Happy Birthday Vine: Five formats that showcase the possibilities of the six second social film

Have you joined the six-second social film phenomenon of Vine? Whilst most videos on the social platform have more of a Funniest Home Videos or Funny or Die flavour than high-end Spielberg or Soderberg, Vine this week celebrates not only its first year but the coming together of more that 40 millions users who’ve created everything from (micro) short films and stop-motion animations, to slapstick comedy and sharable web-friendly moments.

Brands, creatives and everyday netizens have been tapping away in new and unexpected ways, creating a slow-building creative storm in the past year that embraces the platform as a new way to capture moments and tell stories to share with friends and followers.

For those just starting out, what is Vine?

Vine is a mobile app owned by Twitter that enables its users to create and post short video clips. The service was introduced with a maximum clip length of six seconds and can be shared or embedded on social networking services such as Twitter (which acquired the app in October 2012) and Facebook. (Wikipedia, 2014)

Vine has already proven itself as a strong and creative community of content creators. Especially for audiences with short attention spans 😉

How have content creators been using Vine? CBD’s top five…

1. Mainstream “traditional” media adoption – Ellen DeGeneres’ Fresh off the Vine

Ellen DeGeneres, host of the ever-popular Ellen Show, has been a long-time early adopter of new social media tools and platforms, inviting the stars of viral YouTube vids to her show and maintaining a fun and lively Twitter profile with fans and celebrities alike. With the arrival of Vine, these short-form video’s quickly became a key element of her regular “web videos” roundup, then evolved into a standalone segment called Fresh off the Vine, featuring some of the funniest and quirkiest videos from the platform and bringing the fun of the then-new service to a mass audience.

2.Pick a hook and run with it – BatDad

When you’ve only got six seconds to work with, you’ve got to jump to your punchline quickly! Dad, husband and online trouble-maker BatDad’s simple hook is his daily everyday moments, made dramatic by his delivery in a Batman mask. In Batman mode, he talks in the deep, raspy Dark Knight-ish voice, occasionally annoying his family and scaring his wife, Jen. Using this simple hook, the gag went viral, generating millions of views (and mainstream media attention) in just a few weeks of launch.

3. News reporting – Behind the scenes and on-the-field moments via Vine

Outlets like The Guardian and The Times in the UK and MTV and Wall Street Journal in the US were amongst the first media outlets to use Vine on the field, capturing video snippets of news and events as they happened, in addition to behind the scenes snapshots and insights. Gave an great authentic “on the field” feel to social news reporting, taking the audience to the action. Great insight for brand social managers – If a picture speaks a thousand words, imagine the impact of sharing brand news, launch previews or WOW brand moments with a Vine! Example in WSJ’s Vine reporting of New York Fashion Week below:

3. Stop-motion creativity – Clever brand use of Vine by Bacardi Bacardi’s use of Vine continues to be one of our favorite brand uses of the platform, leveraging the brand’s expertise in cocktails and drink mixing by making snappy six-second “how-to” drink making videos. Using simple stop-motion photography and adding new elements to each stage of the drink in the video, the #sixsecondcocktail vines deliver useful, shareable cocktail guides in a fun multimedia manner. A fantastic addition to a social conversation calender in the leadup to Friday drinks in the summer! (SM Managers: Head to Brands on Vine for more brand-led Vine inspiration!)

4. Vine as art – The Spielbergs of Vine

Some Vine-artists have taken the platform to new heights with intricately designed and executed movie moments, developed mainly through art and stop motion photography. Australian Viner Josh Thistler Salmon (below) is one of these premium content creators, having created a library of over 200 vines (and 1,400+ followers), delivering not just standalone one-off art pieces but a full story-telling series entitled The Curious Mirror.

The Curious Mirror follows the adventures of a young boy who steps through a mirror (and is currently beyond 30 episodes!). The art is meticulously crafted through painted paper characters and mixed media cutouts, using tweezers to shift and craft these moving stories frame by frame. For his creation of the snippet segments of the series, Josh uses pen and gouache, with a children’s keyboard and the artist’s own whistling providing the soundtrack.

5. Moments of comedy – Jerome Jaffe

As one of Vine’s most popular artists, now boasting more than 4.1 million followers, Joseph Jerome continues to be one of the Vine community’s favorites, with one of his early works Fear of Love still on our list of favorites. Such a simple premise and so well executed, Jerome is slowly building an audience outside Vine’s core and was featured last year on The Ellen Show (see video below).

Feeling inspired? Make a Vine too!

Vine is an “in-you-pocket” mini movie making app, available on iOS (iPhone), Android and Windows Phone. Simply download the app, create your profile, linking it to your social profiles and clicking to record and share! Try a stop motion video, comic moment or more to become part of the Vine community.

Are you a regular Vine user? Who are your favorite Viners or vine videos?


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