3D Marketing

Unreal Engine: The future of advertising

Guillaume Chichmanov
April 2, 2024

Unreal Engine - Creating a New World of Advertising 

Unreal Engine is one of the leading game development platforms available today, holding 14% of the market share. Launched in 1998 by Tim Sweeney, it uses C++ language and offers portability for various mobile, desktop, console, and virtual reality platforms. Although it was launched as a game development engine, Unreal marketing has become a major part of it, allowing you to create everything from 3D homes to cinematic advertising.

This guide will explore how Unreal has become a CGI ads powerhouse, successful case studies, and how the future of advertising with Unreal Engine can look like. 

How Unreal Became a Marketing Powerhouse 

Many game studios use Unreal Engine today to create successful game titles, but it isn't the only area where Unreal excels. It became famous for ad creation, especially after people first started using it for Mandalorian production. 

Through environmental modeling with Unreal, creators avoided the problem of chroma key reflection on smooth surfaces. As a result, they got rid of some of the post-production issues they usually faced. With this kind of usage becoming popular, the advertisement industry noticed, and many marketers were soon using Unreal VR marketing

What Can Unreal Engine Do For Advertising? 

You might be surprised to know that advertising with Unreal Engine has more potential than the platform's use in design and architecture. From building virtual showrooms to interesting environments that people can visit in the virtual world, it has the graphical capabilities to provide exceptional Metaverse experiences. 

Brands can change the appearance of global TV broadcasting for regional reach and target each audience more precisely. Similarly, they can also use it to create video games with elaborate marketing campaigns, just like Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow by Balenciaga. 

Benefits of Advertising With Unreal Engine  

Today, around 5.3 trillion ads are shown each year on online platforms. One needs a capable platform like Unreal Engine to cut through this competition. Here are some of its benefits that can help you create stellar ad campaigns. 

1. Easy to Use 

Unreal requires nothing else but a passable understanding of logic. You don't need to have an exceptional programming background to create engaging game art. Other engines aren't as friendly to motion designers as Unreal.   

2. Zero Upfront Costs 

Although Unreal Engine started as a paid enterprise, it has slowly evolved into something free. Today, you don't have to pay a single penny upfront to start using Unreal Engine marketing features. With that, Unreal also offers several interesting assets that can take graphics generation to the next level. 

3. Swift Rendering 

Speed is of utmost value when creating ads in a competitive 3D marketing landscape. Otherwise, your brand is left behind while others capture more and more customers. Sometimes, you need to present a client with a new version of their ad quickly, which requires a program with swift rendering capabilities.

Unreal Engine marketing is one of the fastest tools available today to create 3D ads. Where other programs take hours and hours to render a video ad, Unreal does it in a few minutes. 

4. A Massive Asset Library 

One of the best things about Unreal ads is the platform's immensely useful game art asset library. These assets include refractions, shadows, reflections, and much more. Moreover, you don't need to create any of them from scratch.

You can simply select a template and apply it without giving it a second thought. Of course, you can create manual templates, but it requires more time and effort. 'Baked' animation is also available, which means any animation you create will be stored in the cache memory for future Metaverse marketing. 

5. Cinematic Ad Creation 

Unreal Engine has always emphasized ease of use, which helps you create ads with hyper-realistic graphics. For instance, it has a tool called 'Metahuman' that lets you record facial animation on your phone and transfer it to a character inside the Engine. 

Doing that helps you transfer realistic human emotions and expressions to an animated character, giving it a life-like appearance. Similarly, you can record an audio and base a character's articulation on it. 

Case Studies of Successful Unreal Advertising

It's not just empty hype around Unreal ads capabilities. Companies have actually used the platform to create world-class ads that have engaged audiences worldwide. Let's discuss some successful case studies here that can tell us something about the future of advertising with Unreal Engine.

1. OREO's Precise Ad Campaign 

OREO is a leading cookie brand sold globally and has varying flavors. Since the company has to target people worldwide with different language combinations, making new ads for each location is costly and time-consuming.

Usually, brands shoot an ad and replace the packaging with a CG equivalent. However, it's not an easy process and requires extensive work in the traditional 3D pipelines.

With Unreal ads, OREO shot many variations of the pack shot, including a clean plate without any packaging. They calibrated the camera position and took it to the Unreal Engine, replicating the real-world spinning package.

They used a system of five lights:

  • Key light to illuminate the object from the diagonal.
  • Fill light to negate the shadows.
  • Rim light to make the product pop.  
  • Two special lights to highlight the product and make it look more engaging. 

The team used Unreal Engine compositor to save time, instead of using an offline compositor, and built a whole social media campaign. This test campaign proved to be a major success for the OREO brand.

2. The Mercedes-Benz Commercial 

The Mercedes-Benz commercial was a watershed moment in the car industry and the general advertising industry. It had no real cars or LED walls, but everything still looked realistic and attractive. A virtual camera rig was used inside the Engine to replicate a real camera on a real set. This technique, called virtual camera production (VCP), has shown incredible potential to change the advertising industry for good.

3. Nissan's 2020 Cricket World Cup Campaign 

Nissan is one of the leading auto companies in the world, and it won the Cricket World Cup bid for ident films. It was an excellent opportunity to connect with multiple audiences at once, but it also presented a challenge: how to target people in multiple territories simultaneously with tailored content? 

It was the first time Nissan used the Unreal Engine as a real-time rendering solution. The campaign sought to compare traditional VFX offline rendering against a real-time approach. Turns out there was a significant difference between the traditional approach and real-time workflows. 

What the auto industry has done till now is let users customize the cars in CG in front of a stationary background. However, the new animation with Unreal CGI marketing allowed Nissan to combine animated cars with realistic CG backgrounds to create footage that is hard to tell apart from reality. 

A New Dawn of Advertisement 

A new era of marketing with Unreal ads has started in which animation and VFX are combined to create engaging content. Brands can explore new possibilities that weren't imaginable before. They can evade traditional advertisement that has several limitations, with the biggest being the camera frame: it only shows what is filmed, and the animator's priorities limit the animations. 

Unreal Engine marketing is one of the pillars of this transformation, and creators can generate intricate digital environments like buildings and cities just the way you see them in games. Once these environments have been created, they become valuable assets for future campaigns and can be used to create fresh 3D ads and interactive experiences.

1. Endless Potential 

Imagine you have a car brand and are about to launch a new model in which you have invested your time, energy, and money. To market it, you need advertising perfection, which involves hiring a whole production team, traveling to exquisite locations, getting the best equipment, and battling fluctuating weather on top of everything. You don't have to deal with any of that if you use Unreal Engine.

Instead, you need to commission a professional studio to create realistic game art involving beautiful roads and ultra-modern cityscapes that might not actually exist anywhere in the real world. Once these settings are created, they can be displayed on the LED walls, the floor, and the ceiling of the car.

Although the car is sitting stationary, the scenery moves at a high speed of 50 kmph, which gives the illusion that the vehicle is exploring the location. You can even adjust the weather, time of the day, and season with just a click. 

Even better is the fact that you can recycle the same content for other Unreal ads simply by changing the angles at which you're showing the car. The 3D game art environment can also be used to allow customers to take virtual test drives. The same technology was used in the series The Mandalorian, where Unreal Engine was used instead of green screens.

2. Massive Cost Reduction 

Thanks to Unreal ads, modern marketing can be cost-neutral for marketers. Today, the cost of producing a well-funded traditional advertisement is higher than that of a short, animated film. Due to technological progress and tools like Unreal Engine, companies can recycle content or produce new content at a much lower cost than traditional options. 


The days of passive video creation and consumption seem to be over. Capable platforms like Unreal Engine are enabling brands with AR marketing to engage customers like never before.

To capitalize on the future of advertising with Unreal Engine, you need a game art outsourcing partner like Cominted Labs. We create immersive experiences for Metaverse and other platforms for maximum outreach and growth. 

Our technically gifted team can create realistic 3D models of your products and showcase them on Instagram, Snapchat, or Google Display Network as CGI or AR ads. To date, we have created several environments and ad campaigns while working with leading brands, such as Ethereum Towers, Crossmint, TCG World, and more.

So, book a demo today and experience the modern marketing era with Unreal ads.

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