the process of creating a captivating CGI advertisement. From conceptualisation to final execution, we’ll explore the key stages and considerations that go into crafting a successful CGI ad.
The journey begins with a spark of inspiration. Identify the core message you want to convey and brainstorm ideas for your CGI ad. Consider the target audience, desired emotions, and the story you want to tell.
Transform your ideas into visual representations by creating storyboards. Sketch out the key scenes and camera angles to map out the narrative flow. Pre-visualisation techniques, such as creating rough 3D models or animatics, can help visualise the ad before diving into full production.
This is considered an optional step because sometimes you may use pre-developed assets to create your CGI advert, like the one we showcased earlier that featured Lego Batman.
If need be, develop the assets needed for your CGI ad, including 3D models, textures, and animations. Pay attention to details such as lighting, textures, and realistic physics to enhance the visual appeal and authenticity of the ad.
Bring your 3D models to life through animation and rigging. Craft dynamic movements, expressions, and interactions for characters and objects. Rigging involves creating a digital skeleton and control system that allows animators to manipulate the 3D models with precision, ensuring realistic movements and articulations.
Set the stage for your CGI ad by meticulously crafting the lighting. Experiment with various lighting techniques to evoke different moods and enhance the visual impact. Combine natural and artificial lighting sources, adjust shadows and reflections, and fine-tune the overall ambience.
Once the lighting is perfected, rendering takes place, which involves the calculation of each pixel’s colour and shading to produce the final high-quality images or frames.
Combine different CGI elements, such as characters, backgrounds, and special effects, with live-action footage or additional visual elements. Fine-tune the colours, add visual effects, and ensure seamless integration of CGI and real-world elements.
Elevate the emotional impact of your CGI ad by incorporating immersive sound design and carefully selected music. Craft sound effects that enhance realism and bring depth to the visuals. Choose music that complements the narrative, amplifies the desired emotions, and establishes a strong connection with the audience.
The right sound design and music can elevate your CGI ad from visually stunning to a truly immersive and captivating experience.
Polish and refine the ad through editing. Trim and arrange the scenes, ensuring a cohesive and compelling narrative. Review the final product and make necessary adjustments before exporting the CGI ad in the desired format.
From awe-inspiring visuals to unlimited creative possibilities, CGI has revolutionised the landscape of TV advertising. Its ability to transport viewers to extraordinary realms, showcase products in the most appealing light, and evoke powerful emotions has made it an invaluable tool for advertisers.
If you’re inspired to harness the power of CGI for your next TV ad, consider partnering with a TV advertising agency experienced in crafting effective CGI campaigns — like ours. Our expertise in concept development, asset creation, animation, and post-production can bring your ideas to life with exceptional quality and impact. Let your brand shine with the magic of CGI and leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Ready to get started? Get in touch today!