This new technology development collaboration follows a long line of innovation Procter and Gamble has pioneered and introduced to the advertising development industry.
SHERMAN OAKS, California December 2000 -- Procter and Gamble (P&G), one of the largest advertisers worldwide, contracted QuantumWorks Corporation (QWC), to build SpotMaster, a low cost, quick "advertising spot" prototype creation system. P&G indicated that it believed new methodologies were required to optimize advertising development value.
SpotMaster is designed to allow streamlining of the advertising concept development process. It allows the creation and review of more spot alternatives in less time while pushing concept development upstream, closer to the brand managers. Thus, SpotMaster has the potential to greatly aid P&G in managing their rising ad development costs and more importantly improve the effectiveness of each advertising dollar spent. Additionally, P&G expects this system to improve content quality through earlier qualitative and quantitative evaluation. Ultimately, the SpotMaster system will reduce costs in the key earlier phases of ad production and testing.
The new technology within SpotMaster allows for quick, and easy, low-cost creation and testing of digital TV commercial prototypes. Advertisers can then use these new digital TV commercial prototypes to refine both product concepts and advertising approaches through focus group testing. Advertisers can use their own standard consumer testing program or a new TV/web-based in-home focus group testing system currently under development. This new web-based system will provide quicker turnaround of results and a more cost-effective alternative to the conventional testing methods used today.
The SpotMaster system is a software tool focused at creative advertising development, both for corporate brand management organizations and their advertising agencies. The system focuses on accelerating the content creation process itself, for use by the creatives themselves, not animators or skilled users. To accomplish this task, the system is designed to be as easy or easier to operate than Microsoft's PowerPoint, with a video game style user interface and "behind-the-scenes smart user intention deduction" processing. The system allows for very quick in-house development and assembly of both visual and audio representations of advertising "spots," such as the animatics currently used in testing. Most advertising agencies build-up animatics through outsourcing to video editing facilities or use of their own in-house special departments. Eventually this system could replace the expensive "quick and rough" ad production done by some large advertisers for some product lines.
In addition, the system uses off-the-shelf gaming PC hardware graphics cards, not the typical expensive "engineering workstation," to deliver real-time playback and synchronization of audio tracks, video, 2D vector and 3D media elements. P&G hopes that within the next year or so, systems will be distributed all over the world for use with all of its brands and advertising agencies. Prototypes of the SpotMaster system are now in use by both P&Gs' own production group, REDNA and QWC.
The SpotMaster technology has other uses beyond the 30-60 second dynamic storyboard and "animatic" advertising spot creation. General content conceptualization and rich-media presentation application uses are in the future plans for both companies. QWC is currently in discussions with potential partners, to offer general purpose versions of the tool coupled with rapid on-line consumer testing web-site for both web and non-web business-to-business advertising and product concept development and testing.
Quotes from the three sides of the industry (Advertisers, Agencies and Market Research) about SpotMaster and QWC's proposed complementary online testing web-site which presents and tests SpotMaster spots to various consumer panels: “this means we could come to our clients faster, with more ideas -- having already gotten valuable feedback from consumers when we present them.... it could change the way everybody thinks about advertising” - CEO, Saatchi Advertising. “this is a great tool for storyboarding and presenting ideas ... the real win for us, though, is that we’re able to avoid the blood, sweat and tears of quick and rough production” - Leo Burnett Advertising. “it allows us to work faster and it involves the consumer at every step. better yet, it means we can actually be more creative.”- Brand Director, Purex. “anything that makes us work more cost efficiently without sacrificing valid consumer input is something we need, particularly these days” - VP, Quaker Oats. “this will fundamentally change the way we test commercials. it’s faster, cheaper, the whole nine yards.”- Research Director, Sony. “it’s a better, faster way of getting answers, without losing viability .... there isn’t a brand in our shop that won’t want to adopt to this thing.” - Research Director, BBDO
Videos of sample output from the proof of concept prototype are located here -> Mr. Clean test, Swiffer ad test, ERA ad test , and GUI screens of the prototype.
About QuantumWorks Corporation
QuantumWorks Corporation was founded by Steve E. Tice in 1993 to help companies develop innovative PC and web applications based on 3D real-time interactive computer graphics animation, games and authoring systems technologies. QWC is the technology owner, executive producer and lead developer of the new SpotMaster technology development for Procter & Gamble. QWC developed and introduced the first PC based real-time live performance animation system, called Geppetto, in 1996. Geppetto allows for fast and low-cost 3D animation production for both web and games production. QWC has developed technology and strategic applied technology applications for many companies including Procter & Gamble, Hasbro Toys, AT&T, Interplay, Virtual Celebrity Productions, Modem Media, Zazznet, LaserMedia, CAA Intel Lab, Stan Lee Media, MC2, Simulis and Kewazinga. QWC is headquartered in San Diego, CA and can be contacted via e-mail (below)
About Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble had worldwide sales of $38 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 1999. P&G is the second largest advertiser in the world and markets more than 300 brands to nearly five billion people in more than 140 countries. These brands including Tide, Swiffer, JIF, Ariel, Crest, Always, Whisper, Pringles, Pampers, Vicks, Cover Girl, Oil of Olay, Pantene, Physique, and pharmaceutical brands like, Didronel, Asacol(mesalamine), and Macrobid (nitrofurantoin monohydrate/ macrocrystals). Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, P&G has on-the-ground operations in over 70 countries and employs more than 110,000 people worldwide.