360 Degrees Video and Its Marketing

Industries are finding unique and innovative strategies to market their products. Recently, marketers started to produce 360 videos by using special cameras that can capture 360 degrees perspective. It is being used in multiple industries: entertainment, automobile, non-profit, and many more. What makes 360 videos so special? In order to understand this unique trend among marketers, we will be exploring and learning more about 360 video.

What is 360 degrees video?
A 360 degrees video is an immersive footage that captures every angle at the same time while recording. The user has the control to look at different directions or different perspectives when playing back the recordings. Think of it as a video recording used for virtual reality. The 360 degrees video is becoming a popular medium and it is used for innovative marketing purposes in different industries.

360FLY Camera

To record 360 degrees video, there are two ways of capturing the footage, which is using either a special kind of omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. When recording in omnidirectional camera, a single specialized camera is necessary. To name a few, Ricoh Theta S is a camera that has two lenses that stitches its recording to form 360 degree video. Some omnidirectional cameras like the 360fly, only captures 240 degrees of viewing range vertically. The other way of capturing 360 footage would be using a collection of cameras and attaching it to a rig. Most popular way of doing so would be attaching multiple GoPro cameras to a third party mount rig called Freedom360 or GoPro Omni. After recording the footage, the recorder needs to stitch the videos together to create 360 degrees video. There are not many software that can edit 360 footage. The top known editing software includes VideoStitch, Kolor, SkyStitch, and Adobe Premiere.

GoPro Omni

My personal favorite editing software for 360 video would be Adobe Premiere because it is user friendly and it is what I am used to. Of course it is not perfect because Adobe recently incorporated the 360 editing application. Also, there are limited elements you can do with the footage. It might not be as good as other editing software, however, Adobe does a great job improving their application. I’m excited to see what their next update would bring to the table when it comes to 360 videos.

Adobe Premiere

After all the technical process is finished, the developer has to decide which viewing platform the video will be uploaded on. 360 degree videos can’t be viewed on viewing platforms that does not support the file. The most popular viewing platform that is watched by the audience are YouTube and Facebook. Recently, Facebook incorporated 360 degrees viewing platform for panorama or 360 degrees photos.

Posting panorama picture on Facebook. (360 degrees photos)

360 Degrees Video Marketing Advantage

So why are 360 degrees video considered a popular, innovative, and new strategic marketing tool today?

When marketing for a campaign, the marketers need to figure out a way to engage the audience. The 360 degrees video does exactly that. This particular new media is immersive to the users who wear a headset. It helps the users to be less distracted to other surroundings which will help them fully pay attention to the content of the marketing campaign. Therefore, the message of the video will successfully be delivered to the audience.

Headset used for 360 video

Not only 360 degrees video is immersive but also it is an impactful way in engaging the audience. The footage can be utilized in virtual reality which makes the user experience very intense because it feels real when you are in a virtual world. This experience can be used to generate or manipulate the user’s emotions. This is important when engaging an audience because one of the elements that makes a marketing campaign memorable is incorporating emotions. Also, human brains associate events with emotions and locations. This kind of virtual reality experience helps retain information of the message.

Another reason 360 degrees video is an innovative marketing strategy is because it is fairly new technology. Whenever new technology is introduced, the public becomes interested which leads to exposure. This positive exposure spreads and helps the awareness of marketing campaigns.

Marketing success through 360 degrees video

Marketing strategy using 360 degrees video is becoming a success story. One perfect example would be the Japanese singer, Utada Hikaru. According to an article written by Michelle Hughes, Utada Hikaru was experiencing “dry-spell” with her music for 8 years. However, the curse has been lifted when she released an unique music video on her latest album debut. You guessed it, the music video is in 360 degrees.

What makes it so special about a music video in 360 degrees compared to regular 2-dimensional music video? To start off, the listeners are not only excited about the music the artist released but also they get to have control to look at an angle however they want. This helps the listeners to be engaged and at the same time achieve maximum impact on emotions through music.

I can see lots of potential in 360 degrees video as becoming the most effective marketing tools in the future as more people become aware of the new technology. Also, I can see 360 degrees videos taking off when the viewers have more accessibility to headsets and other viewing platforms. According to Adweek article, Director Alex Smith created a short storytelling film in 360 degrees. It is implying that not only the 360 degrees footage can to used for marketing but also can be used for storytelling if it is executed in a way where it attracts the audience with short attention span.

“Server Room Symphony” directed by Alex Smith

Future of 360 Videos in Marketing

According to Radu B. Rusu, the CEO of Fyusion, he believes that the 360 degrees video is more of a fad than the future of technology. One of the main reasons is it asks too much of the audience’s attention. In today’s generation, mobile users are engaged in other activities while watching a video on their phone. This defeats the purpose of 360 degrees video because the user needs to be fully immersed and engaged for the message of the video to be delivered.

Although the argument is valid, every users are different and I do believe that certain industries will utilize the 360 degrees video to market their goods and services. The top industries that uses the videos for commercial or promotional purposes are car sales, film and entertainment, travel and recreation, video games, and virtual shopping retails.

Promotional video in the travel and recreational industry
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