Don’t tell Instagram video this but *looks around to check Instagram isn’t within hearing distance* I like Vine more.

Vine encourages a level of innovation, humour, imagination and low-budget ‘can-do’ spirit that sees brands step out of their comfort zone and become much more human. Meanwhile brands on Instagram can still hide behind its many filters, tools and longer running time to remain as impersonal as a TV ad.

It was a difficult job compiling a best Vines of the year list from the monthly round-ups just because there were so many excellent ones, that’s why it’s twice the size of the best Instagram videos of the year

You may disagree on the individual choices I’ve made, but the point is that each is from a brand you should definitely be following if you want inspiration for your own social video efforts.

So sit back, relax and enjoy 180 seconds of brilliance.

Arby’s

Arby’s bought Pharrell’s giant and donated it to a museum in Washington. Yep, true story. Watch the tale unfold in the following hard hitting reconstruction.

Best Buy

The US electronics chain has been creating loads of excellent and very helpful ‘how to’ videos this year, under the hashtag #HackToSchool

Buick

I shall remain forever naive about whether this is real or not. I choose to believe the former.

Burberry

Sure we’ve all seen time-lapse photography countless times before, but when you consider that this transition from London to Shanghai was achieved by repeatedly tapping the Vine app for two different all-day-long sessions in two different locations half the world away, it’s actually a monumental achievement. 

Danio

Rube Goldberg Vine of the year goes to…

Dunkin Donuts

It’s this little tribute to Brody, Quint and Hooper that wins DD's most appealing Vine of the year.

ESPN

Look! His helmet popped straight off. I’d be that smug too. Assuming his head wasn’t attached.

Ford

Ford is absolutely brilliant on Vine, particularly its use of self-deprecating humour…

General Electric

YES! MELT HOUSEHOLD GOODS MELT!!! MU HA HA HA HA HA.

Hewlett-Packard

Slapstick, simple sound effects, five shot maximum… Vine found its natural rhythm in 2014

Hyundai

Introducing the absurdly clumsy Hyundai Hank. Looking forward to the final part where he just gets left on the hot dashboard.

Intel

The stop-motion used in Vines is getting slicker and slicker. I particularly love this perfect looping effort.

Jolly Rancher

After an eight month break, the US candy maker began Vining again in earnest. This is one of the best stop-motion animations from 2014.

LEGO

LEGO entered the world of Vine in suitably well-planned and creative fashion this year, here the brand shows off the endless possibilities of its LEGO Creator sets.

Lowe’s

Not that it’s a competition or anything but Lowe’s totally won Vine in 2014. Here it teases its Black Friday offers with a series of beautifully made and witty animations.

Lumia UK

Showing how a global brand can adapt to local territories with wit and relevancy.

Mastercard 

A beautifully animated Vine that captures the spirit of the Home Run Derby, I would imagine. Although I doubt anybody in the world has eaten even a shred of lettuce with a hot dog, let alone a plate-full.

Nest

Recently acquired by Google, Nest is a home-automation company helping to usher in the dawn of the internet of things. It’s recently starting promoting its products on Vine to charming and informative effect.

Nike Football

Showing off expert football skills, and possible sorcery, Nike Football was a soccer fan's dream this year.

Opel

Certainly not the only brand capitalising on professional Viner Zach King’s skills. This is one of his more achievable efforts however.

Oreo

Timing is everything, yet when you only have six seconds the temptation to rush through is extraordinary. Oreo however has managed to create tension and comic timing exquisitely here.

Pepsi Max UK

Enjoy this tie-in with the latest Transformers movie - 'Transformers 4: Where the Hell Did My Fizzy Pop Just Go?'

Red Bull

Red Bull's Vines are mini masterclasses in lo-fi innovation. There’s nothing showy here, which befits the platform, just incredible stunts, brilliantly captured. 

Samsung Mobile

Last year I said that Samsung Mobile has reached a pinnacle of showcasing features through hugely imaginative and captivating creativity. In 2014 it's done even better.

Sony Electronics

Highlighting the camera’s pop-up viewfinder is this excellent Vine which is deeply charming in its simplicity and succinctly showcases its functionality. 

Tide

Batdad has this whole Vine thing sewn up. His channel is full of wit, charm and homespun ingenuity. Tide has tapped into his creativity (and huge audience) for a series of Father’s Day related Vines

Verizon Wireless USA

Here’s a great animation highlighting the company’s partnership with the IndyCar 2014

Visa

Perhaps even more thrilling than the Winter Olympics itself, here Visa let's you know how it feels to travel to Sochi by being shot out of a cannon.

Volkswagen

Just a beautifully executed Vine. Look at the way the Beetle completes a 360 degree spin. That must have been a pleasure to create.

Walkers Crisps

This is most impressive for its excellent use of an unbroken loop.

Further reading…

For lots more on the blog about Vine, check out the following articles:

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 16 December, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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