Google just announced the launch of 360 degree video ads on YouTube.
Google introduced 360-degree videos on YouTube back in March. From the viewer's perspective, they were particularly cool when viewed on Android, as you could move your phone around to alter the perspective. You could use your mouse to drag it around on the desktop, but it just wasn't the same. Google added support to iOS as well as its Cardboard virtual reality platform in May.
In an announcement on the AdWords blog, YouTube Ads product manager JR Futrell says:
We’re thrilled that as soon as the ability to create 360 video became available to YouTube creators, brands immediately began experimenting with this new tool to deliver engrossing consumer experiences. Since then, we’ve seen stunning videos from Coca-Cola, Stella Artois and Nike, among others (check them out onCardboard!). And for those videos that were run as ads, campaign results have been impressive: for instance, Coca-Cola’s 360 video celebrating the 100th anniversary of their iconic bottle design outperformed standard in-stream video ad view-through rates by 36%.
And today, Bud Light becomes the first advertiser in the US to launch 360 video running in TrueView ads. The series of ads feature three different events from Whatever, USA – Bud Light’s takeover of Catalina Island. The immersive ads drop you right in the middle of the action, including a performance by Diplo, the welcome parade, and the “Turn of An Era” 1920’s themed party.
The ads are compatible with YouTube HTML5 Rich Media Mastheads and TrueView in-stream and in-display units.
Special cameras are required for creating the videos. Models include Ricoh Theta, Kodak SP360, Giroptic 360cam, and IC Real Tech Allie, all of which are already available or coming soon.
Here's an example from Bud Light:
YouTube has step-by-step instructions for uploading 360 degree videos here.
360 degree video ads on Facebook are happening as well as the social network continues to position itself closer and closer to YouTube. Facebook also announced 360 degree videos for the News Feed at its F8 conference in March. Last month, they debuted 360 degree views in mobile ads at Cannes Lions.