Watching your first 360 video is the equivalent of getting your first smartphone—it completely changes the user experience.

Video is one of the most effective ways to engage your audience on social—on Facebook, for example, users watch 100 million hours every day.

And 360 video doesn’t disappoint. Brands testing out this new format have shown that you can tell compelling stories that are exciting and immersive.

7 brands getting creative with 360 video

1. Thomson Holidays shows off Iceland’s northern lights

There are amazing sights to see in Iceland—and the northern lights definitely top the list. In this 360 video, travel operator Thomson Holidays beautifully captures the changing the light and movement of Iceland’s aurora borealis. You can change your view to see different parts of the sky, just as you would in-person.

By pairing this video with a relevant daily hashtag (#TravelTuesday) and adding a link to their website, Thomson Holidays makes it easy interested travelers to book a vacation. In three months the video gained 438,000 views, 4,600 likes, and 1,500 comments.

2. Oreo lets viewers explore the world that inspired Filled Cupcake Flavored Oreo Cookies

In this 360 video, Oreo creates an interactive world to give viewers a behind-the-scenes ‘tour’ of the inspiration behind its new cookie flavor. This fun, whimsical video shows that an Oreo cupcake cookie is everything you dream it would be—a delicious, chocolatey, cream-filled treat.

The “Wonder Vault,” a fantasy factory created by Oreo, combines the visuals of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory with Candyland’s bright landscapes. It’s an immersive video aimed at giving viewers of all ages a sense of wonder about their products. The video had over 3 million views and more than 2,000 likes after one year.

3. Samsung takes viewers on a snowboarding adventure

As part of their Gear VR launch, Samsung posted a snowboarding video that puts viewers right in the middle of the action. With a cast of professional snowboarders, a stunning location in Laax, and awesome music, it’s hard not to rewatch this video again and again. Each time, you get a new angle with a different snowboarder and catch a different part of the scenery.

While the 360 video isn’t the same as the virtual reality gear they’re promoting, it shows the potential of their product by offering an immersive experience. If you’d like to get some behind-the-scenes info on how they shot the video, you can read their blog post. With over 800,000 views and an extremely talented cast, you’ll want to.

4. BMW UK gives their audience the chance to experience the drive

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a passenger in a race car, BMW’s 360 video takes you one step closer to making that a reality. These videos capture the thrill of riding at a speed that would normally cost you a hefty ticket.

Posted on BMW UK’s dedicated Facebook page for “enthusiasts, fans, and drivers,” the brand has created the perfect content piece. It’s a video for people that already know and love their brand—and who would love a more in-depth experience of the cars BMW offers. The video gained over 3.5 million views, 11,000 likes, and over 2,000 shares in only two months.

5. Expedia entices viewers to explore Australia

Expedia’s video taps into the adventurer in all of us. You’re immediately drawn in with the opening lines, “How far would you go for the things you love?” The poetic monologue that follows (and amazing voice actor) pairs beautifully with the landscapes of Australia. With the 360 camera you can get different perspectives on mountaintops, deserts, and ocean dives.

Expedia’s partnership with Tourism Australia is super effective. They both benefit from trying out this new medium and entice Expedia customers to travel by showcasing the beauty of Australia. It’s paid off, with over 3.4 million views and over 700 shares in eight months.

6. Warner Bros takes audiences inside a haunted house

Warner Bros takes its movie trailer for The Conjuring 2 to the next level. As soon as the 360 video begins, you enter a virtual house with creepy music and horrifying sounds in the background. All you can do is keep frantically swivelling around—as you might do in a real-life haunted house.

It’s super interactive and you’re constantly trying to figure out what’s going to happen next. In nine months, it garnered over 8.4 million views and over 27,000 shares—not bad buzz for an upcoming movie.

7. George at Asda takes viewers on an Easter egg-filled tour

To drum up excitement around supermarket chain Asda’s new spring/summer collection, George at Asda, the brand ran a contest using 360 video. In the contest, Asda hid pieces of content (called “Easter eggs”) for the audience to find in a series of videos. The first person to find them all won a voucher to the store.

The videos are bright and fun, with an upbeat U.K. blogger taking you through the home. They received almost 1 million views on YouTube in less than a year.

There’s a lot of opportunity with 360 video. For brands that have taken a risk and tried out new creative tactics, it’s paid off in a big way.

Get inspiration for your social videos by following the example of these brands.

Social media moves fast and keeping up with the rate of change—new features and shifting best practices—can be tough. Learn the fundamental social media marketing skills you need to stay ahead of the pack with free training from Hootsuite Academy.

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