Suraj Ramnath

"You can buy views, but not shares": Unruly's Vijay Anand Kunduri

Vijay Anand Kunduri, commercial director, ASEAN and India, Unruly, spoke about the science of sharing, at vdonxt asia 2017.

On day two of vdonxt asia 2017, Vijay Anand Kunduri, commercial director, ASEAN and India, Unruly, spoke about "The Science of Sharing - How Emotions Can Reset Adland."

Kunduri started off the session by giving a brief description about Unruly. "As a company we are in the business of getting videos to be seen, shared and loved across the open web."

"You can buy views, but not shares": Unruly's Vijay Anand Kunduri
Giving his views on the shares, he said, "When we started tracking, way back in the year 2004, the most shared ad was for the brand
which got above 7,50,000 shares. As the growth of online industry and online video happened, 2014 was the first time ever, the ads got shared five million times and it was
, a music video but it was a CSR piece of content by yogurt brand Activia. In the year 2015 the most shared ad got 6.4 million shares globally. In the year 2016, the most shared ad was
. Now what we see is, while content is growing, it has to work more to get shared. In 2014, for every 24 videos which were watched, one video was shared. Moving on to last year, for every 50 videos that were being watched, only one video was being shared. Now this is what is called content shock."

Elaborating on what is content shock, Kunduri continued, "A piece of research found out that as a user is exposed to 27 pieces of content daily and to get to this we have web series, branded content, FMCGs creating long format videos, but that's not all, as users we get pictures and Facebook posts. A user is viewing all that the human mind can absorb and it therefore becomes important for a brand to rise above this all. That's where emotions start coming into play because emotions help an individual have memory structures."

Kunduri asked the audience if anyone remembered the first time they did their laundry. None from the audience could answer it. But when he asked the audience if anyone could remember the first time they held their baby, the audience did raise their hands to which Kunduri reacted, "Exactly, because there was a connect happening. Nobody ever recalls their first laundry but will always recall the times you have had an emotional connect. We found that there are more than 100 factors that come into play if a piece of content is share worthy. But the two most important factors are human emotions and social motivations."

Talking about consumers sharing content, he said, "As consumers, content that you share is mostly the one with an emotional connect. And therefore the answer to the question - can shares be bought; is no. Views can be bought. But you share only if you care." He points out that when you view content online, you think about the people in your life, "If you see something and think it will be useful to my friend, you share." What Unruly also found was that strong emotions lead to brand recall, advocacy, purchase intent and that is what a TVC or branded content is looking for. They are not looking for views. View is not the end. It is the means to an end."

On the ads that caught Indian women's attention the most, Kunduri said, "We have seen emotions working in chain, so we saw the ads and came across the fact that for the Indian woman, the ads that resonated with them the most was Ariel 'Share The Load'. In fact, it was one of the most shared ad last year globally. We just came up with the most shared ads and about four Indian brands were among the most shared ads. Nestle's 'Running with India' was one of the most inspiring ads. Another thing that we see when looking at men, ads that worked and resonated and made an impact was Google's 'Pledge to Vote'."

Kunduri concluded the session by saying, "Brands need to find emotions that resonate with their target audience."