An introduction to video’s newest muse

There’s no doubt that video is marketing’s current it girl. By the end of this year, video content is slated to represent 74% of all internet traffic, and one recent survey found that 76.5% of marketers and small business owners who have used video marketing say it had a direct impact on their business. Video is here to stay, but today, we’re talking about something that’s upping the visual storytelling ante to new levels. Introducing: 360-degree video.

360-degree video, also known as VR or virtual reality, is a spherical video that completely immerses its audience in every aspect of a story, and it’s blowing the marketing floodgates wide open by allowing brands connect with their target audiences in a completely new, more personal way. Think IMAX theatre, only on a desktop or mobile device. We’re not the only ones jazzed about 360. According to TechCrunch, more than $1.2 billion was invested in VR tech during Q1 of 2016 alone, and we’re sure you’ve seen at least one 360 photo or video posted to your Facebook feed.

How 360-degree video will take your storytelling game to the next level

It tickles the senses.

360-degree video gives the audience the full sensory experience and the ability to navigate a scene however they choose. It’s no longer about one shot, because viewers are no longer seeing things through the eyes of the storyteller – they’re experiencing it with them. So, instead of only seeing and hearing what is controlled and right in front of them, 360 video incorporates the sights, sounds, distractions and perspectives from every direction. Take this Hamilton rehearsal. Where do your eyes go first? Where do you turn? Do you slowly pan through the entire scene, or stop on a certain character? With 360, it’s up to the viewer to decide how they experience the scene in front of them.

It creates empathy.

The amazing thing about film is its ability to create empathy. Whether it’s an Academy Award nominated movie, or a 60-second Super Bowl commercial for Budweiser, the goal is to create something that resonates with the target audience. When the audience is engaged with a brand’s story, they are more likely to seek more information about the company and its products and services. For example: This video from The North Face does an excellent job of grabbing viewers by showing a unique view of Nepal’s towns and beautiful scenery. The viewer is so immersed in the visual elements surrounding them, they forget this is an ad for mountain climbing gear and attire. But hey, maybe they connected with it so much they went out and bought a North Face jacket. Hook. Line. Sinker.

The opportunities with 360-degree video are endless, and filmmakers and marketers have only scratched the surface. Luckily, some of the most innovative brands in the business have trusted us to pave the way for them in this awesome new form of visual expression. Check out the work we did for Brisk & 7 Eleven and American Girl.

If you’re interested in using 360-degree video or want more information about our services, contact Bottle Rocket Media.