A new world of video marketing possibilities have opened up with the announcement in March of this year that YouTube now supports 360 degree videos. 360 degree video is an interactive tool that places the viewer into the viewing experienc. Viewers can change their perspective in the view by clicking arrows at the top left of the screen. On a mobile device, the viewer only has to tilt the phone different directions to change the view on the screen. The addition of interactivity makes the advertisement much more interesting for the viewer.
According to YouTube the videos are proving more popular with audiences as well. Coca-Cola ran both standard in-stream ads, as well as the new 360 degree videos, for their 100th anniversary. The 360 degree videos produced 36% better view through rates than their in-stream counterparts.
Among the first companies to to jump onto the 360 degree video advertising bandwagon has been Bud Light.
They created a 360 degree interactive video where the viewer was placed right in the middle of Bud Light’s secret party town called Whatever USA (the real location this year was Catalina Island). The viewer gets to experience the music festival feel of the party as they see flocks of people running towards a small stage, with their beers in hand. The movement that is possible means that the viewer could stare up into the blue sky one second, and look down onto the ground in the next. The sense of immersive virtual reality of being there is extremely well done, even though it is not possible to move forwards or backwards.
YouTube does state that companies can only use a Google supported camera to make a 360 degree video. Currently there are a handful of cameras that work, which give companies more leeway about budget and film production company they choose. The supported devices are the Ricoh Theta, Kodak SP360, Giroptic 360cam, and the IC Real Tech Allie.
To create 360 degree videos, the camera has to record several video streams from the same point (that point is where the virtual person would be standing if they were actually in the video.) Then all of the video streams have to be stitched together into one cohesive video.
The current trend is clearly towards a more immersive video experience. Expect to see more 360 video ads in the near future as brands get on board with this exciting new technology.
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