Short But Sweet: The Growing Influence of VineShelly Farmer 06.04.2015
Thanks to constantly evolving communications technologies, the landscape of our lives is constantly changing. But it’s not just our lives that are in flux, it’s the business world as well. Among the many innovations, social media seems to be the one most responsible for presenting with a unique spectrum of challenges and opportunities.
Twitter, in particular, has become firmly established as an indispensable tool for spreading information quickly and broadly; enabling companies to interact with their consumers on a one-on-one basis, and imbuing them with a chance to use humor or cleverness to craft a recognizable public persona. But while Twitter may have opened our eyes to this new form of marketing, Vine—the new kid on the social media block—has begun to emerge as an invaluable tool for companies eager to connect with young consumers.
Since the advent of film and television, moving images have proven to be a highly effective way of reaching consumers. So, in many ways, Vine seems like the most natural social media extension of traditional advertising. But while classic commercials have always functioned (and flourished) within time constraints, Vine takes this to a new extreme by limiting users—as Twitter did with their 140 character restraint—to only posting videos that run six-seconds or less. With such a tiny video marketing window, crafting a successful message becomes something an of art. Many have tried, but few have really managed to make waves. So in light of this growing trend—and its notable degree of difficulty—let’s take a look at some of the videos that have managed to make some noise.
The first Vine-created television commercial, and one of the most famous examples of Vine-based marketing, is Dunkin Donuts’ Super Bowl ad. Months later, it still remains one of the most impressive commercial uses of the service. By making use of stop-motion animation—an increasingly popular technique of the site—the spot takes advantage of Vine’s brevity to eschew narrative in favor of action (as well as, of course, prominent placement of recognizable brand imagery).
Samsung’s 2014 skiing ad similarly makes use of stop-motion techniques. However, it ups the ante, with more sophisticated animation, featuring a range of styles and textures. Most importantly, the ad is more specifically tailored to the site, with an animation that loops perfectly.
While Vine’s charm lies largely in it’s rough-around-the-edges, handmade quality, luxury brands have used the site as an extension of their existing, artfully-composed marketing campaigns. Chanel’s channel features a range of teasers for their longer ads, offering an oasis of artfulness in a site full of plucky, spur of the moment creativity.
Target’s recent Age of Ultron campaign has taken advantage of Vine’s interactivity in two distinct ways. The company produced a series of five Vines with a continuous narrative across the separate videos, showcasing the site’s ability to feature both hyper-short stories, as well as longer stories that can span multiple videos. However, Target also encouraged users to submit their own, related videos, which they would share on their page. Both techniques encouraged customers to become loyal followers of Target’s Vine presence.
Ultimately, Vine is primarily popular with teenagers and 20-somethings, who use the site to make very short-form comedy. The best marketing, then, is not overt marketing at all. The most effective Vines convey a sense of humor and ease with the format. Buzzfeed’s Vines never beg for an audience. They know their audience’s sense of humor, and let the jokes speak for themselves.
As consumers continue to shift away from traditional media forms, and access more and more content online, the importance of social media in marketing will only continue to grow. While the specific limitations of sites like Twitter and Vine present unique challenges, embracing these new forms can open companies up to new audiences and endless possibilities.