Shaking seats and split narratives: what does the latest cinema technology offer to advertisers?

Posted on Oct 10, 2017
Shaking seats and split narratives: what does the latest cinema technology offer to advertisers?

We attended the presentation by DCM at Dolby Europe in London and returned updated on the latest technology which will make its way into UK cinemas when we’ll go to see the next blockbuster.

The same technology is available to advertisers. How can our clients benefit from it?


3D has been around for a while and comes to mind first. Brands can take advantage of 3D in two ways:

– By shooting a ‘native’ 3D commercial (i.e. producing content specifically for 3D display). This method enables a fully immersive experience – the viewers feel like the objects are approaching or surrounding them.

A good example is a Smurfs ad by Haribo developed for cinemas in native 3D.

You can take a look at 2D version here and imagine being surrounded by the floating candy:

Haribo Smurfs – 2D version of a 3D cinema ad

Haribo Smurfs – 2D version of a 3D cinema ad


– Alternatively, brands can convert existing 2D content into 3D. This method is ideal if you already have a commercial that you’d now like to show in 3D. The result is an ad with more depth and engagement than a standard 2D, yet it will be less immersive than native 3D commercial.

Waitrose has done so with this Christmas 2016 ad. If you didn’t catch this ad at a cinema last December, you can imagine the visual depth 3D added to this emotional and beautifully shot film.

Waitrose – Christmas 2016 commercial

Waitrose – Christmas 2016 commercial


37 Degrees

3D is not the only available innovation. Next on our list is ‘37 Degrees’ technology. It allows to develop content with two narratives running simultaneously, and enables the viewer to switch between two stories by tilting or moving their heads in a certain way (while wearing technology compatible glasses!). This could be a neat replacement for a split screen. At the same time 37 Degrees creates an interactive experience and keeps the audience engaged.

Airbnb used 37 Degrees in its 2016 campaign ‘Live There’. The ad featured a ‘typical’ tourist experience contrasted with a more ‘authentic’ travel style that an Airbnb user would have.

Here is the original ad:

Airbnb - Live There

Airbnb - Live There

Airbnb – Live There

The 37 Degrees cinema version of this ad allowed viewers to switch between two stories (‘the old way’ vs ‘the Airbnb way’) at any moment they choose, by moving their head. And it didn’t break the narrative!



This technology is new to the UK. It was developed by a South Korean company CJ 4DPLEX and is quite popular in South Korea.

This is one of the most immersive technologies available. Imagine smells and/or water appearing at a right moment during a film. There are two aspects to 4DX – motion seats and atmospherics. The seats can replicate certain motions of a scene (like a car chase with your seat twisting and turning to replicate the movement on screen). And the atmospherics include wind, fog, lightning, bubbles, water, rain and scents. Each of the seats has the mechanism producing the elements.

There are only a handful of cinemas delivering the experience in the UK, but it is sure to expand. You can begin to think about your brand’s assets and they way to amplify them once you have all the elements engaging all the five senses at your disposal.

If you’d like a further look into this, there are a few more innovations available. 4K Cinema, localised end frames, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision – these some of the others that will soon be enhancing your cinema experience.