Gabey Goh
Nov 11, 2015

Unruly releases tool to predict emotional impact of Japanese ads

TOKYO - Video ad tech company Unruly has launched a new tool to help Japanese advertisers predict the social potential of their video ads before they are released online.

Unruly dashboard
Unruly dashboard

Unruly co-CEO and co-founder Scott Button said the video-advertising market in Japan is poised for explosive growth and presents an enormous opportunity for marketers.

“Brands and creative agencies in Japan understand there is life beyond the 15- to 30-second TV commercial and that making more emotional digital content drives deeper connections with consumers who will go on to share and buy their products or services,” he said in a press release.

The tool uses Unruly ShareRank’s predictive technology, and is touted to enable marketers to identify the emotional, social and behavioural triggers that drive the viral success of video content.

According company, marketers will also know the earned media potential of their videos before they have spent a dollar on media and will be able to distribute them using Unruly Activate, the company’s proprietary ad platform, with a potential reach of 45 million unique visitors across Japan (according to comScore as of July 2015).

The company first launched the algorithm in January 2013 to help US and UK brands identify and evaluate the elements of a video that drive engagement with consumers.

Panasonic used the global version of the Unruly ShareRank algorithm in its recent ‘Beautiful Japan 2020’ campaign.

Unruly's country manager for Japan, Haruyo Kagawa, said by using the algorithm, brands can identify more than just the kind of content Japanese consumers are engaging with.

“Also where they are engaging, why they are engaging and in what way they are engaging,” he added. “This will help marketers create smarter, more efficient media plans.”

There are now 15 localised versions of the Unruly ShareRank algorithm worldwide, including Germany, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Brazil.

Following the launch of its Tokyo office last month, the company has now trained the proprietary algorithm specifically for the Japanese market, so it can predict consumers’ psychological responses to branded video content across the country.

Insights into Japan

The algorithm, which will be formally launched at an event held at the British Consulate General in Tokyo today, has been trained using video consumption data across 2 trillion video views, combined with 395,000 consumer data points.

When adapting the algorithm for the Japanese market, Unruly found the following:

  • There has been a 57.1 percent year-on-year increase in the number of videos released by brands in Japan over the last 12 months (source: Unruly Analytics);  
  • The speed of video sharing is slightly slower in Japan than the rest of the world, with the average Japanese ad attracting 30.3 percent of its total shares in the first three days, compared with the global average of 40.2 percent;
  • Warmth is the most common emotional sharing trigger for Japanese video campaigns, followed by inspiration and happiness. In the UK and US, the most common emotional triggers are happiness and hilarity;
  • The most common social motivation to share a video online in Japan is to seek other people’s opinions. In the UK it’s to recommend a product or service, while in Germany it is to start a conversation.

Button said that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to predicting video success around the world.


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