You’ve heard of Vine, Twitter’s newly-released video sharing app — and you may have heard just enough about it to wonder who on earth would ever use such a thing or even care about it. Videos posted to Vine are capped at a hair over six seconds (actually 6.5 seconds of nearly 29 fps video for you stat nerds) which leads many to wonder why on earth would anyone out there want to watch short looping videos only six seconds long? What else do you use it for other than showing clips of skateboard crashes?
Possibly defying expectation by some, Vine has, in fact, turned into a bona fide social media sensation-in-the-making. Not only are people watching these clips, but they are sharing them in droves with their own social circles. And we’re not just talking “early adopters” either. Vine is popping across different web demographics in the same way Pinterest did when it was first introduced.
But how can brands use Vine to advance the ball?
You may have heard that among the first adopters of this new micro-video format were fans of porn. Adult content, by nature, is voyeuristic. It plays on our human nature to be compelled to watch things that somehow excites some part of the brain. But what those who have capitalized on this trend reveal is how to exploit the human nature of any audience into paying attention to ANY type of content.
Looping video has the benefit of being potentially hypnotic. As such, it has the power to be memorable. In an age where we are bombarded by more messages than we can possibly remember, you want to keep those eyeballs lingering.
Micro bursts of video make impact when the viewer instantly understands they are witnessing something. In 6 seconds you can show me you have a proper golf swing, or you have a vast inventory of cars or comic books.
In 6 seconds, you can tease me into feeling compelled to click on your website link to take a better look at what you do.
Remember, every magic trick is made up of three parts: the Pledge, the turn and the Prestige. The Pledge is your setup. The Turn is where the ordinary becomes the extraordinary. Prestige is the big reveal, the payoff, the moment before the applause.
Use Vine to give people a glimpse of the Turn. Use it as bait to compel them to want to see the Prestige and the Pledge.
By extension, Vine is the obvious next evolution of the animated gif. Almost everyone likes sharing pictures. Now just imagine those snapshots in time are moving. In some ways, it’s almost like watching viral video without the usual commitment.
Though Vine is obviously not useful for sharing narrative, what it excels at is making moments more memorable. And though the audience may not know the difference, it can all be done without magic… just wink, a grin, and a little marketing.
As an extra – here’s my first Vine: