It may be a shock to hear this next line, but The New York Times mailed a Google Cardboard headset to more than 1 million print subscribers of their Sunday paper. More than 600,000 downloaded the company’s own virtual reality app. They will be mailing another 300,000 headsets to advertise a film that allows people to explore Pluto (utilizing video from NASA New Horizons space shuttle).
Some have called this move to virtual reality or 360 video an “interesting conversation.” But the potential is amazing. Imagine taking a tour of a college campus or a birth center without ever having to go into the facility. The future is immersion.
Second Screen Change
There is another change happening in the video world format–vertical video. For all time, video has been horizontal. Now, with the success of Snapchat, vertical video may be gaining support. The reason for the movement to a tall format is the mobile phone. It is easier to hold your phone vertically rather than horizontally. Snapchat’s popularity is causing many video quadrants to begin experimenting with the approach.
It may require longer shoots to capture all the video, just as different outlets have led to shooting multiple takes to fit all outlets’ optimized lengths, and you may be forced to shoot for both formats. The lighting and set-up would need to change for each scene, but the payoff could be very positive in the digital space.
Just count this as more disruption in the media world, but remember, none of these disruptions subtract from the marketing equation. They are all additive.