CR Blog

Does Vine work for TV ads?

Advertising, Digital

Posted by Katie Norwood, 9 October 2013, 9:02    Permalink    Comments (2)

Vine, the app that allows users to create six-second-long videos, has begun to be used in television advertising. In this guest blog for CR, Katie Norwood of London Creative checks out the work made using Vine so far, and ponders its future as an advertising tool

Dunkin' Donuts became the first company to air an advert consisting of just one Vine, when they partnered with Monday Night Football on ESPN in a quick ‘billboard' spot last month. The brand ran a Vine spot before the game started, and then ran another video later on that referenced action that had just taken place ­- this was the main excitement of the use of Vine here, the fact that it allowed the brand to respond in super-quick time to live action, giving TV ads some of the immediacy of social media. The videos were then heavily promoted via Twitter using sponsored Tweets.


Since then, other brands such as Trident Gum have also decided to use the micro-videos in their TV spots but these campaigns featured a series of the short clips, created by the most popular video-makers on the service. An example is shown below.


Nissan picked up on this crowdsourcing potential too, by inviting Vine fans, through competitions on Twitter, to make Vines (and Instagram shots) on the theme of ‘love' that could be featured in its next TV ad. Airbnb also turned to Vine users for its first TV ad, but this time went one step further and sent out script instructions for the filmmakers to follow, before knitting the films together into a four minute-long ad. These campaigns bring an element of interactivity to TV advertising that goes one step further than the ‘second screen' trend of checking social networks whilst watching television shows.


So is the future of TV advertising Vine-shaped? It seems pretty unlikely.

Despite the creativity and engagement - particularly in its link with social media - that Vine can offer advertisers, it comes with a lot of restrictions. For starters, while Vine may offer advertisers one second more than the five second-long TV ads that Trevor Beattie recently predicted were the future, this gives advertisers a very limited timescale to showcase their product compared to a traditional advert of 30 seconds. It gives creatives less time to hook in a viewer who may well be distracted, and there is more risk than ever that they might miss the entire ad.

On top of this, TV advertising is still a huge investment to make, taking up significant chunks of a marketing budget, and primetime ad space will still set back companies a great deal of their budget even if they use Vine to make the campaign itself. It seems unlikely that anyone but well-established brands would use it regularly.

The engaging aspect of Vine on TV is its newness and the surprise factor it offers: it's a fresh and innovative format that draws in young people particularly. And the format is especially interesting for the way it has signalled a way to make an even closer link between TV advertising and social media, particularly in the case of the Dunkin' Donut spots.

However, like all ad gimmicks, if more advertisers decide to use micro-videos in their ads, this eye-catching factor will soon become humdrum. With new apps, technology and social media trends emerging constantly I think we'll have to enjoy Vine TV ads while they last, before the next new hip thing comes along.



The collection of Vines by Airbnb is really nice. Interesting idea that these short videos will have an impact on the advertising industry.
Matthew Stapleford
2013-10-11 09:34:53

By far the best use of Vines in advertising I've seen recently is the Lowes' Fix in Six campaign. As they haven't just gone for novelty value; the whole concept is thematically sound too. Great concept, great execution:
2013-10-14 16:11:04

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