Interactive video technology is developing fast. Recent advances mean higher levels of interaction – for example enabling viewers to uncover details beyond the content they see.
It’s now possible to seamlessly integrate calls to action and hotspots within videos that viewers can touch, click or interact with – from switching camera views and uncovering real-time insights to allowing audiences to determine the video’s path and outcome. You can make a purchase without leaving the video player.
That’s exciting stuff, bringing with it great opportunities for both brands and retailers. Personalisation through better data, advanced pixel parameter tracking, more accessibility through media channels and better, faster tech means layers within layers of experience options grow each day, with equally impressive dwell time and conversion rates.
Applications for all this are limited only by our imaginations. You can now click on a colour in a moving video shot and have Dulux mix that exact colour of paint for you. A film trailer narrator might call out your name while you’re watching the clip. Potential Deloitte employees can watch recruitment videos where their answers to fun ultimatum questions change the course of the corporate video, helping them to discover whether they would fit in at Deloitte. The possibilities are endless. But as with all new things it’s important to not get carried away.
Brands are right to embrace this new tech, but they need to stay mindful of the fact that different audiences will interact with video technology in different ways. Luxury audiences, specifically, have higher expectations. Taking a mass-market approach doesn’t work for brands in that space. Success depends on subtle calls to action, telling a brand story and making the audience feel special.
Context and approach
We specialise in design-led interactivity tailored for a luxury / lifestyle audience. To get this right, you need to complement the offering rather than disrupt the audience experience. Strategic content planning based on a brand’s positioning should be the starting point. Identify winning emotional benefits and use the film, messaging and interactivity to amplify them. Encouraging purchase is fine, but it must be done at the right time and in the right way.
In the luxury market, it’s not enough to just have interactive without the video itself working for a luxury audience. That means video that is strategically right, and of very high quality in terms of how it is shot.
Most of the time people know when they are being sold to and they know when technology is being used because it’s a new fad. Even if the audience is less aware the brand messaging still won’t resonate enough just because of the use of ‘trendy tech’; instead the tech will take over the content. Context is key.
VR is a good parallel example. It came out, people thought it was interesting. It was thrown around in a million pitches. If you are building a campaign for a charity focusing on helping children affected by war, for example, using VR to transport the viewer to be walking through war torn Aleppo, makes sense, it has impact, it moves someone in a way that normal video couldn’t do. It has purpose. If, however you’re walking through a station on your way to work and you see a VR stand for a new fruit juice putting you on a beach, it feels weak. Tech just for the sake of it leads to fundamentally flawed, expensive executions that don’t work for the brand or the consumer.
Interactive video is no different. The benefit of choosing the end of your story, following different paths dependent on your choices, finding out more information can be very powerful. As can throwing up a booking or other purchase option, just when the audience wants it. Do it when they don’t and it’s just irritating. Careful strategy, user journey and audience behaviour analysis, alongside considered design, leads to igniting interest in the right way.
In the coming years the use of interactive video is set to grow and grow. There will be multiple waves of tech development that go beyond what we can imagine currently. Personalisation, higher targeting, and more relevance are all inevitable. Some of it will irritate, some will be totally wonderful.