Odd choices in University of Texas "PSAs"

by Thomas Brady

UT has posted 5 “PSAs” — how are these not advertisements? — featuring 3D real-world projection, a la those you’ve seen on YouTube (this is still my favorite.

The ads were made by local agency GSD&M.

A few issues I have with this campaign (that I posted at the link above in a comment which has not, yet, been approved and displayed).

  1. I would have loved to have embedded one of the videos, but no embed codes are available. I assume this is UT’s fault, and not GSD&Ms.
  2. This effect — the 3D projection — is probably amazing in person. Normally, you can’t see things like that in the real world. That’s what’s incredible about seeing it. It’s impossible. Seeing this on a television advertisement, though, between an ad with a talking, smiling bee selling you allergy medicine and a preview for a movie where an 18-wheeler unfolds into a very large anthropomorphized robot is the wrong context. On a television is the wrong context to begin with. We know that anything can happen on that screen. The things that we see on a television are not bound by physical laws. The very visuals we see in this ad could have been done a dozen different ways to produce a television advertisement, most of which would have looked quite boring when being produced. You would have just seen a camera operator shooting the building, and the effects would have been done in “post.” That’s not what happened here, but there’s nothing about the advertisement that demonstrates that. Unless you were there during filming, you missed what made this project interesting.