11 tips for creating a successful and engaging interactive video


This article was originally published by The Next Web on July 13, 2014. 

Between Pharrell’s “Happy” music video and the video for Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” interactive video ) is undoubtedly hot this year. Interactive video breaks through the noise, gets people talking, and gets more views. The real value, however, is that those views are longer and more engaged.

But with interactive videos like Pharrell’s and Dylan’s setting the bar high, it’s easy to assume that only rockstar creative teams with monster budgets and months upon months of planning can create an interactive video, leaving those new to interactive video wondering where to even begin.

As one of the first companies in the interactive video industry, we’ve seen interactive videos of all types created – some with deep budgets and large production crews, and others with leaner budgets and just a few smart team members – and we know that with the right knowledge and tools, any company can create a powerful interactive video quickly and easily.

So what do you need to know to build your own interactive video? From choosing an interactive video platform that’s right for you, to figuring out where to put your first choice point, here are our 11 top tips to keep in mind when creating interactive video that is both successful and engaging.


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Why HTML5 will finally take over video and the Web this year


This article was originally published on The Next Web on April 21, 2014. 

Cassette tapes, 8-tracks, and … Flash. All three of these mediums need a player to work, and all three mediums are either dead or dying. Just as CDs replaced tapes as a more efficient means of playing music, and digital files replaced CDs to do the same, HTML5 is making Flash obsolete.

The HTML5 versus Flash debate has been a hot topic among Web developers for years – and even more so since Steve Jobs published his now infamous 2010 letter touting HTML5 as the future and Flash as “no longer necessary.” But whether you side with Flash or HTML5, there’s no denying that the implications of HTML5 on video and the Web are real.

For online video, HTML5 offers two things Flash does not: mobile capabilities and semantic markup. The growth of mobile engagement; the rise of Interactive Video for entertainment, advertising and shopping; and HTML5’s open structure all combine to create the future of an HTML5-based Web, leaving Flash to eventually shuffle into its place in the Retired Tech Hall of Fame (make some room Windows XP, Palm Treo).


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Olympics, I Love You, But Your Online Experience Was Bringing Me Down


This article was originally posted on Adotas.com on February 26, 2014. 

I’m a huge fan of live sports in general, but the drama and excitement of the Olympics takes it to another level altogether. Every two years I’m delighted by the privilege to spend two weeks watching the best athletes on Earth competing against each other in sports I will never experience myself (Skeleton – really?). Yet with limited hours in the day and only basic cable to quench my thirst for Olympic drama, I turned to the Internet to fulfill my wishes.

I have to hand it to NBC for building such an immersive site, and I love that the first button I saw on the page was Play, but navigating the content unfortunately left something to be desired. The amount of premium, jaw-dropping video clips available was enough to make any sports junkie drool, and yet the experience of finding and navigating between those clips nowhere near matches the grace and dynamism of the content itself. I wasn’t able to click on some of the previously aired events, clicking on the sidebar of past dates only worked intermittently, and the cycle of redundant commercials every few minutes made it almost torturous to watch.

This got me wondering about what my online experience would be like while watching the Brazil Summer Olympics in 2016, or what it’d be like watching the next Winter Olympics online four years from now.


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How Traditional Online Video Fails as a Corporate Communication Tool


This article about Interactive Video as a corporate communication tool was originally published on Wired’s Innovation Insights blog on February 18, 2014. 

All businesses struggle with communication. Getting the right messages across to customers is a constant challenge, but finding a way to communicate between departments, with external stakeholders, and with investors is a whole other issue – and one that we all deal with. And more and more companies see online video solutions as a cost-effective, time-efficient way to tackle these challenges.

But the reality is most companies are leveraging only a fraction of the efficiencies afforded by video technologies, leaving billions of dollars on the table.


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Why David Beckham’s Underwear Commercial Won the Super Bowl


This article was originally published by Huffington Post on February 7, 2014.

Thirty years ago, Apple released its iconic 1984 Super Bowl commercialIt aired only once during the Super Bowl, yet it’s considered one of the most memorable and successful commercials to date. And while Super Bowl commercials, which are often the highlight of the game to non-football-watching fans, have certainly changed a great deal over the past 30 years — higher-definition footage, greater costs, more puppies, less clothing — there’s still a lot of things that haven’t changed.

Whether aware of it at the time, Apple’s 1984 spot planted the “Think Different” seed into the minds of all who watched it. Although that slogan wouldn’t actually appear for another 13 years, Apple’s goal was to spark revolutions in tech. Though Apple, among other tech giants, have accomplished this over the last three decades with amazing strides in personal electronics, it seems like the TV ads for these products have remained fairly unchanged in terms of technological innovations.

Isn’t it about time that advertisers think differently about the way they create Super Bowl commercials? We certainly think so, and we believe at the exponential rate tech is growing, Super Bowl commercials will look a lot different in 10 years — nay, even next year’s game will see changes to advertising — specifically in the way of interactivity.


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ClickZ: Spotlight On Rapt Media, CEO Erika Trautman says video targeting is not enough [Interactive Video]


In an article published to by ClickZ.com yesterday, author Liva Judic speaks with Rapt Media CEO Erika Trautman about why video targeting is not enough for advertising, and how building interactivity into ads is the solution.

Trautman explains in a video accompanying the article that smart brands and marketers know they need to create video content since it’s the No. 1 way that people are getting information about brands and products, and that with the rise in tablets and smartphones, brands and marketers need to meet viewers where they are most, which is in a much more interactive and lean-forward medium. Doing this provides an added value to their customers.

“[Brands and marketers are] making the video experience more relevant, richer, more useful to those customers, and the result is those are higher value viewers,” Trautman says in the video.”Those are people who are much more likely to become customers, much more likely to become sales qualified leads, and much more likely to actually affect the bottom line.”


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