Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan introduced 3-D images in print a few weeks ago, and gave out viewing glasses to readers to view these specially created images. Now soft drink brand 7UP has become the first to advertise in the special format, in the form of a center spread in the issue of the weekly dated July 17, 2005. And the adorable Fido Dido seems to climb above the Ice in this three dimensional print ad for 7UP ICE.
So is this the first 3-D ad to hit print in India? Sundar Raman, General Manger, Mindshare - Delhi, seems to think so. He said, “I would think it is a first. We thought that with the new flavor of 7UP, it’s a very appropriate media innovation to choose. In terms of advertising on scale, in a mainstream publication, I think this would be a first. We are always looking for innovative media options for the PepsiCo brands and 3-D was an excellent opportunity.”
Given that print (especially weeklies) does not demand a huge share in the ad spends of soft drink brands in general, the brand seems to have picked Ananda Vikatan for the 3-D format alone.
P Sivaparasad, VP-Advertising, Vikatan Group, is optimistic that more advertisers will join the 3-D wave. He said, “It has a lot to do with the agency. They were convinced that it was a good opportunity and the client also understood the advantages of opting for the format. We expect that this would be the first of a series. Someone had to start the fire. Till now, we’ve been doing a lot of talking. Now, they have something they can look at and understand the possibilities.”
On the 3-D format taking off across publications, Sundar Raman added, “I think scalability will definitely be an issue. There has to be some level of like-mindedness between the client and the publication too.”
Ananda Vikatan meanwhile is sure that 3-D can’t be their USP for long. The publication plans to set aside some resources for 3-D, while ensuring that it is exclusive enough. Sivaprasad indicates that they might end up with a few pictures (editorial) and two ads in each issue, to sustain interest and prevent ‘overkill’.
On the set of innovations starting from the series on Rajnikant, the publication’s spokesperson added, “We don’t really rely on blockbuster ideas, and prefer to build it issue by issue. For instance in the current issue, we have introduced Abi, the protagonist from Kolangal, as the ‘agony aunt’ answering queries from readers. The idea started with mails coming in from readers requesting responses to a variety of questions.”
The 3-D concept itself took Ananda Vikatan three months to execute. The publication is looking to offer 3-D where possible as an added value for its clients. Sivaprasad adds that they would charge only costs unless it involved huge workload in converting the creative to the necessary format. The viewing glasses have been made available at news stands for readers, at an additional cost of Rs 2. The publication may look at offering a fresh set of glasses with subsequent issues, with the support of a sponsor.