Can 360 video drive more engagements than regular video ads?

I think we can all agree that video is one of the most powerful tools for advertising on the web. It’s been proven that almost 60% of all senior business execs would rather watch a video than read text-based content and are more likely to engage with a company, product or service after watching. So we know video works as a marketing tool, but does 360 video work even better?

Facebook thinks so

Mark Zuckerberg believes it’s the future of watching videos. 360 video motivates viewers to watch and interact more with content. Studies show that 360 videos have a higher click-through rate than standard video and  360 ads drive more engagement through interactions.


360 vs. standard video

Columbia Sportswear recently conducted a side by side test with a regular and 360 ad. The narrative was identical for both pieces and the 360 ad outperformed through all metrics, including views, shares, and subscribes. The 360 ad produced 41% more earned actions than the standard one and it also drove more engagement with Columbia’s YouTube channel.

Experience travel and adventure in a whole new way

360 ads are novel and they’re interesting. 360 video takes the viewer from feeling passive, to one of curiosity and ultimately, engagement. As a result, people tend to share them more often.

A natural fit and some of best applications of 360 videos is within the tourism industry. Companies like G-Adventures, Intrepid and even Qantas Airlines are creating 360 experiences for both social media and headsets to give viewers immersive experiences. From riding on the back of an elephant to sitting in the cockpit of a 747, 360 video gives you a richer experience than conventional video and subsequently more qualified leads.


Red Bull also believes in 360 technology and is an early adopter.  Keeping with their strategy of featuring adventure sports to promote their brand, they’ve taken it one step further by allowing users to virtually try out wing suit skydiving, bull riding, motocross or driving a Formula 1 car. Having a full 360 experience from the perspective of the operator is beyond exhilarating. Put on a headset and the experience goes through the roof.


Will 360 video save the music industry?

Many artists are joining the 360 video trend as a way to boost their content reach and generate repetitive consumption.  Artists find it hard to make people listen to the same tune over and over, unless they’re diehard fans. Viewers will watch a 360 video several times, as each viewing can be from a different perspective. The more a song gets stuck in your head, the more likely it is you’ll buy it on iTunes or listen to it through streaming services.

Bands like U2, Muse, Bjork, Taylor Swift, Foals, Maroon 5 are all seeing the benefit of 360 video. Rap artist Moses Sumney has even taken it one step further and partnered with Honda to promote the 2016 Civic in his latest video.


Music and branded content are a natural fit, and with more and more artists trying to find ways to monetize in this era of subscription-based streaming services and low royalties for artists, it makes sense.

There’s bound to be interesting times ahead as we try to figure out how else we can use 360 video experiences to drive marketing results.

What do you think? What is your experience with 360 videos? Are you considering using them in your content strategy? What other applications can you think of?

About Mike Wetmore:

Mike is a partner with Those Canadians Media Group, a company producing branded content and VR 360 stories for some of the biggest brands in the world. Our clients include UFC, Facebook, The International Olympic Committee, Export Development Canada, G-Adventures, Hockey Canada, Tennis Canada, Skate Canada, Rogers Sportsnet and many others. To learn more or get in touch, visit



2 thoughts on “Can 360 video drive more engagements than regular video ads?

  1. This is really timely for me, Mike. My department is looking at using virtual reality to promote what we do in corrections. This is all new territory for us, but it’s been a really interesting experience so far. We have the Vive headset and we’ve tested it out a few times. There is no comparison with regular videos – VR, 360 just blows them out of the water. My only concern is access. Not everyone has the capability of watching those videos – at least not yet. What are your thoughts on that?

  2. There are many aggregators including Vimeo, Youtube, Facebook, Littlstar, etc. all supporting 360 for both mobile and desktop usage. Obviously the best experience is through a headset, but watching on a desktop is pretty good too.



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