Unruly LogoViewers are far more likely to recall a brand name and engage with an ad’s message if a branded video has been recommended to them by a peer, says research conducted on behalf of Unruly Media by Decipher Research. The study aimed to measure the effectiveness of social video advertising and found that there was an uplift when ads were recommended rather than found by the user.

All of which makes perfect sense – something recommended is more likely to hold your attention more than something that isn’t. However, it’s easy to understand why Unruly felt the need to demonstrate their proposition’s value wth some independent qualitative research, if only to clearly set themselves apart from – let’s be polite here – the ‘woolier’ side of the social media marketing world.

The study surveyed online video viewers aged 18-34 across four social video campaigns from top FMCG brands Guinness, Coca-Cola, and Unilever’s Cornetto and Energizer Batteries from July to November 2011 and sought to determine the impact of peer recommendations.

Some of the juicier key findings:

  • Brand recall and brand association rose 7 percent among viewers who had been recommended the videos versus viewers who found it by browsing;
  • 73 percent of respondents who viewed a peer-recommended video recalled the brand when prompted versus 68 percent of viewers who had browsed to the video directly;
  • There was a 14 percent increase in the number of people who enjoyed the video following a recommendation versus those who had discovered it by browsing;

Interestingly , the research found brand favourability and purchase intent remained unchanged with recommendation. Unruly explain that by saying that it was probably because ‘all four of the test brands were well established, high profile brands with a high favourability index’.

They also say that seasonality could have skewered intent (e.g. soft drinks and ice cream is eaten in the summer), and that purchase intent isn’t likely to change with a single ad  for FMCGs whose brands are pretty much ubiquitous anyway. Decipher were only looking at the impact of sharing. Full credit to Unruly and Decipher for including the less favourable (and by less favourable I mean neutral) data in their report – it makes a refreshing change and makes the rest of the data appear that bit more credible.

You can download a copy of the whitepaper here.

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