Power of laughter by James Guerrier, Viacom #AMSRS 

Live blogged at #AMSRS 2015 national conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.


  • research drives reinvention across the business
  • can we harness the power of laughter? [well the answer must be yes!]
  • 3600 respondents in 12 markets, 10 minute interview, 25 minutes interview with facial scanning
  • two thirds of young adults say they are very happy, more happy in mexico, south africa, Poland, Russia; less so in Italy Spain Singapore 
  • are you a heavy laugher? two plus per day. [that alone makes me laugh, its depressing that some people don’t life at least twice per day]
  • heavy laughers have more friends, more positive outlook, better sex life = perhaps we should laugh as much as possible
  • also better physical shape, and better social life with more friends more dates
  • heavy laughers watch their comedy channels more often
  • young adults get the power of laughter
  • behaviour is unconscious, emotions drive our behaviour, emotion sells
  • does emotional always win over the rational?
  • did facial coding using a webcam, don’t have to rely on recall after the fact, it’s cross culturally relevant – emotional expression is the same across the world
  • challenge of web cam facial tracking – terrible lighting, terrible aim and focus, pets jumping in people’s faces – they can’t measure facial expressions of cats and dogs 🙂
  • 12 million individual measures from just 250 people [big data? oh yeah]
  • compared funny content and serious content
  • emotional engagement is much higher for audiences watching comedy, halo effect for advertising, those following comedy have higher emotional flow than those following factual content
  • pattern held across markets
  • average uplift was 57% higher globally, highest in Poland Singapore Spain, lowest in Russia United Kingdom Germany 
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