Enough of the CGI ads, already

Enough of the CGI ads, already

by Stella Hughes
2 min

In the game of advertising, you’ve got to go big to get noticed. Or get fake, it seems. This year has seen a new type of campaign flood the market: CGI ads. From huge inflatable Jacquemus bags to a giant tube of Isabel Marant toothpaste being squeezed outside its storefront in Paris, fashion brands are leaning into the trend with force.

It’s not hard to see why, either: some of the most memorable ads in recent months have been of the CGI variety – take the Maybelline mascara on the tube – which went viral for its ingenuity (and its ability to be made into insufferable LinkedIn posts about Standing Out in Marketing). Part of its genius was in its realism – a key aspect of CGI ads in making them pop.

This was true of JD Sports’ recent CGI ad, Ben’s Not Hot, which saw Big Ben adorned in a North Face puffer jacket and passers-by stopping to exclaim and film it. People in the comment sections seemed to be fooled, too – asking if this was still up and when they could go see it. When others pointed out that it was, in fact, CGI, they were less than happy – but all publicity is good publicity, right?

@culted Ben’s Not Hot 📸: @JD Sports #tnf #london #bigben ♬ original sound – CULTED

It’s not just high street brands who are buying into the movement, though. Victoria Beckham sent a new iteration of its X bag down the Seine, and GCDS said it’s a CGI Christmas for its Holiday campaign. So have we reached peak CGI-saturation? With most of these brands chasing the unparalleled success of Maybelline’s breakthrough tube video and pumping out more and more ads, maybe not.

Pushing out of these ads’ usual receptive circles into wider public consciousness is a possibility few fashion brands can afford to ignore – so we doubt this will be the last we see of the fad. However, to the (trained) eye, it’s becoming more and more obvious that what we’re looking at is fake – which will fail to resonate with consumers as they become overexposed to it.

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