Interactive Video Ad: How To

Interactive video ads are increasingly being deployed by marketers looking to deepen engagement with users and enable more Call-to-Actions.  This article provides a brief overview on different interactive video ad features, with an emphasis on how marketers can (and should) use 360° video in their interactive video ad arsenal.

What is an interactive video ad?

If you watch Hulu, prior to an episode beginning, you may have been asked how you’d like to view your chosen content: “Interact with our sponsor for 30 seconds (and watch the rest of your content ad-free)” or “Continue with several commercial breaks”.

interactive video ad hulu

It’s easy to guess which is most appealing to users. But, it’s also easy to guess which is most appealing to sponsors. Audiences are opting-in to interacting with branded content. That means higher engagement, a positive experience with a brand, and a more active user, a trifecta of a solution.

Interactive video ads come in various forms. A marketer should choose the right format based on the campaign goal at hand: Generating leads? Collecting customer preference data? Driving website traffic?

  • 360° interactive video: allows users to click and drag around a branded scene or move their phone to explore; enables discovery of hotspots in a given scene that could incorporate various CTAs (e.g., click to buy, visit website, visit another branded content)
  • Survey-based interaction: gives users an option to voice their preferences and unlock an ad experience (e.g., automobile choice, makeup tutorial preference, etc.)
  • Playable ads: taps into gamification by delivering a branded, delightful experience, driving up view time and boosting brand affinity

Interactive video ads in 360°: How To

The first format listed above, 360° interactive video ads, has been proven to lift engagement. The 360° format breaks the confines of the rectangular screen and encourages an audience to discover content, actively learning more about a brand or experiencing the brand’s content in a more immersive fashion.

interactive video ad hotspots

The campaign goal should strongly influence the creative of an interactive video ad. If the goal is to increase brand affinity, consider a more experiential 360° video that is more story-based. If the goal is to drum up sign-ups, consider creating a narrative that explains why the customer should sign-up and create an explicit CTA. Fit for purpose is critical. The 360° format alone will not achieve a campaign’s goals without marrying with the right creative.

Once a campaign goal has been defined and footage has been captured and edited, it’s time to build in interactive hotspots. Consider where in the video hotspots should be located and what they should direct to. For example, Fleming’s Steakhouse created an interactive 360° video ad of its restaurant exterior. One of the featured hotspots was placed on a menu. Clicking it would launch the online menu with a CTA to book a reservation.

Next is to consider distribution. Most users access their content on mobile, so having a solid 360° mobile distribution solution is critical to reach a desired audience. (OmniVirt solves this–read why here).

To get started with creating interactive video ads, watch this tutorial.

Create an account or contact us to get started with your interactive 360° video ads.