MAGNA, the intelligence, investment and innovation unit within IPG Mediabrands, and IPG Media Lab, the media futures and advisory arm of IPG Mediabrands, in partnership with YuMe by RhythmOne, a proven partner for video advertising leadership and innovation, announced the results of a media trial examining consumers’ perspective on 360° video advertising from innovative brands BMW, Royal Caribbean and PBS.
The resulting report, The 360° Effect: Understanding Immersive Video, reveals the opportunities this ad format provides marketers and the challenges they will face in maximizing its value. The report also offers insight into how marketers should utilize this new video ad format to drive brand KPIs.
While most brands have yet to utilize 360° video for marketing purposes, many consumers are already familiar with the format. Consumers show a strong interest in 360° videos created by brands, with the majority (69%) intending on interacting with brand videos in the future. Consumers’ primary interest in a brand created 360° video is related to their desire for entertainment and new experiences. Marketers need to not only deliver on high expectations for fun but also move the needle on the metrics that drive brand growth.
“While 360° video ads are the most accessible immersive video ad experiences for consumers – available across mobile, PCs and VR headsets – marketers must artfully balance entertainment with branding to achieve optimal brand metrics. Our study reinforces the opportunity that marketers have to drive purchase intent with 360° video ads, provided they properly incorporate brand messages to encourage higher recall,” said Devin Fallon, VP of Analytics, YuMe by RhythmOne.
“This research has not only helped us better understand the user experience for 360° video ads, but also the common pitfalls marketers may face in driving important metrics such as brand favorability and purchase intent. Consumers are welcoming of this advertising format because it provides a fun and engaging experience. We need to ensure that we deliver on those expectations and our KPIs at the same time,” said Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence Solutions Strategy at MAGNA.
Key insights include:
- Consumers are eager to experience 360° video even when created by brands. However, they have high expectations for fun and excitement, which were reported as the top reasons for engaging with 360 video in the future. 88% of those who found 360° “entertaining” intend to interact with 360° video ads in the future.
- Early tech adopters are most likely to engage with and enjoy 360° video, making it a big opportunity for brands targeting tech-savvy consumers.
- Providing simple instructional cues provided the best user experience. Some consumers didn’t engage with the video because they weren’t sure what to do.
- Overall, 360° video can be an effective format in delivering against brand KPIs above and beyond traditional video; however, challenges persist in creating memorable experiences given the inherent distractions of the format.
- The payoff is big once consumers recalled the brand, with +7% purchase intent increase on smartphones and 12% lift in agreement that the brand “has a unique story to tell” compared to a traditional video ad.
- While VR headset environments serve as the ideal platform, smartphone was the next best option. 360° video outperformed on smartphones compared to the same ad on PC, with a10% lift in purchase intent.
- Contextual targeting can make a difference – pairing a 360° ad with content that is also 360° improves branding impact. The same ad is viewed as 8% more relevant compared to running in front of standard (non-360°) content.
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“360-degree video is a true discovery experience – showcasing multiple facets of the brand offering instead of being limited to just one or two messages. This provides brands with an ability to tap into consumer passions while allowing them to choose their own journey through the experience,” said UM’s Global Chief Innovation Officer, Chad Stoller.
In conducting the media trial, a total of 2,159 consumers were recruited from a representative online panel. The survey directed participants to a media experience of their choosing on PC, smartphone, or smartphone-enabled VR device, where they were able to view a webpage and watch video content based on their interests. Each participant was randomized into a test cell that determined what type of pre-roll video they saw – control, standard video ad, or 360° video ad. Afterwards, participants completed a survey that measured traditional branding metrics and qualitative feedback.