Category Archives: Top Ways to Use Entertaining Content

This category includes top 15 reports on humorous and other entertaining techniques used in viral YouTube videos re-casted from TV commercials.

15 Ways to Create Entertaining Content

This countdown of the top 15 ways to produce entertaining content stems from research conducted for the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross Cultural Research Conference.

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Based on analysis of 3351 high performing commercials recast on YouTube, the study found the following fifteen techniques to score the highest in views and engagement. Ten of the fifteen are based on humor.

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Humorous & Serious Ways to Create Entertaining Content

For the best of video samples representing each type, just click on the slides below.

#15: Participation

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Part I of Participation: 3 Ways to Participate by Completing the Message

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Part II of Participation: 3 Ways to Participate by Solving the Problem

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3 Ways to Participate by Following the Script

#14: Awkwardness

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Part I of Awkwardness: 4 Comic Devices for Remorseful Regrets

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Part II of Awkwardness: 4 Comic Devices for Uncomfortable Settings

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Part III of Awkwardness: 4 Comic Devices for Exercising Humility

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Part IV of Awkwardness: 4 Comic Devices for Revealed Secrets

 #13: Concept Imagery

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Part I of Concept Imagery: 4 Ways to Build an Artistic Flair

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Part II of Concept Imagery: 4 Ways to Build Illusory Sensations

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Part III of Concept Imagery: 4 Ways to Create Physical Sensations

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Part IV of Concept Imagery: 4 Ways to Create Audio & Multi-Sensory Effects

#12: Sentimental Humor

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Part I of Sentimental Humor: 4 Comic Devices for Child Innocence

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Part II of Sentimental Humor: 4 Comic Devices for Anxiety Relief

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Part III of Sentimental Humor: 4 Comic Devices for Melodrama

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Part IV of Sentimental Humor: 4 Comic Devices for Inner Secrets

#11: Malicious Joy

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Part I of Malicious Joy: 4 Comic Devices for Bungling Behaviors

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Part II of Malicious Joy: 4 Comic Devices for Unanticipated Spoilers

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Part III of Malicious Joy: 4 Comic Devices for Unfortunate Happenstances

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Part IV of Malicious Joy: 4 Comic Devices for Deserved Repercussions

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Part V of Malicious Joy: 4 Comic Devices for Cretins

 #10: Performances

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Part I of Performance: 5 Ways to Use Musicals & Other Performing Arts

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Part II of Performance: 5 Ways to Use Slice-of-Life Narratives

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Part III of Performance: 5 Ways to Use Plotted Storylines and Timelines

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Part IV of Performance: 5 Ways to Entertain with Transformations

#9: Social Deviancy

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Part I of Social Order Deviancy: 4 Comic Devices for Society Irreverence

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Part II of Social Order Deviancy: 4 Comic Devices for Forbidden Behaviors

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Part III of Social Order Deviancy: 4 Comic Devices for Offensive Behaviors

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Part IV of Social Order Deviancy: 4 Comic Devices for Unleashing Mania

#8: Unruliness

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Part I of Unruliness: 4 Comic Devices for Hysteria

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Part II of Unruliness: 4 Comic Devices for Impulsive Outbursts

 

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Part III of Unruliness: 4 Comic Devices for Displaced Irritation

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Part IV of Unruliness: 4 Comic Devices for Exercising Improprieties

#7: Irony

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Part I of Irony: 4 Comic Devices for Visual Irony

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Part II of Irony: 4 Comic Devices for Ironic Temperament

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Part III of Irony: 4 Comic Devices for Ironic Personas

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Part IV of Irony: 4 Comic Devices for Situational Irony

#6: Surprise Twist

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Part I of Surprise Twist: 4 Comic Devices for Conceptual Surprise

 

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Part II of Surprise Twist: 4 Comic Devices for Plot Trickery & Reversals

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Part III of Surprise Twist: 4 Comic Devices for Transformations

 

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Part IV of Surprise Twist: 4 Comic Devices for Visual Surprises

#5: Heartfelt Moments

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Part I of Heartfelt Moments: 3 Ways to Stir Motivation

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Part II of Heartfelt Moments: 3 Ways for Creating Sentimental Memories

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Part III of Heartfelt Moments: 3 Ways for Creating Proud Moments

 #4: Perceptual Discord

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Part I of Perceptual Discords: 4 Comic Devices for Odd Behaviors

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Part II of Perceptual Discords: 4 Comic Devices for Misrepresented Context

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Part III of Perceptual Discords: 4 Comic Devices for Bizarre Substitutions

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Part IV of Perceptual Discords: 4 Comic Devices for Nonsense

 #3: Put-downs

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Part I of Put-downs: 4 Comic Devices for Mocked Peculiarities

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Part II of Put-downs: 4 Comic Devices for Lofty Conquest

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Part III of Put-downs: 4 Comic Devices for Society Satire

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Part IV of Put-downs: 4 Comic Devices for Stereotypes

 #2: Astonishment

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Part I of Astonishment: 3 Ways for Showing Extraordinary Beauty

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Part II of Astonishment: 3 Ways for Showing Masterful Craftsmanship

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Part III of Astonishment: 3 Ways for Showing Limits of Human Potential

 #1: Exaggeration

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Part I of Exaggeration: 4 Comic Devices for Exaggerated Outcomes

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Part II of Exaggeration: 4 Comic Devices for Over-reactive Behaviors

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Part III of Exaggeration: 4 Comic Devices for Exaggerated Qualities

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Part IV of Exaggeration: 4 Comic Devices for Understatements

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Summary of 15 Ways to Create Entertaining Content for Social Videos

We hope you enjoyed these viral YouTube video samples of the best ways to entertain your content marketing audiences. What other forms of entertainment do you find works well with your social videos?

Top 5 Non-Humor Forms of Entertaining Content: #3 Performances

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Are you reluctant to entertain your audience as a way to make you video content go viral? After all, suppose your attempts fall flat or fail to engage your audiences in a professional way.

Follow these 4 tested techniques for applying “performances” to your YouTube videos, and you will be well on your way towards engaging your audience. In fact, our study of the top viral videos demonstrated that the use of performances is the 10th most effective technique used by advertisers to boost their viral YouTube video statistics.

4 Ways to Boost Viral Video Stats with Performances

One way to capture your audience is to entertain them with music, choreography, drama and stories. Many television commercials re-casted on YouTube went viral when the brand message was integrated into a mini- theatre performance, a fascinating life narratives or a memorable song.

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Examples of Performance Oriented Entertainment

Among the types of performances that perform best on YouTube are the following:

  1. Musical and Performing Arts
  2. Slice-of-life Narratives
  3. Plotted Storylines and Timelines
  4. Transformation Entertainment
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Devices Used in Performance Oriented Entertainment

Musicals and Performing Arts

Several high performing YouTube videos feature mini theatrical performances.  Much like the role of movie trailers, these short clip entertainers set the stage for mood setting and fantasizing. Especially when backed by a legendary song, the brand message could stick in our heads as we sing along and reminisce over our favorite nostalgic moments. 

Some of the more popular methods include short drama clips where well known celebrities are cast into leading roles of mini episodes. Similarly, Broadway style choreographies work well to captivate audiences through contemporary beats and synchronized dancing. 

Common to the higher performing clips of this type is a performance that drives audiences to the end of the script. This can be especially effective when the cast of characters and story-lines match up well with the intended brand message.

Slice-of-Life Narratives

Another long-standing techniques used in entertaining videos involves “slice-of-life” narratives. Audiences are often enamored with the subtle imagery portrayed in the life of someone that could be them.

The plotless storylines are not intended to culminate in a story ending. Instead, the narrative is intended to impart profound messages that make us pause and reflect on our lives as we progress from one scene to the next. Some sponsors have gone as far as portraying what dogs and cats may feel in their lives.

The typical slice-of-life narrative consists of a soft musical journey where snap shots of a real person’s life are narrated with words of wisdom.  Those slice-of-life narratives that reach viral performance levels typically involve messages of hope for our youth or for certain cultures.

These messages are often poetic in nature and described from the eyes of an admired icon.  Michael Jordan did this very effectively in his “Look into My Eyes” commercials for Nike.

Slice-of-life narratives are effective in pulling audiences to the end of a clip. i.e., As the concatenation of events unfolds, audiences are often intrigued by the scene transformations.  Moreover, the life messages depicted in the narrative can enhance a brand image among those connecting with the words of wisdom. Finally, this technique is perhaps the least expensive approach to creating performance oriented entertainment.   

Plotted Story-lines and Timelines

Alternatively, stories with plots or timelines can also captivate an audience while holding their interest to the end. Short cartoons and fairy tales often accomplish this by providing a mini episode. Timelines in the form of countdowns, evolving developments or historical achievements can also stimulate audience curiosity as they progress through the chronology.

Another technique used for captivated story-line attention involves a concatenation of events often leading to big performance or vision of the future. Similar to plotted stories and timelines, this technique works well to stimulate audience curiosity as they advance from one stage to another.

Transformation Entertainment

Besides story-lines and theatrical performances, another effective performance uses rapidly moving scene transformations. Dove and Adobe capitalized on this with their real-time makeovers. In less than two minutes, audiences witness an entire facial transformation.

Others like Chevy and Nike attempt to fascinate us with metamorphic transformations of their products. This can be done across product styles or across the design stages of a product.  The technique works especially well when the transformations involve animations created from real objects.

Finally, transformation entertainment often involves scene transitions such as that experienced in alter ego exploits. T-Mobile reached viral performance levels on a YouTube video featuring a lifeless women who let loose of her wild nature.

Study Background

A total of 3351 high performing videos (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted television commercials that were posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross-Cultural Research Conference.

From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 18% involved some type of performances. This form of viral video engagement ranked number six, ten and eleven in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.

So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using performance as an entertaining content marketing theme? 

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

 

Top 5 Non-Humor Forms of Entertaining Content: #4 Concept Imagery

Download buttonDo you fear that the use of entertainment in your content could hurt your image or professionalism? In our countdown of the top 15 ways to make your videos go viral, we demonstrate some proven techniques that are easy to apply.

Follow these 4 tested techniques for applying “concept imagery” to your YouTube videos, and you will be well on your way towards engaging your audience. In fact, our study of the top viral videos demonstrated that the use of concept imagery is the 13th most effective technique used by advertisers to boost their YouTube video statistics.

4 Ways to Boost Viral YouTube Video Stats with Concept imagery

With great advancements in creative photography and cinema effects, it’s no surprise that concept imagery has become a popular technique for engaging audiences. We can now dazzle audiences with optical illusions as well as special effects that making us feel the splashing, shattering, and exploding of 3D objects portrayed in 30 second clips.   

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Concept Imagery Examples

Among the types of concept imagery that perform best on YouTube are the following:

  1. Artistic Flair
  2. Illusory Sensations
  3. Physical Sensations
  4. Audio & Multi-Sensations
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Devices Used in Concept Imagery

Artistic Flair

A number of high performing YouTube videos feature elaborate 3D color imagery cast in a variety of artistic abstractions. Common to many is the bursting of colors into spectacular formations.  Others involve animated fairytales that integrate humans and animals into abstract surroundings.

Some popular hand creation commercials from HP and Samsung have also reached exceptionally high performance levels as advanced graphics software and digital photography permit the synchronizing of musical hand movements with holographic optical effects. These performance art effects can create a hypnotic WOW factor that keeps its audience engaged to the end.

Illusory Sensations

Another form of concept imagery revolves around illusory effects that often stretch our imaginations. Airlines in particular have capitalized on the blend of 3D and real-life imagery to capture world travel experiences in a dreamlike atmosphere. Dating back to the 1980s, some even produced kaleidoscope  type formations from the synchronized arrangements of aircraft, people and dolphins.

Physical Sensations

Perhaps the greatest impact made by high tech imagery is the ability of videos to create a near 4D experience. Much like the real feeling of being sprayed in Universal Studio’s Spiderman, advanced graphics with sound can create highly realistic scenes of hot, cold, wet, electrifying and windy conditions.

Several Super Bowl commercials feature ice cold or fire hot scenes with multi-sense imagery that can actually tap into our tactile senses.

Others apply special effects that allow us to experience a mood intended by the advertiser. By synchronizing the right music with 3D special effects, even low budget videos can create a wide range of sensations from soothing serenity at one end to the exhilaration of extreme speeds at the other.

Audio and Multi-Sensory Effects

Following a decade long wave of cyborg cinema and video games, we now have ample evidence to suggest that audiences love to witness the smashing, exploding and shattering of objects.

In line with the action packed thrillers we have been accustomed to watching, audiences are welcoming dare devil scenes surrounded by explosion. Many high tech sports ads are now featuring multi-sensation effects that cascade across scenes of splashing, crashing and shattering. When in doubt about a creative story-line, just blow it up.

On the lighter side, video performance statistics confirm that audiences also enjoy the mood setting effects of splashing waves and heart beating as well as the crackling sounds of lightning, raging fire or breaking ice.

Study Background

A total of 3351 high performing videos (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted television commercials that were posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross-Cultural Research Conference.

From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 5% involved some type of concept imagery. This form of viral video engagement ranked number thirteen, seven and twelve in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.

So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using performance as an entertaining content marketing theme? 

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Top 5 Non-Humor Forms of Entertaining Content: #5 Participation

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Are you among the many of us hesitant to go the edutainment route when publishing our social video content? Despite the research confirming that even B2B audiences are seeking edutainment over information, many are nervous that “having fun” could hurt our image or exceed our budget.  

In our countdown of the top 15 ways to make your videos go viral, we demonstrate some proven and “easy to apply” techniques to educate audiences in an entertaining way.

Follow these 3 tested techniques for applying “participation ” to your YouTube videos, and you will be well on your way towards engaging your audience. In fact, our study of the top viral YouTube videos demonstrated that the use of participation is the fifteenth most effective technique used by advertisers to boost their viral video statistics.

3 Ways to Boost Viral Video Stats with Participation

One way to distract us from our task at hand is to get us to participate in a commercial or social video. Consider content that asks us how to solve a riddle or offer an opinion. Aren’t you at least curious to know whether you have the correct answer?

Research and the videos below demonstrate that audience are often entertained by a cognitive challenge or through conclusion curiosity. Though not as powerful as humor or performance entertainment, this technique is often the preferred choice of advertisers seeking to engage their audiences under a reasonable budget.

Among the most popular types of participation that perform best on YouTube are the following:

  1. Completing the Message
  2. Resolving the Problem
  3. Following a Script
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Devices Used in Participation Entertainment

Common to each method is a way to distract us with a mental motivation to finish the exercise. If successful, we can applaud our wits and talents at mastering the task. In the process, advertisers get us to ponder over the concept or follow the steps of mastery.

In so doing, they lay the trail that pulls us through their entire message. That is why this technique scores high on engagement. But advertisers face a tough challenge in their attempts to direct our cognitive efforts on a meaningful and well understood brand message.

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Types of Participation Used in Edutainment

Completing the Message

One of the simplest ways to capture our attention is to have us “fill in the blanks” or “answer a question.” In 1984, the catch phrase “Where’s the Beef?” made actress Clara Peller an overnight sensation much like the LeBron James’ infamous “What Should I Do?” added fuel to his notoriety.  In both cases, we likely found ourselves attempting an answer of our own.

Another method invites us to recite or spell something correctly. By now, baby boomers likely know how to spell “R-O-L-A-I-D-S” or “O-S-C-A-R-M-A-Y-E-R.” The latter amassed nearly 1 million views on YouTube.

Similarly, advertisers could test your sports or mechanical acumen by having you “guess the winner” of a shoot-off. Gatorade capitalized on this technique when they featured a young vs. old Michael Jordan playing against each other.  

Resolving the Problem

A more cognitively challenging method of getting audiences to participate is to have them solve a problem. This gaming technique often involves guessing who or guessing what is hanging in suspense.

The use of this technique as a way to engage audiences dates back to the 1950s & 60s. At the time, a show called “What’s My Line” hosted a guessing game in which four panelists attempted to determine the identity or occupation of a mystery guest. The show remained the longest-running U.S. prime-time network television game-show for decades.

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1950′s and 60′s Game Show “What’s My Line” Captured Audiences with Guessing Who or What

In addition to guessing, audiences can be easily motivated to discover anomalies. Consider how often you find yourself correcting someone else’s mistakes or flaws. In the FedEx “Wrong” skit, we attempt to correct someone’s reference to “French Benefits.”

Similarly, the infamous Ally Bank’s “What Makes Peter, Peter?” has us incessantly correcting the interviewer’s misinterpretation of “I really love my bank’s ’Raise-Your-Rate’ CD” as he progresses from “You’d love a pay raise ASAP?” to “You spent eight days lost at sea?” to “You love watching your neighbors watch TV?”

A more subtle method of problem solving includes examination of irony or allegories. For example, a number of commercials feature statements that “go against the grain.” In Beck’s Ad “Different by Choice,” we cannot help but validate the actions of those daring to be different.

A similar reaction can be expected when we are presented with allegories or sarcasm that require our own interpretation. Both methods are effective in keeping our attention for as long as it takes to interpret the message.

Following a Script

A third way to attract and engage our audiences through participation is to get them to follow along some story-line.  This technique also dates back to the 1950s and 60s when popular music icon Mitch Miller engaged families on television by having them sing along with his music note bouncing balls.

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Mitch Miller’s Sing Along Stirred Audiences to Follow the Bouncing Balls

Many successful commercials deploy a similar scheme in their real time designs. Consider how UPS’s “Whiteboard” gets us to finish the drawing or how Absolut’s “Rasberri” commercial gets us to contribute to the bottle’s final design.

Whether it is through a catchy tune, a clever sketch or a final touch on a beautiful masterpiece, the goal here is to entice us to contribute something to the scripted message.

Study Background

A total of 3351 high performing videos (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted television commercials that were posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross-Cultural Research Conference.

From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 3% involved some type of participation. This form of viral video engagement ranked number ninth, thirteenth and fifteenth in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.

So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using participation as an entertaining content marketing theme?

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Top 5 Non-Humor Forms of Entertainment #2: Heartfelt Moments


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Are you nervous about using entertainment in your social video content? Many of us fear that entertainment is out of our league and risky to our professionalism.

Follow these 3 tested techniques for applying “heartfelt moments” to your YouTube videos, and you will be well on your way towards engaging your audience. In fact, our study of the top viral videos demonstrated that the use of heartfelt moments is the fifth most effective technique used by advertisers to boost their viral video statistics.

3 Ways to Boost Viral Video Stats with Heartfelt Moments

One way to capture your audience is through sweat and tears. Many television commercials re-casted on YouTube went viral when they featured a motivational message or tear jerking moment. In effect, these moments tap into our souls with what we dream to become or where we long to return.

Whether the moments result in pumping adrenaline or tears of pride, you can expect a high level of video sharing and engagement when using these techniques in a sincere way. 

Among the types of heartfelt moments that perform best on YouTube are the following:

    1. Motivational Inspiration

  1. Sentimental Memories
  2. Proud Moments
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Concepts for Conjuring Up Heartfelt Feelings

Motivation

In 1975, an unknown actor and film producer shocked the world with a $225 million film that later produced five more successful sequels. In the film, a kind hearted debt collector named Rocky Balboa overcomes all odds as a prize fighter. To this date, the infamous “Gonna Fly Now” song is used by many to fuel their willpower.

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Rags-to-Riches Rocky Balboa Serves as an Inspiration to Over Achievers

A number of sports product sponsors have elected this route. At the core of most themes is a gut wrenching scene of an over-achiever mustering up all their will power to get ahead. Others feature the background scenes of or inspirational messages from admired performers who demonstrate their dedication to hard work.

Sentimental Memories

But we can also stir the heart through compassion and tender memories. For years, Hallmark chose this route with sentimental scenes that rekindle family ties. Some, like McDonald’s, capitalized on first love scenes that remind us of the awkward, but heart throbbing moments that live with us forever. Others, like Chevy and Volkswagon, often create nostalgic connections where we long to revisit our youth.

Common to all is a sentimental moment of reflection on what is important in life. Whether its through scenes of family gatherings or fond memories of the past, the concept especially works well when applied to traditional family connections.  

Proud Tributes

Perhaps the most effective way to rouse a sentimental attachment is through patriotic tributes. Budweiser and American Airlines took this route in their special tributes to 911 and our troops, respectively.

When the story-lines conjure up proud feelings as parents or countrymen that touch our own sentiments toward family and heritage, the video can especially score high on brand association. In their tributes to the motor city, Chrysler did much to restore the pride of hard hit Detroit. Similar feelings are stirred when offering tributes to the passing of legendary figures.

Study Background

A total of 3351 high performing videos (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted television commercials that were posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross-Cultural Research Conference.

From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 6% involved some type of heartfelt moments. This form of viral video engagement ranked number fourteen, two and three in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.

So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using heartfelt moments as an entertaining content marketing theme?

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Top 5 Non-Humor Forms of Entertaining Content: #1 Astonishment


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Does inspiring your YouTube video communities with entertaining content make you feel uneasy? After all, what if your attempts at having fun don’t catch on? 

Follow these 3 tested techniques for applying “astonishment” to your YouTube videos, and you will be well on your way towards engaging your audience. In fact, our study of the top viral videos demonstrated that the use of astonishment is the second most effective technique used by advertisers to boost their viral video statistics.

3 Ways to Boost Viral Video Stats with Astonishment

The fact that we are entertained with a “wow” factor should not be surprising. Magicians, athletes and beautiful models have always fascinated us as we ponder the limits of beauty, imagination and human potential. We delight in the spectacular as well as the painstaking skills required to dazzle us.

Among the types of astonishment that are used in high performing videos are the following:

  1. Extraordinary Beauty
  2. Masterful Craftsmanship
  3. Human Potential
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Concepts for Creating Astonishment

Extraordinary Beauty

For years, beauty has captivated audiences with breathtaking views of what we imagine as utopia. Fashion and cosmetic companies continue to astonish us with stunning looks as we marvel over the perfect eyes and body. 

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Examples of How Beauty Can Astonish Us

Similarly, painters and photographers attempt to stretch our imaginations with breathtaking views of nature, outer space and glorious light shows. At the heart of this concept is an innate desire to marvel over a perfect creation.

Masterful Craftsmanship

A similar concept works in astonishing us with a true masterpiece. Besides engaging in content that strikes our appreciation for beauty, we likely marvel over the skills and craftsmanship surrounding the perfect design, the enormity of “larger than life” creations or technology pushed to its limits.

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Just consider how people travel thousands of miles to see Mount Rushmore or the Great Wall of China. Or consider how we marvel over the potential of the human brain when witnessing the latest in space technology and medical breakthroughs.  

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Examples of How Masterful Craftsmanship Can Astonish Us

Our senses also seem to heighten at the sight of extreme precision and the painstaking process behind a perfectly timed formation. Honda, for example, scored extremely well on a commercial featuring a highly complex domino effect. Similarly, we often marvel over the skills required to produce the perfect ice sculpture, dessert presentation or architectural design.

Human Potential

Evidence from high video performance also suggests that we marvel over those who push the limits of human capacity. Some viral videos reached exceptionally high levels of views and engagement after showing records broken by the greatest of athletes.

Without question, highlight reels devote inordinate amounts of time replaying the perfect catch, the perfect shot and the perfect throw. In effect, we likely enjoy amazing ourselves with how far our bodies can take us. This fascination also accounts for such high ratings in talent shows like American Idol where we marvel over the skills of those not expected to achieve so high.

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Examples of How Visualizing Human Potential Can Astonish Us

But the same reaction can be felt from those over achieving or pushing the limits of mental capacity. A number of videos, for example, scored high when showing women conquering their multi-tasking life styles, a man runner the marathon at 101 years old or paraplegics playing basketball.

Common to all of these techniques is our innate desire to stretch our imaginations and envision the ultimate experience.

Study Background

A total of 3351 high performing videos (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted television commercials that were posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross-Cultural Research Conference.

From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 4% involved some type of astonishment. This form of viral video engagement ranked number twelve, one and one in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.

So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using astonishment as an entertaining content marketing theme?

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Top 10 Ways to Make Your Content Funny: #10 Awkwardness

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Are you like many that are hesitant to use humor in your content? Your fears are not unfounded given that many humorous attempts have left audiences confused or even offended. On the other hand, studies show that nearly 70% of high performing commercials include some form of entertainment, most of which is based on humor.

awkwardnessIf you follow these 4 tested techniques for applying “awkwardness” to your YouTube videos, you have a great opportunity to engage your audiences without the worry of falling flat. In fact, our study of the top viral videos demonstrated that the use of awkwardness is the fourteenth most effective technique used by advertisers to boost their viral video statistics.

4 Ways to Boost Viral Video Stats with Awkwardness

Why we laugh at awkward moments has much to do with the pleasure derived from seeing others fail or suffer misfortune. Stemming from the Comic Theory of Superiority, this disparaging form of humor leads to a feeling of sudden glory when we displace our own histories of embarrassing moments onto others.

Among the types of humor that capitalize on awkwardness are the following:

  1. Remorseful Regrets
  2. Uncomfortable Settings
  3. Exercising Humility
  4. Revealed Secrets
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Comic Devices for Awkwardness

Remorseful Regrets

One way to enjoy others’ misfortunes is through the depiction of embarrassing situations where victims are left speechless. Consider how we laugh at those experiencing fear and remorse after they realize they are in a “no win” situation. Geico did this by showing Abe Lincoln faced with a tough predicament of being honest or offending his wife.

The laughter in these cases typically results from the remorse felt by the victim from their regretful actions or statements. By displacing own recollection of these embarrassments onto others, we are in effect saying: “Thank God, that did not happen to me.”  Arguably, this laughter increases the more a victim is caught off guard or left with an unsolvable quandary.

In the sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond, Robert and Ray Barone often found themselves in a sticky situation. Both were prone to engaging their mouths before their brains as regretful statements and actions put them in the dog house. We laughed, for example, when Ray was forced to choose between ingratiating his dominating mother or his wife.

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Ray and Robert Barone Notorious for Their Remorseful Quandaries

Uncomfortable Settings

Another successful way to get laughter from awkwardness is through scenes of discomfort that arises when someone gets too intimate or discusses matters better left to themselves. A number of commercials feature the discomfort that men in particular feel when other guys get too close or expose their creepy behaviors. Doritos capitalized on this with their ad featuring a man licking another man’s fingers.

A similar sense of misfortune is realized when a young boy faces the dreaded kiss of an assertive girl or when a father is pressed to answer “where do babies come from?” We are likely reliving our own experiences of the fear that results from being put on a spot.

Exercising Humility

Displaced embarrassment can also arise when we witness others having to explain themselves after exposing their vulnerabilities. In this case, we are laughing at the relief from not being the one who has to exercise humility. Southwest uses this technique in their “wanna get away” campaigns. The story-line features characters often put on the spot publicly to explain their mistakes.

This technique especially works well when featuring men inadvertently exposing their feminine or child sides. This feeling of shame can also result when quiet words are broadcast publicly or when surrounding audiences get the wrong impression from seemingly perverted behaviors.

Revealed Secrets

Our final method used to create awkward moments involves the exposure of someone’s embarrassing intentions. This often includes the unraveling of a character’s foiled deceptions when caught red handed.

Other techniques include the detection of a man’s true colors or his inappropriate glances at another woman. In this case, we are likely laughing at their behavioral hypocrisy as well as their misfortune of having a poor disguise.

Study Background

A total of 3351 high performing videos (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted television commercials that were posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross-Cultural Research Conference.

From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 3% involved some type of awkwardness. This form of viral video engagement ranked number five, fifteen and fifteen in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.

So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using awkwardness as an entertaining content marketing theme?

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Top 10 Ways to Make Your Content Funny: #9 Sentimental Humor

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Does the thought of inspiring your YouTube video communities with entertaining content make you nervous? What if your attempts at having fun simply fall flat? 

sentimental humorFollow these 4 tested techniques for applying sentimental humor to your YouTube videos, and you will be well on your way towards engaging your audience. In fact, our study of the top viral videos demonstrated that the use of sentimental humor is the twelfth most effective technique used by advertisers to boost their viral video statistics.

4 Ways to Boost Viral Video Stats with Sentimental Humor

Sentimental humor taps into our emotions through an arousal-safety mechanism. For example, in the first stage or arousal-safety, emotions are aroused with sentimentality, empathy or some form of negative anxiety. As the story-line develops, we then see this heightened arousal state as safe, cute or inconsequential. This shift from high arousal to relief is what creates laughter. 

A way to imagine this type of humor is to consider how we laugh. Comic wit, for example, is normally expressed as “Ah Hah.” Laughter from disparaging humor (e.g., putdowns) is normally expressed as “Ha, Ha.” Sentimental humor would be expressed as “Ahhh.” This could happen when we witness someone escaping danger as well as when we experience a child doing something cute.

Among the types of humor that capitalize on this arousal-safety mechanism are the following:

  1. Child Innocence
  2. Fear & Anxiety Relief
  3. Melodrama
  4. Inner Secrets
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Comic Devices for Sentimental Humor

Child Innocence

Children can easily arouse our emotions with their youthful discoveries and mimicry of adulthood. The laughter tends to result when we see them successfully overcome their struggles to get through complicated situations.

Story-lines usually start with a sentimental attachment or an empathetic feeling towards the child. We then laugh when we see how their first battles with courage, romance or independence conclude with a happy ending.

In some situations, we may be laughing at how their trials prove more fruitful than our own. This may be the reason why we love scenes of children reflecting our own inner self.

No character perhaps aroused us more with child innocence than Shirley Temple. The child prodigy started her film career at the age of 3. With her innocent coquetry, she was known for her advice to clergymen and other adults that often had profound implications. 

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Shirley Temple Epitomizes Child Innocence

In the following film clips, we see several viral YouTube videos based on child innocence where the laughter results from children topping their adult counterparts as well as our vicariously living through their incorruptibility. 

Fear & Anxiety Relief

Another successful way to get laughter from sentimental humor is through the relief of fear and anxiety. For example, just when we expect some disturbing outcome, a story-line then shows the fears to be baseless. This is often done with scenes of individuals barely escaping tense situations.

The arousal-safety mechanism in this case starts with a buildup of suspense. As the fearful sensation rouses within us, we then experience a physiological shift when the fearful situation fizzles into something inconsequential. This swing in emotional response is what produces laughter.

Melodrama

Sentimental humor can also be created through melodrama. Consider how we laugh when we experience someone’s over theatrical behaviors. For example, a story-line may start with someone’s passionate reaction to a mundane situation. But as we begin to process their intensity with our own empathetic reflections, we then find the cause of their melodrama to be unfounded.

In effect, this arousal-safety mechanism takes us from our own passionate empathy to a feeling of relief from the false alarm. Laughter then results from the arousal-safety shift. Similarly, we might laugh as we conclude the melodramatic actor is rather pathetic.

Inner Secrets

A fourth method used in sentimental humor derives from the exposure of inner secrets such as when we witness someone passing in and out of dreams. A fantasy, for example, could arouse our emotions. We then laugh from a shift in these emotions as we are made aware of the false state.

This arousal-safety mechanism could also work when an innocent scene turns out to have sexual overtones. In essence, we are likely laughing at the tension relief we experience from keeping our inner desires secret.

Finally, inner secrets can produce laughter when we observe and hear a contradicting inner voice. In this case, we are likely experiencing an emotional shift when the imagined inner voice allows us to safely escape from a hostile or awkward situation.

Study Background

A total of 3351 high performing videos (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted television commercials that were posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross-Cultural Research Conference.

From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 3% involved some type of sentimental humor. This form of viral video engagement ranked number eight, twelve and ten in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.

So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using sentimental humor as an entertaining content marketing theme?

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Top 10 Ways to Make Your Content Funny: #8 Malicious Joy

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Are you hesitant to provide entertaining content for fear of falling flat? In our countdown of the top ways to make your videos go viral, we demonstrate a wide range of humorous and other entertainment techniques that have stood the test of time.

malicious joy

In fact, if you follow these 5 tested techniques for applying “malicious joy” to your YouTube videos, you can be assured of boosting audience engagement with your content. The use of malicious joy comes in at number 8 on our top 10 ways to make your content funny.

5 Ways to Boost Viral Video Stats with Malicious Joy

Malicious joy, or schadenfreude, refers to the pleasure we derive from seeing others fail or suffer misfortune. Rooted in the Theory of Superiority, this feeling of sudden glory can occur when we witness:

  1. Bungled Behaviors
  2. Unanticipated Spoilers
  3. Unfortunate Happenstances
  4. Deserved Repercussions
  5. Cretins
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Comic Devices for Malicious Joy

Bungled Behaviors

A common approach for entertaining audiences with malicious joy is to poke fun of someone notorious for clumsy or incompetent behaviors. The 1950’s sitcom, “I Love Lucy,”  reached the highest popularity of any show at its time based on the bungling behaviors of Lucy. The  naive and accident prone housewife had a knack for getting herself and her husband into trouble whenever she tried to make a name for herself.

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Trouble Prone Lucy in “I Love Lucy”

In the following film clips, we see several viral YouTube videos based on characters prone to accidents or saying the wrong thing. This is often displayed through the eyes of someone drunk or oblivious to their surroundings.

Men, in particular, are often portrayed for their bungled behaviors resulting from their one track minds. Consider how we laugh when women make futile attempts to attract their husband’s attention when engrossed in their games or jobs. We are likely laughing at the husband’s obsessions and oblivion as well as the wife’s futile attempts to get their attention.

Unanticipated Spoilers

Another successful way to get laughter from malicious joy is through the portrayal of spoilers. For example, many of us laugh when witnessing the spoiling of romance. Just when the mood is set, attempts at seduction are foiled by some unexpected event.

The videos below show similar results in views and engagement when a storyline ends with unexpected damage, injuries or danger. This cause of laughter taps more into our emotional senses where a feeling of superiority is felt over those whose peace or excitement is snatched away.

Unfortunate Happenstances

Our third technique used in malicious joy relates to bad luck. Shamefully, many of us laugh when others get dealt a bad hand. Most of us enjoy watching someone knocked down a notch when an unwise choice is based on attempts at heroism or chivalry.

The same type of thrill emerges from bad timing such as when someone interrupts our concentration at the worst time or when the next person in line wins the grand prize.

We also delight in the misfortune of those exhibiting naïveté or simply keeping their eye off the ball. Especially when foolish mistakes result in catastrophic consequences, we often laugh hysterically at choices we know we are capable of committing ourselves.

Deserved Repercussions

Perhaps even more than bad luck or unexpected spoilers is the laughter resulting from well-deserved retaliation. This often happens when the actions of a featured villain backfire. In a similar vein, we laugh at paybacks against someone we despise or who is unveiled of their devious intentions.

Doritos did this very well in their commercial of a baby snatching the bag of chips from an annoying older sibling who incessantly teased the toddler. The payback results in our own feeling of sudden glory that we experience when living vicariously through the underdog.  

On the lighter side, some sponsors use innocent repercussions to highlight the misfortunes of someone overzealous or careless. Though not as deserving as the villainous victim of a backfire, we still relish the thought of witnessing the aftermath of someone drinking too much or short cutting their path to success.

Cretins

Our final category of malicious joy relates to the casting of cretins whose low class demeanor elevates our own status. For centuries, comedies of imbeciles, derelicts, the grotesque and the deformed have aroused fits of laughter from audiences.

A number of sponsors have obtained high scores in views and engagement from the portrayal of people seen as physically deformed (e.g., 700 lb. sumo wrestler). Similar results, however, can be achieved when portraying folks as mentally subnormal (e.g., derelicts).

Both Geico and FedEx capitalized on cretin sneering in their casting of Neanderthals in modern settings.

Vonage chose a similar tactic by casting airheads and derelicts in both their “People do Stupid Things” and “Chief Generosity Officer” campaigns.

Study Background

A total of 3351 high performing videos (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted television commercials that were posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross-Cultural Conference.

From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 5% involved some type of malicious joy. This form of viral video engagement ranked number eleven, nine and eight in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.

So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using malicious joy as an entertaining content marketing theme?

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

 

Top 10 Ways to Make Your Content Funny: #7 Social Order Deviancy

Are you hesitant to provide humorous content for fear of missing the mark? In our countdown of the top 10 ways to make your content funny, we demonstrate some proven comic techniques that are easy to apply.

social order deviancyIn fact, if you follow these 4 tested techniques for applying “social order deviancy” to your YouTube videos, you can be assured of boosting audience engagement with your content. The use of social order deviancy comes in at number 7.

4 Ways to Boost Viral Video Stats with Social Order Deviancy

Social order deviancy refers to those behaviors that challenge society rules and expectations. The fact that we laugh at these violations is explained by Relief Theory of Humor.

This theory contends that we laugh from release of tension that arises from suppressing our desires. Consequently, we love watching others unleash their innate desire to break the law, enter forbidden territory or simply act out their inhibitions.

In general, most viral videos featuring social order deviancy fall under the following four categories:

  1. Society Irreverence
  2. Forbidden Behaviors
  3. Offensive Behaviors
  4. Unleashed Mania
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Comic Devices for Social Order Deviancy

Society Irreverence

A popular technique for entertaining audiences with social order deviancy is to poke fun of pompous society folks. In the 1960’s sitcom, “The Beverly Hillbillies,” Jed Clampett and his poor backwoods family transplanted to Beverly Hills, California, after striking oil on their land.

In the series, audiences laugh hysterically as the rags to riches family unknowingly mocks the posturing of high society by retaining their hillbilly lifestyle in a luxurious Hollywood house.  Being exploited by rich bankers, the Clampetts often come out ahead with their provincial wisdom. In effect, they put high society in their place.

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High Society Satire Exemplified by the Backwoods Clampetts

In the following film clips, we see several viral YouTube videos based on high society satires, rule breaking and undermining authority. Common to all is the  release of tension we experience when we unload on someone’s suppressing statutes. Witness how this works when we outwit the censorship imposed by honorable judges, pious clergymen or smug professors.

Forbidden Behaviors

Another successful way to get laughter from social order deviancy is through the depiction of forbidden behaviors. Many of us laugh when witnessing the spoiling of sacred rituals. Who doesn’t love watching others break taboos? This likely results from sharing their pressures in having to sustain a devout life.  

A similar thrill arises when we strip off clothing, break office rules, or slap a smug antagonist.  Whether its vicariously acting out naughty behaviors or simply fighting back, we feel liberated from society rules.

Offensive Behaviors

Our third technique used in social order deviancy involves offensive behaviors. Here again, we enjoy watching others mock society. In this case, the mockery is through tactless behaviors. This could include bad manners or disgusting personal habits.

A common technique used in this type of humor is to highlight reactions to poor hygiene such as from foot odor, perspiration or flatulence. As the perfect target of our tactless behavior, this especially works well when exposing the offense to those highly sensitive to protocol or classy surroundings.

Unleashed Mania

Our final category of social order deviancy involves letting loose with craziness. One of the oldest forms of humor involves the depiction of mad scientists. In effect, we are laughing at the disorder associated with an esteemed profession.

Another technique evokes our inner craving for disorder in public places. In the viral videos below, you can attribute the humor to disruptions created from screaming and destroying property in serene surroundings.

Finally, the witnessing of women swooning over men in insane frenzies has been a highly successful humor technique over the years. In 1994, Diet Coke featured an office full of ladies running to windows at lunchtime to get a glimpse of a sexy construction worker.

Axe took this concept a step further when they featuring hoards of bikini clad jungle women closing in on their prey. In this case, the hunted was a man freshly deodorized with Axe.

Study Background

A total of 3351 high performing videos (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted television commercials that were posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross-Cultural Conference.

From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 3% involved some type of social order deviancy. This form of viral video engagement ranked number two, eleven and thirteen in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.

So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using social order deviancy as an entertaining content marketing theme?

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.