Vine, Instagram, and the short form video revolution

The content world has been buzzing about mobile created social videos this week, and we’re really starting to see an increase in brands using short form video platforms like Vine and Instagram to engage viewers and push their reach further.

Whilst research from Unruly Media has shown that branded Vines are ‘four times as likely to be shared ’ as more traditional long-form branded videos, they should come with a huge lack of engagement warning. The limitation of short form videos is that it doesn’t allow for much story telling, but its shareability is great to support existing content in campaigns. These short social videos could and should form an essential part of your content plan driving your audience to and from your deeper and more engaging content.

Many big brands are getting onboard short form advertising, with Red Bull releasing an Instragram video of a guy diving off a cliff and P&G’s Tide (US) created a little animation for Shark Week.

This above campaign from GE, a virtual science fair, #6secondscience featuring user generated content of baking soda and vinegar volcanoes, potato batteries and lots of familiar little experiments we did when we were young. The limitation of 6 seconds encourages people to be more inventive, to fit as much science as they can into the time slot.

The branding in the video however is relatively painfully handled, with the GE logo appearing on the bottom right had corner for many of the videos (not all) and the films themselves are of varying quality.  I guess this is what happens with user-generated content if there’s not enough parameters set. True to Vine and Instagram, all the videos are filmed in portrait, which is a bit of a nightmare when uploading to Youtube in this montage form. (And why haven’t they made a portrait viewer on Youtube yet anyway?) #newbusinessidea

 Airbnb are also experimenting with Vine marketing, and they want to make a short film out of vines. (Notice the short form content leading to a longer form idea) The travel accommodation website has launched their “Hollywood & Vines” campaign that aims to create a film from the 6 second ‘vines’ submitted. Airbnb are using their Twitter account to request what clips their need for the film. For example, the first prompt was “a paper airplane flies thru diverse landscapes, left to right. Show the best parts of where you live!” Viewers are given 48 hours to submit their videos.  An interesting crowdsourced/usergenerated experiment.  #watchthisspace

 The future of short form advertising is booming as our attention spans get shorter but please brands, don’t forget this is only one tiny 6 second element of branded content. And please insist they’re not portrait videos!