The 360-degree video ads, however, had a higher click-through rate, suggesting that once consumers saw the initial video, they continued to the extended cut.
Columbia also found that the spherical video ads invited more interaction, with consumers taking advantage of the video’s 360-degree properties by tilting the screen for a full view of the slopes.
They also shared in an unexpected way.
“Looking at the data, we found a lot of folks who encountered the 360-degree video ad shared it, but didn’t watch it all the way through,” Green said. “We saw third-party messaging apps (like WhatsApp and iOS messenger) drive more views of the long-form content than the actual targeted ads themselves.”
As a result, the full-length 360-degree videos earned a 46% higher view count than the standard full-length video because users were copying and pasting URLs to share with friends on third-party platforms.
Overall, earned actions, such as “subscribes” and views on other videos, were 41% higher than the standard video ads.
Although the novelty of the channel is certainly a contributing factor to this engagement, Columbia recognizes that not every video ad will be suitable for the 360-degree treatment.
Green sees 360-degree video as a precursor to VR marketing tests, meaning the tech is finally moving from the CES environ to actual ad budgets. But there’s one caveat.
“If we’re not thoughtful about the distribution and delivery of this immersive content and who the recipient is, they may not be prepared for it or even want to see it,” Green said. “Overall, we’re happy with the results here. We saw more follow-on action, engagement and activity from the 360 segment than we did from the flat.”