MINI Ad Uses 3D Cabrio Model From The Future

Mini Cabrio

Imagine this: You’re reading through a car magazine when you come to an ad for the new MINI Cabrio. The ad directs you to a URL, and once there, asks you to place your magazine in front of a webcam. Suddenly, and before your very own eyes, a 3D model of the new Mini appears on the page, and you are literally holding it in your hands. If you move it closer to the webcam, the Mini gets bigger, if you move it farther away, the Mini gets smaller, and you can twist, turn and rotate the model to look at it from any angle that you’d like. It’s like a miniature showroom in the palm of your hands, and you’re in control.

Sounds futuristic, right?

Think again, because that’s exactly what Mini has done with their latest series of magazine ads:

The technology, called Augmented Reality, uses a specially designed ad to interact with your webcam, and once I got it working, the effect was so seamless and so amazing that I literally couldn’t put it down. The model is amazingly realistic, and it reacts exactly as you would expect it to if it were physically mounted to the page in your hands.

If you’d like to give it a try, just download and print this PDF, visit this website, and try to follow the given instructions (they’re in German). You will need to be using Internet Explorer 6 or higher on a Windows machine with somewhat stout specs, but it’s nothing that most laptops can’t handle. (If you’re a Mac/Firefox user, but you’d still like to give the technology a try, then check out this post for a similar effect.)

The Good:

  • 3D model literally puts the product in consumers’ hands.
  • Unexpected and unique ad builds huge amounts of word of mouth buzz.
  • Cutting edge technology is far ahead of the curve, and Mini is utilizing it before most have even heard of it.

The Bad:

  • Experience is limited by technology requirements.

The Future:

  • 3D ads allow consumers to interact with a company’s products in a very natural way, and show far more detail than a 2D ad ever could.

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