How Realtime 3D is opening doors in advertising

Steve Barnes on how gaming’s loss could be advertising’s gain

You can’t help but have seen in recent times that despite the ongoing successes in the gaming industry, job losses have been mounting up across the board

A combination of company buy-outs, the end of COVID and erratic major game releases mean that although booming in many senses, the workforce in the gaming world is taking the brunt of some difficult decisions. Meanwhile, in adland, the job losses continue to mount up for many reasons, something which has only been exacerbated by a lack of new talent entering the industry. Why? Well, for one thing, advertising is reaping what it has continually sown — an express pathway for the privileged few with an expensive education around a commuting distance of London.

This has resulted in a real stagnation in the quality of work, not only because the same old faces are making the same identikit ads, but because the time demands and cash constraints have left them burned out and running on an empty tank of creativity. Talent is choosing to leave the industry because the work-life balance is non-existent.

The people to replace them simply aren’t there in the traditional places. University graduates can now comfortably earn more than junior-level ad workers by working in a supermarket as a trainee manager — a graduate area manager scheme now pays an average of nearly £52k — advertising starting salaries are between 22k and 24k. Add in the cost of living and the rental prices in the capital and it’s a no-brainer.

Agencies are crying out for new talent but still won’t look beyond the end of their noses

The advances in real-time 3D open up advertising to a younger demographic and those looking to change careers and the chance to become the creatives they always dreamed of but believed that this was always a job for ‘someone else’. At Collective, we’ve been using real-time 3D for some time, something which reduces the need for traditional campaign shoots and saves everyone time and cash. Unreal Engine in particular has helped us create some amazing work, such as this campaign for EE.

We’re at an exciting time where we can finally open our arms to the truly diverse talent out there, wherever they are in the world. You don’t need to live in London to work in advertising anymore. As agencies, we don’t expect them to and neither do the brands we work with. The beauty of using Unreal in creating ads is that you can work closer than ever with clients and see the results there and then — from wherever you are in the world.

Technology is advancing every day, with digital twins, AI and Omniverse now allowing us to factor in real-world physics, real-time collaboration and Open USD — a completely platform-agnostic 3D file which levels the playing field for everyone. Those who have trained in animation, tech and CGI can join an industry which can see them become the architects of ideas that millions around the world can experience. Unreal gives both creatives and designers the opportunity to flourish in their roles wherever they are in the world, with geographical challenges being a thing of the past. Every creative we have met and worked with on any of these technologies just looks like a kid in a sandbox again.

The world has changed… and continues to change. Advertising needs new blood; new ideas and new energy. The gaming industry is letting go of talent, which simply cannot be allowed to go to waste, and we should welcome them into our industry with open arms.

Featured image: EE

Steve Barnes, Co-Founder at Collective London

Steve is one of Collective’s founding partners, and has over 20 years’ experience directing creatively-led executions for blue chip clients. Traditionally trained as a graphic designer, Steve’s early career focused on delivering multi-channel executions for international brands including Audi, Adidas, and Deutsch Telecom. Key highlights include rebranding Deutsch Telecom's youth brand TD-1 and helping launch The Ministry of Sound to a global audience. Since founding Collective, Steve has been responsible for the creative output of the agency, helping brands such as EE, BP, Avis and Hyundai navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape.

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