Hilton's first 360 video ad puts mobile viewers in Barbados

Tourism industry remains bullish on sales potential of VR technology

Hilton Hotels & Resorts has debuted a 360-degree mobile video ad that offers viewers a virtual vacation at Hilton Barbados. 

Created in partnership with OMD and Opera Mediaworks, Hilton’s 360-degree interactive ad is designed to immerse viewers into the environment that comes with a stay at Hilton. The ad starts with a traditional 15-second video, and is followed by an end card that gives viewers the option to tap into an alternating sequence of six 360-degree scenes. Users can check out the view from a hotel room, watch vacationers swimming in the ocean, admire a coral reef surrounded by schools of fish and preview stretches of the beach and ocean. Instead of swiping or tapping the screen, users can explore the videos by tilting or rotating their devices. 

Opera Mediaworks | OMD | Hilton Hotels & Resorts | 360° Video from Opera Mediaworks on Vimeo.

Users can also tap the "Book Now" button below the 360 video in the end card, which will bring them to a screen where they can search hotels and make reservations. "These virtual reality moments are what drive travelers to book their dream vacation, right then and there," said Kyle Zvacek, Global Account Director at OMD. 

"Hilton joins a long line of hotels and tourism companies using 360 video or virtual reality to create immersive experiences for potential guests, including including Marriott Hotels, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and the Royal Garden Hotel  in London." 
"This marks Opera Mediaworks first 360 video campaign, according to Mike Owen, Opera Mediaworks’ EVP of Sales for North America."
Owen says allowing users  to opt into the experience was important, because past campaigns suggest viewers tend to stay longer when given the choice. "When consumers opt in we are seeing that engagement rates are three times the amount," he said about past campaigns. 

The ad is part of a larger campaign called "Our Stage, Your Story," which asks vacationers to craft their own memorable stories in the form of "vision boards" on Hilton’s website. Anyone can upload their Facebook photos or choose from those provided to make a collage that celebrates a journey. The site also offers how-to videos for travelers such as "How to drink wine like a sommelier," and travel inspiration from professional dancer Derek Hough. 

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