A 2020 Guide to Interactive Videos With 5 Stunning Examples
Unlike traditional, linear videos that you just sit back and watch, interactive videos require input from the viewer in some form or another.
What Are Interactive Videos?
Interactive videos are videos that allow the viewer to perform certain actions and interact with the video. Unlike traditional, linear videos that you just sit back and watch, interactive videos require input from the viewer in some form or another.
What are Interactive Videos Used For?
Interactive videos are largely used for marketing and entertainment purposes by brands around the world. However, there are a wide range of different purposes among the interactive videos available, so it’s not all just about marketing.
Here, we outline the main purposes of interactive videos and give you some examples.
One of the key reasons that company’s use interactive videos is to market a product or service that they provide. These videos can incorporate a whole host of features and mechanics and are primarily focused on showcasing the product in question.
Interactive video can be effective for this purpose because it adds a new element of excitement and inclusion. Instead of being talked at, like usual, the potential customer has the opportunity to become a part of the narrative, making them feel closer to the product and more likely to enquire about it.
For example, Honda’s “The Other Side” interactive video showcases a man picking up his children from school. However, when the viewer hits the ‘R’ key when prompted, they’re shown an alternate reality version where the father is a getaway driver.
Another example of product marketing in Maybelline. Their explainer video for how to apply massacre in order to get the perfect look for your individual style has the audience choose between certain options to get a personalised tutorial video.
Another popular reason for making an interactive video is to help portray the brand’s image. Brands aren’t just the products or services they provide. They’re the opinions that people have of them, the vibe they give off, what they stand for and who they are. These things can often be just as important in creating brand loyalty and trust as the products themselves.
Product marketing is important, but so is brand image, and there are some great examples of this from companies such as Asos, who want to be seen as a fun and vibrant company.
A little less well known and perhaps slightly underutilised is the public service announcement or raising awareness purposes. We live in a consumer’s world, so we’re used to most of the content we consume outside of mainstream entertainment being about products and companies, but that’s not always true of interactive videos.
Trying to get a message across about something as important as, say…CPR or a children’s heart foundation can be difficult, but interactive video makes it easier.
Take the Mended Little Hearts video, a heart-warming video with an animated little boy who is sick. He lives in a bleak, white world and is all alone. However, when you pledge money to the charity through the video, his environment improves. He gets a friend, colour and goes on adventures.
This kind of interactivity in videos can be used to both educate the viewer and ensure that they can really relate to and engage with the content and issues on an emotional level.
E-learning is just another way of saying online education, of which there are several different categories. The main one that we’re talking about, however, is the standard educational video that teaches someone how something works in a simple and easy to understand way by using interactive features to ingrain things more easily into their memories.
It’s a little-known fact that a lot of people learn by doing. We also know, thanks to years of research, that we learn better when we pay more attention, and we are known to pay more attention to interactive videos as they require input.
So, many learning institutes use interactive videos to try and teach material to students, and a lot of individuals also use interactive tools to help teach the general public about things as well, such as Nicky Page’s educational video on how neurons fire and how pathways are formed that cause ongoing anxiety, as well as how we can unlearn them.
Another way that interactive videos can be utilised is to enhance the user experience of people visiting your website. User experience is simply the name given to the overall experience a customer has with your brand, from visiting your website, ordering products, aftercare, delivery and customer service – they’re all part of the UX (user experience).
Brands such as Ted Baker have executed flawless examples of using interactive videos as a way to strengthen user experience and enhance the ease of use of their website. Their home page video, which features a man and a woman walking through a scene, wearing Ted Baker clothes, allows viewers to click on the garments to get the details, price and a link to purchase, shortening the sales funnel and making customer’s lives that much easier.
Let’s not forget about the entertainment value that interactive videos can have. Not all videos are used for marketing or awareness or even learning, some are purely there just to be enjoyed. Take Bandersnatch, for example, the interactive Black Mirror episode based on a choose your own adventure book. Or perhaps Into The Wild, A Netflix original where we explore different terrains with Bear Grylls, trying to survive and complete missions by choosing between options at key points.
Interactive videos can be creatively brilliant, thought inducing and thoroughly entertaining if done right, and the entertainment industry may be about ready to increase the use of interactive video in mainstream streaming shows in the future.
What are the Different Types of Interactive videos?
Interactive is a pretty broad term, so an ‘interactive’ video can be many things. The term is simply used to describe a video that the viewer interacts with in some way, rather than just watching it. Among the many different types of interactive video available, here are some of the most popular:
Choose Your Own Adventure
This is probably the most popular, as it’s the style featured in mainstream interactive videos such as Bandersnatch. It takes the concept that was used in book series for decades and transforms it into an interactive live action, or animated, masterpiece.
Choose your own adventure can mean many things. It’s not just necessarily a full-blown branched narrative with 20 different endings and 300 options. There are many, much simpler examples out there as well.
But, many of the choose your own adventure style videos have branched narrative, meaning that when you choose different options, the story changes. It’s an entertaining way to put across a message and to help to fully immerse the viewer into the world you’ve created.
Perspective Change/360-degree View
A popular option in the tourism industry, the 360-degree view videos allows viewers to watch what seems like linear content. However, the interactive nature means that viewers can actually look around from their vantage point to see the area from any and every angle.
A prime example is the BBC Scotland interactive video of Glen Coe, a gorgeous valley in the ruins of a super volcano that you can explore from every which way.
A subbranch of this is the VR experience interactive videos. VR interactive videos can be any style, but the simple and effective 360-degree first person view is a stunning classic as shown with Samsung’s marketing video for its Gear VR headset, which features a surfer riding the waves.
This is another big one in the world of interactive video. Gamification simple means turning the video into a kind of game. Many interactive videos have some game mechanics within them, meaning that they require the user to perform some kind of action that can be scored or incorrect.
Gamification increase the level of attention we pay to a piece of content, so it’s great in e-learning videos.
What makes a Good Interactive Video?
The trick to a great interactive video is in understand how it all works and who you’re making it for. Choosing the right style, graphics, setting and having a clear purpose are all essential parts of the journey to interactive video success.
The key to making great interactive videos can be broken down into five, easy to follow steps, as outlined below.
Step one: Know your purpose
Are you creating a video to market a product? Are you trying to teach people something? Do you want to portray a certain brand image or maybe improve the user experience for your brand and website? Whatever it is that you want to do, you’ll need to have a clearly defined purpose in order to decide exactly what kind of video you’d like to make.
Step two: Know your Audience
Equally as important as knowing your purpose, knowing your audience is the key to great engagement levels for your interactive video. Not all people respond to and enjoy the same things, so it’s important that you understand your target audience in order to know what they want, who they are and what they love.
Step three: Know your style
Once you know your purpose and audience, it will be easier to determine the style of interactive video you’d like to produce. Budget will be a factor at this stage, as choose your own adventure or first-person gamified videos can have higher production value.
You don’t have to choose just one style, many interactive videos mix and match styles such as 360-degree view, gamification and choose your own adventure – just make sure it’s right for your audience!
Step Four: Production
Production is important. Your video should be produced to suit the purpose as well as your audience. Ensure that your narrative is relatable to your target audience and that the graphics are on par with what they would expect.
Step Five: Distribution
Will you release you video on YouTube, on your website. How will you get it to people? Will you use social media? These are all important questions that you’ll need to find the answers to before releasing your interactive masterpiece.
What is the future of Interactive Video?
The future is bright for interactive video, and in just the last few years we’ve seen an influx of new and creative pieces being distributed across the internet by big and small brands alike, as well as by individuals.
We can’t say for sure, but interactive video in VR is set to see an increase in popularity, as well as the increase of interactive video in mainstream media such as on Netflix.
How Can you make your own Interactive Video?
There are several great tools out there to help you in your mission to make the best interactive video. At Cinema8, we can help you to create stunning videos that stand the test of time and reach your audience.
The perfect example of gamification meets e-learning, this interactive video, narrated by anxiety sufferer, Nicky Page, is a simple gamified tool that can help teach people about anxiety.
The personalised tutorial video from Maybelline asks questions to the viewer to ascertain what their perfect look is before giving them a tutorial on how to achieve that specific look. Eliminating the need for users to search for something specifically and allowing them to not have to know exactly what they want.
Mended Little Hearts
A fantastic example of using the emotional impact that interactive video can have in order to do something wonderful, this video changes the world of an animated child based on the amount of money you pledge. This gives people a real sense that they can have an impact on a child’s life.
The simple yet effective interactive video on the Ted Baker home page is a shining example of how to streamline the customer’s journey and make purchasing easier. The scene depicts a man and women, both dressed in Ted Baker clothing, with the ability to click on each item of clothing to be given the details and a link to buy.
Fun, quirky and simple, this effective demo video from Asos uses colour and vibrancy to not only showcase their range but to also showcase their nature as a brand.
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