Fraser McIntosh, account executive, Clarion Communications
Vine, the six-second looping video app owned by Twitter, has certainly introduced a great new format for people to play with, not least PRs. The forced brevity leads to a great range of creative uses - so now, six months after it was first introduced, I thought it worthwhile to recap some of the most novel uses so far.
More so than any profession to have adopted the medium, illustrators have created hours and hours of credible, beautiful work. Whether pencil drawings, works with card, clay or photography video stop motion is creating endless amounts of easy-to-watch content.
Twitter’s very own Video Producer Ian Padgham has seemingly been given free license to create fascinating content as often as he can. From how-tos to illustration with pencil or clay, his creativity apparently knows no bounds.
As an early adopter, and as many of his creations have been selected as Editor’s Picks, he has quickly become one of the best-followed (and mimicked) accounts on the service.
It’s a great idea from twitter though, give a talented illustrator the chance to shine on the platform and inspire other content creators to share his work – generating more traffic on both platforms and encouraging others to give Vine a go.
So what opportunities does it hold for PR? Well, primarily it’s a novel way of getting your message out. Whether it’s an electrical distributor, a band releasing its track listing, or a pastiche of another Vine content like this is closer to the holy grail of ‘shareable content’ than plain text will be (in the main). Vine can be extremely cheap too and with no obstacles or cost to share, extremely effective.
The most exciting opportunities though for me almost always involve user-generated content. And the most captivating, engaging uses of Vine are when brands create content that needs to be finished, or they ask their audience to create an alternative ending. With a big enough incentive thousands of smartphone users will be filming 6 seconds of footage that they want to share with their followers on twitter.
This is already a reality such as the brilliant #6secfilms challenge by The Tribeca film festival (winning entry, runner up) but, until very recently the app has been severely limited, it was iPhone only.
With smartphone penetration at 63% in the UK, and Android accounting for 58.4% of that, brands have to opt for apps that straddle both operating platforms.
Finally, however the Android version is live on the Play store and brands can issue challenges to a huge proportion of their audience. Now we’ll see an explosion in uptake of Vine and hopefully we’ll truly explore the app’s potential.