- The NowThis x Samsung Gear 360 campaign was the most-viewed branded-content campaign on Facebook this year, making NowThis the top 360-degree video publisher on the social platform with more than 161.5 million views, according to a press release by parent company Group Nine Media shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The campaign launched in June and featured 23 videos that immersed social media viewers in places like Venice and Kenya through Samsung's Gear 360 camera. It saw 845 million social impressions, 1.6 million engagements and 184,000 shares on Facebook alone.
- On average, the videos received 134x more views than the average 360-degree video on Facebook. Eighteen NowThis videos have been featured on YouTube's Best of VR Portal, per the release.
As audiences are demonstrating a responsiveness to social video in recent years, marketers are increasingly looking to highly shareable 360-degree experiences to deliver an immersive message and tell a visually compelling story. Considered a type of virtual reality (VR), 360-degree videos help brands create an emotional connection with consumers because they encourage interaction and make the user feel as if they're actually in the scene.
Most marketers have realized the value of video as offering one of the best returns on investment in getting their message out and engaging mobile users. Research by Magisto found that 60% of businesses spend 25% of their marketing budgets on video, and they were expected to spend $135 billion on online video in 2017, nearly 2x as much as what they planned to spend on TV spots.
PepsiCo's Mountain Dew recently used a 360-degree video teaser to promote and drive engagement for its VR experience "The Professor Presents: #GotHandles," where viewers could go head-to-head with Grayson Boucher, known as "The Professor" for his street basketball skills. The campaign had a 63% video completion rate and a 22% post-video click-through rate.
Brands aren't the only ones using this immersive video format to spread a message. Earlier in December, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning used a 360-degree video to warn against drunk driving and saw an 88% video completion rate, which is 40% higher than the industry average. The ad showed people at a bar and prompted viewers to consider that one of the bar patrons will drive home drunk and accidentally kill a family.
NowThis will likely continue its success with 360-degree video on Facebook in 2018 as it expands its content library with the addition new verticals, which now number in the double digits. Over the past few months, the social video brand launched NowThis Food, which will feature Campbell Soup Company-branded video content, and NowThis Money, a personal finance channel in partnership with Chase.