Celebrities Won’t Make Your Ads Shareable, Says Unruly

/ May 8, 2014

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Want to drive shares for your videos? You could try using a celebrity. After all, many have huge followings on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and an endorsement by a famous person should easily drive people to watch, love, and share. Right?

Not so fast: According to a new study by social video technology company Unruly Media, advertisers who use celebrities to drive shares of their videos are wasting money.

In the new report, titled “The Science of Sharing 2014,” Unruly took a look at ads from this past year’s Super Bowl to see why some did well online, and others did not. Per the study, very few viewers cited the fact that there was a famous person shilling a product as a reason for why they would share an ad.

Stars including Stephen Colbert, The Muppets, U2, Bob Dylan, Ellen DeGeneres, and Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared during the past Super Bowl.

None of those ads ranked in Unruly’s top three for most shares.

This isn’t only restricted to tentpole events like the Super Bowl, either. Only 13% of the top 100 most-shared ads of all time feature stars, according to Unruly.

What works are ads that evoke intense psychological responses among viewers, says Unruly. For instance, the most-shared ad from the Super Bowl involved a friendship between a puppy and a horse, and created a sense of warmth and happiness among viewers. The same goes for the next two ads in Unruly’s Super Bowl rankings. Only three of Unruly’s top 12 featured celebrities:

Unruly Super Bowl Ads

Unruly says it’s releasing this report now to help brands get ahead of the World Cup, which begins in Brazil next month. Advertisers are going to want to spend and put their messages in front of a massive global audience. Don’t do what some Super Bowl advertisers did, and believe that celebrities alone will drive shares.

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