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Heard it through the great Vine? Rubber Republic, Jam & Weapon7 try out the new platform

What does Twitter’s six second video service Vine offer brands? Can such a short format be effective as an advertising platform? The Drum speaks to agencies to find out.

So far, the launch of Twitter’s six second video product Vine has received a mixed welcome. The platform takes the short-and- sweet aspect of Twitter, and turns it into a video format, allowing the public to use both motion and sound.

The platform, described as ‘a new mobile service that lets you create and share beautiful, short looping videos’, has faced criticism as some users have taken advantage of the simple format to upload short porn films. Now rated 17+ and with certain search terms censored, Vine is being used more and more for the reason it was created: to create short, quirky video.

In its first weekend, over 110,000 clips were uploaded; a number that is steadily growing. Brands are quickly understanding how to use the platform as well, with website Brands on Vine having already been set up to showcase what is being done.

Michael Litman, creator of Brands on Vine and senior social strategist at AnalogFolk, discussed the opportunities for the platform: “The six second video format allows greater opportunity to creatively tell a brand narrative. However, the immediacy and personal nature of the channel suggests it will be used less for ads and more to capture and lifestream what a brand is doing or thinking right now, rather like the most successful brands using Instagram. Vine was the platform of choice for capturing short segments on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, for example.”

He suggests that those brands surging ahead with their use of Vine include General Electric, Cadburys, MTV Style, Manchester City FC, GAP and Schuh. The diversity of these brands suggests that any brand can create a six second video.

The Drum asked three agencies – Jam, Rubber Republic and Weapon7 – to create their own Vine ads, shed light on the creative process and demonstrate Vine’s capacity as an advertising platform going forward.

Rubber Republic gives Vine the stamp of approval in its video promoting the new platform

Tiffany Maddox, meme weaver at Rubber Republic, took a simplistic approach to creating her Vine: “To create the Vine, I channelled my inner magpie & gathered anything that caught my eye within reaching distance. The first Vine didn't look exactly as I wanted, and because there's no edit feature, I had to scrap it and repeat the whole process three times. Once I'd got the hang of it though, it was easy enough.

“Vine has the potential to be a great little app, though what exactly that means for brands remains to be seen.

“Vine isn’t faultless, and if definitely could do with a few usability tweaks. For example the share function is hit and miss and if you’re slightly ham fisted it can take a few tries to get right. For the most part it’s very neat and well designed, the UI is simple but retains a good aesthetic and the existing vine community are finding ways to be creative. All it really needs is a few updates to iron out some of the more irritating kinks and it could well be something we see becoming a permanent fixture in our social toolbox.”

Jam’s ECD calls Vine a ‘loaded gun’, so video shows a gun wielding finger taking revenge

Wayne Deakin, executive creative director at Jam, suggested that Vine is a loaded gun, and the idea for their creation came from this.

Ian Gambier, creative at Jam, says: "If fingers were the size of men and women, they'd probably start blowing each other up eventually!

“We read Wayne's post and decided to make a stop-motion story of a bazooka wielding finger getting his revenge.

“Vine has made it super easy to make these kind of stories and share them with the world."

Deakin said: “Like Instagram back in 2010, Vine has become the overnight must-have for agencies and brands. It has received a sudden, energetic burst of genuine buzz across the web in a frenzy of activity.

“Brands can now benefit from bite-sized video content that is short enough to grab your audience’s attention and deliver simple messages as part of a wider campaign. Content and context is key with Vine and understanding if you’ve audience is even willing to watch regardless of it being only six second in duration. Remember I can still press the close button in under a second.

“So despite the ability to f^&k up due to its immediate, the benefits are there for brands to take use of. But be careful where you aim it and what you put out doesn’t blow up in your face.”

Weapon7 shows what six seconds can do to create an ad for WHO

Jason Cascarina, creative director at Weapon7, described the project: “It struck us that the seemingly prescriptive time length is actually ideal for dramatising anything that can occur over 6 seconds.

“A quick bit of research showed that, according to the World Health Organisation, approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco.

“From there, it was a simple matter of revealing this fact - literally, by having a cigarette burn down to uncover the type. You could also add further messaging for an anti-smoking campaign in the accompanying caption.

“We grabbed an iPhone and shot a shaky test version outside the office. Away from the building. And didn't inhale.”

Jeremy Garner, executive creative director at Weapon7, suggested that there two ways in which Vine could be used by advertisers: “A powerful way of showing how Vine could be brought to life and sold to advertisers, whilst demonstrating what is possible and using the constraints as a virtue, is to come up with some actual ideas for concepts – including using actual facts that capitalise on the six-second nature of Vine.

“Watching Vinepeek it struck us that we are witnessing 6 seconds of life from around the world. The concepts went from the epic to the mundane. The sublime to the ridiculous.”

This piece is part of The Drum's social supplement, published in partnership with Yomego.