Social Video for Laughs, Shares and Sales

by Alison Lukin

SNL’s recent 40th anniversary special was certainly one for the books. According to Entertainment Weekly the show was NBC’s most-watched primetime telecast in more than 10 years. It broke records on Twitter, with 9.1 million people seeing 1.3 million tweets, earning SNL the highest number of Twitter TV impressions of any series episode to date, as measured by Nielsen Social.

There is actually something called the SNL effect. The show had such strong influence during the 2008 presidential election that this became a real term. FirstView researcher Mike Dabadle found that, “10 percent of voters said they were influenced by the skits. At the same time, the data shows that 59 percent of those who saw the skits voted for Obama and 39 percent voted for McCain.”

But 2008 seems like eons ago. Where is all that funny now? You guessed it. Social media!

In fact, if you visit SNL’s YouTube channel, their most popular video with almost 10 million views, is a parody of Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln ad featuring Jim Carey. Their third most popular video with 4.7 million views is Justin Bieber’s Calvin Klein ad.


The popularity of funny video ads goes way past YouTube nowadays. Platforms like Vine offer the perfect venue for laughter. A quick glance at Business Insider’s 30 Most Popular Vine Stars and you’ll find that every single Viner in the top 20 makes comedic videos. As of late 2014, DMR documented that 100 million people watch Vine videos each month with over 1 billion Vine loops played daily. That’s a lot of funny going around!

Vine influencers are replacing TV celebrities when it comes to ads. With 4.7 million followers, Vine funnyman Nicholas Megalis has created over ten Vine videos for brands like HP (see below), General Mills, and Virgin Mobile.

Brands that are creating these quirky clips are on the rise. Fanta, Sour Patch Kids, Rolling Stone, and Cadbury just scratches the surface of companies who are getting in on the giggly act. Simply Zesty published a list of 15 Brands getting it right on Vine. The ads are cute, quick, and definitely garner a chuckle.

But just because you post a video on YouTube or Vine, doesn’t mean it’s going to be shared. BuzzSumo analyzed 100 million posts to find out what causes certain social media content to go viral. The findings are overwhelmingly clear that we share what makes us happy.

According to a study conducted by MillwardBrown humor is used in almost half of all TV advertising, where it often contributes to very effective ads:

“It is not surprising that advertisers invoke humor, as it can make a big contribution to an ad’s memorability. In North America, where humor is used more than in any other region, 69 percent of ads in the top impact (Awareness Index) quintile are humorous (i.e., funny or light-hearted), versus only 44 percent in the bottom percent in the bottom quintile—a difference of 25 percentage points. This difference is even larger in Europe (28 percentage points)…And the funnier an ad is, is the more memorable it is likely to be. The following chart shows the strong relationship (r = 0.52) between an ad’s mean score on humor and its impact (Awareness Index) for almost 200 ads in the United States.”

On a global basis, ads with humor on average score in the 74th percentile for involvement (higher than 74 percent of other ads), while ads without humor score in the 42nd percentile. And isn’t that the whole point?

In most cases, ads originally made for TV end up on social media anyway. So whether a brand is creating an ad for TV or social media, they both end up in front of the same audience.

But now an advertisers mindset has shifted slightly. Not only do they have to take into account the goal of selling, in addition, sharing has become equally as important. The research shows, the surefire way to shares…LAUGHS!:)

To see how Social Video powers laughs, shares and sales for FullBottle advertisers, check out our case studies here,

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