“The matter with human beans,” the BFG went on, “is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.” ― Roald DahlThe BFG

There is perhaps no greater way to promote Roald Dahl’s classic The BFG than with 360˚ video. Putting it straight in front of the schnozzles of people the world over is one thing, but then to offer an immersive, engaging experience within this is northing short of the magic you would expect from Disney.

(Credit: Disney)

With many leading brands beginning to adopt 360˚ video, just how effective is it in comparison to standard video viewing?

Google recently set out to answer this very question by conducting an experiment with Columbia Sportswear. Together they created an ad campaign based on two U.S. Olympic skiers hitting the slopes in Chile, one with standard view and one with 360˚. Both ads featured the same prompts that drove to an extended version, so that direct comparisons could be made. The results were fascinating:

  1. Standard performs better on traditional viewer metrics

When it came to view-through rate, the 360˚ ad underperformed across desktop and mobile. It led Google to conclude that “viewers aren’t always in the mood to interact with 360˚ video if they’re primarily watching standard video.”

  1. Audiences watch and interact more with 360˚

Indeed, 360˚ came up with its own set of unique advantages over standard view. It was found that this approach achieves a higher click-through and general interaction rate.

  1. Audiences share, subscribe, and view more with 360˚

The 360˚ version drove over 41% more earned actions, as well as more engagement with Columbia’s YouTube channel, in comparison to the standard ad.

Viewers were found to be copying the link and sharing directly with others on various social platforms and they also drove a 46% higher view count at the end of Google’s experiment than that of the standard full-length piece. It was concluded that a 360˚ piece was the most effective approach as its cost-per-view was lower.

Similar insights were gained for Brighton Pier, the UK most iconic seaside destination, when Underscore created a 360˚ piece with the relaunch of their website. Compared with a regular video posted at a similar time, the 360˚ video experienced almost 80% more reach on social media and had almost 179% more views over the same period of time.

Created by Underscore.

More and more brands are realising the power of 360˚ video for driving greater engagement, and while it’s still early days for the technology, it’s making any content created now appear even more unique and effective.

Interested in creating a 360˚ piece for your brand and driving your engagement further? Catch up with the strategy and production team at Underscore.

(Banner image credit: Disney)