Monday, June 18, 2018
  • Friday, Dec. 22, 2017
Nicole Fina
POV (Perspective)
Looking Ahead To Production In 2018

There has been a huge push for and curiosity around VR/AR. Everyone wants to talk about it, experience it, play with it. VR/AR is alluring because it allows the consumer to have more control over the narrative. Each person can have a different VR experience, and it’s that control and uniqueness that makes VR/AR so attractive to consumers. The challenge for us as creators is to figure out how we can help give the consumer the freedom while still controlling the narrative.

We are constantly being asked by brands, “How do we achieve brand awareness in 360?” Agencies are pivoting to figure out how their traditional broadcast narratives can be expressed in 360 and more requests are coming in for VR/AR components within TV campaigns. On a consumer level, companies like Apple and Samsung have developed facial mapping technology—hello, animojis—that can ID you and mimic human expressions. Snapchat started the game with their fun filters. The headset makers are pushing the industry to create quality headsets at an affordable price point for the average consumer. We all want the technology to be more accessible.
 
The Digital Space
As the technology becomes more accessible, we’ve seen brands immediately gravitate towards incorporating facial technology and interactivity into advertising.

The popularity of digital influencers has also continued to grow. They represent a powerful force in the advertising world. Influencers are creating brand loyalty faster than many traditional media efforts. This is driven in part by the continued uptick in social media sites where individuals control uploads and create their own unique brand identity on social, particularly on Instagram. These social media sites that allow careful curation and presentation of content have created a more accessible avenue for consumers to take in influencer’s opinions and become active participants in the story.
Consumers are actually wanting to be active participants in the story as well and they are looking for real-time solutions. Brands need to engage the consumer in real-time projections while having interesting visuals produced in an unorthodox way. All which leads to a very interesting BTS presence for online.
 
More Females!
It’s no secret that history has been notorious for lacking high-profile female directors and this is the case within both the feature and advertising spaces. With important initiatives like “Free the Bid,” we’ve seen more female directors rising to the top. The gender bias continues to be a hot topic though but progress is being made and more open dialogues are going forward.

The rise of original content being produced by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others has created opportunities for new talent to develop more diverse stories and to discover new ways to advertise outside the traditional media space. My hope for the upcoming year is that we will continue to cultivate that rise in female directors by keeping our eyes open to new emerging talents. Namely, the hopefuls right out of film school or the female assistant directors who have never been given a break.

Not only is there growing diversity of voice, but there are now more content options to choose from than ever. Audiences no longer have to choose between the 3 or 4 major TV networks and cable channels that decide what you’re watching and when and how. This past year has seen a lot of political unrest and uncertainty, and now people want to see some comic relief. We keep seeing more comedic boards and a continued rise in female comedy directors. The playing field is booming more balanced for the creative voice and consumption standpoints. All which will make for a very exciting 2018.
 
Nicole Fina is an EP on commercials at Digital Domain, a shop focused on VFX, live-action work and VR/AR content productions.