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Laughing Their Way To The Top: The Brands That Made Us Laugh In 2012

Want to get consumers sharing your video? Want your commercial to be at the top of the Unruly Viral Video Chart? Well, it’s simple: Make ‘em laugh.

That’s according to a recent study carried out by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of Marketing Science, based in South Australia, who we recently collaborated with on our white paper on the automotive industry to find out which emotions are most likely to drive social video success.

Following further research carried out by our Social Video Lab, we found that the most successful video ads were generally the ones which evoke the strongest positive emotional responses. These include ‘Amusement’, ‘Exhiliration’, ‘Warmth’ and ‘Inspiration’.

The stronger the emotion, the more likely the content will be shared. So in order for their videos to be shared, brands need to make consumers laugh out loud, not merely smile; or make them feel exhilarated, not just excited. Strong negative emotions such as sadness and anger also featured prominently. You only need to look at the incredible success of Kony 2012 – the most shared ad of 2012 – to see that. However, on average, the most successful adverts are the ones which focus on eliciting the strongest positive responses from their audiences.

Certainly, looking at the top 20 most shared ads of the last three years, that seems to be the case. In 2010, 15 of the top 20 ads used amusement as one of their principal emotional triggers, while a year later it was just over half (11).

Fast forward to 2012 and laughter is still the best medicine, with 12 of the official Top 20 laughing their way to the top.

But, of course, humour is very subjective. What some people find hilarious, others find dull and unimaginative. For example, my dad hates Fawlty Towers, while I have no idea why people laugh at Seinfeld and Gavin & Stacey.

So let’s look at the brands which made us laugh the most at Unruly during 2012.


10. Pine Sol: Pranked


9. ESPN: Michael Jordan


8. Melbourne Metro Trains: Dumb Ways To Die


7. Febelfin: Amazing Mindreader


6. John St: Buyral – Professional Clicking


5. Carlton Draught: Beer Chase


4. Smartwater: Jennifer Aniston Security Tapes


3. Dollar Shave Club: Our Blades Are F***ing Great


2. Tic Tac: La Pire Haleine du Monde


1. Toyota: Feels Good Inside


To learn more about the poser of emotive content, visit the Unruly Social Video Lab.