On the heels of its vertical video announcement, creative management platform Flite said it launched an ad unit for 360-degree videos and images, which includes the ability to personalize ads for consumers.
Likening it to Facebook 360 or YouTube 360 video, the brand said Flite 360° supports video or images for 360-degree viewing and adds interactive elements and personalization from the Flite platform.
In other words, users upload existing 360-degree videos or images into the Flite console and use Flite’s Creative Studio to create multiple versions of an ad and match those ads to consumers based upon factors like geolocation, demographics, income, psychographics or “however they are able to slice their data,” a rep said in an email.
This, in theory, would enable a hotel brand to offer 360-degree tours of destinations and automotive manufacturers to offer 360-degree tours of car interiors in ads that are personalized for consumers in mobile or desktop experiences, as well as traditional display ads.
Flite said it is offering Flite 360° to “a select group of beta partners,” but the rep would not disclose who it is working with. And when asked if these ad units are live in any mobile or desktop experiences, the rep said, “This product JUST launched and thus I don’t have any examples to share.”
According to Greg Jarboe, president of content marketing agency SEO-PR, Flite is building on top of YouTube 360 and Facebook 360, “so this is like a very short person standing on the shoulders of giants and saying they can see farther than anyone else.”
Jarboe conceded these ad formats could be useful, but noted the real challenge to making a compelling 360-degree ad is finding something consumers want to see in 360.
“This might include a new home, where a real estate agent wants to show prospective buyers what it looks like. It could work for a hotel chain — unless all of their rooms are cookie-cutter rooms,” Jarboe said. “So, the location is more important than the ad format. Nevertheless, I have stayed at the Doubleday Inn on the Gettysburg battlefield and can imagine a use for a 360-degree ad to show the uniqueness of the place.”
For his part, Luke Watson, platforms expert at live-streaming network Roker Media, said this makes perfect sense for a brand like Expedia.
“Flite’s ability to brand, personalize and build interactive elements into 360 content is a tremendous value-add to advertisers, considering their need for a call-to-action and the limited tools on the market tailored to 360 content,” Watson said. “In a crowded market and an ADD world, 360-degree content is a fun, interactive way to command attention.”