Videos for Rockstar's "Grand Theft Auto V" have attracted the most buzz among the big video games due to be launched this year. According to a new report released today by video technology company Unruly, "Grand Theft Auto V" videos have attracted 48 percent of the video shares and 52 percent of the views.
"Grand Theft Auto V" also had the highest number of average shares per video, 192,000 – 54 percent more than its nearest rival, "Call of Duty: Ghosts" (125,000). According to Unruly, this could be attributed to the fact that the last "Grand Theft Auto" game was released in 2008, while the other franchises tend to release their updates more frequently.
In anticipation of next week's rumored Apple iPhone launches, Unruly also analyzed how videos from key brands performed across the global smartphone market. It found Apple's social video advertising strategy is underperforming. Apple iPhone commercials account for only 9.4 percent of smartphone video shares.
The report found that Apple's ads are not only being left behind by rivals such as Nokia and Samsung, but that commercials for Apple's iPhone 5 underperformed significantly – even when compared to its own previous models. Ads for the iPhone 4S attracted 2.5 times more shares than those for the iPhone 5.
Unruly has also compiled a video chart of the most shared smartphone ads, which will track the success of commercials promoting the Apple iPhone 5S and other upcoming models over the coming weeks.
In addition to video games and smartphones, the new report also looked at some of the key battles in the tablet, video game console, and web browser markets in the run-up to the holiday season, identifying which brands' commercials are attracting the most attention online – and which desperately need an upgrade.
Other key findings from the report are:
- Newer is not always better: In addition to volume of shares, the share rate was also a lot better for the Apple iPhone 4S, with 1 in 10 people who have viewed ads for the Apple iPhone 4S going on to share them, versus 1 in 56 for the Apple iPhone 5;
- Game On: Sony's PS4 console has a clear lead over Microsoft's Xbox One. Its videos have generated 90 percent of the shares and 91 percent of the views between the two;
- Quantity over quality: Samsung ads dominate the smartphone market, attracting more than half of the total number of shares. However, Samsung's dominance is largely due to sheer number of videos launched. On average, it took Samsung ads 35 views to generate a share compared with Blackberry (1:11), Apple (1:23), Nokia (1:26) and Sony (1:34). In terms of overall shares, Nokia was second with 17.4 percent, while Apple was third with only 9.4%;
- Surface rises to the top: Microsoft's Surface had the two most shared tablet ads of all time, ahead of Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1, which came in third;
- Battle of the Browsers: Google Chrome has attracted almost 70% of the total all-time shares. However, Microsoft Internet Explorer's ads have eaten away at Google's dominance significantly over the last 12 months, accounting for 88.6 percent of the shares.
Unruly has also summarized the key stats from the research paper in an infographic that can be downloaded.
"Consumer tech has completely transformed over the past decade," Unruly COO and co-founder Sarah Wood said in a press release. "In such a fast-moving environment, where innovation is key to grabbing consumers' attention, brands need a fast-paced medium to market their products. Because social video can be emotionally powerful and at the same time also extremely informative about new products or features, it offers a massive opportunity for brands in the run-up to the holiday season."
With social video advertising being shown to increase purchase intent by up to 103 percent, according to Decipher, and word-of-mouth now being the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions, according to McKinsey, it has never been more important for a brand to get its video content and distribution strategies right.
However, as consumers part with their cash and spend big on the latest gadgets and games, it's a message that is simply being ignored by a lot of brands in the sector.
Tech lags significantly behind other sectors, with ads for video games, smartphones, web browsers and tablets only generating 8.9 percent of the total number of shares. FMCG/CPG, Retail and Entertainment and Autos attracted 29.4 percent, 19.7 percent, 10.9 percent and 10.1 percent respectively.
"These sharing numbers aren't just vanity metrics," Wood said. "Making videos shareable can dramatically increase a brand's reach, generate recommendations among peer groups and increase brand uplift and trigger purchases."