Unruly has just published new findings in a study called "The Science of Sharing," studying ads during the Super Bowl period and two months after, and the biggest finding is...stop trying to be funny. Unless you're really funny...because not only is humor subjective, but seemingly every brand tries for hilarity, and they get lost in the sea of funny ads. It could also just be that the dramatic ads of this year's Super Bowl were so particularly memorable, they blew away all the other ads going for laughs. And many of them weren't, so the emotional ads definitely had an edge there.
Unruly: Stop Trying to Be Funny, Launch on Wednesday
Oh, and also: try launching your video on a Wednesday. Unruly found that about half (48 percent) of all shares happen between Wednesday and Friday. The first three days of a video's launch is the most important, because a quarter of the shares happen then. You don't want to necessarily launch on a Friday, because sharing is low on the weekend. Here's a handy graph:
And Unruly even made a graph showing when the optimal three-day period begins:
So why stop being funny?
The report says you have to be extremely funny to be shared. The difficulty is trying to stand out in a sea of advertisers trying to be hilarious. Also, those that scored low on elements of hilarity and surprise were not only basically ignored, but they had the even worse effect of confusing the viewers.
But then again, if everyone starts trying to make dramatic ads, everyone is going to have to be extremely effective at that as well. It just happened that this year, we had Budweiser's "Brotherhood" and Ram's "Farmer" running away with being memorable, and almost none of the funny ads were funny.
Also, ads that had more than one emotional trigger were more likely to be shared. For instance, "Brotherhood" scored highly in three categories: Happiness, Warmth, and Sadness.
On a side note, Super Bowl ad sharing grew 118 percent year-over-year from 2012. Super Bowl teasers and ads from 2013 generated 7.7 million shares compared to 3.5 million the previous year.
For more in-depth information on the study, click here to proceed to the "Science of Sharing" white paper.