US musicians Nas and Usher have applied a poignant layer of interactivity to the video that accompanies their protest song Chains. Concerned with civil rights in the US, the video lingers on portrait shots of unarmed black Americans who died at the hands of law enforcement or armed civilians. Hosted for free on music streaming service Tidal, the video requests access to viewers' webcams. Face recognition software then replaces the video with a simple text message of "Don't Look Away" whenever the viewer breaks eye contact with the victims' portraits.
On a much lighter note, pop star Carly Rae Jepsen has released an interactive version of the video to her single Run Away With Me through the Interlude mobile app. Here, viewers can choose what happens next by sending emoji replies to text messages on their mobile device's screen. Honda's dual Civic R campaign from 2014 exhibited similar options for viewers to spontaneously shape the content they were viewing. Meanwhile, The Weeknd's 360 video for his song The Hills shows how the choice of what aspect of a story to focus on is native to 360 and VR video.
These applications demonstrate how interactivity in digital video can boost audience engagement. For more on recent developments in online video marketing, see our report on New Video Marketing Strategies. To read more about the latest in creative execution in video formats, see Video Futures: Digital Dimensions.