Many brands are turning to immersive video — mainly 360-degree video and VR — for innovative and attention-grabbing advertising and marketing campaigns.
Brands across numerous industries have seen significant success via their use of 360-degree video and VR. For example, Hong Kong Airlines’ 360-degree ad was 35 times more effective than the same traditional 2D ad.
Google, Facebook and YouTube continue to dominate the digital ad space as creators are using the medium of 360-degree video and VR across industries.
In June 2016, Google representative Aaron Luber stated:
“On YouTube, we made a big, early bet on 360-degree video. This means viewers can see the video from every angle just by swiping or moving the phone or tablet around — no headset required. Uploads of 360-degree videos continue to grow and have doubled over the past three months.”
A growing market
A research report for Business Insider investigating how VR, AR and 360-degree video are shaping the future of content creation also revealed that, “the global VR market is forecast to grow at a nearly 81% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2024, according to Global Market Insights.”
The forecast is one that marketers agree with. A post-Mobile World Congress write up on Marketing Tech highlighted that mobile advertising would change as we are “going to see a rise in 360-degree video ads and even ads that incorporate the mobile device itself – touch and vibration”.
This incorporation of mobile devices into 360° content creation is also now available via action cameras, such as Kodak Pixpro’s SP360, which uses a complimentary Remote View App for iOS and Android so camera enthusiasts can see exactly what they are recording via their smart device.
They can then upload their 360 photos and videos to social media accounts while on the go, using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC connection capabilities.
Higher emotional engagement
VR content was found to elicit higher emotional and longer engagement than traditional 2D.
IMAX is already registering impressive revenue from its VR centres. For the first four months of 2017, IMAX clocked more than 25,000 admissions and an average revenue of $15,000 per week from its single VR Center in LA.
With 100 locations, IMAX estimates it would generate about $25 million in annual revenue.
Among one of many businesses recognising the rising demand for 360-degree cameras and the impact of VR, Kodak Pixpro will shortly be adding the virtual reality camera 4KVR360 to its portfolio.
With dual 20-megapixel CMOS sensors, and dual integrated lenses with angles of 155° and 235°, the camera is designed to capture 360° interactive photos and videos that can be instantly shared on social media.
Some of the best uses of VR and 360-degree video include travel advertising, such as the Marriott Hotels use of a 360-degree video stream and booths to create a beach destination complete with heaters and wind jets.
This experience teleported the public to a Marriott Hotel first then on to a Hawaiian beach, which helped position Marriott as a forward-looking and relevant brand within the travel market.
VR and 360-degree video is not limited to presenting destinations but also allows users to test drive a car, such as Volvo’s app supporting the launch of its XC90 SUV, which allowed users to ‘sit’ in the cockpit and go on an idyllic car ride through the countryside.
The first commercial use of ‘walk around’ VR technology though was by footwear and clothing brand, Merrell, which created a VR experience called Trailscape that took the user on a dangerous mountain hike, to support the launch of its new hiking boot, the Capra.
According to Goldman Sachs, VR will be bigger than TV within the next decade, generating $110 billion in revenue. IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide predicted that the AR/VR market will grow to over $162 billion by 2020, with active VR users growing to 171 million in 2018.
360° video and VR will continue to grow and will become prevalent in a variety of additional industries to marketing technology over the coming years.
With the investment in VR hardware by the likes of Sony, in its PlayStation VR, other brands will soon follow suit. As the technology of 360° and VR video improves, and equipment becomes cheaper, the appeal of 360° and VR will only spread across all industries swiftly.
By Mariame Cisse
06 July 2017,