Volta Jumps Shark With News Of 3D “Support” For Its DOOH Display Network

October 13, 2022 by Dave Haynes

An announcement this morning by Volta – the media network that does screens tied in with EV charging stations – has a “jump the shark” feel to it, with word that its fleet of high-brightness ad posters support 3D creative campaigns.

The thing is, they always did, because the three-dimensional visual illusions are in the creative file. The screens are still just screens (unless Volta is retrofitting 1,000s of deployed screens with lenticular, glasses-free 3D overlays).

Says PR:

Volta Inc. (NYSE: VLTA) (“Volta”), an industry-leading electric vehicle (“EV”) charging and media company, today announced the support of three-dimensional (“3D”) creative campaigns across the Volta Media™ Network. This capability furthers Volta’s commitment to providing advertisers and consumers with an innovative and impactful digital media experience.

In addition to 3D features, Volta Media offers a set of dynamic creative options, including real-time weather triggers allowing brands to serve advertisements based on the weather, mobile retargeting enabling brands to reconnect with consumers after they’ve seen an ad on a Volta screen, and QR code activations redirecting consumers to a brand’s website. Volta also offers advertisers a suite of measurement capabilities to report on a variety of business impacts — including down-funnel metrics like incremental sales lift and incremental return-on-ad-spend (ROAS), with targeted Volta campaigns generating ROAS 56 percent above industry average. Volta Media also offers flexible buying options, including the ability to access 100 percent of Volta’s media inventory programmatically on industry-leading supply-side platforms, including Vistar and Place Exchange.

The PR continues:

Volta’s fully customizable 3D creative further expands its media network’s impact and ability to attract high-value advertising partners. On average, consumers are exposed to between 6,000 and 10,000 advertisements each day. 3D advertising allows brands to capture attention with eye-catching, immersive creative, which is a key reason marketers at leading brands such as Nike and Amazon Video have launched 3D campaigns this year.

“3D creative has emerged as a promising way to cut through the crowded media landscape,” said Susan Haar, Managing Director at Kinetic Worldwide. “3D provides a rich, immersive exchange that allows customers to see products differently, resulting in impressive engagement and conversions. We look forward to working alongside forward-thinking media partners like Volta to bring the next era of 3D campaigns to life for our clients.”

“This is another example of Volta Media adding innovative digital capabilities to drive measurable impact for our advertising partners and the planet, thanks to our dual charging and media model,” said Mike Schott, EVP of Media at Volta. “Volta’s premium placements at the doorsteps of locations millions of Americans visit weekly provide our partners an uncluttered environment to reach key audiences. Our ability to feature 3D creative directly along the path to purchase means our advertising partners will be able to reach consumers with an exciting, engaging experience moments before they enter a location and open their wallets.”

I guess this PR is one way to more broadly communicate that yes, our screens can do something like the 3D illusion videos that are all over YouTube, Linkedin and other platforms. There are a handful of custom display companies that have lenses over LCDs that create glasses-free 3D visuals, but the vast majority of the visuals described and touted as 3D on digital signage and DOOH displays are clever visual tricks done entirely in the creative, resulting in the illusion of three dimensions … often only within a narrow viewing sweet spot. In this case, the borders of visual surface would be reduced to allow elements of the creative to slip outside the borders and look 3D-ish.

See how the edge of that gin bottle at the top of this post nudges out just a touch beyond the false border?

For the kids reading this and wondering about the Jump The Shark reference … the idiom emerged after an episode of the ’80s TV sitcom Happy Days, when the character Fonzie is depicted water-skiing and jumping over a caged shark. The stunt was scorned as a silly attempt to regain viewers to a show that was losing popularity. The phrase was more widely adopted to reflect over-reaching creative efforts to generate attention.

Volta had been a DOOH high-flyer the last couple of years, getting a lot of investment support and expanding aggressively. But the company is also burning a lot of start-up dollars, and earlier this month announced staff cuts and pulled back revenue forecasts.

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