YouTube launched its first 360-degree video ad yesterday, enabling advertisers to explore a format developed for virtual reality (VR) content, The Wall Street Journal reports. The new ad format allows YouTube users to drag their mouse or tilt their mobile device and view advertisements from all angles. YouTube’s new ads give advertisers the opportunity to probe the 360-degree video format before VR headsets hit the mass market at the end of this year.
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360-degree video ads give advertisers two distinct advantages over other traditional ad formats:
- The new format offers an immersive user experience. By creating a more encompassing and interactive ad, marketers are able to improve their storytelling and draw in consumers. Early experiments show that 360-degree videos perform better than standard digital video ad spots. For example, Coca-Cola’s 100th anniversary 360-degree video saw a 36% higher view-through rate than standard videos, according to 9to5 Google.
- 360-degree video offers a strong platform for mobile video advertising. Google, for one, is touting the video format’s benefits for mobile advertisers. The format is particularly suited for mobile because users tilt their device to pan through the video, creating engaging and interactive ad experience. We think this user interaction will lead to higher view-through rates than standard digital video ad spots.
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