Friday, December 06, 2013

a friday note on distribution and sharing a coke

This short World Cup 2014 film for Coca-Cola by Ogilvy in Shanghai has almost everything required to be be a viral hit, yet it isn't (yet).

Why should that be?

Here's some clues, from the appliance of science.

In Chapter 4 of 'Viral Marketing: The Science of Sharing' by Karen Nelson-Field from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute (the chapter is entitled, 'Not all Fart jokes are Funny') Karen imparts the following.

In the course of her team's extensive research they find no correlations between sharing and the particular creative device used in a film, neither were there links between specific emotions and creative device, but there are relationships between the degree of emotional arousal felt and likelyhood of sharing activity.

They describe this as high arousal emotional response.

The one exception to the rule is when the creative device employed is 'personal triumph' - this shares significantly more even with low arousal emotions.

To get shared, the general lesson is to focus less on which creative device is applied and more on how arousing the creative is. So far so good for Coke and Ogilvy Shanghai, the film has all the ingredients

But that's not the whole story.

Karen and her team challenge the common belief that the key to spreading is in infecting a few adopters in order to reach millions over time.

This is the most available idea of how the diffusion of content occurs.

The evidence however says that this is the opposite of what actually happens.

Apart from a few cherry picked exceptions (the ones that appear in the social media case studies) the diffusion curve is, in fact, negative - after launch the degree of penetration for a video drops after a short period of time.

And, assuming it's compelling content, evokes high arousal emotional response, the single biggest other predictor of online video sharing is it's initial distribution.

According to Karen's research, for the best performing videos the ratio about 8 views to 1 share.

For others that perform reasonably well 24 to 1 is the average.

So to get mass sharing, initial seeding/paid support is key. Assuming the video is good and pulls the tricks above, then it needs to be put in front of as many people as possible in order to spread.

A few 'influencers' will not cut the mustard, most of the time.

One can only assume that little paid promotion has been put behind this terrific little film - a story of personal triumph - or else it would be a viral smash.

Likewise the many other Coca-Cola World Cup films in the series, from around the world, all of which are languishing with very few views and shares in YouTube.

Don't tell me Coca-Cola don't have a few bob to stick behind this great content.

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