Virtual Reality video (VR) is revolutionising digital marketing. However, in an industry that is only just emerging, marketers are opting for 360-degree videos to offer consumers an immersive experience.
Major players in the non-profit space have already adopted VR and 360-video to drive donations, UNICEF, Oxfam and PETA among them. A study performed by Nielsen found higher-income professionals are willing to give to charities they care about and that 360-video was particularly effective at projecting charity brands into the thoughts of consumers.
Harry Brisson, the Director of Lab Research at Nielsen said:
“...we took on this study to uncover answers to three questions...to understand the charitable behavior profile of VR audiences, the effectiveness of 360 videos compared to more traditional forms of advertising, and the content characteristics that drive donations and other desirable measures for charities.”
The results of the study revealed that 84% of the participants were able to recall the charity brand across tested content whereas only 53% could remember the charity from traditional ads.
Furthermore, a higher percentage of participants confirmed they would be more likely to donate to charities, volunteer at a non-profit and contact government representatives after viewing 360-videos.
Another promising metric to emerge from the survey was 51% of participants said they would be more likely to recommend a charity brand after watching the VR footage. Only 42% said they would make a recommendation after being exposed to other conventional methods of advertising.
Popularity of VR technology
This is not the first time Nielsen has taken an active interest in VR analysis. Last year, the data information company revealed one in four US consumers between the ages of 18 and 54 said they are likely to use VR in 2018. A similar pattern is emerging in the UK with consumers choosing to in VR headsets more than wearables and tablets.
Epic Foundation, is actively involved in connecting people with important projects. The company recently launched #Epic360 which features a series of short VR films highlighting the impact of 12 youth-focused organisations. The intention of the project is to change how non-profit organisations use 360 videos to communicate their brand.
Other charities have been making positive progress with 360 videos as well. For inspiration, check out how these recognised charities are adopting 360-video:
- Too Much Information Campaign: The National Autistic Society
- Step Into Our Boots: RNLI
- 360 Lab Tour: Cancer Research
- We Listen: Samaritans
NPO marketers looking for platforms to host 360 videos will not be disappointed either. Digital giants YouTube and Facebook have already provided support for 360-degree videos. Last year, Vimeo also announced they are opening up their platforms to 360-degree video makers.
360-degree video is seen as a pre-cursor to virtual reality. VR’s killer product may not have arrived just yet, but with an industry that has more than $2bn invested in it already, and projected to be worth $25bn by 2021, 2018 is expected to be the year when VR makes a massive push. Charities that are already on board with emerging technologies are one step ahead of the game.