Has technology caught up with reality? Moving beyond traditional video formats.

October 19, 2015Uncategorized

As marketers and, more specifically, content marketers, we are continually searching for new ways to tell stories.

Today, video content floods every online path and live-streaming has become common practice. Marketers need to consider looking beyond traditional video and utilising more innovative and interactive video formats to successfully engage their audience.

In a recent feature in Business Wire, Erika Trautman, founder and CEO of Rapt Media commented on the fact that “The marketplace is being flooded with content” and “brands need to go beyond pushing passive content.” The concept of interactive media has been around for some time, but only now are brands incorporating interactive video in their marketing strategies as a potential format.

What makes interactive video so engaging?

Ultimately, it comes down to choice. Instead of dictating the user’s experience and plotting their every reaction, interactive video positions the user in the driver’s seat of the narrative and creates the illusion of infinite possibility.

Rapt Media recently surveyed more than 2000 consumers in the US and UK about their online experiences, how they like to participate and where they would like to have more control and choice. The report found that 64 percent of consumers are more likely to spend more time watching video if they’re given more options to interact with it.*

Additionally, interactive video provides users with a multi-layered, hybrid visual and audio experience that is incomparable to submissive video content.

This emerging practice is already receiving significant attention from brands, music artists and agencies trying to home in on the opportunity for mass engagement. Here’s a look at some of the leading videos in this space.

Interactive videos with a social commentary

‘Bear 71’ by the National Film Board of Canada

bear 71Type of content: 3D map and narrative

Video URL: http://bear71.nfb.ca/#/bear71

The National Film Board (NFB) of Canada is a pioneer in interactive video production and its recent film ‘Bear 71’, created by Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison, is a multi-sensory unforgettable piece of digital content. ‘Bear 71’ uses webcam and video excerpts, interactive 3D maps and audio to construct this compelling experiential story. The film is narrated from the perspective of a grizzly bear in Canada’s Banff National Park and it sheds light on the detrimental effects of human interaction with wildlife in a way that only an interactive video could realise. Other popular NFB interactive films are ‘Welcome to Pine Point’ and ‘Soldier Brother’.

Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ by Interlude

rollingstonesType of content: Music video

Video URL: http://video.bobdylan.com/desktop.html

Created in 2013 by Israeli director Vania Heymann, Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ interactive film is a re-contextualised version of the original music video. The music video is presented in a television frame with interactive volume and channel settings. As viewers flick through the various channels, it becomes apparent that the film is a hybrid of generic television programs, such as news reports, soap operas and cooking shows, all modified to perform Bob Dylan’s song. This video is the perfect example of an historical piece of content that has been recreated to engage the contemporary digital user.



‘Seven Digital Deadly Sins’ by the NFB of Canada
sins2Type of content: Documentary

Video URL: http://sins.nfb.ca/

The Guardianthe NFB Digital Studio Vancouver have created a documentary-style interactive media platform with an assortment of video excerpts, online surveys, infographics and digital features for users to explore.




Interactive videos with brand focus

Ikea’s ‘Where Good Days Start’ by SFMB and MediaMonks

ikeaType of content: Product catalogue

Video URL: http://www.engoddagstarterher.no/video

Preview video: http://www.previews.nl/awards/ikea-where-good-days-start/

Multinational furnishing brand, IKEA has created an interactive real-life catalogue, ‘Where Good Days Start’, which not only advertises the relevant products, but also allows users to actively engage in the outcome of the film. The video follows a day in the life of a Scandinavian family and users have the option to pause the clip, move between rooms, select products, clean certain areas and more. This film has revolutionised the traditional product catalogue, and successfully humanised and justified engaging with e-commerce.


Revlon and Kate Spade by Interlude

revvyType of content: Beauty/fashion advertisement

Video URL: https://interlude.fm/home/videos#advertisement

Revlon and Kate Spade are examples of product-based brands that have teamed up with global interactive video expert Interlude to engage users in this innovative format. Both these fashion films appear as normal advertisements until various options appear on the screen for users to select either the music, clothing style, actions or other features, allowing them to determine the outcome.



All in all, what have we learnt about interactive video? That it works. It’s effective and engaging, and should be employed by more storytellers. Let us know what you think of interactive video in the comment box below.

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