Virtual Reality (VR) and other immersive technologies have gained a lot of interest in recent years, particularly in Asia Pacific where forecasts predict that around half of AR/VR global revenue will be delivered in the region by 2023.
Despite VR’s growing popularity among consumers in Asia Pacific, it’s still difficult for brands and agencies to harness the power of the format. There are a number of barriers for the adoption of VR, including the cost and time to create and deliver VR content, as well as the necessary devices needed for the consumer to view the content.
360° video has emerged as a unique medium that gives consumers the opportunity to take control, look around and discover more when compared to standard 2D or still imagery. Research from Google shows that 360° video delivers a 5X higher engagement rate than standard 2D video when used in advertising campaigns. It also encourages more repeat views, as consumers can have a different experience each time.
While VR is still emerging as a popular medium, brands can use 360° videos in order to create and publish immersive content easily. For consumers, this type of content is also easier to access through desktop or mobile devices without needing to put on a headset.
Across the Asia-Pacific, 360° video is already being used successfully today by forward-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.
Hong Kong Airlines has utilized the benefits of 360° video in its campaign to offer potential customers the chance to walk through business class and experience premium travel. The airline worked with Kiosked to use 360° video in banner ads that provided an immersive experience to show, rather than tell, its audience about the possibilities of premium travel.
By allowing consumers to experience this premium service before buying, the airline’s ad was 35 times more effective than Kiosked’s traditional display ad counterparts and prompted consumers to upgrade their seats to upper class.
Last year, AirAsia launched a 360° video campaign to boost tourism in the region and commemorate the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s 50th anniversary. The videos aimed to provide consumers with an insight into the quirks and iconic features of all ten ASEAN Member States, with highlights including island paragliding in Vang Vieng, driving Lamborghinis in Singapore, hot air ballooning over Myanmar’s Bagan Temples and swimming with Turtles in Indonesia.
By producing these videos, AirAsia allowed consumers from across the world to experience the full beauty of each of the ASEAN nations as if they were there. Furthermore, 360º video was able to highlight the beauty of lesser known gems in the region to inspire people to visit.
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 recognised 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 realise that events can be both an online and offline experience.