Last week, Unruly launched a new tool to help advertisers predict how many shares their videos are likely to attract within Brazil – before they are launched. Although I am more focused on this week’s Major League Baseball playoffs, it’s good to know that somebody will be able to help top brands and their agencies identify the key emotional triggers for creating contagious content in a country with a population of more than 200 million before next year’s World Cup.

First launched in January 2013, Unruly ShareRank has been used by global brands to predict the viral potential of their video content repeatedly and at scale. In the run-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, which will be held from June 12 to July 13, 2014, the leading global platform for social video marketing has now launched a new version trained specifically for Brazilian audiences.

Brazilian singer Gaby Amarantos poses during the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on September 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA

Brazilian singer Gaby Amarantos poses during the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on September 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA

Rio 2014: A Huge Opportunity For Brands To Break Through In Brazil

Rio 2014 is a huge opportunity for brands hoping to make it big in Brazil, which was recently dubbed by The Wall Street Journal as the “social media capital of the universe”. In March 2012, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association launched the FIFATV channel on YouTube. It brings you the best in soccer videos (aka football videos), including FIFA World Cup highlights, classic stories, interviews, documentaries and behind the scenes coverage of the Ballon d’Or and Interactive World Cup.

According to Unruly, average share rates for branded videos across the world are 1.31 percent, but in Brazil it is 4.41 percent. Average video interaction rates in Brazil are also 14.58 percent, more than twice that of the global average (6.73 percent). This includes “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) (The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song),”which has more than 554 million views and over 12 million shares all time.

Advertisers using Unruly’s predictive tool will gain insight into the psychological, social and creative triggers that affect the success of their video content and, more importantly, they’ll know the word-of-mouth potential of their video before they spend anything on media. The algorithm has already been trained for the UK and U.S. markets to meet high advertiser demand.

In a press release, Unruly co-founder and COO, Sarah Wood, said,

What we have found using the algorithm is that the kind of video content that works in the UK or the US will not necessarily resonate as strongly among Brazilian audiences. For example, humor is a hugely important emotion in the UK and U.S. However, in Brazil it’s significantly less important, with viewers instead more likely to share a video that leaves them exhilarated.

Emotional, Not Creative, Appeal Will Determine Social Sharing Success

These findings are backed up by Dr. Karen Nelson-Field, of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of Marketing Science, in her new book, ‘Viral Marketing: The Science of Sharing’. This is not your typical “how to get shared” book and I plan to plug it when I speak tomorrow about Testing Video for Conversion: How to Turn Viewers into Customers” at the Conversion Conference Boston 2013.

Nelson-Field, who collaborated with Unruly on the Unruly ShareRank algorithm, said, “For brands to make contagious content they need to focus less on creative appeal and more on emotional appeal. Exhilaration is one particular emotion that the vast majority of advertisers tend to ignore. However, videos that evoke feelings of exhilaration tend to be shared more than any other high arousal positive emotion.”

Wood added “What we see in Brazil is an audience that has a real appetite not only for watching videos, but sharing videos. However, to make the most of this opportunity, it’s important that advertisers have a product that can help them adapt their content and distribution strategies across different markets and territories”

What Is Unruly ShareRank Anyway?

Unruly ShareRank has been developed over the last two years at the Unruly Social Video Lab by Unruly’s team of statisticians, who have mapped more than 100 variables into the algorithm to predict social video success. These include:

  • Technology: The Unruly Viral Video Chart uses proprietary social tracking technology, which has been collating video sharing data for seven years and now stores data from over 365 billion video views;
  • Academic research: Collaboration with leading academics, particularly Dr. Karen Nelson-Field, of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science in Australia, on the key variables that drive video sharing;
  • Consumer data: Analysis of thousands of consumer panel responses in Brazil, measuring their emotional and social reactions and the motivations to share video content.

Unruly CTO and co-founder, Matt Cooke, added,

We are currently tracking over 50,000 shares of branded videos each day. We have mapped this data to viewer responses to train the Unruly ShareRank algorithm, which is the only product on the market to predict the shareability of a video based on seven years’ worth of video sharing data. Scrutinizing view numbers is not enough – in a digital world, brands need to understand why consumers are engaging with their content.


With Nielsen finding that 92 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations, according to its recent Global Trust in Advertising Survey, and research from McKinsey stating that “a high-impact recommendation from a trusted friend conveying a relevant message is up to 50 times more likely to trigger a purchase than a low recommendation”, Unruly ShareRank is a vital indicator of sales as well as word-of-mouth potential. And that’s true even if I seem to be more focused on the Boston Red Sox just now.

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