Saturday, April 3, 2010

Marketing 3D

Seems everything's going 3D these days. Lots of movies are in 3D (a trend accelerated by Avatar, left, and continued by Alice in Wonderland, to name just two).

Soon 3D TVs will be available. Even Nintendo DS is going 3D, with a new "no-glasses" model in the works for later in 2010.

This weekend, the NCAA Final Four basketball frenzy is being broadcast in 3D to specially-equipped movie theaters.

Of course, 3D equipment and entertainment carry higher price tags than good ole 2D. Although Avatar became the highest-grossing movie of all time, despite the higher ticket prices, how many movies (3D or not) can climb that high?

Some movie insiders worry that studios may simply convert all manner of movies into 3D. This would unleash large numbers of 3D movies in a short time--diluting the marketing impact of the "shot in 3D" films. If the novelty wears off, will box-office results suffer?

Marketing 3D TVs will be a challenge in the short term because so many consumers upgraded to digital sets not too long ago. How many buyers would be willing to upgrade yet again?

Right now, 3D is the new, new thing. Diffusion of innovations such as 3D take time. Early adopters may jump at the chance to have 3D in their homes, but most consumers are likely to wait and watch.

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