What is Interactive Video?

What’s the magic about Choose Your Own Adventure?

Remember those quick-read paperbacks you may have read as a kid? Well, the concept has gotten an update. Its latest incarnation as a creative device for interactive video turns storytelling into an immersive experience unique to each person.

Interactive video changes the audience’s relationship with the film through choices that personalize the experience. Every viewer is the protagonist, and every protagonist is different.

Each choice you click on leads to a different path and each pathway manufactures a different storyline. This video style is called branching structure. Branching storytelling provides a multitude of unique endings based on what each viewer decides.

The most visible example of this resurgence is the 2018 Netflix film, ​“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” about a 1980’s programmer converting a fantasy novel into a video game. Viewers could make decisions throughout the film based on a binary choice. Their decisions led to the different outcomes of the film. In fact, they could lead to five different endings and one trillion possible story combos.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Deepening the connection with content

This approach to storytelling not only changes the dynamic, but also the emotional relationship people build with the information. Strategically designed for audience participation, it pulls the viewer in. The clock is ticking, and there are only seconds to decide between two options. The audience becomes fully engaged because they have to consider the pros and cons. It’s a fun, fast-paced, and memorable way to share messaging. This is especially effective when the topic is complex because the information can be broken down into more manageable segments.

Interactive Video and Events

According to studies, people retain 80 percent of what they see and do, compared to the meager retention rates of 20 percent when reading something and 10 percent when listening. So a video with which they can actively participate is a home run. The added benefit to using interactive video at a live event is the opportunity to create a shared experience.

At Cramer, we know the power of people working together so we make the decision-making a group activity. Rather than having the audience make their choices as individuals, we give them the chance to discuss in small groups and act as a team. This encourages not just that deeper connection with the content, but with other attendees as well.

That’s great for networking and for the activity’s net effect. A recent Psychological Science study found sharing experiences — even with a complete stranger — makes people rate those experiences as more intense than people who underwent them alone.

So is interactive video the right for your event? If you’re looking for a fresh way to communicate important information… and have fun doing it… this just might be the perfect choice.

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