Virtual technology transforms the advertising board

Rapid technological innovation is transforming how we imagine, deliver and receive marketing campaigns and how brands reach and engage with their target audiences across increasingly interconnected territories.  This evolution becomes revolutionary when the tech and the media industries combine the peak of their powers and work together to leapfrog entire phases of innovation. For example, social media networks enable brands to forensically target consumers in unprecedented ways. Big data search engine analysis makes it possible to design ads based on individual online behaviour.

More traditional media, such as advertising signage boards, still have a significant role to play in this modern mix, but more and more brands are demanding cost effective, targeted solutions. It’s no different in the sports industry, where rights holders and brands want to speak in increasingly focused ways with a wider range of diverse audiences – even via the static and LED advertising boards at sports events.  It sounds like mission impossible. Surely the humble advertising board can only speak to one audience at a time? Think again. Virtual advertising opens the door to a brave new world where software can remotely reconfigure these iconic surfaces to broadcast tailored messages to unsuspecting viewers in multiple markets.

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Infront and Vizrt, the world leader in advanced real-time 3D graphics, and sports analysis tools, are offering rights holders and brands an express ticket to this new world with next generation virtual advertising technology. Viz Eclipse, the product of years of intense research and development by Vizrt, is the ultimate “non-intrusive” virtual advertising solution. As a non-intrusive software tool, it reconfigures any designated commercial space or the surface of an advertising signage board in real time as part of the standard production process during a sports broadcast. At its core is a pioneering image recognition “keying” process and cutting-edge virtual replacement calibration, stemming from Vizrt’s experience providing 3D graphics tools for broadcasters to use for on-screen analysis.

Viz Eclipse’s software processes images from a standard broadcast production of a match or event and overlays the actual surfaces of any in-stadium advertising boards with life-like, virtual graphics. It is compatible with all static or LED boards, and functions without any need to invest in costly alterations to cameras or stadium infrastructure, as required by other “intrusive” virtual advertising solutions. The intelligent production software is so convincing that, as a viewer, you can’t tell whether the board designs on screen are an illusion or real. The technology even adjusts to environmental conditions such as light and weather, and it adapts as players and officials move across the advertising boards to maintain the “real” integrity of the image on the signage boards.

Implementation is remarkably simple, as it only requires a software calibration process prior to transmission via the broadcast feed. It can be executed remotely and caters for multiple different overlays, such as colourful animations. This groundbreaking, non-intrusive approach enables the easy delivery of bespoke messages to different target audiences, making advertising more effective for brands and more relevant for fans.

It’s the win-win solution that the media and advertising industries have been searching for years. There’s a big future waiting for the trusty ad board – and it’s virtual.