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!
Also published on Medium.
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