PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew successfully leveraged a 360-degree video teaser to promote and drive engagement to a more full-fledged virtual reality experience, “The Professor Presents: #GotHandles,” per news released today and made available to Marketing Dive in advance. The campaign was created with Immersv and the soft drink brand’s ad agency OMD.
The effort drove a 63% video completion rate and a 22% post-video clickthrough rate, according to a release. Innovid’s 2016 Global Video Benchmarks report found the average clickthrough for mobile video ad campaigns was usually just 1%. The campaign also outperformed the Immersv network average of 15% clickthrough rates by 32%.
The ad creative is focused Grayson Boucher, also known as “The Professor” for his street basketball skills, allowing viewers to go head-to-head with him on the court. With the 360-degree teaser video, users can follow Boucher around as he challenges them and introduces his teammates, who show off their skills. It ends with a plug for the full VR #GotHandles experience, which is available on Facebook’s Oculus, HTC Vive and Google’s Daydream platforms.
Mountain Dew’s effort here demonstrates how marketers can use accessible immersive technology — 360-degree video is often considered a sort of “VR-lite” — to pique interest for more advanced and technologically-complex brand experiences. Videos like the #GotHandles teaser are easily viewable via mobile phones and are free to watch on platforms like YouTube. As consumers shy away from pricey and often cumbersome VR headsets, campaigns like Mountain Dew’s points to the ways in which brands might stir early interest and engagement that could translate to true adopters further down the road.
One element of the video that likely helped deliver on the high completion and clickthrough rates stems from its direction, where viewers are forced to follow Boucher or otherwise be left staring at a rack of basketballs. By not allowing the user to become passive, the content commands attention before ever making a call-to-action.
As general interest in true VR cools amid growing investments in sister technologies like augmented reality, many marketers and platforms like YouTube and Facebook are eyeing 360-degree as an appealing and often less costly alternative. In April last year, Liberty Mutual Insurance released a 360-degree video ad on Facebook that received more than 4.4 million views in the first month after launch. More recently, Farmers Insurance ran a campaign playing on Netflix’s “Stranger Things” with a 360-degree virtual haunted house experience that let viewers explore some of the company’s more unusual insurance claims.