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Video sharing app Vine turned 100 days old last week and according to new research it has proved to be quite the success.

Data from Unruly shows that five Vine clips are shared every second on Twitter and branded Vines are four times more likely to be shared than branded online videos.

It’s also interesting to note that weekends are the most popular time to share Vines and in most cases they are more popular than all the previous weekdays combined.

We’ve previously looked at fashion brands and football teams that have begun using Vine, as well as highlighting both good and bad uses of the platform.

As with any new technology it’s good to keep experimenting and work out how it can benefit your brand, but there are a few guiding principles that it’s worth considering.

So here are seven things to consider when using Twitter’s Vine...

1. What’s the point of your video? Make sure it serves a purpose.

Vine’s instantaneous nature means it’s tempting to just record the first thing that comes into your head, but We Are Social marketing director Tom Ollerton says that the best results always come from having an underlying strategy.

Take The Times' budget Vine - it may have been knocked up quickly but it had a decent bit of planning behind it, resulting in a nice creative concept, turned around promptly.

So think about why you want to use Vine. Often brands use it to give people a peek behind the scenes at their company or promote a new product, but it can also be used for competitions, to attract user-generated content, or for quirky short ads.

2. Remember that Vine records sound as well.

When you watch a Vine the default setting is to have the volume switched off, which seems to trick some brands into thinking that they don’t have to worry about the sound.

However I feel that at the very least brands should make sure that the sound isn’t offensive to the ears and ideally should be incorporating speech or some sound effects into the clip.

These two Vines show how different the outcome can be – Doritos came up with a fun, creative idea that has great visuals and sound.

It also ties into a competition so it serves a purpose beyond simply testing out Vine to see what it can do.

And at the opposite end of the spectrum, this example from General Electric is a tribute to the Harlem Shake. But listening to it with the sound on is a major disappointment...

3. Consider mounting the camera on something so it doesn’t shake too much.

Just because it’s a six-second clip that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore your production values.

According to Ollerton:

Although they are clearly very different concepts, you should be just as comfortable presenting a Vine in a marketing meeting as your latest ad.

While a handheld camera can add a bit of personality and authenticity to a clip, there’s also a danger that it will be too shaky and look low quality or unprofessional.

Therefore, depending on your aims, it might be worth investing in a tripod for your phone so that the resulting video is smooth and doesn’t induce motion sickness.

This is particularly true when it comes to stop motion clips, as the impact will be undermined if the camera isn’t held in a fixed position.

4. Keep it simple. Focus on one idea.

As you are probably aware, six seconds isn’t a very long period of time, so simplicity is the aim of the game when creating a Vine.

Focus on one idea and work out a succinct way of getting your point across. There simply isn’t time to introduce several different ideas or themes and you’ll end up with a messy clip that nobody will want to share.

According to Ollerton:

Simplicity is the key to Vine. Our brains just aren't ready to take in more than one concept in six seconds, and people don't want to have to work hard to understand what you're getting at. More likely is that they'll just lose interest.

5. Don’t use too many different camera angles.

This ties into the idea of keeping things simple, but I’ve noticed that a number of brands try to cram in far too many different camera shots into their Vines.

Take this example from American Apparel. The idea is okay as its giving people a look inside one of the company’s factories, but unfortunately the number of different clips makes it confusing and painful on the eyes.

I would suggest that in general Vines should be limited to around two to four different shots otherwise it can dilute the impact.

6. Be creative.

To make the most of Vine you need to come up with something that people will want to retweet and share, so it’s important to push the boundaries and be creative.

A video of your new catalogue is not going to get people excited, but if you give it a twist using stop motion then it makes the clip more interesting.

In this example from Next there are a few problems with the consistency of the lighting and the ripple effect at the end is too ambitious, but with a few tweaks it could have been great.

Similarly, this example promoting the new Wolverine movie is incredibly creative (though I think it has too many different camera shots) and according to Unruly was the ninth most-tweeted Vine since the platform was launched. 

Another great example is ASOS’s campaign to encourage its customers to post videos of themselves unpacking their new clothes.

The retailer offered prizes to people who posted clips of themselves using the hashtag #ASOSUnbox, which is a terrific way of interacting with customers and getting them to shout about your brand.

7. Stop motion FTW

It takes a bit more time and effort, but some of the most creative uses of Vine that I’ve seen are ones that use stop motion.

This clip from Bacardi is a great example – it’s a really simple idea but is executed superbly for great effect.

Another useful example is this one from General Electric to celebrate Pi Day. It requires patience and creativity, but the impact makes it worthwhile.

David Moth

Published 14 May, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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