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Brief Published: 10 Dec 2013

Microsoft Lets Hobbit Fans 3D Print Props


To market movie director Peter Jackson’s second instalment in the Hobbit series – The Desolation of Smaug – Warner Bros. UK has teamed up with Microsoft Advertising to offer fans the chance to 3D print memorabilia from the film.

As a central part of its marketing campaign, which runs across Microsoft platforms MSN, Xbox 360 and Windows 8, fans can download a blueprint for a 3D-printed model of the Key to Erebor – a major prop in the narrative. On the film’s release (December 13 2013), this download can be connected through an app to any 3D printer, giving fans instant access to collectable memorabilia.

On the aforementioned Microsoft platforms, the campaign also runs a series of information packs offering insight into the characters, movie events, behind-the-scenes footage and downloadable images.

Applying cutting-edge tech such as 3D printing to a campaign engages with consumers on a deeper level, drawing them into the process of creation (see our Consumer Creators Industry Trend). This also echoes the sentiment of our Post-Digital era, where there exists a seamless movement between technology and reality; digital and analogue. We will be exploring this more in 2014. For now, take a look at the Synthetic Aesthetic report from our Thinking Digitally Industry Trend.

For more 3D printing coverage on Stylus, see 3D Printing Outlook 2014 and Materialising the Post-Digital.