Tasked with creating a campaign to promote the latest edition of the iconic Porsche 911—the longest-running model in automotive history—Cramer-Krasselt knew something out of the ordinary was in order. Not only would the campaign have to illustrate the car’s (latest) long list of high-tech features, it had to do so in a way that would grab consumers’ attention. So the agency came up with a truly groundbreaking concept: the first-ever holographic print ad.
“The 911 is really an incredibly technologically advanced product,” says Cramer-Krasselt CCO Marshall Ross. “So instead of merely telling people that the car was advanced, we used the adage that ‘The medium is the message’ and used advanced tools of communication to talk about the car.” After some brainstorming, Ross and his team decided that a three-dimensional hologram would most effectively illustrate the car’s features. And when it came to choosing a platform for the ad, they picked, well, print. “The reason we chose to do it in print is because it doesn’t make any sense to do it in print,” explains Ross. “People don’t think that print can become digital or three-dimensional, and breaking that paradigm was essential to our message.”
Following quite a bit of experimentation—this was, after all, the first time that the agency or its video production company had experimented with a hologram ad—C-K created a flattened acetate prism that could be attached to a printed page. All told, 50,000 of the prisms were placed in select subscriber copies of the May issue of Fast Company, along with instructions for assembly. (An additional 100,000 pre-assembled Lucite prisms were also sent to high-value targets.) Readers were told to set the prism atop any tablet device, navigate to 911hologram.com and press play, creating a floating three-dimensional hologram that showed the new 911 from the inside out.
The client was thrilled with the result. “Porsche is used to technological amazement within the walls of the company, so they were happy that we were thinking along those terms. But it wasn’t until they saw the final version that they were really wowed,” says Ross. And consumers were equally wowed. “We literally got typed letters from people asking how to get one of the prisms,” he adds.