Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CGI in Advertising

According to a recent article in the Australian (Sinclair, L 12/10/09, Digital images take truth out of advertising), up to 80% of advertisements in Australia use computer generated imaging (CGI). Apparently, this is most common in the car industry as manufacturers need no longer go to the expense of building a prototype, rather they can just use a CGI for the purposes of advertising. What is more interesting, however, is that it is almost impossible to detect the difference between a CGI and a live image.

Certainly, it is much more cost effective for international companies to use this method of advertising rather than making specific advertisements to target individual companies. For example, a phone manufacturer can make one advertisement and add in a CGI background according to the country the advertisement is being shown in. Previously, the same company would have been required to shoot the same advertisement in several locations around the world. However, I believe this shift towards using generated images rather than real-life examples is an indication of a larger trend in western society towards living in a world that is surreal. In my opinion, this technology is not just being utilised as a cost-saving measure by companies but rather to 'tweak' some of the very imperfections that make human beings unique. It is a dangerous world that we live in where even international swimmers at the peak of physical fitness have their images digitally altered in promotional shots in an attempt to achieve some kind of 'perfection'. What kind of message does this send to younger generations, too young to understand that their idols don't really look like this, who push themselve to achieve the same kind of unattainable physical stature? Similarly, what about the young driver who borrows Dad's brand new car and, after seeing it advertised on television speeding through corners with precision handling, decides to try the same manouvre only to find the CGI of its handling is nowhere near a depiction of reality?

Clearly, advertising using CGI is here to stay and will doubtless become more prevalent in the future, especially given the current financial climate. I, for one, will be far more skeptical when viewing advertising in the future, armed with the knowledge that in the current media environment nothing is what it seems...

No comments:

Post a Comment