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360 VR Ad Tip: Keep Things Interesting

Immersive 360 VR Ads Tip: Keep Things Interesting
Being in the 360/VR space, we’ve seen quite a lot of 360 content creations: some have been really good and impressive and others not so much. One of the things we’ve observed about sub-par 360 video executions is that people forget that immersive 360 VR ads are a great way to do brand storytelling. Truth is that immersive 360 VR ads can help advertisers immerse audiences in their brand unlike almost any other technology. Hence, immersive 360 VR ads have been dubbed the ultimate brand storytelling device. By their sheer nature, 360 degree ads offer more. They take advantage of a much larger, 360 degree, spherical space. Consequently, you can’t just plop a 360 degree camera in the middle of a location and just expect magic to happen. As with traditional video, you need to plan what you’re trying to communicate, what story you’re trying to immerse audiences into, and remember that unlike traditional film work, everything you see around you is captured by a 360 degree camera.

For example, we recently saw a 360 video for a cruise line that touts how much fun their cruises are. However, when they tried to convey this story via 360 video, one section of the ship was rather lively while the other areas were practically empty. Sure the pool looked nice (as did the tiki bar), but watching the video was like watching paint dry. The cruise line would have been better served shooting a 360 video where all the scenes captured by the 360 camera featured an assortment of people actually enjoying their time on the ship (i.e., people having fun!) or by capturing a 360 degree still photo of the area that was void of people and used things like interactive hotspots to stir excitement (more on that in other posts).

Because it’s so nascent, when people shoot 360 videos or photos, they forget that the 360 content format is completely different; therefore, it should be treated differently. As a successful commercial video producer recently said, “Take everything you know about traditional video production and throw it out the window, shooting in 360 changes everything!” We couldn’t agree more.

360 cameras capture a wide space around you–the sphere, after all, is quite big. Therefore, make sure that as viewers take in the whole sphere, there’s always something interesting to see, and if not, use cues to guide the user where to look. This is particularly important if you’re filming a destination because there’s nothing like a 360 video or image to make people feel as if they’re really standing in a location. If there’s value to showing a 360 view of something, but there’s no compelling action, then a 360 image can be just as, if not sometimes more, effective. This also gives the user more time to explore a 360 scene rather than be held down to the time constraints of a 360 video. Advrtas powered 360VR ads don’t have to be a full 360 either, they can also have the FOV (field of view) adjusted to 180°, 120°, 90° etc. So if a full 360 image is too much, you can always narrow the FOV.

When all is said and done, the point is this: immersive 360 VR ads are ultimately content, premium content at that, and they should be treated as such. They present creatives with an entirely new and enlarged ad canvas with which they can thoroughly immerse audiences. As such, you can’t just assume that just because something is 360 that it’s going to be interesting. As with anything else, you need to remember the story in which you want audiences immersed–you need a plan!

More Articles on Immersive 360 VR Ads:

 

360 Video: It’s Everywhere!

360 Content & Video in Your TV

360 content is continually and quickly being integrated to more of our everyday lives.

It’s a fact.

And we see it in different ways.

We see it in the rise of demand for 360 content and the increase of user-generated 360 content, both bolstered by the sudden affordability of 360 cameras.

We see it in the way more and more companies are leveraging 360 VR advertising and 360 video… companies that include the likes of Disney, Chick-Fil-A, Mercedes, Coca-Cola, and the list goes on!

We even see it in the way major tech companies like Google and Twitter are beginning to find more and more ways to bring 360 content to the mainstream.

And they’re succeeding.

A few weeks ago, Google announced during its I/O conference that their YouTube TV App will soon be able to support the streaming of 360 videos.

This opens the emerging technology of 360 content to people who own smart TVs, PS4s, and Xbox Ones.

On the heels of Google’s announcement, Twitter pushed ahead into the 360 sphere with news that it is upgrading their Apple TV app to be able to support live 360 videos.

According to TechCrunch, it’s the first app of its kind.

While 360 content can already be viewed by billions of consumers on smartphones, tablets, and desktops, moves like these help accelerate the growth and acceptance of 360 content by the masses.

Developments like these will continue to put 360 in the forefront of people’s minds and further cement 360 content as something that’s here to stay.

After all, the fact that 360 content is already available in the smartphone puts this within reach of millions of people all over the world.

And to make this technology available in the comforts of people’s own living rooms really shows that one day, we will be consuming content in 360.

This makes sense when we see the progression of how we view content.

First, came the black & white tv.

When color TV came, we never looked back.

Why?

Because we see the world in color.

And in the same way, we see the world in 360, enabling us to look in any direction and also, giving us context to what’s going on around us.

Does it then not make sense that 360 is here to stay?

Another benefit that will happen once 360 content becomes available in our own living rooms is that it makes 360 content more of a social experience.

Immersive technologies like 360 content and virtual reality are mainly seen as very individualistic due to the immersive factor.

But companies are beginning to develop new ways to make these new technologies something that would be easy to share with people and further connect us socially.

Finally, with 360 content available on more devices, it further encourages people to generate their own 360 content.

Not to mention that it will also show companies that this really is the time to invest in 360 VR advertising as people are beginning to be more familiar with this new way of consuming content.

This familiarity will further open the doorway to 360 VR advertising, eventually making it something that is natural and intuitive for people to use.

Therefore, now is not the time to wait for “further developments” as this will cause you to be left behind and lose your first mover advantage.

Timing is everything.

Creative Matters: 3 Questions to Ask When Creating 360 VR Ad Content

Creative Matters with Immersive 360 VR Ad Content

Creative Matters with Immersive 360 VR Ad Content

Digital advertising isn’t as simple as slapping a picture of a product on a nice background and captioning it with the words, “Buy this product.” Usually, the process of creating an ad is more detailed and more creative than that. You need to have the right imagery (one that matches the brand and grabs attention), the right messaging (text that resonates and calls for action without sounding too aggressive), the right offer and in today’s culturally sensitive times you also need to make sure your ad isn’t offensive (case in point Pepsi’s recent Kendall Jenner ad fail).

If you’re a marketer or advertiser you’re probably rolling your eyes at this moment thinking, “Well, of course I know that.” Well good! Because just like every other creative tool that has evolved out of technological advancements, when it comes to creating engaging and effective immersive 360VR ads you can’t just rely on the technology, you need good creative too!

Since 360 VR advertising is so nascent, it’s easy to forget that the basic rules of advertising still apply. Just because you have a 360 video or image doesn’t mean that you have a 360VR ad that is ready go. Yes, 360 and VR ad content is immersive and engaging, but if you don’t know how to properly implement it, then you’ve just thrown its engagement and immersive properties out the window. Because if putting a 360 camera in the middle of an environment is what you consider as immersive 360 VR ad content, then you’re doing it wrong.

Before I go on, let me give you an example of an excellent execution of immersive 360 VR ad content. This is a brand centric 360 VR video ad by StubHub. Coming in at approximately 6 minutes in length, it’s much longer than your typical video ad but it serves as a good example for some of the tricks to brand storytelling with this new medium.

It has a storyline and uses multiple environments (concerts, an office, a photoshoot) that serve as interesting things to look at. For example, in the office scene, it starts off looking at the main female character as she’s talking to people in her team. You see her look at someone behind you (and you hear a door open) and you turn around and see another team member coming in her office to tell her something. That’s pretty clever as they’ve added visual elements, aka visual cues, to the environment that make you want to turn around. And that’s exactly how people should execute immersive 360 VR ad content.

So going back to advertising with 360VR content, creative matters. And with that, let me give you a few things to think about when producing and developing creative for your 360 VR ad.

1. How do I initially engage people to play with or view the 360 ad?

One of the strengths of immersive 360VR ads is their ability to trigger initial ad engagement, especially on mobile. That’s partly due to the fact that 360VR ads respond to device movement. So if you’re scrolling through a web page and your device has the slightest movement the content within the ad responds and moves. This functionality within an ad is still so novel that it serves as a good attention getting tool.

Another way to trigger ad engagement and one that we recommend to clients, is to take advantage of what we call “perpetual movement.” The combination of HTML5 and 360 technology enables you to automatically pan the visuals of an ad around thereby catching the eye of a viewer – much like a video would but without the use of video.

Both of these features (ad responsiveness to device movement and autopanning) are so effective because they tap into the basic survival instincts of humans – if we see movement out of the corner of our eye, our immediate response is to look at this movement to quickly identify if it’s a threat or not. As such, employing these tactics can trigger initial ad engagement. That said, you also need to support this with good creative and a bit more heavy handed things like using text, arrows and other visual cues to let the users know how they can interact with an ad that is unlike any they’ve seen before. You need to employ clever CTAs and leverage powerful imagery the same as you would with a traditional ad.

2. How do I sustain engagement?

Now that your immersive 360VR ad has grabbed the user’s attention, the next thing you want them to do is explore and engage with your content – you want to sustain ad engagement. With a 360VR ad, you now have new opportunities by which to sustain ad engagement and immerse the audience. Obviously the longer you can do this the better.

Longer Engagement = More Brand Affinity

But how do you sustain engagement within a 360VR ad? Simple: you leverage this enlarged ad canvas by always making sure that there’s something compelling to look at as you use it to tell a story. And a great way to execute on this is by taking advantage of visual cues because they encourage people to look around and explore your 360 VR ad content.

Going back to the StubHub example (if you still haven’t watched it even after I gave you the link, you should!), there are two scenes that show the main characters’ memories together. And the way they do this is by having pictures of the main characters appear throughout a black background, but the way the images appear is by having them circle around the viewer – prompting the user to turn around, move their device and follow the path of the pictures. In another scene, they do another black background with images appearing throughout, but this time, the main female character is running around looking at the images and thus, visually cueing the viewer to follow wherever she goes.

Those two examples are great executions of visual cues, but it doesn’t even have to be that complex. You can even do simple visual cues such as signs or symbols telling viewers to “Look here!” or “Turn around!” You can even use other tools like hotspots (visible and invisible interactive spots that highlight things in 360 VR content) that provide more information about sections of the content. Another way is by “gamifying” a 360 image and using hotspots to create a “find and seek” game (like our Fantastic Beasts ad demo). These things encourage the viewer to look around the environment, sustain engagement and ultimately immerse the user in a branded experience.

So be sure that there’s always something that compels people to look around and provide cues to help guide the user along alerting them that there’s more to this ad than meets the eye. You can’t forget that this medium is so new that many consumers don’t even know they can interact with 360VR ads. Hence, you need to deliver creative that resonates and educates on how to interact with your ad.

3. Is what I want to show better off as a 360 video or a 360 image?

360 degree images can sometimes be just as compelling as 360 video if leveraged properly.This is especially effective if your main purpose is to just have people explore and look around without having a story element to it. What do I mean by that?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a 360 video with little to no action. The video was literally shot just to showcase a certain location to users so that they could take in the scene. If that’s the case, the same effect can be achieved with a 360 image. And yes, you can still add background music, sound effects, interactive hotspots, overlays and the like to make a 360 image even more immersive.

There are advantages to using compelling 360 images over video as well. First, because they aren’t restricted by the length of the video, users can explore at their leisure, on their terms, without any time constraints. Second, because you’re dealing with images instead of video the ad will load quicker and the user experience won’t be as dependent on the integrity of the user’s wifi or cellular connection. And finally, you’ll save on production costs as it’s less expensive to produce 360 images than video.

Basics of Advertising

In the end, it’s important to remember that creating immersive 360 VR ad content uses the same basic rules of advertising. And just like in traditional advertising, creative matters! Therefore, before creating your next (or first) immersive 360VR ad, remember you can’t just rely on the technology alone, you need to plan out the creative you’ll use that will aid with initial engagement and then sustain that engagement so as to leverage the high engagement rates and brand recall that immersive 360 VR ads are proving to have.

360VR Ads The Ultimate Shopping Tool for Consumers

Leverage 360 VR for Travel, Buying a House, Purchasing a Car and More!

When it comes to traveling, I’m very picky about my hotel room. It’s really what makes or breaks my vacation. So if I end up with a not so clean room or even a hotel that’s super run down, I’m dying for my vacation to be over. Sounds a little bit dramatic, but it’s true. That’s why whenever my husband and I are planning a vacation, I read and analyze every review I can find of different hotels. I also pore over every picture of each hotel – including those provided by the hotel itself and those posted by people on review sites. It’s a seriously time consuming task that’s all an effort to piece together everything about the hotel that I can get my hands on just to get a complete view – a 360 degree view – of my desired destination.

Now, because of the ability to use new technology like 360 VR for travel marketing and advertising, consumers like me have a new tool at their disposal which can make shopping for everything from travel to cars easier and possibly even more fun! That’s because 360 VR technology, when applied to today’s digital display ads, enables brands to showcase more product, deliver more compelling brand storytelling messages and it facilitates product sampling and demos. No other ad technology or content platform offers this much immersion and engagement along with the opportunity to just explore products and brands more. Let’s take my experience, as an example, to see how applying 360 VR for travel advertising can improve the consumer shopping experience. Take a look at the 360 VR ad below.

Notice that you start out at the hotel lobby. Now move your device or use your mouse to drag the image in the ad to reveal more of the lobby. In the upper right hand corner of the ad you see an icon to expand the ad and you select it. The ad goes full screen (can be viewed vertically or horizontally) and you explore more of the lobby. You can truly sense what it feels like to walk through the hotel’s revolving front doors, you note the majestic beauty of the vaulted ceilings and grand chandeliers and you are taken in by the boundless luxury the hotel espouses to posses in their property descriptions.

As you explore, more hotspots start to appear encouraging you to book your stay and tour other parts of the hotel like the lounge, pool, and even one of the suites. Select “View Club Lounge” and you’re transported to a 360 degree view of the Club Floor & Lounge area which is well suited for business travellers. For someone like me, the most important view will be that of a room so I’d select “View Suite” to get the complete picture of what a guest room looks like. I like what I see! Next I take a peek at the pool and I’m convinced – it’s time to book my stay. All I have to do is select the “Book Your Stay” button and I’m then taken directly to a reservations page where I can book my trip. This is certainly much easier than having to pull together enough 2D pictures and reviews to get the true picture of whether or not this is a hotel that meets my standards!

Now imagine if we think bigger and leverage 360 VR in other ways than just as a traveling tool. Think of how 360 VR will change the way we shop for clothes or even buy groceries! And for bigger purchases like cars, apartments, or houses, 360 VR can help you narrow down your search by allowing you to virtually test drive a car or virtually tour an apartment or a house before deciding on your favorite choices. There’s really no limit to what we can do with 360VR and it’s exciting to think about the many opportunities and innovations this technology will bring.

With all this in mind, it’s worth reminding advertisers and marketers that we’re living in exciting times because there’s so much we can do with 360 and VR when it comes to the realm of advertising. Never before have we had at our disposal an ad technology that was capable of immersing consumers at this level. So what are you waiting for? It’s time you start leveraging 360 VR ads today!

The Do’s and Don’ts of 360 VR Advertising

360 VR Advertising Tips: Do's & Don'ts

Co-Written by Laura Barton

If you’re in advertising or marketing, you’ve probably already heard of virtual reality and its cousin, 360 content. You’ve also most certainly recognized the potential that these two technologies, particularly virtual reality, have when it comes to immersing consumers in a particular brand.

According to analysts, we still have about a few years before virtual reality will actually take off. And that’s because according to their predictions, VR headset penetration won’t hit critical mass until 2019 at the earliest. Because of this, there are quite a few advertisers and marketers who shy away from advertising in virtual reality. We’re here to tell you though that you don’t have to do that.

Even if virtual reality won’t take off until about two years from now, we have another tool that we can leverage that is also very powerful. What is it? 360 VR ads – ads that can be placed in just about any ad space on the internet and in apps. This means that marketers and advertisers can leverage the power of VR today, without having to wait for headsets to reach critical mass. Also, because 360 and VR content can be placed in the digital ad spaces you see on the web or in apps every day and can be viewed on any device, any browser, and any platform – this means that 360VR ads have reach today!

Although advertising with 360VR ads is viewed positively and proving to be very effective, if not done right, it can, instead, be a negative experience for a person. That’s why as brands take the next step to leverage 360VR, it’s imperative to know how to use it properly and correctly – maximizing the full benefits of this technology. Yes, there’s still much to learn about 360VR advertising, but as experts with a lot of 360 VR advertising experience under our belts, we’ve compiled these 360 VR advertising tips for you!

These 360 VR advertising tips contain the do’s and don’ts of 360 VR advertising. We talk about good practices and bad practices – things that can make or break the 360 VR ad or even the content that you’re creating. Also, if you’re interested to know more about these 360 VR advertising tips, you can download our ebook on the “Do’s and Don’ts of 360 VR Advertising for Travel.” While this ebook is targeting those in the travel industry (as they are one of the earliest adopters of 360 VR technology), these 360 VR advertising tips apply to any industry.

Do's and Don'ts of 360 VR Advertising Infographic

360 Ads Are Better! (Part 1)

360 Video Advertising is Better

As someone who works in the 360/VR space, it’s very encouraging to hear the statistics about 360 video advertising and how people like 360 ads better than traditional display ads. But why wouldn’t they? After all, 360 videos and images are such engaging and interesting mediums for people and brands to share their stories. 360 video is proving to be an effective storytelling tool because it gives you the full picture – the full context, of what’s going on around a scene. Also, because 360 content responds to device movement, 360 ads easily catch a viewer’s eye – almost as if they demand attention. And if your company knows how to leverage 360 video advertising properly, your 360 video ads will encourage people to want to experience your ad again and again.

As more empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of 360VR ads and 360 video advertising comes to light, it’s only a matter of time before more and more brands and marketers at large start leveraging the power of 360 and VR in digital display ads today. Especially when consumers have gone on to say that they like it when brands use 360 and virtual reality because they get to have a glimpse of how to use a product before actually buying it.

But don’t just take our word for it, below are some stats on what people think about 360 video advertising and 360 video in general. And be sure to check back next week for part 2, as we’ll be releasing more stats on how 360 VR advertising performs better than its traditional counterparts.

See an example of a 360 video ad with this Clash of Clans video inside an Advrtas ad unit.

People like 360 videos more than traditional videosDownload Infographic Here

Can 360 Degree Ads be the New “MVP” of Brand Advertising on Digital?: Takeaways from the Super Bowl Ad Blitz

Super Bowl Ads

This article was co-authored by Laura Barton.

And that’s a wrap for another Super Bowl! For some (Tom Brady, Pats fans, Lady Gaga), the Super Bowl was a success; others (Falcon’s QB Matt Ryan, any Atlanta fan, the guy who put a cool million on the Falcons to win in Vegas), it was a disappointment. What’s interesting is that the Super Bowl being a success or a disappointment doesn’t apply to just the game itself – it also applies to the ads that were shown. Because though millions watch the Super Bowl for the sport, there are a large number of people that watch the Super Bowl just for the ads. In fact, the younger you are (i.e millennials), the more likely you are to watch the game almost exclusively because of the commercials.

Watching the Super Bowl primarily to see the ads is a bit of a phenomenon when we live in a society where ad blindness is rampant and ads can be perceived as a nuisance. For most of the year, ads are something we skip as we see them as interruptions to content we actually want to consume. It’s only during rare occasions, like the Super Bowl, where we actively seek ads out and are actually excited for them. As writer Derek Thompson points out in a recent article published in The Atlantic, with Super Bowl commercials, people not only pay attention to them, they actually discuss, analyze, and write articles about them (we’re no different). He goes on to say that, “On most days, readers click out of ads to read articles online. For one day out of the year, they read a lot of articles only to click on the ads.” But what is it about Super Bowl ads? Why is it one of the only times during the year that people actually seek out ads? The answer: Great brand storytelling.

LUST FOR GOOD STORYTELLING

Brand storytelling is huge as it is ultimately a form of entertainment and humans love be to entertained. Since the dawn of time, we have fed our lust for stories. Some psychologists argue this relates to the importance of imitation in our social and cognitive processes. As such, it is the “imitative process” of our minds that makes it easy for us to put ourselves in other’s shoes and use our imaginations to enter stories. It’s this ability that enables us to lose ourselves and connect with others – including brands, as we partake in the storytelling experience. Super Bowl advertisers figured this out years ago and it explains why as the quality of Super Bowl commercials has improved so has the expectation grown that the ads shown will quench this desire to be entertained.    

So while we may be prone to skipping ads, for one magical ‘super’ day we put this inclination aside in anticipation of ads that tell a good story and resonate with us on some level. An article published last year by Ad Week hit the nail on the head. Though skipping ads has arguably always been a thing (“Skip Ad” buttons, fast-forwarding, snack breaks during commercials), people don’t do that for all ads. People actually love ads that take storytelling seriously and nowhere is this taken more seriously than when it comes to creating a Super Bowl worthy ad.

The best and most celebrated ads have always been those that tell great stories because the best creatives know the key to winning over consumers is to share stories that are worthy of their time.

Scott Donaton

Chief Content Officer, Digitas Studios

So as digital ad spend now eclipses that of TV, what lessons can be drawn from the success of Super Bowl ads and applied to the realm of digital advertising? And how does this relate to 360 degree ad formats?

We’d argue that perhaps we’ve been getting it wrong with how we approach digital advertising. For better or worse, digital advertising has been predominantly leveraged as a direct response tool. Shackled by the proverbial “click” mentality where success is measured by immediate actions taken, we have in large part abandoned brand advertising on digital. Perhaps that’s because the ROI of brand advertising isn’t something that’s seen immediately – it’s the process of building brand equity which can take weeks, months or even years to cultivate. But in a world where impressions and CTRs are the bars for success, how can a marketer justify leveraging digital for brand marketing? Furthermore, how they can measure the effectiveness of same? Enter 360 degree display ads.

BRAND MARKETING’S NEW DIGITAL “MVP”

With the advent of 360 degree ad technology a revolution in the digital ad landscape could be at hand. One where hit you over the head, intrusive, obnoxious “buy now, buy now” direct response ad messages are replaced with more entertaining, brand connecting – dare we say Super Bowl caliber, ads. No longer are advertisers relegated to the hard sell because they have within their grasps an entirely new tool for brand advertising.

Here are just a few reasons why the rookie on the ad scene – 360 degree ads, can score big in the game of brand marketing on digital – especially mobile. We predict that it won’t be too long before brands from all industries recognize this new star player and start leveraging this highly engaging and effective new ad format.

  1. 360 degree ad formats provide advertisers with a much larger and entirely new ad canvas by which to tell their brand story. This canvas is bigger than any TV screen.
  2. 360 degree content provides levels of brand immersion never before possible.
  3. The very nature of 360 content exploration means that you have a captive audience – not many ad mediums can say that.
  4. 360 degree ads come with an entirely new set of data collection points that not only track viewability but also provide enhanced & invaluable engagement metrics. These very metrics can arm brand marketers with much more than ROI justification, they can provide more insight into consumer behavior and preferences.
  5. Studies have shown that 360 content has the ability to emotionally connect with an audience because it makes them feel like they are a part of whatever content they’re consuming. (Add a one-touch virtual reality mode to this & this is enhanced exponentially.)
  6. 360 degree content delivers higher engagement rates, better brand recall, and better content recognition than traditional forms of advertising.
  7. When it comes to brand equity, consumers have overwhelming positive views towards brands that leverage cutting edge technology like 360 and VR.
  8. 360 degree and virtual reality ads that can play on any mobile device, tablet or desktop are so new and so engaging that there’s bound to be buzz around any brand that effectively uses them (It’s that first mover advantage thing we keep harping about!)  

So as the dust settles from yet another Super Bowl, marketers should rejoice in the fact that consumers actually do like advertising when it’s done right. We should further celebrate that with game-changing technology like 360 degree advertising we have a new MVP in the digital ad space. It not only satiates consumer desires to be entertained but also supports brand marketing initiatives of strengthening the consumer-brand connection thereby building up brand equity.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like: Why your mobile ad spend should be in 360 degree content

Learn about the different ways and formats that you can leverage 360/VR ads through this free eBook.

360 Video Beats Out 2D Video

The battle between traditional, what we call 2D video, and 360 degree video began in 2015 when YouTube and Facebook announced that they would support 360 videos on their respective platforms. Since then, a myriad of brands, from insurance and fashion to automotive and entertainment, have dipped their toes in the proverbial 360 waters and to some remarkable results – namely, with significantly more ad engagement.

While we wrapped up 2016 with a handy infographic highlighting some of the most popular 360 branded content, we’ve also pulled out some notable figures that should put any marketer on notice that 360 content and its not too distant relative, Virtual Reality, should most definitely be on the radar screen for 2017. Here’s a snapshot:

As one might suspect, the early results suggest that when it comes to ad engagement, 360 content blows 2D out of the water. Check out our handy infographic featuring some of the highlights & recapping 2016 below.

360 Video Beats Out 2D Video

Advrtas 360/VR Seek & Find Holiday Card

Happy Holidays from Advrtas and all of us at Outlyer Technologies!!! Enjoy our 360/VR Holiday Card and find all five snow bunnies! Wishing you a healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year. See you in 2017.

P.S. If you have a Google Cardboard, be sure to try it out there!

Brands Earning Millions of Views with 360-Degree Content

For the past year, we’ve been publishing infographics showing the explosive growth of 360-degree content by featuring brands that leverage this new technology and the number of views they get with their content. As we near the end of 2016, we thought it appropriate to update these statistics with a brand new infographic.

Infographic on Brands Leveraging 360 Content and the Millions of Views They Are Earning

Truly, the use of 360-degree content is growing rapidly and this will only continue in 2017! So what are you waiting for? Contact Advrtas and be one of the first brands to take advantage of this cutting edge technology!

Around the World in 360/VR – Destination: South America

Travel South America in 360 & Virtual Reality

The other day I was reading an article about a 360-degree tour of the historic ruins of Mandu, India. This 360-degree tour was a 360 video that showed the different ruins in Mandu with a voiceover explaining what I was looking at. As I was watching, I would quickly swivel around my chair, trying to get a full view of the ruins. It occurred to me that if this was any other video, instead of being an active and engaged viewer I would have just been passively staring at random shots of the different parts of the ruined city. The video (and the article) ended with a line that I found very pertinent. It said, “You’ve seen it virtually, now see it in reality.”

Although we’ve only been featuring 360 still images in our “Around the Globe in 360/VR” blog series, I felt like that line encompassed exactly what we’re trying to accomplish and illustrate. Now that you’ve seen different destinations around the world in 360 and maybe even virtual reality, we hope that you’re inspired to actually visit these destinations in reality someday. Or at the very least you’ve learned a bit more about the world and its beautiful destinations. That’s why the travel industry is so abuzz about 360 degree & virtual reality content and its ability to boost travel sales.

Imagine the positive influence these platforms will have on marketing and advertising for all industries and their ability to engage the consumer. With 360/VR, brands can be featured in a bigger, grander more connective and emotional kind of way. Whether demonstrating product use, showcasing multiple product features, or creating a story around your brand, 360 & VR present an entirely new ad canvas. It’s a whole different level of advertising that actually encourages customers to engage with your advertising/marketing efforts because 360/VR sparks curiosity like no other mediums before.

If you still need a bit of convincing on the potential of 360/VR, check out the images of South America below. Better yet, grab your Cardboard headsets and look at them in VR mode to be fully immersed in South America. Bon voyage!

1. Machu Picchu, Peru


Machu Picchu, Peru/ 03.2012

2. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia


Piles of salt at sunrise

3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Mirante Dona Marta – Rio de Janeiro – Brasil – 28/05/2012

4. Heywoods Beach, Barbados


Driftwood near Haywoods beach

5. Laguna de los Tres, Argentina


Laguna de Los Tres at Moon Rising

6. Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Maracanã Stadium

All images are the property of 360Cities.net and/or its licensors. For more immersive experiences, visit their website.

Around the World in 360/VR – Destination: Africa

Travel Africa in 360 & Virtual Reality

Spherical 360 & Virtual Reality will revolutionize the travel industry because there has never been any other medium that can spark such a connection in people the way these new content platforms can. Experiencing a destination, or any brand for that matter, in 360 or VR, is essentially the next best thing to physically being somewhere.

Of course, there are the few naysayers who take the position that when it comes to the realm of travel, a 360 or VR experience will lessen people’s desires to travel. To that we respectfully disagree. Virtual reality, and its simpler counterpart 360 degree content, will actually inspire people to travel because the visceral nature of the platforms gives people an inside look at what they’re missing out on and in fact make them want to travel even more.

Similarly, because 360 and VR content is so visceral and effective in stirring up emotions and creating virtual memories, other industries will greatly benefit from it as well. As marketers, we now have the technology in our hands to showcase our brands in ways we’ve never been able to.

So when they say that 360/VR is “the best thing to hit travel since the jet engine,” we here at Advrtas expand upon that and say that 360/VR is the best thing to hit advertising and marketing since the digital age explosion.

And with that we invite you to take a mini-escape as you explore the beauty and power of 360 & VR by exploring Africa with the images below.

Happy travelling!

1. Maasai Mara, Kenya

elephants in masai mara national park. kenia

2. Deir el Bahari, Egypt

Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt

3. Madagascar, Africa

Hanging bridge over a crack in the Tsingy

4. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

victoria falls in zimbabwe side

5. Casablanca, Morocco

Hassan-II-Mosque

6. Ouarzazate, Morocco

Handycraft shop in ouarzazate, Morocco

7. Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

Chapman’s Peak, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

8. Mauritius Island


Le Canonnier Pier Mauritius

All images are the property of 360Cities.net and/or its licensors. For more immersive experiences, visit their website.

Around the World in 360/VR – Destination: Asia

Travel Asia in 360 and virtual reality

Another week, another continent! This time we’re in Asia and we must say, it was quite difficult to choose which destinations we loved the most. 360 images just have a way of showcasing the beauty of a location because you get the full view – the full context! Spherical 360 imagery can have the same impact for just about any brand because it immerses the consumer and encourages heightened levels of engagement. This elevation in interaction translates into greater content & product recall, higher intent to purchase and overall brand satisfaction.

And with that, we invite you to enjoy a virtual trip around Asia. Whether you’re atop a mountain where to your right is a sparkling blue sea and to your left a quaint little village or you’re visiting ancient ruins – there’s no mistaking the allure and convenience of taking in a 360 degree view simply from your mobile device or computer. It’s also worth noting that thanks to these 360 images, we’re building quite the list of places we want to visit in person in the future… perhaps you are too! But for now, we’ll have to settle for these “virtual” trips. So what are you waiting for? Let’s travel around Asia in 360 & VR!

Bon voyage!

Viewing tips: If on desktop, move your mouse to explore & expand for an even better perspective! If on mobile, move your device or use your finger to explore!

1. Uttar Pradesh, India

Fatehpur Sikr, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

2. Hong Kong

East Kowloon Corridor(東九龍走廊), To Kwa Wan, HK

3. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay – above the ship

4. Kathmandu, Nepal

Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu Nepal

5. Seoul, South Korea

Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul South Korea I

6. Tokyo, Japan

Sensoji / Asakusa Kannon Temple in Tokyo / 浅草寺

And that’s Asia! It was quite difficult to decide which images to put in our blog because we loved so many! From clear blue oceans, white sand beaches, detailed architecture of ancient ruins, to other locations that have so much history and stories to tell – we had to think about it real hard.

Make sure to come and visit our blog next week before Thanksgiving as we travel around North America!

All images are the property of 360Cities.net and/or its licensors. For more immersive experiences, visit their website.

10 Must Watch 360/VR Videos for Halloween

Ten Must Watch 360 Virtual Reality Videos for Halloween

Virtual reality is immersive and what better way to test that out than with these horrifying 360/VR videos that we’ve compiled for Halloween

So grab your VR headset and your headphones and get ready to scare yourself silly with these haunting videos! Don’t have a headset? No worries! Use your mobile phone and watch in 360.  Even better, watch them in the dark! Trust us, no matter how you watch, they’re bound to send shivers up your spine!

Viewing tip for mobile: Just check out our Halloween Scares Playlist by clicking here.

Creepy Crown Challenge

Ouija 2 Trailer

The Exorcist 360 Experience

Slender Man

The Forest 360 Experience

Paranormal Activity Seance

Five Nights at Freddy’s

The Conjuring 2

Stranger Things

The Room

#VR4Good

Virtual Reality for Good

As virtual reality is steadily gaining traction, there are those who have embraced it as the next great platform after mobile. They have fully accepted that VR and its relatives, 360 content, AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality), will not only bring about significant changes to digital and brand engagement but also deliver a technological revolution. Yet, there are those who view these evolving technologies and anything related to them with reluctance.

Some have argued that the coming of virtual reality will lead to a whole new set of unethical, dangerous, and maybe even criminal behavior. Though these issues are not to be taken lightly, those of us in VR and its related industries are unfazed. After all, we believe that the good these platforms bring will change the world for the better and thus, will far outweigh the bad. Besides, no matter what innovations come our way, there will always be people with negative intentions. Even the internet – and the ways it has connected people across the globe and has provided us with a wealth of data and information – has been used for bad. But that hasn’t stopped its use or proliferation, has it? Considering that you’re reading this now via this magical infrastructure we call the internet just goes to show how the good far outweighs the bad and that as has been the case since the beginning of time, good always trumps evil. The same goes for VR and its related technologies and the possibilities they have opened and will open in the future. And with that being said, here are three ways beyond marketing and advertising that the powers of virtual reality and their relative emerging technologies are being used for good.

Medicine & Health

The field of medicine is one industry that stands to make great advancements thanks to technologies like VR, AR and MR. Recently, a study on virtual reality and paraplegics showed the results of a rehabilitation program that contained a series of tests and exercises that involved virtual reality. At the end of the program, paraplegics who completed it were able to gain some sort of feeling in their limbs where formerly there was none. Virtual reality has also given a legally blind man a chance to see – at least while wearing a VR headset. Upon donning a VR device, the man was able to see images and colors in a way that he can never do in real life. There have also been stories coming out of the labs of mixed reality leader Magic Leap revealing that blind people were able to see via their technology.

Other examples of the benefits of VR include aiding in PTSD therapy, helping to lessen the pain experienced by burn victims, and even VR that assisted a doctor to plan a heart surgery that saved a 4 month old baby’s life. The technology can also be used to enhance the study of medicine by allowing scientists to study cells in greater detail. The benefits of virtual reality in the area of medicine are so great that the CEO of Pixacore – a digital agency – said this:

Virtual reality has very rapidly shifted from a promising prototype to a viable platform that the healthcare industry will adopt to better understand the science, communicate diseases and therapy options to patients, train medical and industry professionals, and treat certain psychological disorders

– Sanjiv Mody, CEO, Pixacore

Learning

Judging by its potential in the area of medicine, it’s no surprise that VR can also be a game changer when it comes to education. It delivers a whole new element to learning as VR immerses and engages whoever is using it – something a textbook or traditional video can never do. With the power to create virtual memories and improve content recall significantly, imagine how much more effective learning can be if a virtual reality environment serves as a supplement to whatever a student is learning in a textbook.

For example, in this article on “Virtual Reality in the Classroom,” an educator described how one could use VR to study chemistry. Students would be able to immerse themselves in cells (much like the scientists we talked about previously), molecules, etc – allowing them to observe their structure in a whole different level. The educator even mentioned that schools could have a VR chemistry lab instead of a traditional lab. This could prove to be safer and even more cost-efficient. Other examples include learning history where students are actually “transported in time”. With virtual reality, students could feel like they’re truly witnessing a historical event firsthand. It’s an incredibly effective way to reinforce whatever they’re learning.

Virtual Reality in the Classroom with Google Cardboard

(Read: How educators have been using virtual reality in their curriculums.)

Another application of virtual reality and how it reinforces learning is a program in Indiana that teaches teens the possible consequences of texting while driving. Through this program, the state of Indiana – once the state with the most teen driver fatalities – was able to improve their state ranking and lessen teen driver fatalities. Even the Department of Agriculture is thinking of using the technology as a learning tool to assist with training their food inspectors on what to expect while on the job.

Making the World a Better Place

With the previous examples in mind, it’s suspected that VR also has the potential to make the world a better place. That’s in large part because of its innate ability to create what is called “presence” wherein a user truly feels like they’re physically in a virtual location. This feeling of presence is why VR visionaries like Chris Milk and Nonny de la Pena have called virtual reality the ultimate “empathy machine”. It has the power to stir up emotions and compassion unlike any other medium before. VR can serve as an agent of change as it helps people better relate to global issues, disabilities, diseases and the human condition.

For example, a company in Australia recently released an app where people could virtually walk in the shoes of someone with dementia and thus help people understand how it feels to live life struggling with this challenging disease. This kind of experience can help people be more sympathetic, more compassionate, and more patient with those who have dementia and maybe even show them how they can be of more help. In the same way, Stanford released a study on the effects of virtual reality through an experiment on how it feels to be homeless. The United Nations is also planning on taking advantage of the power of VR to help with its global initiatives.

Because VR can trigger such strong emotions it also serves as an excellent vehicle for helping charitable organizations with their fundraising efforts. It has already been tested by such notable organizations as PETA and UNICEF. The latter experienced donations at twice the normal rate. And people didn’t do just one-off donations, many committed to monthly contributions.

A lot of people have a very emotional reaction to it… I can’t even count the number of times someone has taken off the headset and the goggles are filled with tears.

– Christopher Fabian, Co-Lead of Innovation Unit, UNICEF

As you can see, there are countless ways in which we can apply new technologies like virtual reality for the common good. The examples referenced herewith merely scratch the surface. Yes, as with the advent of anything that’s new there’s fear and the potential for negative consequences but these are negligible compared to the countless ways in which virtual reality and its cousins 360 degree content, AR and MR will change the world for the better. It’s no wonder that with all the potential positive effects across many fields that marketers are looking to see how they too can leverage these technologies to assist with their goals. So what are you waiting for? Choose to use #VR4Good and leverage this emerging technology today!

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