Trio To Air 3D Ads During ESPN 3D Launch

Sony, Gillette and Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3 will run 3D ads when ESPN kicks off its 3D Network with the 2010 World Cup on June 11.

The companies have created spots in native 3D, while ESPN will bow its first-ever 3D commercial to boot -- a promo for the programmer's SportsCenter franchise. 

ESPN 3D, which has signed affiliate pacts with Comcast, DirecTV and AT&T U-verse, is only accepting ads in 3D. The network will have a limited commercial inventory load during the 100 events it will present during its rookie campaign, including 25 World Cup matches that will be produced with Sony. Soccer, with its running clock, does not lend itself well to airing in-match commercials, so the spots are slated to run in pre-, postgame and halftime segments, according to an ESPN spokeswoman.

Sony's commercial will feature its new 3D HDTVs, while Gillette created a 3D spot as part of its launch campaign for the new Fusion ProGlide Razor. Disney/Pixar will promote Toy Story 3's June 18 opening.

SportsCenter anchor Stan Verrett and Los Angeles Dodgers rightfielder Andrew Ethier are featured in the new "This is SportsCenter spot," from Wieden + Kennedy, which depicts the two in ESPN's Los Angeles studios being a little too aggressive with batting practice as they check out Sony's new 3D camera.

"The 3D advertising opportunity and marketplace is at the beginning so we are very excited to have three marquee advertisers on board," said Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales, in a statement. "We have interest from several of our clients to include ESPN 3D in their packages and we will do everything we can to accommodate them."