Now There’s An Acronym For Something That Isn’t Really A Thing: FP3D Billboards

March 6, 2023 by Dave Haynes

Now media companies are getting into the flawed habit of calling their advertising displays something they’re not.

Abu Dhabi-based BackLite Media sent me PR about its winning the concession to deploy new digital billboards at a flashy new waterfront destination in the city state – trumpeting how the “new range includes a curved screen, which will be the first Forced Perspective 3D billboard in Abu Dhabi. The FP3D billboard will offer viewers a unique and immersive experience.”

FP3D? So now there’s any acronym for something that isn’t really a thing? I also don’t really get how a corner billboard on a busy roadway is an “immersive experience” but that’s a different debate.

The project primarily targets an affluent audience of locals and high-net-worth individuals from Abu Dhabi City, with 90% of visitors currently consisting of local Emirati citizens. BackLite’s 3D screen, The Curve @ Al Qana, will feature as part of the project. The screen will be the first 3D billboard in Abu Dhabi, with visuals on a 15-second loop every 120 seconds. The Curve @ Al Qana will be fully operational starting 21 March, visible on Khaleej Al Arabi, a major highway in Abu Dhabi that is also the main road used when leaving the airport.

Spanning over 146,000 sqm, Al Qana offers a unique collection of attractions. These attractions include waterfront restaurants, cinema experiences, the Middle East’s largest aquarium, a marina, a unique fitness and wellness facility, retail boutiques, a virtual reality and e-sports arena, and landscaped communal areas.

As well as The Curve @Al Qana, BackLite will launch a range of billboards across the venue.

Sheesh. I have seen and noted a few times in posts and social media that the trend towards using visual illusions to attract and wow viewers for ad spots owes entirely to the skill sets of the creative team. It’s not a matter of the LED manufacturer having specialized technology that supports 3D, though I have frequently seen posts and received email pitches from Chinese manufacturers peddling “naked eye 3D” displays.

Pretty much any indoor or outdoor rated LED display made for advertising and messaging in the last five years can support these files. It is about the creative, that is developed with the physical set-up in mind.

It is true, however, that most of the digital OOH displays out there being used for these forced perspective optical illusions are set up on the corners of buildings, as is the case with this new one. These curved or 90 degree corner displays almost always require that viewers look at the screen from a very narrow and specific angle. If not seen at that angle, the visuals can look distorted and odd.


  1. Jason Robinson says:

    If we must use this new acronym surely it should be referred to as FP3D Content?

    The marketing of this kind of illusion is getting silly.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Think we passed the silly marker a while back and are in goofy territory now :-]

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