It was only 19 months ago that Twitter launched Vine, a service that lets users create and share 6-second looping videos. Since then, some 40 million users have joined in on the admittedly addictive app to create, re-vine, and watch. Among the most active users are top brands, some of which are putting it all on the vine, so to speak, when it comes to marketing. Funny how top brands and jumping into all the new social trends early and often are so synonymous.
Brands that have long gone big with television ad budgets are suddenly rethinking the investment. While 2013 saw Tide focus on the Super Bowl commercial game with its Joe Montana Miracle Stain spot, in 2014 the company benched the $4 million dollar commercial play in favor of 22 viral interactive videos on Vine.1 It is important to note that the success of Tide’s social video advertising was directly tied to—you could even say piggybacked—the commercial spots that aired. After each commercial, Tide’s marketers would tweet a real-time response Vine with the hashtag #getsitout. Their efforts awarded them 3.6 million impressions, though spokeswoman Anne Candido added that they did pay for Promoted Tweets.1 The reach of theVine campaign is a large leap from the 111.5 million the Super Bowl boasts in viewers, but when comparing the audience reach to the budget, and considering that it was one of the first of its kind to create such an expansive real-time Vine campaign, it is certainly a note-worthy achievement.
When it comes to integrated digital marketing, one of the most crucial lessons we’ve shared with deep clients is that timing is everything. Following the power outage at the Super Bowl, Twitter stated that it took only 4 minutes from the time the lights went out for the first advertisers to bid on the search terms “power outage” and “blackout.”2 The standout winner from that unexpected viral marketing opportunity was Oreo. People have retweeted Oreo’s “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet nearly 16,000 times, proving that success is always far more likely when marketers are both entirely prepared and always on the ready to seize an opportunity.
In a world where every brand is vying to be the next big viral thing, it seems advertisers can never sleep, lest we lose out on the chance to steal the social media show. That’s especially true when considering that—excluding puppies, kittens, puppies with kittens, kittens with babies, and other arrangements of puppies, kittens, and babies with larger and equally cute animals—the formula for gaining a viral response is continually evolving and often tied to real time events.
While there are many big name brands on Vine, some have clearly mastered the medium more successfully than others. Brands that are accustomed to 30- or even 60-second commercial spots now must figure out how to create a compelling statement in a mere 6 seconds. Dunkin’ Donuts found a way to do just that, while still capitalizing on the Super Bowl audience, with its #DunkinReplay Vines, where they re-enacted plays from the game using Dunkin’ Donuts menu items (seen below).3 Vine also presents a nice venue for funny, as reflected in the Halloween horror spoof campaigns Oreo and Tide ran a year ago using the hashtags #ScaredStainless and #OreoHorrorStories.4
So what’s the single most important takeaway for advertisers who are new to Vine? The clear standout between successful Vines and not-so-successful attempts is a careful marriage between simplicity and compelling content. When you only have 6 seconds to get your message across, you’ve got to be concise, yet with 40 Million plus users throwing content against the virtual wall, the creative also has to be just that.
- “Why P&G’s Tide Ditched Its Super Bowl Ad For … Twitter?” (Feb. 04, 2014). Neff, Jack. From the Advertising Age website. Retrieved Sept. 25, 2014 from adage.com/article/special-report-super-bowl/p-g-s-tide-spent-super-bowl-talking-ads/291477/.
- “9 Brands That Thought Fast on Social Media During the Super Bowl.” (Feb. 4, 2013). Murphy Kelly, Samantha. From the Mashable website. Retrieved Sept. 25, 2014 from mashable.com/2013/02/04/brands-super-bowl-social-media/.
- “6 of the Best, Boldest Uses of Vine in Marketing.” (Oct. 9, 2013). Walter, Ekaterina. From the FastCompany website. Retrieved Sept. 25, 2014 from fastcompany.com/3019652/dialed/6-of-the-most-creative-clever-uses-of-vine-in-marketing.
- “Halloween Poll: Is Oreo or Tide’s ‘The Shining’ Vine Best?” (Oct. 031, 2013). Heine, Christopher. From the Advertising Age website. Retrieved Sept. 25, 2014 from adweek.com/news/technology/halloween-poll-oreo-or-tides-shining-vine-best-153502.