The main goal of viral marketing is to affect brands positively. But most studies concern the causes of an ad going viral, not its impact on brands. In this sense, this study aims to demonstrate and compare video ads’ value drivers on brands and sharing, determining which antecedents maximize results on each, enabling the best ad performance for advertisers.
A survey was conducted with 368 respondents who watched viral video ads from five global companies on YouTube. The proposed model was tested using structural equation modeling in SmartPLS4.
The results of this study demonstrated that product category involvement is essential for viral advertising. Furthermore, the entertainment value is the most relevant antecedent of sharing, but it does not affect brand equity; it is the social value responsible for brand equity.
Marketing managers should create ads that simultaneously generate entertainment and social values, maximizing sharing and branding effects. However, if only one of the two effects (brand/share) is achieved, then the advertiser will fail to obtain maximum performance.
The mainstream of viral marketing research is focused on antecedents of sharing. However, sharing is not enough to provide brand effects and return on investment of advertisement. This study reveals that different consumers’ values drive sharing and brand equity, suggesting that firms should consider a dual value generation strategy regarding the performance of viral video ads. On the other hand, this research conciliates the extant literature about the phenomena with the importance of product category involvement.
Chinelato, F.B; Gonçalves Filho, C. and Randt, D. (2023), ” Why is sharing not enough for brands in video ads? A study about commercial video ads’ value drivers “, Spanish Journal of Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SJME-10-2022-0214