Following on from the first blog in this series, which focused on the premises of POV, we are now exploring the recent birth of 360 video.

What is 360 video?

You might have seen them pop up on Facebook once in a while with the bold instructions “swipe to look around”, a clear indication that this is new territory for the majority of the population. This new technology allows the user to look at what they want to look at in a scene that is unfolding in front of them. This could be either from a static location or while moving, say for example, from someone’s point of view.

360 vision can be a natural progression on from traditional feature film POV because although the audience is still on the theme part rail tracks, they have the freedom to look at what they want, when they want. With this power offers them more information to make their own interpretations on their environment which can lead to their own emotional conclusions.

However, this power can increase the effectiveness of the message in interesting ways.

A warzone on a mobile phone.

Let’s say for example that an audience member was watching a 360 video of a marine in a warzone. Say that the marine got into the firefight and the scene got gory. The audience member has the choice to move the perspective away and they end up looking at the ground while the fighting happens. They are still watching the video and they can still hear the sounds.

Their emotions on the subject are heightened because they have made the conscious choice to look away from the situation, but the marine in the video can’t look away. Before they looked away they could empathise with the marine, but now they could feel an overwhelming sense of respect for said marine now that they know they don’t have the pleasure of merely looking away and going to make a cup of tea.

At the same time, if the audience member chose not to look at the ground and continued observing the action from a 360 POV, they might feel all kinds of emotions, most likely the same ones the marine is feeling.

Why are emotional responses important?

I have spoken a lot about emotional responses so far, mainly because that is what media does, and what video/film does extremely well. It provokes a response of some kind in an effort to bring forward an action that the marketers desire. Watch a Syrian refugee video, feel incredibly sad, make efforts to help refugees. It is about using emotional psychology to help your marketing, but done in such a way that is subtle and gently pushes the audience along to reach the desired conclusion on their own.

With 360 videos becoming more popular and easily shareable on social media, it would be somewhat foolish for campaign companies that to incorporate such powerful digital techniques/technology into their marketing campaigns. Adopt this technology now and you’ll be ready for the next big jump when it becomes an inevitable commercial success, virtual reality.

Interested in experimenting with 360? Or maybe you fancy a debate over tea or social media? Get in touch... I don't bite!

Rob is our passionate Digital Executive at Social Change UK!