Since the middle of last year, we here at Visible Measures have regularly published findings based on our work in the world of viral video, focusing primarily on what we call the True Reach™ of various online ad campaigns. Today, we’re happy to report that we’ve taken our social video measurement platform to a new level: we’re applying our Viral Reach Database and our unique methodology to the entire flight of this year’s Super Bowl ads in efforts to measure each campaign's ROI, relative performance, and overall effectiveness.
As part of this effort, we are tracking the True Reach of more than 50 Super Bowl advertisements simultaneously, including the original commercials themselves as well as the entire universe of community-driven copies and derivatives across over 150 video sharing destinations, Super Bowl-specific promotional sites, and major media properties. And while the Super Bowl finished just over 72 hours ago and the overall trends are only just emerging, our project is well underway and the preliminary results have proven to be compelling and worth sharing a few initial findings here.
The scope of this research is, to put it mildly, ambitious. As of 11:00 am yesterday morning, our platform had discovered and categorized over 4,000 unique clips directly associated with this year's Super Bowl ads. These 4,000+ different videos have already received more than 75 million views in aggregate, nearly 55,000 comments, and 185,000+ ratings (!!).
As measured by both unique placements and total views, the overall growth of the Super Bowl ads has been staggering, with each new day revealing more than 1,000 new videos and over 20 million new views.
As the placements graph above suggests, the online community got involved – after an initial burst of seeded video placements driven by advertisers and agencies – and started posting all manner of videos clips to the point that, today, more than 85% of all the ad videos placements originated not from the brands, but the viewers themselves. All of these new videos are naturally attracting their own viewership, to the tune of over 20% of the total online reach. Not bad, given that these ad pass-alongs are driven by social connections and word-of-mouth. Furthermore, each brand's out-of-pocket expense associated with this additional activity is exactly zero. Nice!
While these findings are part of our study's top-level, initial takeaways, our platform enables us to slice and dice the data set in interesting and useful ways like:
- By campaign, allowing us to stack rank the ads by any metric, such as total views or comments. One interesting tidbit has been comparing the average viewer ratings for each campaign, with the entire set averaging a 3.6 (out of 5) user rating.
- By industry, so that we can establish industry-level benchmarks as well as see how the beverage ads as a category compared to the automotive ads, for instance.
- By network, providing visibility into each campaign’s relative performance with each of the major (and minor!) video-sharing sites.
- By type, comparing consumption and distribution of brand-driven original videos versus the community-driven viral activity.
As the trends unfold, the findings of a study of this scope may hold significant ramifications for brand advertisers looking to leverage social video as a cost-effective mechanism to increase their overall reach, reduce their effective CPM, and improve ROI. We'll be sharing the insights first with our clients (please contact us if you'd like to get involved!) and we look forward to summarizing more of the top-level results here in our blog in the coming weeks.
Since our inception, we’ve been fortunate to have an exclusive, metrics-based perspective on how an online community of engaged consumer advocates can contribute to online video brand advertising campaigns: making copies, spoofs, mixes, and mash-ups of the original clip and spreading the brand’s message far and wide. This participatory consumer involvement in digital video advertising campaigns -- a concept that we've termed 'social video' based on feedback from our customers and partners -- is rapidly emerging as a critical factor in increasing the ROI of any video-based campaign.
The data used in this post was collected from our Viral Reach Database, a constantly growing video repository of analytic data on 100+ million Internet videos from 150+ video-sharing destinations.