The 360° Scene
In an era where start-ups come and go as often as the McDonald’s Monopoly game, experiential marketers have more resources available than ever to bridge the gap between their advertisements and end-users.
360° photos, for example, are relatively new technology that probably won’t ever go away. The concept of 360° photos is fairly simple and self-explanatory but their effects on the user’s experience can be profound when properly implemented. Take Corona’s classic beach scene, for example. Instead of limiting the user’s experience to one still image of a beach, a 360° photo unfetters the user’s experience by allowing him/her to pan up and down the beach and across the landscape in all directions.
Similarly, 360° videos have gained traction as they provide users with similar benefits of a 360° photo, plus live motion and authentic sound. From a user’s standpoint, this means I can now see and hear what it would be like to drink a beer on a Mexican beach, all from the comfort of my home. The same sort of payoff can be found in the emergence of live streams, which offer users a real-time account of an event that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to experience.
So where does one draw the line? At what point does the experience become “real enough” for the user, and at what point do we exhaust all plausible technologies for an enriching user experience?
Well, with Facebook’s recent addition of 360° photo and video capabilities, it’s probably safe to say that those are here for the long haul. And one can only expect entrepreneurs to keep testing new technologies until we can literally taste—and smell—a Corona while feeling and hearing the ocean breeze from the comfort of our suburban homes.
Here at Adcetera, we think the answer starts and ends with the user and finding new technologies that provide a sense of empowerment for him/her. 360° technology has taken off because it gives users the new freedom of…looking around? What seems rudimentary is actually pure genius. The added freedom of looking around in a 360° environment feels natural, not forced—genuine, not artificial. It is a refreshing way of experiencing new content. It is, in simplest terms, refreshing.