3D Audio Advertising

3D audio, is it really worth it?

Imagine listening to your newly created radio commercial and the sound is coming from all around you. Someone calls out! They're not just calling out from "the left" but they’re calling out from over your left shoulder. The action is all around you. That cuckoo you can hear is up in a tree about 20 metres away. An army helicopter thunders overhead to an imaginary battlefield. The sound takes you to another world.

With an increased audience listening on headphones "3D audio” has become a bit of a buzz word.

But is it all it's cracked up to be?

Firstly, it's not "new" the BBC have been recording “3D” since the 1970s. In 1989 a classmate at Uni created his own microphone to record his final drama in Binaural Sound (which is a fancy word for 3D sound).

Secondly, the effect is completely wasted if you're not listening on headphones or ear buds. Yet millions are still listening in their cars, in their kitchens, over the internet (sometimes through their TVs) to good old-fashioned stereo (that’s IF the broadcast is in stereo... some digital music radio stations even broadcast in mono!).

So, is it worth the extra expense of having a 3D advert created? Maybe. On the odd occasion. Maybe you're advertising a funfair and want to give the feeling of being on a ride, or your characters are walking through a rain forest and you want the crunch of sticks and leaves to be the main body of your ad. From time to time having a bit of 3D sound design may be what your ad needs to make it fun and creative. But that should spring from the brief, not because there's a sales drive for having a 3D ad created solely because it's in 3D.

Invest money in your creative, certainly. Get great writing and top end production. Get an ad that gets the response you need! (That's what we do at Get Carter)

For 99.9% of advertisers, 3D audio is like peeing yourself in a dark suit.

It will give you a nice warm feeling but no one will notice.

Simon Rushton