Innovative Research Lab Opens With Claims To Help Brands Go Viral

Think sabermetrics for the advertising world …

With an eye towards shepherding companies into the new digital world, video tech company Unruly has opened the first American-based Social Video Lab — a research-based facility for discovering what makes online videos go viral.


The lab, based out of New York, has tracked over 329 billion video views so far, and has designs towards using that knowledge to help companies figure out what works and what doesn’t.

“Video is the world’s fastest-growing ad format in terms of marketing spend, so it’s really important that brands have their fingers on the pulse and allocate their marketing dollars wisely. Leaving it to luck simply isn’t an option,” said Sarah Wood, co-founder and COO of Unruly.

Companies who enroll get the full benefit of what Unruly believes to be an ability to spot the hottest trends before the wave even forms, by analyzing the numbers and utilizing that to predict the variables for success.

Some of their research findings include such “freebies” as:

  • There is a huge appetite for branded videos on the web. Every 24 hours, there are more than half-a-million shares of online video ads tracked (506,976);
  • Overt branding has little or no effect on a video’s shareability;
  • One quarter of an average ad’s shares occur within the first three days of its launch;
  • Branded content accounts for 4% of the Top 100 Most Shared Vines in comparison with 1% of the Top 100 Most Shared Videos;
  • Online videos which elicit strong positive emotions, such as hilarity or exhilaration, are shared 30% most often than those which elicit negative emotions, such as sadness and shock.


If you are a business owner who read those factoids and went, “Ooh! I like what these people are putting out. I need more.” Congratulations, you’ve just experienced how drug dealers operate. If, on the other hand, like me, you say, “They don’t know shit about how to make viral videos” and then drive your worn out old jalopy home from work to your fifth floor walk-up, well hang tough. Our ship will come in one day. This is America. — sigh —