We’ve come a long way from the days when Google Street View was an absolute pioneer of 360° technology. Nowadays, consumer awareness for 360° videos has risen greatly, most prominently due to both YouTube and Facebook becoming compatible with the format in 2015.
With 360° videos, viewers click and drag the screen (or use the ‘WASD’ keys) to essentially create their own viewing experience. On mobile phones, the viewer can physically move the phone around thanks to tracking technology.
Some of the first 360° videos started cropping up on YouTube in Spring 2015, but brands did not start using the platform for advertising until the Winter of that year. Arguably one of the biggest mainstream commercial examples was the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens from September that year.
What does this mean for brands?
360° videos certainly attract attention and views. 360° video opens up the door to a more immersive experience. Each viewing is unique and offers viewers the chance to totally invest into the experience.
Have a look at this article about some great 360° video advertising campaigns created by brands such as Nescafe, Mondelez, Walt Disney Resorts, Samsung and more.
3 uses of 360° videos
- 360° Tours – Allow the viewer to investigate a new building, office, resort, lab, etc.
- How-to videos – Let the viewer control what they see of a product and when they see it. This could work with recipes, protocols, product guides, etc.
- New Worlds – 360° video opens up a new way to have a totally immersive experience of spaces which could never normally be reached or seen. For example, the view could be from air, at a molecular level in the body, or even a national level.
360° videos do not necessarily have to be Live Action. Check out Google Spotlight’s ‘Special Delivery’ 360° animation.
We think this type of animation has massive potential for the future of video. Animation could form a link between 360° video and virtual reality, where the viewer can literally move around the entire virtual world of the video.
360° video is also helping the move towards live-action virtual reality thanks to products like Google Cardboard. Check out the next blog post for some more info on VR.