As consumers increasingly seek more immersive experiences, 360 Video and Virtual Reality are likely going to cater to this demand and could soon drive a content revolution in digital advertising. For advertisers, VR and 360 video offer enticing opportunities to engage audiences and ultimately boost sales. However, scale and distribution remain some of the core challenges of the formats.
OmniVirt, the 360 Video and Virtual Reality advertising platform founded by former Google and YouTube employees, is one company at the forefront of 360 video by offering advertising experiences in mobile web browsers which do not require a headset. In line with the company’s latest announcement that video advertising company Tremor Video is now offering 360° Pre-Roll ad units, we’ve spoken with Michael Rucker, Co-Founder and COO of OmniVirt about all things 360 and VR.
- Why should brands be opting for 360 video? What are the opportunities for advertisers?
Brands are looking for ways to stand-out in a world where we are bombarded with advertising. They are also looking for ways to engage with their audience and immerse their potential consumer in their story. 360° video provides exactly an answer to these needs. As a new format that consumers are engaged and interested in, 360° video stands out. Campaigns that we run witness on average a 10x uplift in interaction rate relative to their 2D counterparts. And as a new story-telling medium, 360° video gives brands a rich opportunity to immerse their audience in their story.
- How could the format potentially impact the mobile advertising landscape?
360° video on mobile devices is the entry-point for both consumers and brands to engage with and create Virtual Reality story telling. The reality about Virtual Reality today is that 360° VR Video is the easiest format to create and the format that has the most scale. So for brands looking to dip their toe into the world of VR, I always suggest they start with 360° VR Video. We all have a VR device in our pocket. Mobile VR, which today supports the 360° VR Video is how a marketer can get scale with their VR marketing. As such, this format will just be the beginning of a revolution of immersive advertising that is beginning to take place on our mobile devices.
- Tell us about some of your success stories.
At OmniVirt we have powered over 500m 360° VR ad impressions from more than 100 campaigns (see just some of the case studies here). We have seen the same clients launch multiple campaigns which is indicative that the medium is effective and efficient. With campaigns from brands like Ford, Netflix, Universal Pictures, State Farm, Chick-Fil-A and Patagonia, we are confident that the medium of 360° VR Video is proving to be an effective marketing vehicle from clients from across every vertical.
- Are OmniVirt including measurement of 360 video with their latest product roll-out?
Yes. Every campaign that launches on the OmniVirt platform will get access to a dashboard measuring performance metrics of the campaign (see sample here). In order for clients to see the value in creating and distributing 360° VR Video, we believe it is critical to have transparency and measurement in the roll-out of any new feature of our platform.
- What do you think are some of the greatest challenges for VR marketers?
The greatest challenge for marketers in VR remains scale and distribution. There is no doubt that the immersive nature of Virtual Reality is appealing to every marketer. From putting your customer in the drivers seat of the new car, the lobby of the hotel you want them to pick, or in a burning building when promoting the importance of fire insurance, the impact of storytelling in this new medium is not in question. However, when marketers invest in creating that story, it is critical that their target customer sees the message. This is the role that we are playing at OmniVirt. Today, we have built the largest premium 360° VR distribution solution across the web and in-headset. Our goal is to make it easy for marketers looking to launch a VR marketing campaign to launch that campaign seamlessly.
- What’s next for OmniVirt?
At OmniVirt, we want to make it simple for brands and publishers to launch their VR marketing campaigns. We are continuing to drive forward on this mission, and our announcement with Tremor Video to enable their 360° pre-roll experiences is just one more step in ensuring seamless distribution of 360° VR advertising.