The advent of anamorphic advertising hails exciting prospects for brands. But where does it leave age-old crafts like hand-painting murals?
“Hand-painted advertising has experienced a global resurgence, and its momentum, further buoyed by social media, shows no signs of waning. These murals are a testament to human artistry, offering a tangible, authentic touch that resonates deeply with audiences,” Eric Sas, co-founder and CEO of anamorphic 3D technology company BCN Visuals, tells Jing Daily.
Handcrafted murals, for example, have recently experienced virality. Their popularity shows that there’s still an appetite for the human touch, even among the younger generations.
Last year, a clip documenting artists hand-painting a mural in New York’s Soho from TikTok account Soho Suiting circulated in November. Featuring a lifelike image of Bella Hadid for Swarovski, the video racked up over 20 million views.
The account has since continued to follow the ever-changing canvases dotted around the city after recognizing there was demand for such content, from Gucci trunk murals to Longchamp campaigns.
“[Mural art] is doing well because it's so human,” Lee Bofkin, CEO and co-founder of Global Street Art tells Jing Daily. The London-based advertising agency specializes in hand-painted advertising and public murals, and has created works for the likes of sneaker label On and Wedgwood.
Bofkin outlines how the craft can act as an antidote to today’s digital overload.
“Human-powered skills are still as relevant as ever, if not more relevant in a time when digital creativity is so increasingly disposable,” he says. “It's incredibly impactful; it's the easiest type of outdoor advertising to share online. People stop and take photos all the time when we're painting, and long after.”
With both traditional craft and emerging innovation at the forefront of advertising, brands are opting to harness both.
“In essence, both mediums cater to different aspects of marketing and, rather than compete, can coexist harmoniously and offer diverse brand expression,” Sas says.
Loewe is exploring both ends of the spectrum. The Spanish fashion house employed both mediums for its widely popular “Howls Moving Castle” campaign earlier this year. In Chengdu, the brand captivated passersby with a 3D billboard inspired by the anime classic’s distinct visual cues. Meanwhile, it went back to basics with hand-painted advertisements for the streets of London.
Bofkin argues that deploying a mix of modes may help a brand avoid getting lost in the noise, but this approach doesn’t guarantee staying power.
“Brands need to be more relevant in culture and isolated messaging only goes so far. The things that work best are integrating outdoor (like mural painting) within wider parts of the campaign,” he says.
Today, brands are looking for ways to combat waning interest, especially as they strive to capture the vacillating attention of Gen Z and Gen Alpha. But with consumer advertising burnout rife, can novel advancements like 3D billboards offer a solution?
“Yes and no,” marketing and brand strategist Leland Grossman says. “In some regards the gimmicky nature only reinforces the fatigue. On the flip side, the technology has the potential to truly wow folks, as I believe the MSG Sphere has done.”
Sas believes that there’s a place for newness and old-school craft in today’s marketing playbook, but harnessing new technologies is what will keep brands ahead of the curve – and the competition.
“Ultimately, as the marketing landscape shifts towards more interactive and immersive experiences, pivoting to 3D digital displays is not just a progressive step; it's imperative for brands aiming to maintain a competitive edge and offer an unparalleled brand experience in a Web3 and AI-centric world,” he says.