Marketers Embrace 3D Printing


October 17th, 2013

While 3D printing may not be a new technology per se, it has recently made quite an impact in different industries with a multitude of applications. It has been used in producing medical equipment, automobile parts, and even food items. That’s right. You could, in theory, be printing out your dinner in some years time. As this technology continues to be further developed, industry leaders are tinkering with its diverse functionality to create innovative uses for 3D printing, including marketers.

Marketers are beginning to take hold of 3D printing. To promote its new mini bottles, Coca Cola printed 3D copies of consumers, like action figures. Nokia provided consumers with the opportunity to print out customized covers to promote its Lumia 820. While currently the big brands are capitalizing on this technology piece, consumers should not be surprised to see 3D production integrated in campaigns more often as the cost of production decreases and 3D printers are more accessible. 3D printing especially opens the floodgates of possibilities for experiential campaigns.

3D printing offers customization and on-site production. The consumer can design one-of-a-kind premiums that enhance the brand experience and create personalized interactions. What if a major car brand had an activation that let consumers customized their dream car and have a model printed for them on the spot? Or a shoe company prints sandals with branded messaging on the soles on the beach in Santa Monica? The possibilities are truly endless for crazy ideas to take form. Not only does 3D printing capture the consumers’ attention with its novelty, but it also adds a unique touch point to a brand experience.

The downside? The printing process does take quite some time, limiting the number of consumers who could directly interact with the technology. There are no doubts, though, that this will also see mass improvements.


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