Like any responsible video agency, Spectrecom has roughly the same response whenever any prospective client suggests that it’d be, y’know, pretty groovy if their new video could become the next virally-shared online blockbuster.

What is that response? Well, with only 2% or so of all videos placed on YouTube getting to 100,000 views or over, promising that any video will go viral is as irresponsible as giving a toddler a chainsaw as a Christmas present.

Having said that, it’s also generally accepted that, dark and murky a netherworld as the online video marketing multiverse is, there are certain triggers which can help power a video to the kind of viral success that revivals of aftershave brands are built upon; the biggest and most potent such trigger being humour.

However! A brand new study has called into question just how effective humour is in prompting viral sharing.

Produced by Unruly, The Science of Sharing looked at a cross-section of Super Bowl ads from 2013 and, using 100-plus variables, found that attempted hilarity often resulted in weak social media traction.

According to the study, Super Bowl ads generated a total of 7.7million shares in 2013, up 118% on the previous year.

The best performing commercial was Brotherhood from Budweiser, a heartfelt, uplifting ad with nary a gag in sight (although, full disclosure, certain sections of the office found the cornball sincerity of its man-horse bromance pretty funny…).

Brotherhood apparently scored highly for its overall emotional journey and strong soundtrack, putting would-be funny spots from Pepsi and Coke in particular very much in the shade.

But the study also notes that the success of Brotherhood is also partly attributable to the fact that so many other campaigns attempted the humorous angle, generating a sense of fatigue and indifference amongst viewers.

So, if we are in the mood to take any lessons from this episode, then it would seem to be that standing out from the crowd puts you on as fine a road as any to finding an appreciative audience, while following the herd is the route to creative oblivion. Yes, that’ll do.

Here’s the horsey fun, courtesy of the beer-selling American behemoth…

Spectrecom has a full in-house squadron of uber-creative  video production pros, encompassing directors, producers, camera operators, writers and animators. Take a look at our showreels to see some of the team’s most show-stopping work.

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