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How 360-degree interactive videos are driving Shell to ‘pimp up’ its marketing

Shell is a brand forged on innovation but getting that to land consistently in the minds of motor sport fans can be tricky, which is why its banking on interactive 360 videos to take its brand messaging up a gear.

The oil business has been testing the video format through its long-standing tie-up with Ferrari, giving car lovers a virtual tour of the brand’s Formula One team’s pit garage. Fans can move rotate the video as if they’re looking around the garage to explore various aspects of the cars and equipment used by Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. It’s a mechanic the brand will use for further interactive videos.

“The way we developed the site allows us to ‘change the wallpaper’ to bring to life completely different interactive experiences and scale it for multiple purposes,” said Fiona Low, digital marketing manager at Shell.

The likeliest developments will be for the other motorsports the brand has strong ties to such as MotoGP, WEC, DTM and Nascar. Beyond this, Low revealed the business is thinking about how 360-degree videos could work for its B2B marketing to “pimp up the way we demonstrate how Shell’s industrial lubricants provide greater efficiency, performance and machine or engine life”.

“Enabling prospects and customers to virtually walk the floors of a print factory or construction site and see solutions in action,” she explained further. “Much more interesting and engaging than a white paper don't you think?”

That appetite for more interactive and consequently engaging videos is being fuelled by the latest additions to the advertising arsenals of Google and Facebook in recent months. Both have introduced 360-degree ads with brands such as Renault and Nescafe among the early adopters for Facebook’s offering.

Looking forward, Low said 2016 will be a year of “2015’s trends going mainstream”. Brands are going to “get smarter about how they broadcast messages via programmatic and media planning, meaning efficiencies will be under the spotlight with increasing significance”.

“This will have a knock on effect to bring CRM, paid media and content planning closer than ever before,” she added. “Connected experiences will continue to be experimented with, bringing additional layers of engagement and continuity across devices at sporting events, while you're driving, shopping, working out or at home.”

Featured by The Drum