Byravee Iyer
Mar 17, 2014

Unruly brings its approach to viral video to Asia

ASIA-PACIFIC - Video platform Unruly has opened its Asia headquarters in Singapore and plans to expand operations to Japan, Australia and South Korea.

Phil Townend
Phil Townend

At present, Unruly has 12 offices including London, New York, San Francisco, Hamburg and Paris. Phil Townend, the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa MD, will relocate to Singapore to lead the regional rollout.

“At the moment, it’s a matter of getting our APAC HQ up and running,” Townend said. “Then you’ll see a series of announcements coming thick and fast.”

Unruly started working with brands in Asia in 2008. The video-technology company has already run more than 100 campaigns in Australia and has some experience with South Korean and Japanese advertisers.

Demand for its full suite of services, including social-content strategy, benchmarking, analytics and distribution, has grown tremendously, Townend said. “Certainly, with 40 per cent of internet users situated in Asia-Pacific and video ad spend projected to grow 37.5 per cent, there is a massive opportunity for social media to grow exponentially in the region.”

Brands are also demanding Unruly’s content marketing products, such as the Unruly Viral Video Chart, which tracks sharing on short-form video platforms like Vine and Instagram.

Indeed, Asians are among the top sharers of branded content. According to Unruly’s campaign statistics, average share rates for branded videos in Asia stood at 2.44 per cent, compared to the global average of 1.31 per cent.  Townend also cited research from media agency Havas that shows APAC registers higher brand engagement,  with 53 per cent of respondents saying brands improve quality of life, compared with 29 per cent in the US and 28 per cent in Europe. Asian consumers are also six times more attached to brands than their counterparts in Western countries.

Townend said the company has scope to do well in the region. “There are smaller video distribution companies in the region, but none with the global reach and big data tech that powers a 360 approach to social video marketing.”

Unruly secures much of its revenue from its core product, Unruly Activate, a paid media platform. Brands and agencies pay Unruly on a cost per view basis for every in-target, user-intended view delivered, whether that’s on a niche blog or a mobile application. Its other product, Unruly Analytics, is a subscription-based social analytics dashboard that allows advertisers to identify trending content and see what’s worked for their competitors. Unruly ShareRank, a predictive algorithm, developed in collaboration with research institutions, that helps predict a “viral” hit, can be had as a subscription or as a one-off piece of research.

Townend believes Unruly helps advertisers make a rapid evolution from random viral success or failure to predictable, measurable and repeatable social-video programmes. “If I am an advertiser and I can shortcut my way to being the most shared and talked about brand on the web, then this is something I’ll gladly pay for as it reduces failure and wastage in both the production and delivery phases,” he said.

Unruly has delivered, tracked and audited 3.85 billion video views across 3,500 social-video campaigns for more than 450 brands including Volkswagen, Dove, Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, Microsoft, Warner Bros and Adidas. Its biggest video hits are the Dove Beauty Sketches and Evian’s record-breaking Roller Babies campaign. Unruly was also responsible for T-Mobile’s Royal Wedding Spoof and Old Spice’s The Man your Man Could Smell Like.

In Southeast Asia, Unruly has worked with Samsung, Unilever P&G, Heineken, Hyundai, Toyota and Telstra. Its campaign for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 achieved 17.3 million views and 423,262 shares. 

Campaign Asia

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