Immersive Ads Don’t Always Connect: Study

Immersive Video Ads produced in 360-degree format deliver some benefits over standard fare, but they also present some challenges, a new study focused on this emerging market found.

Ads delivered in the 360-degree format were seen as 28% more entertaining than standard advertisements, and also scored higher with respect to whether they were innovative or engaging, YuMe, Magna and IPG found in a study called The 360° Effect: Understanding Immersive Video.

The study, based on an online panel of more than 2,100 consumers using a mix of devices capable of supporting 360-degree video (PCs, smartphones and compatible VR headsets), tested content in that format as well as in standard format (non-360, for benchmarking) from three brands — BMW, Royal Caribbean and PBS.

Those surveyed scored “fun” (at 55%) as the top reason to engage with VR ads, while 45% said it was because they perceived it to be appealing, and 29% said they would engage because they thought it would be something new to them.

A big barrier to 360-degree ads appears to be education, as 38% of respondents said they didn’t realize they could manipulate the video and alter their point of view.

Though VR ads scored well in the entertainment and engagement area, the study also found that 360-degree video ads failed to make a strong connection between the video and the brand, as there was less unaided and aided recall when compared to ads in standard formats. The study concluded that the discrepancy is in part due to the inherent distractions that can come with 360-degree content, as it provides more opportunities for the viewer to look around.