Based on a JM study, this presentation summarizes six critical drivers of shares and virality of YouTube video ads.
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Tellis, Gerard J., Deborah J. MacInnis, Seshadri Tirunillai, and Yanwei Zhang (2019), “What Drives Virality (Sharing) of Online Digital Content? The Critical Role of Information, Emotion, and Brand Prominence,” Journal of Marketing, 83 (4), 1–20.
The authors test five theoretically derived hypotheses about what drives video ad sharing across multiple social media platforms. Two independent field studies test these hypotheses using 11 emotions and over 60 ad characteristics. The results are consistent with theory and robust across studies. Information-focused content has a significantly negative effect on sharing, except in risky contexts. Positive emotions of amusement, excitement, inspiration, and warmth positively affect sharing. Various drama elements such as surprise, plot, and characters, including babies, animals, and celebrities arouse emotions. Prominent (early vs. late, long vs. short duration, persistent vs. pulsing) placement of brand names hurts sharing. Emotional ads are shared more on general platforms (Facebook, Google+, Twitter) than on LinkedIn, and the reverse holds for informational ads. Sharing is also greatest when ad length is moderate (1.2 to 1.7 minutes). Contrary to these findings, ads use information more than emotions, celebrities more than babies or animals, prominent brand placement, little surprise, and very short or very long ads. A third study shows that the identified drivers predict sharing accurately in an entirely independent sample.
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