You probably saw it on Facebook over the holidays. Edgar the dragon, John Lewis’s Christmas mascot, climbs out of a Facebook post frame and torches the Christmas pudding in the post below.


The post has been liked over 122,000 times and attracted over 18,000 comments.  It’s success lends itself to two things: new and exclusive video content that supports the main Christmas ad and secondly, the adoption of a clever 3D frame effect that’s proven to boost viewability and interaction.

We’re entering a new dimension in advertising. Social video ad spend is set to rocket this year.  With Facebook predicting the end of the written word in 2021, social feeds are more crowded than ever. The web is full of distractions – and as attention spans falls, how do you get past the first 3-second view rate?

An increasing number of brands are adopting the 3D format to engage with viewers. The combination of texture, lighting and rendering makes a video ‘pop’, drawing viewers into an immersive experience that cannot be found on traditional video formats.

Fortunately, Facebook and Google now provide advanced ad tools that allows advertisers to enable 3D tech to boost ad campaigns. Google’s Swirl 3D display ad format empowers brands to provide a more interactive and engaging 360 degree experience – it can directly zoom in and out, rotate a product or play an animation. Facebook’s 3D Photos enables creatives with a compatible dual-lens smartphone to convert portrait photos to 3D pictures.

Thinking about going 3D? Here are the styles (and examples) to help you get started.

3D photo

Existing 2D display ads are rendered in 3D with realistic depth and respond to user movement. You can create these in Facebook using a dual-lens smartphone and even view them in VR using an Oculus browser. With technology that captures the distance between the subject in the foreground and the background, 3D photos brings scenes to life with depth and movement.


Although Facebook doesn’t currently allow 3D photos to be boosted or used in ads, you can create 3D photos for web display ads.


A popular format on Instagram, cinemagraph is a photo effect where one part of the image moves and the rest is frozen.  They’re not as noisy or action-filled as videos yet they’re way more mesmerising than still photos. Just take a look at the ads below:


Soothing isn’t it? Unsurprisingly ad recall is high (Mercedes-Benz’s ad recall jumped up by a third when they debuted their first Instagram sponsored cinemagraph post). There are a number of apps that can help you create this effect – try Vimage, Loopsie and Pixaloop. If you’re already planning a wider campaign, a video production agency should be well equipped to grab stills that can be animated for micro-video consumption on social.

3D objects

These are videos containing 3D objects which allow users to interact, test and play with 3D objects instead of passively scrolling past them. Facebook’s 3D posts support the industry standard gITF 2.0 file format which allows for textures, lighting and realistic rendering of objects. Last summer, Google introduced a new display ad format, Swirl, enabling users to interact with 3D objects. Realistic, high quality models can be edited on its new editor on Poly, Google’s 3D platform.

Google Introduces Interactive Ads With 3D Objects

3d frame effect

Ever viewed an advert where a short clip ‘pops’ out of an Instagram or Facebook frame? This 3d frame effect takes a frame and layers a still or video on top, driving up click through rates five-fold. This pop out effect is also used in shoppable photo ads too.

As your video content strategy evolves in 2020, don’t forget it’s not all about coming up with a funny creative. By all means, make the opening shot count. But to really drive action, deliver your video content in different formats that perform well for each social channel.

Nina Jan 9th, 2020

About Nina Postans

Nina is Marketing Manager at Skylark Media. Her background is in editorial content, running fashion and celebrity B2B services in New York and London. A keen home renovator and interior hacker, Nina juggles life on the school run while tending to her other kids (indoor plants!).