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Video Ad's Success Hinges on Social Sharing in the Early Days

FMCG ranks second, behind entertainment

Digital video has viral potential, and advertisers are increasingly trying to tap into the social-sharing instinct among viewers. Unruly Media Inc., a video technology company, studied social shares worldwide and found that the fast-moving consumer goods and consumer products category (FMCG) made particular strides in the first quarter of 2013, capitalizing especially on Super Bowl placements and increasing the number of social video shares by 78.2% over Q4 2012.

In total, entertainment garnered the most social video shares in Q1 2013, which is unsurprising given the adeptness of the industry at creating video content. Impressively, the FMCG sector was right behind. The two industries accounted for over half of total video ad shares.

Looking specifically at social video ad shares around the Super Bowl, the study also found that the auto sector—a major Super Bowl advertiser—performed fairly poorly.

The Super Bowl is where auto advertisers devote a significant percentage of their yearly budget, and that allocation showed in the increased shares the auto sectors’ videos received in the first quarter of this year—377% more than in Q4 2012. But that didn’t help boost auto above fourth place in the percentage of total shares garnered during that period. It seems auto manufacturers have more work to do to bring their TV ad-spot know-how to the web.

While creating unique, compelling video is critical to getting social shares, there is also a bit of science behind the phenomenon.

Unruly Media looked at social video sharing during 2012 among the 200 most-shared brand videos and found that the first three days after an ad’s debut determined a lot about its success: 10% of total shares occurred on the second day after debut, the apparent high point for video ad sharing. And the first three days saw one-quarter of total shares.

Social networkers are ready and willing to share video; they are simply waiting for content worthy of their attention and endorsement. Online video sharing was a top internet activity among US web users, according to a December 2012 study from NetBase, especially among younger consumers. It was the No. 2 online activity among those between 18- to 34-years-old. And even among those in the 35-to-54 age group, more than half reported sharing video.


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