YouTube just added 360-degree functionality to its TrueView ads, and Budweiser tried out the new feature for its “Whatever USA” campaign. The 360-degree feature enables users to watch a video from any chosen angle by dragging the mouse along directional arrows to change the view. YouTube first debuted the 360-degree videos in March; now advertisers can bring that experience to TrueView ads, with the intent of fully engaging mobile consumers. Over half of YouTube’s views are now accessed from mobile devices.
According to The Wall Street Journal, adding 360-views is just the latest effort YouTube has made to increase the appeal of TrueView ads; the company also recently added interactive cards and shopping elements. “360 video ads are truly a mobile-first video ad product,” said JR Futrell, YouTube ads product manager.
Budweiser was the first to incorporate 360 video in TrueView ads, for its “Whatever USA” campaign shot on Catalina Island. VR production company Jaunt created three videos: one that allows users to follow a welcome parade, another at an electric music concert among thousands of partygoers, and a third spot that lets users navigate the floor of a 1920s-themed party.
Coca-Cola Mexico and Stella Artois UK have also used the 360 video feature in recent campaigns.
WSJ says, “the 360-degree video ads are the latest example of how brands are embracing technology to make storytelling better.”
“We’ve really designed them to help advertisers showcase their digital showrooms,” Futrell adds.
Although TrueView ads have lower cost-per-click rates because “viewers are not considered as close to a purchase as users who search for products on Google,” company execs report that, “user engagement on YouTube and viewership of TrueView ads are on the rise.”