RYOT/American Family Insurance Develop First-of-Its-Kind 360° Video Program

Jun 19 2017

RYOT/American Family Insurance Develop First-of-Its-Kind 360° Video Program

Digital advertising is continuously evolving to adapt to consumers behaviors and interests. In light of this ever changing landscape, 360 video has emerged to enhance the consumer experience, enabling viewers to watch a scene within the content in any direction the consumer chooses.  Its immersive nature allows viewers to be part of the video experience and to engage as if they are physically present at the scene. This format has gained increased popularity among consumers as 40% of millennials have watched some form of 360 video within the last six months[1].  Naturally, marketers have been exploring investing in this space, thereby allowing consumers a more immersive experience with their brand. As much as 46% of marketing professionals have sought to invest in 360 video advertising this year[2].

With increased interest coming from marketers, AOL has set out to build the largest 360 video platform in the world for both advertisers and publishers, focusing on award winning content, cutting-edge video player technology and ad formats, as well as distribution across AOL’s vast network. Through the acquisition of RYOT Studio, we have been able to fully unlock the potential of 360 video as a platform to evoke empathy and create more personal, immersive user experiences.

In September of last year, American Family Insurance and AOL partnered to design and create a first-of-its-kind 360-degree branded video series that celebrated and recognized the men and women who relentlessly pursued their dreams and achieved happiness as a result of being fearless.  “At American Family Insurance, we’re always on the lookout for meaningful ways to lift up, celebrate and shine a light on dreamers – people united by an unwavering passion, determination and drive for pursuing their dreams. Using immersive 360° video and virtual reality in partnership with AOL, allowed us to do just that, all the while putting consumers in control of the viewing experience” said Emily Adler, Media Manager at American Family Insurance. Together we created three 360 videos, which highlighted the incredible and inspiring stories of three fearless dreamers with incredible courage. The goal for American Family Insurance was to understand how consumers feel about the experience and how viewing the content impacted consumers’ perception of their brand.

In order to measure the goals of this campaign, we partnered with Nielsen to hone in on consumers’ experiences and understand how the content and the experience worked together to increase various brand impact measures. The partnership with Nielsen allowed us to walk respondents through the program, field live interviews and have them take a pre/post questionnaire to evaluate their opinions.  To gain the greatest breadth and depth of insights into 360 video, a set of respondents were exposed to either 360 video or a standard flat video across desktop, smartphone, and a virtual reality headset. For the standard flat video, we leveraged our video teams to recreate the 360 video in a standard environment that removed the free flowing element and focused on the key visuals.  The findings validated the success of this campaign. 

Here are 4 things we’ve learned when running marketing initiatives on 360 video:

  1. Consumers Love It:  In our in-live interviews the overwhelming majority of respondents found the immersive nature of the format to be “really cool” and “very interactive”.  One respondent stated, “because of my disability I don’t have any peripheral vision.  So being able to turn my head and see what’s going on to the left and right of me really helped out a lot.  It was amazing”.  Another respondent indicated that they felt like they were “right there in the room with whoever is talking”
  2. 360 Video Can Drive Incremental Impact for your Brand:  360 video allowed consumers to have control of their experience when consuming content, which made them feel like they learned something new and obtained practical information. As a result of respondents being more engaged with 360 content, we saw lifts in brand affinity.
    1. Consumers were 6% more likely to say they intended to view more 360 video content in the future than they were for flat video.
    2. 360 video significantly outperformed flat (standard) video, driving 38% higher lift in  brand affinity.

content attributes chart

*Statistical significance at 90% confidence level

  1. 360 Content Is Very Engaging
    1. The majority of consumers indicated that they felt very engaged with the content when viewing it through a 360 setting and were more likely to view similar types of content in the future.
      1. 81% of respondents felt the content to be engaging, while over 2 in 3 respondents believed the videos to be unique.
      2. Nearly 8 in 10 respondents (78%) rating the content highly (excellent/very good),  with 70% expressing their desire to view similar content again in the future.
  2. Brand Recall Is Strong:  Nearly all respondents (94%) were able to properly identify American Family Insurance as the sponsor of the videos.

360 video is still developing and finding its place in the digital landscape as a new format - but the potential and upside are massive. Consumers love 360-degree content, and when brands partner with award-winning content creators, the results speak for themselves. Premium video matters and 360 video as a format succeeds in delivering incremental value over standard video. As we saw with this campaign, 360 video generated the strongest improvement in brand affinity and garnered the highest content ratings and intent to view similar content in the future.  Marketers should take note and embrace this emerging format.

More information and videos from the campaign can be seen herehttps://www.ryot.org/stories/fearless-dreamers

About RYOT Studio:
RYOT Studio is a state of the art content studio that creates award winning native and branded experiences. Drawing inspiration from our beloved consumer brands including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, Autoblog, AOL.com, MSN.com and Xbox, we build data-driven storytelling experiences that give marketer’s an authentic voice and emotional connection with our 500M consumers worldwide.

We offer content solutions across a variety of text, visual and multi-media formats and activate across the Verizon ecosystem to distribute these solutions at scale. We specialize in immersive technology and emerging mediums including 360, VR, AR and mixed reality. Our promise to our consumers, our publishers and our clients is to deliver meaningful experiences that happen only when data, creativity and technology intersect.

For more information about RYOT Studio please reach out to partnerships@ryotstudio.com

[1] AOL’s Proprietary survey panel Omnibus 11/2016

[2] eMarketer, 4/2017

Tags: RYOT, Branded Content, Branded Video