UnrulyUnruly has just published a white paper on the ‘Science of Sharing’, a look at what makes videos go viral and why some videos rack up millions of views and shares while others go virtually unnoticed.

The social video marketing technology company  delves into challenged faced by brand marketers, what makes content “shareable” and an analysis of why some online video ads work while others don’t. But one of their most interesting findings is something that turns one common belief on its head – “If advertisers want their campaigns to go viral they need to stop trying to be funny.”

Unruly’s research found that, “Humor is very subjective and brands need to be extremely funny to impress consumers worn down by a glut of ads which try to be funny (and usually are not). The two most popular ads from this year’s Super Bowl attracted the most shares on Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere because they evoked a different set of emotional triggers from the rest.”

hilarityIn other news, Unruly reports that if you want to maximize sharing of your videos, the best day to launch them is Wednesday. “This is based on two factors,” they say. “1. On average, half (48.3%) of the weekly video shares occur between Wednesday and Friday, with the peak of shares occurring on a Friday and the lowest point being the weekend. 2. A quarter of a video’s total shares on average occur within the first three days of launch.”

Unruly co-founder and COO, Sarah Wood, says, “For brands looking to optimize their chances of viral success, the video really needs to reach a critical mass of viewers within the first 24 hours of its launch.”

sharing activity by day of week

3 days cumulative sharingWhile Unruly focuses on big brands launching ad campaigns in their white paper, a lot of their findings can be applied to your own videos as well. Click here to download the full report and let us know what you think.