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All-Round Success: Here’s How Brands Use 360º Video to its Full Potential

Damian Collier / a year ago

The average consumer is exposed to around 5,000 ads per day, making it harder than ever before for advertisers to achieve cut through with traditional advertising formats, such as still imagery and standard 2D video. Advertisers, brands and online publishers need to grab attention in new ways and 360º video offers a solution.

There has been much talk about immersive technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), as a tool to rejuvenate advertising and marketing campaigns. The market has gathered a lot of interest from a consumer, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. By 2023, Asia-Pacific is forecast to deliver around half of AR/VR global revenue.

Yet despite its growing popularity among consumers, it’s still difficult for brands and agencies in the region to harness the power of VR. Using VR can be costly and labor-intensive to deliver. And even then, the content can only be viewed by a niche audience that has invested in a headset.

"Research from Google found that 360° video contributes to a 5X higher click-through rate, as well as more repeat views compared to a standard 2D video when used in advertising campaigns"

That’s why there is an opportunity now for brands to use 360° video. This format has quickly emerged as a unique medium that allows audiences to take control, look around and discover more when compared to standard 2D video or still imagery.

Creating 360° video campaigns is a cost-effective way for brands and agencies to use immersive technologies to drive engagement today. It’s much more accessible for consumers compared to VR because it can be viewed easily on mobile devices, desktop web browsers, and uploaded to and shared onto social media sites.

As a testament to the ability to create compelling advertising campaigns with the medium, research from Google found that 360° video contributes to a 5X higher click-through rate, as well as more repeat views compared to a standard 2D video when used in advertising campaigns.

Across the Asia-Pacific, 360° video is already being used successfully by forwarding thinking brands and agencies to help them offer deeper and more meaningful connections with consumers. We have selected some of the best examples of how the medium has been used, why it works and most importantly, how this can be applied by marketers to create compelling campaigns in the future.

Art Basel: Using 360 video for an all-inclusive experience

Art Basel Hong Kong, is the largest contemporary art fair in Asia. It attracts over 70,000 visitors and offers a platform for artists from all over the world. When Art Basel Hong Kong opened its doors to the general public in March earlier this year, it also opened its virtual doors by creating a 360° interactive tour with photos and interviews with artists and collectors.

The tour was designed to transport art lovers, who were unable to attend, to the fair and enable them to enjoy the highlights.

This is a great example of a brand using 360° video to create an all-inclusive experience for consumers. While the Art Basel, Hong Kong attracts a huge number of physical visitors it recognized it could increase interest and sales by creating an online experience that allowed virtual visitors. In the digital era it’s incredibly important for brands to realize that events can be both an online and offline experience.

Cathay Pacific: Enabling a virtual “Try before you buy” experience

Cathay Pacific launched a marketing campaign that features a 360° mobile video ad that enabled viewers to look around one of the airline’s award-winning first-class cabins and lounges and interact with the setting. The ad provides a snapshot of the entire first-class experience – from check-in through to the flight – offering a virtual “try before you buy” experience that consumers can spend time interacting with and revisit multiple times before purchasing.

This use of 360° video is particularly beneficial when selling luxury products, by allowing customers to see the experience, which is often exclusive and behind closed doors until the purchase is made.

Incredible India: Creating a new bucket list destination

Earlier this year, Google Arts & Culture partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to unveil a 360° virtual reality video for the global ‘Incredible India’ tourism campaign. It provided consumers with an immersive 360° view of India’s heritage, festivity, spirituality and adventure, including some of the country’s most iconic destinations such as Delhi’s Qutab Minar, Amritsar’s Golden Temple and Hampi’s Vitthala Temples.

The aim of the campaign was to engage consumers all over the world and allow them to experience India’s rich culture and heritage and spark traveler’s interest by showing them the destination from a whole new perspective.

360° video is a nascent medium and it’s exciting to see it gaining a strong foothold in the Asia-Pacific region and how it has been used by leading brands. As consumer demand for immersive content grows, we expect 360° video will become an important way for brands and agencies to increase cut through with deeper story-telling and the opportunity to create more meaningful connections with consumers.

This article was originally published by Branding in Asia.