5Q’s With..David Waterhouse, Head of Content, Unruly

/ May 14, 2013


Unruly Media, a video technology platform that helps brands and agencies “socialize” video content across thousands of platforms and sites, recently acquired German-based business Shareifyoulike. The company is most known for its Viral Video Chart which tracks the hottest videos on the interwebs. VideoInk got more of the scoop on the deal and Unruly’s Head of Content, David Waterhouse, to learn more about what Unruly has been up to and the details on the new acquisition.

1. Why Shareifyoulike? What about their business specifically caught your eye? And how many employees will this acquisition bring Unruly to? (Grand total)

In order to take advantage of this opportunity, Unruly made the acquisition to become number 1 in Germany and in doing so consolidate our market leadership in Europe. The acquisition also cements our position as the leading global platform for social video marketing worldwide.

There are other companies who would have helped us to reach our strategic goal to become number 1 in Europe’s largest advertising market, but we wanted a partner who has the same shared values as Unruly – a motivation to share the love. A company you can trust to place video content in relevant brand-safe environments and provide clients the technology and innovation they need to engage their audience and amplify their brand. Culturally, we feel very aligned – both companies are fiercely determined to be the best and deliver the best for our clients – together, we’ll be able to do this.

2. It seems Unruly has been hunkered down over the last few months, what’s new with Unruly? (Besides this acquisition.)

We just launched Unruly ShareRank™, which is a proprietary algorithm which allows advertisers to accurately predict the ‘shareability’ of a video, before it is even launched.

It allows advertisers to maximize the impact of their content marketing strategy by calculating the amount of earned media video an ad is likely to attract across the social web.

There is also a lot in the pipeline. We are currently busy developing Unruly Analytics, which has been released in open beta and tracks Social Share of Voice across the top 1,300 brands so that Unruly clients can find out what works for their competitors, benchmark their own performance and demonstrate superior ROI on their video distribution strategy.

We are also working on launching our New York Social Video Lab. This means that brands and agencies on the other side of the Pond will have access to the latest social video insight and research.

3. We have seen a shift by brands and publishers to delve deeper into original programming.  How does that affect your work in the social video and branded entertainment categories? Are brands over the idea of “viral”?

It’s definitely getting better. We are seeing a lot more brands embracing their roles as content creators and creating and distributing highly shareable content, repeatedly and at scale. However, there are still some chasing a ‘viral video hit’. These days, the word ‘viral’ is simply unhelpful. ‘Viral’ after all, suggests something that is random, untargeted and out of control. They are the exception, not the rule, and that’s why it’s a terrible tactic to focus on for you brand. 

4. If you could give one tip to s brand or creator looking to build a successful and highly watched video, what would you suggest?

Make sure that your content elicits a strong emotional reaction from your target audience. Scientific research has found that emotional intensity has a direct impact on sharing behaviour, which drives significant uplift in brand metrics, word-of-mouth marketing and purchasing behaviour. So by measuring the level of emotions people feel while watching an advert, we can predict a video’s potential ‘shareability’. At Unruly we can test the ‘shareability’ of a brand’s video content at our Social Video Lab.

5. Which social platform do you find is most beneficial to brands for social video?

Unruly Analytics and the Unruly Viral Video Chart are really useful tools for any brands looking to see their social video footprint. However, if you want a deeper delve into the stats (dwell time, click rates etc) we recommend using a specialist video seeding platform. At Unruly, we use Unruly MEME, which we have used to run over 2,500 campaigns.

Bonus question:
What’s one thing you’re looking forward to or hoping to see happen in the industry by the end of 2013?

I guess for more CMOs to realize there is a formula to social video success.

Thanks to the rise of ‘Big Data’ and recent academic work into the emotions which drive video sharing, we now have the technological and scientific horsepower to help advertisers come up with a marketing strategy that’s predictable, repeatable and measurable.

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