- American Family Insurance (AFI) and media agency Mindshare are partnering with AOL to tell inspirational stories using virtual reality (VR) and 360 degree video, the companies said in a release.
- The campaign leverages AOL’s Partner Studio and HuffPost RYOT for a dedicated editorial platform and includes a three-part branded video series, new 360 degree video ads and AOL research around new metrics for 360 and VR video engagement.
- The program is an important step for AOL as it looks to build a leading content creation platform for brands.
Marketers have always been storytellers, and they should be excited by the potential of 360 video and VR to create more immersive experiences for consumers, something that could enhance the ability to build brand awareness and purchase consideration.
Publishers are also flocking to the new immersive formats as another way to monetize their digital content. Just last week, Time Inc. unveiled a new VR platform. Fox Sports recently broadcast a college football game live through VR.
As the first to tap into AOL’s full suite of new solutions and services, AFI has created a multi-faceted campaign that includes a dedicated editorial platform on The Huffington Post designed to celebrate, reward and recognize individuals who are pursuing their dreams. The theme of pursing your dreams extends into 360 video via a three-part branded series that can be viewed across screens, including the HuffPost RYOT app and VR headsets. New 360 video ads will appear on desktop and mobile in pre-roll, outstream, interstitial and expandable ad formats.
The campaign is an example of how AOL is looking to become a bigger player in digital marketing and take on Google and Facebook in terms of reach as well as relevance to advertisers.
While AOL parent company Verizon clearly views digital content as important to its future, the telecommunications company’s pursuit of Yahoo looks like it could go sour in light of the recent news about the latter’s massive data breach.