Vine for Brands: The Six-Second Smile

Last week we looked at Vine and the opportunities this six-second video platform presents for bloggers. This week we’re going consider the value in Vine for brands, or whether for the big players it’s a distracting bandwagon that you shouldn’t be jumping on.


On March 2 French electro-duo Daft Punk released a 15-second teaser trailer for their new album during American TV’s Saturday Night Live. One comment on the YouTube version simply says: “15 seconds are enough to hype the sh** out of me”. Before long it had been cut into a six-second Vine and the Twittersphere was buzzing with rumours and conjecture on what the new album would be like and when Daft Punk would be touring again. A tiny piece of content stimulated massive noise — is this is a microcontent revolution?


As Daft Punk showed, microcontent can have considerable impact. And, of course the speed of distribution through social media is phenomenal, but Vine’s six-second format presents some creative challenges for brands looking to get involved. 78% of TrueView pre-roll ads on YouTube are skipped as soon as the ‘skip’ button appears (after five seconds), highlighting the difficulty in engaging a viewer in this window.

In our previous blog we saw how bloggers can use Vines to give people a window into their world. Perhaps the same is true for brands? Rather than try and use them to deliver traditional advertising messages, Vines should probably be seen as a way brands can share a bit of personality and create an emotional connection.


You might be forgiven for expecting General Electric, one of the largest companies in the world, to have a dull, corporate presence on social media, but the conglomerate is one of the trailblazers using Vine to interest people rather than sell to them. They’re using the hashtag #6secondscience to share Vines showing what happens when you do crazy things like mix milk, food colouring and dish soap, or to wish a humourous happy birthday message to a hero of science. It’s light-hearted, interesting and easily digestible stuff.

If brands can use Vine to add a smile to someone’s day, there’s a good chance that person will be willing to then explore other, longer content and start building a relationship. Maybe they’ll check out your YouTube channel, visit your site, or perhaps it might just mean that when a your video advertising appears they won’t ignore it, open a new tab to pass the time or impatiently wait for the skip button. They might pay attention because they’ve already bought into who you are, not just what you’re selling.

It’s a great stepping stone format that can use intrigue and imagination to draw people in to engagement with your brand. So, what’s stopping you?


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