The folks at Hexolabs have released what is being called the first interactive YouTube video game. If marketers are paying attention, it should result in a flurry of Outlook calendar invites for brainstorming sessions this week.
In "A Car’s Life," participants watch a brief video of a car meandering over some difficult terrain. At some point towards the end of the piece, a button appears for viewers to click. If you do so in time, you advance to the next level and watch the car overcome even more obstacles. If you don’t click the button in time, the car crashes and the video ends.
How They Did It
Hexolabs used YouTube’s annotation feature to insert links into each video connecting them to other YouTube videos they created for the various levels. In doing so, Hexolabs created what is probably the first interactive video game on the popular video sharing site.
What It Means for Marketers
The video works for several reasons. One, the animation is simple but interesting. It requires minimal effort and explanation to play, and the payoff is worth it. it’s also much more fun than just watching a plain old video. Two, at least for right now, it’s original. If you missed being among the first companies to put up a Facebook page, start a Twitter account or pay ridiculous sums of money for a viral video that never went viral, this could be your chance to earn a citation in the annals of corporate social media marketing.
I’m kidding, of course.
But the idea is a novel one and certainly worth further consideration. Can you create an interactive experience with this type of storytelling that people would want to share with their friends? This is a fresh approach to video I doubt many (if any) companies have explored.
As of this writing, there are only about 100,000 views for the first installment and less than 50,000 for the third. When I saw it last week, there were less than 5,000 views. I predict that when this does catch on, we’ll see many iterations of it from companies in the months to come.
You can play "A Car’s Life" for yourself here:
Hat tip to Amit , whose post reminded me to blog about it!