Different kinds of advertisements are used to convey different kinds of messages. We are all familiar with social media ads, print advertisements, verbal promotions through radio or podcast, event marketing, even email marketing. But have you come across projection mapping as a means of advertisement in Nepal?
Even though Emazing, an event management company, has been doing it since 2012, it is still a new concept in Nepal. Kumud Singh, its director, says though they started out as a projection mapping and graphics content designing company, they have moved on to event management. “Sustaining the business solely on mapping was hard,” he says.
But what is projection mapping? It is a projection technique used to turn different objects into display surfaces for video projection. Among Emazing’s notable projects are those for Nepal Telecom (NTC), when they digitally mapped the NTC building at Sundhara during Tihar and NTC’s anniversary in 2017 and 2018. Emazing has also done digital mapping in Ghantaghar for the World Refugee Day and for World Health Organization. For the last Refugee Day, they digitally mapped the Gaddi Baithak in the Kathmandu Durbar Square.
They currently do projection mapping at corporate events and conferences on both flat and curved screens, twice or thrice a month on average.
As mapping is expensive and time consuming, adds Singh, Emazing does not have many competitors. “Few do it out of interest. And as there is painstaking technical work involved, it is not easy to pull off professionally as well,” he says.
The process of drawing up a projection map takes two months. Usually Emazing does not get projects they have to complete in under two weeks. Even pre-production takes a long time but most people do not understand that, says Singh. “Besides the herculean technical work there is also a lot of paperwork, authorization and logistical work involved,” he adds.
Projection mapping is also costly. Good projectors capable of pulling it off cost around Rs 30 million apiece. And more than one projector is often needed. Currently, Emazing makes do with 10,000-lumens projectors that cost around a million rupees each; and they have used up to five of these on a project. Each projector also has an individual lens, each of which costs another million rupees.
Singh says the company is unable to import the latest (and more expensive) technology as it would be currently unviable in Nepal.
Till date, Emazing has done projection mapping in Kathmandu, Butwal, Pokhara, Dhangadhi, Biratnagar and Birgunj. Normally, the content is three-minute-long and shown from 6 pm to 10 pm at a particular location, for up to three days.
The average per day charge of the ‘show’ is Rs 400,000. But costs can vary based on logistics, projection content, size of the projection, time required, and set-up cost. “The projects will be more viable if we can do shows that are up to a week long and can reach a wider audience,” Singh reckons.
Singh and Rajan Maskey lead a team of 10 including coordinators, architects, engineers, animators, and designers at Emazing. If a big project comes along, new members are added to the team.
Emazing experiments a lot with new techniques in marketing. They also work on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Singh says that in 2017 the team designed a VR experience for Civil Homes. Instead of visiting actual homes, this allowed prospective clients to take a 3-D tour of the building. “We have been slow to invest in these technologies, perhaps because it is still a new concept in Nepal” Singh suggests.
The next thing Emazing wants to try is projection mapping in water. They are considering collaborating with the government and doing it near Fewa Lake in Pokhara. “If we can pull this off, businesses around the lake are sure to grow,” Singh confidently concludes.