As many of us who have attempted to take a 10-minute vacation from a cold and snowy day by staring at a video of a tropical beach dotted with palm trees and gently lapping water can attest, it’s not quite like being there. Sure, you see the video and you hear the sounds, but, since it’s just on a rectangular screen and surrounded by, well, reality, it’s extremely difficult to trick yourself into imagining that you’re actually there; however, things are (thankfully) in the process of changing, and that 10-minute respite from reality is coming from today’s word, 360-degree video content.
To get an idea of what this term actually means, let’s break it down into workable components. 360-degrees is, thanks to the Chaldean dynasty in Babylon, indicative of a circle, but, in this application, which was first used in the New York Times, stating in 1928 that: “Beam transmission..will help solve the problems in broadcasting now produced by 360 degree transmission.”, the circle usage merely implies that we can see a full circular rotation of what’s going on around us. First used in the Rocky Mount Evening Telegram in 1952, writing that: “Essentially a video tape recording would resemble an ordinary home-recorded tape of Junior playing the piano.” and coming from the Latin videre, meaning ‘to see’, the adjective video deals with the recording, reproduction, or use of moving images. Finally, content, which comes from the Latin continere, meaning ‘to hold together’, and was initially used generally in Bridgettine monk William Bonde’s 1526 contemplative work Pilgrimage of Perfection, where he notes: “All this world with the contents in the same.”, can be taken in this application to mean an entire body of work.
Putting all of this together, we have a body of work that is produced in order to give the end used an immersive (“all-around”) virtual experience. Filming this type of content requires the use of either a specialised rig of multiple cameras or an omnidirectional camera in order to film virtually all angles, with the footage of the different cameras (or lenses) being “stitched” together, with colour and contrast calibrated in order to provide a single piece of spherical video. Depending on need/requirements, the video can be formatted with the same image being directed to both eyes (monoscopic) or different images being directed to each eye (stereoscopic) in order to simulate depth.
For those who can’t “be there”, the idea of a fully immersive, virtual experience has seemingly infinite applications, from entertainment and education to travel and training; however, in terms of business, this type of enveloping visual and audio experience is already having an impact. A recent comparison from Magnifrye discovered that, when compared with traditional videos, “Average percentage viewed was 28.81% higher with 360-degree video, and double the viewers watched the video to 100%.”; moreover, BusinessWire has noted that, “The payoff is big once consumers recalled the brand, with +7% purchase intent increase on smartphones and +12% in agreement that the brand “has a unique story to tell” compared with a traditional video ad.”
360-degree video content allows for a rich immersive storytelling, increases user engagement and leads to higher conversion. Here are a few tips for your global interactive video marketing campaign.