Lab Life: Web Psychologist Discusses Mayhem, Targeting Audiences And Selling With Integrity

In the latest Lab Life, Andy Scofield compares notes with author, consultant and web psychologist Nathalie Nahai about what drives consumers to share branded videos.

Nahai first came into Unruly’s London HQ to launch her book Webs of Influence: The Psychology Of Online Persuasion. When she heard about the Unruly Social Video Lab, she had to come back and visit it to see it for herself.

When advertisers come to the lab they learn how to utilise social video to reach their target audience and how to produce content that will be spread, engaged with and remembered. Nahai has helped brands to optimise their marketing strategies by focusing on the key psychological responses their content elicits from their viewers.

Her book offers some sound advice to advertisers. In her own words: “They can learn how to understand and target their audience, in order to communicate persuasively and sell with integrity.”

Much of Nahai’s work deals with telling brands how to communicate with target audiences. When asked about using video content to engage an audience she says: “It depends very much on what you are trying to achieve and who you are trying to reach.
“If you are trying to target a very specific audience like adolescent males, then something like the Lynx Premature Perspiration ad goes down quite well.”

But the cheeky humour in this ad will not be appreciated by everyone. She added: “If you are doing something quite universal, you want to create content that is universally accepted and engaging.”

She references P&G’s ode to motherly love Best Job as a prime example of universal emotion appealing to a wide audience.

Humour is often a strong driver for video sharing and her favourite social video, for Allstate Insurance, starring the personification of Mayhem, draws on it heavily. Mayhem causes all manner of trouble for his unwitting victims, getting hit by cars and falling through roofs.

She explains: “He’s a bit wild, unhinged. It plays on fear; ‘I don’t want this to happen to me.’”

To keep up-to-date with all her latest work, check out Nathalie’s website.

To hear more about what motivates users to share content and how brands can use social video to build advocacy, watch the full interview with Nathalie in the video below.