Our Terms of Use & Cookie Policy

StackAdapt uses cookies to improve your online experience. Cookies are used to help us better understand where our visitors are coming from, recognize you when you sign in to the platform, or better personalize pages you visit. Cookies are placed on your computer automatically but if you chose to opt out from any tracking, you can change your cookie settings through your browser.


Creative Format Trends: How 3D Is Adding Depth To Digital Advertising

Robert is an Intern on the StackAdapt Creative Studio Team with a passion for developing and implementing creative solutions for brands running on the platform.

Creative formats have evolved since the inception of programmatic advertising. Display ads are no longer static images, and creative strategists have a lot more freedom to leverage advancements in advertising technology. At the end of 2019, I wrote about some ad formats I’ve been most excited about, along with some ideas I had for the future of ad creation. I am so thrilled to be building something new, as I take advantage of the evolution of ads.

With these new creative format trends, advertisers have the opportunity to deliver highly immersive experiences through interactive content. Three-dimensional (3D) objects and landscapes can now be embedded into HTML5 rich media banners, providing an unparalleled user experience in comparison to two-dimensional (2D) creatives. This expressive format can bring your brand to life and allow users to interact with the product as if it were in their own hands.

Don’t take my word for it, explore the product below by clicking and dragging to rotate and scroll to zoom in and out.

How We Make 3D

Companies are investing heavily in improving their e-commerce business and customer experience, as there has been a significant increase in online shopping. Success online requires brands to develop creative strategies and techniques to entice users and seamlessly lead them through the conversion journey. 3D models provide a solution to one of e-commerce’s most difficult challenges—to mimic the unique experience that people have when they shop at brick and mortar stores. 3D ads enable users to look at and digitally “touch” a product—bringing the product to life virtually, and providing an experience that is interactive and engaging.

The concept of 3D in digital is not new. Several businesses use 3D software to develop their products, games, and structures. Businesses across industry verticals may use different software but many of these programs are all compatible with each other. For example, an architect designing in Rhino can easily export their work as an OBJ file which can then be embedded into an HTML5 banner. As a result, the technology to generate digital 3D creatives exists, and we have now found a way to effectively leverage that for programmatic ads.

To guarantee that this format is feasible from an advertising perspective, it needs to  reach audiences at scale and the technology needs to be seamlessly accessible across all devices and platforms. What was once a difficult format to scale, is now highly functional across all devices and supported by Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Both mobile and desktop devices are now outfitted with the necessary components and computational power to render 3D objects in real-time resulting in little to no latency in upload speed. Upload speed is especially important to advertisers using channels like display because they only have a small amount of time and space to attract a user’s attention.

Benefits of 3D Ads

Advertisers work tirelessly to encourage interactions and build relationships between users and a brand—be that trying or purchasing a product, or sharing branded content online. Leveraging 3D ads in your campaigns is a scalable and cost-effective solution that prompts the audience to engage directly with the product or service being advertised. By virtually experiencing products, prospects can explore them in greater detail than that is afforded by any 2D image. This is the closest you can get to a product online, without actually visiting a store to physically see and touch it. In addition to these interactive functionalities, 3D ads allow you to take the path less travelled and be creative in your advertising concepts and strategies, regardless of the level of complexity of your product. This innovative format can elevate the perception of your brand amongst your target audience and set it apart from the abundance of static or flat digital ads.

Best Use of This Format

Brands across various industries can get really creative with 3D ads. Imagine being in the driver’s seat and seeing the dashboard of a car or experiencing a tour of the Louvre in Paris from your own office or patio. 

Using a 3D model in their ads provides an enticing sneak peek experience of the virtual tour.

Elevated Perception

Shopify and Sketchfab have completed studies that have shown that 3D ads are great for brands that are looking to elevate their creatives to a new level. They discovered that 3D ads have the ability to increase your return on ad spend by improving performance metrics like CTR, engagement, conversions, and time on site. This is because they are highly appealing for the user, and the more interactive elements that exist, the better chance the ad has of fostering interest and engagement.

As the 3D landscape is fairly new, brands using this format could be perceived as being innovative and technologically advanced amongst their target audience. Leveraging new creative types demonstrates innovation and a willingness to think outside of the box—leaving your audience with a memorable experience that does wonders for brand recall.

Additional Functionalities In Development

As this is a new creative format, there are capabilities that are still being developed and tested. For me, that’s even more exciting, as it signals there are plenty more opportunities for exploration and fun in design!

I am particularly looking forward to the configurator and the swirl.

Configurator: Users will be able to experiment with different specs, customizing the product to their liking. For example, if a running shoe is being advertised, a user can preview the shoe in a variety of different colours.

Swirl: A functionality specifically designed for mobile. As a user scrolls down a webpage, the 3D model is tied to the page and will animate as the user scrolls up and down.

Talk about taking ads to the next level…

We live in a 3D world and eventually, the internet will too. If your company does not use 3D modelling software, don’t worry, speak to your StackAdapt Representative to find out how we can develop a creative solution to integrate a 3D model into your campaign.

You may also like: