Sep 14, 2011

Z Corporation's 3D Printing Technology Gives Google Ad Campaign a Stunning New Look

You’re an art director making a video ad for one of the coolest brands on the planet. The setting is a quintessential American cityscape. You need a thoroughly original look – artistic, but also real and tangible – and not another CGI animation. What do you do?

You ZPrint it.

That’s what Grow Interactive, one of the country’s hottest digital design studios, did to convey the power of the world’s most advanced mobile search tool, the Google Search app.

Grow used a 3D printer from Z Corporation to create the Main Street for Google’s new AdMob rich media mobile advertising campaign, Uncover Your World, which illustrates the power of Google’s voice, visual and location-aware mobile search capability. 3D printing is the creation of physical objects from 3D design data much as a business letter is created from a word-processing file.

Grow used a ZPrinter® 450 to create all of the ad's visuals (see the video of how the commercial was made). Every scene and interface element was custom modeled and 3D printed – even the sequence of paint drips that plays back in stop-motion to create a pouring effect. Grow assembled all of the parts into a 10-foot set, which it then used to capture all of the image and video components in stop-motion.

After deciding that 3D printing was the solution to its creative needs, Grow researched a range of 3D printers and obtained sample prints from all of them. “We explored and tested nearly every 3D printing technology on the market,” said Drew Ungvarsky, owner and creative director of Grow Interactive. “In the ZPrinter, we found what we were looking for: speed, color and high detail. The ZPrinter was the only device with the speed, resolution and surface quality we needed. And it’s the only one capable of printing in multiple colors, so that saved us time on painting.”

The team found the printer surprisingly easy to use. The staff is experienced with 3D design software, including Cinema 4D software used for this project, and quickly learned how to make their images printable objects. Carlton McFaden, managing partner at Anvil Prototype, a Z Corporation reseller, provided valuable support throughout the campaign.

“When you see the objects in the ad, you know they’re real, not digital, but you can’t quite put your finger on what they are,” said Ungvarsky. “And that’s what we love about them. We found the unique visual we were after: highly detailed and seemingly handmade. Since Google has a great tradition of representing its technology in the analog world, we found ZPrinting gave us an opportunity to continue that tradition but in a new and unique way. The client was very pleased.”

Google blogged on their campaign here: http://googlemobileads.blogspot.com/2011/08/uncover-your-world-with-admob-rich.html.