Demonstration Session 1

Friday, August 2, 2019


Immersive or 360-degree videos bring the viewer into the middle of the action. For advocacy, this might be showing how laws and regulations impact activities on a construction site, in a lab, or when products are transported across roads or waterways. These videos aren’t as difficult to produce as you might expect, it just takes some planning.


Immersive Video – cool technology but only as good as the story you are trying to tell!

Technology has always been used to tell stories

  • Print
  • Visual Media (paintings)
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Video

As we get more advanced, we continue to develop new ways to tell our stories. Immersive video is one of these new technologies.

Important to keep in mind: Millennials are not so young anymore – they are digital natives to an extent.

  • Gen Z are the ones who have had iPads since they are born – when they come into the workforce and as they become voters, they have the experience of having had tech media in the palm of their hands since day one.

Narrative Transportation – getting lost in a story

  • A good story hits a different part of your brain than a fact sheet does or raw data.
  • You develop an empathetic, emotional connection and that’s important because… feelings drive action

Video is another layer of narrative transportation because you are virtually in the story as you are seeing it.


VR – Virtual Reality

View is completely taken over by a virtual environment. It usually involves a headset.

AR – Augmented Reality

Imposed graphics or information over what the device’s camera is showing.

360 Video

Digital video that is filmed to create a sphere or 360-degree field of vision. Can be seen on a mobile device or laptop (can be used with VR or AR)

New York Times example – “The Displaced”

Story of three children driven from their homes by war – puts you IN the story with the subject

NBA Example – 360 Game

You basically get the equivalent of court-side seats with VR.

AR Example – JFK Library Moonshot App

Shot in an office, the Apollo launch is dropped into reality

It may look like science fiction, but it is easier than you think.

Potential application: You could implement a VR experience for pharmaceuticals (showing how, at a cellular level, medication works, or how an ailment is experienced)

Question: If this is being done with phone, what software is being used?

MP: These are usually specific apps that use integrated VR technology.

Question: If you’re doing a  Hill Day in DC, could you essentially bring a VR experience with you to educate a staffer?

Yes, you can educate people in real time with objects you can’t bring into an office through the use of AR or VR, such as the Apollo rocket example. You can skip the object description.

Software (CAD) lets you create a virtual object like any other piece of digital design.

Question: Does immersive video use specific cameras?


When we consider the impact of VR: Pokemon Go has literally brought people together, geographically and physically, as they try to interact with the AR and the concept.

Question: Is AR just an image, can I make this interactive like to show a disease state?

Yes! Quick example up next…

VR Example – Excedrin Migraines

Used as a way to show what people go through (minus the pain). The experience showed the blurry vision, the dizziness, the dots in your vision, the blackness etc.

When used this way, it creates empathy and puts the viewer/user in the middle of the story you tell, in as real of a way as possible without forcing someone to have a migraine.

Where are we, in the tech standpoint, to channel the physical experience as well?

I am not sure where it is with this technology.

You can rent our 4-D theaters for events so, in theory, you could provide some sort of physical experience.

Client Example: Using VR for Schizophrenia 

Having VR lets people experience the voices and the audio experience of suffering from schizophrenia.

For lawmakers and community, it really hits home to get that experience that they wouldn’t otherwise have. They can really connect with that experience and build empathy. 

Advocacy Example: Illinois Corn

Using technology to bring people to the destination of a farm, not just the story. VR lets you, essentially, show and not just tell in advocacy.

Beekeeper Case Study: Business Roundtable

Hard for people to understand infrastructure issues unless you fully see it. We wanted our audience to experience this.

Drove out to Ohio River and went on a barge and leveraged some fact sheets.


  • You can’t have a cameraman in the shot.
  • You have to think about what is BEHIND the camera as well.
  • How do you want the viewer to SEE or INTERACT with the space.

This tech is also becoming increasingly affordable 

  • Branded Google Cardboards are sub $100 and be branded!
  • These can be a great Hill Day drop-off/leave behind to keep the experience going.

Takeaway Thoughts/Questions

  • Start with your story first
  • How can technology enhance that story?
  • Are there things the audience needs to see/feel?
  • Are there things that are important to show behind the camera?
  • Are you accenting your story or are you distracting it with too much shiny technology?
  • Find someone who knows how to do this
  • There are experts to help craft your story
  • You don’t need to know the tech, but you need to know how to communicate!