Every Monday morning at the Magnet Media office, we take some time to share media innovations that are inspiring us and pushing our work to the next level. We see a lot of cool stuff, so we decided, “why not share this cool stuff with our blog readers?”

Not sure why it took so long to make this decision, maybe we’re just greedy when it comes to cool stuff.

Anyway, this week we talked about interactive video experiences. This is something that has been around since full-motion, “choose-you-own-adventure” video games on laserdiscs in the 1980s, but the concept is taking on a drastically new direction in the age of digital media. Platforms like YouTube allow for new, creative ways to make videos more interactive, and brands are finding that it allows them to increase audience engagement.

One example comes from Perrier, who launched “Le Club Perrier” on YouTube during summer 2011. The main narrative of the video takes audiences into an “exclusive” party in a hot dance club. As more people watch the video, more rooms open up and the party expands.

“The more people who watch, the hotter the party,” states the video’s description. “Le Club Perrier is the first interactive YouTube experience that gets sexier, steamier and wilder as the number of viewers goes up.” This strategy seemed effective at encouraging people to engage and share, and the video got nearly 3 million views.

Musicians are also using interactivity to breathe new life into music videos. In the video for “Look Around,” a new single from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, viewers can “click and drag” the camera around a panorama to choose what they view. They can also zoom in and out, and click on various elements to learn some behind-the-scenes information.

While not entirely interactive, Linkin Park introduced social media into the music video for “Lost in the Echo.” Fans are encouraged to upload pictures from their Facebook account, and characters react emotionally to them. Sometimes, the results can be pretty hilarious.

But our favorite example comes from a pizza chain in New Zealand known as “Hell Pizza.” The video tells the story of man trying to deliver a pizza during a zombie apocalypse. Throughout the story, the viewer has to make choices, such as let a stranger in the car or leave him. Only one choice is correct and allows the viewer to advance to the next level, while the others lead to disastrous consequences for the characters.

Sure, it may be a little gimmicky, but people love the interaction. Each video in the “Deliver Me to Hell” series has several million views, showing that audiences really are engaging with it.

As we predict more brands to invest in digital video in 2013, interactivity like this can be the way to distinguish a story from all the rest. You can check out this post by Mashable for some more examples of interactive digital videos.

Do you think interactive videos are the future of storytelling? Or are they just a passing gimmick? Let us know in the comments and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Register for our FREE Resource Center and Newsletter to access our growing library of valuable Guide Books, Tip Sheets, and more!