Vine Creates Major Buzz as"The Next Thing" in Social Media
By Alexandra Marinelli
Vine is a cutting edge new iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch application that will revolutionize marketing and communication for brands. Vine is a mobile service that lets you create and share short looping videos (Vine Lab, Inc.: 2013). Although there are a variety of other apps circulating with the same objectives, Vine has been able to attain a competitive advantage by being purchased by Twitter. Being owned by a major company in the social media industry will enhance Vine’s brand name. There has yet to be a definitive number of users to date; however, Vine is currently ranked number 13 on the iTunes App store. When asked why he purchased Vince, Twitter CEO answered “It’s the next big thing” (D’Orazio: 2013).
Vine allows its users to share moments in unique ways while maintaining a very simple interface. (Vine Lab, Inc.: 2013). Vine is similar to many other social media applications such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter which all allow users to post personal experiences of their life. However, Vine has taken a different approach which allows its users to take videos of their surroundings. This application is an emerging communication tool as it allows users to capture an entire dynamic situation, rather than just a moment. What is advantageous about this application is that it allows users to capture life in motion. It enables users to share moments of their life in a definitive way whereas images could be left to interpretation.
Vine provides personal profiles for its users as well as giving users the option to share their videos instantly to Twitter or Facebook. The ability to integrate Vine videos onto Twitter and Facebook is an intelligent marketing communications approach as they are two of the most frequented communication tools. Twitter users can instantly see a Vine video by simply tapping to expand a tweet (Fiegerman: 2013). This is advantageous to Vine as Twitter does not support other video applications in this format.
External Trends and Market Factors
Although it is fairly evident, marketing and communications is going visual (Shapiro 2013). With a large emphasis on Pinterest and Facebook, Vine is even more cutting edge as it allows brands to showcase their products and services in video form.
Worldwide, there are over 5 billion mobile users and 1.1 billion smartphone subscribers specifically and the iPad is the fastest growing technology product ever (Shapiro 2013). With statistics such as these, it makes sense that Vine has created its application for smartphone users. Mobile has been on the rise for many years now, however in 2013, it is at an all-time high. With 1.1 billion smartphone users, Vine will be able to reach a large target audience. A barrier, which will be discussed shortly, is that the Vine application is only compatible with Apple products. In the second quarter of 2012 Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones, 11.8 million iPads, 7.7 million iPods and 4 million Macs. That total of 58.6 million pieces of hardware, divided by the 91 days in the financial quarter ending March 31, 2012, means that Apple sold and average of 645,000 devices per day(Sande: 2012). One would assume that those numbers have only increased with the release of the new iPhones, iPad minis, etc. Thus, although Vine may not be able to reach the entire smartphone market (yet), they can still reach a large market share.
A second trend is the increase of video sharing. More than four billion videos are watched online every day, and 68% of viewers share links. Online videos are often watched for entertainment, although they offer a great source of learning; after 72 hours, a typical person can retain about 10% of text that they’ve read, 65% of an image they’ve seen, or 95% of a video they watched (Shapiro 2013). The fact that 95% of information from videos is retained is an indication that brands should be using Vine as a marketing communications tool to better reach consumers. A short six second clip might be the perfect length for a brand to keep the customers attention and still create awareness.
A third trend is the growing need of simplicity in our chaotic and busy lifestyles. Vine achieves simplicity by having one button that replaces the play, pause, and stop button. Vine has made it very easy for users to start using their application. Vine has also made it easy for users to share their videos to existing social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter with just the switch of a button.
Complementing the Marketing Mix
Vine is an effective marketing tool because it complements the company’s existing communication mix. First, video offers marketers a unique way to share information online that will enhance the company’s social media and web presence. Second, Vine can be used within a campaign to help brand managers reach their target audience and ultimately their communication objectives.
Many companies already use Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites to promote their brand. Social media helps companies connect with their consumers through sharing pictures, experiences and information. A company uses Facebook and Twitter because they connect with customers in different ways. For example, Facebook provides rational appeal by providing the user with information about the brand, whereas Twitter helps foster a preference for the brand by connecting with the user. Similarly, Vine can complement a company’s social media presence by providing a unique advantage; Video allows marketers to be more creative, cut through the clutter, and capture the audience’s attention more effectively (see Toyota's example below). Vine will allow marketers to use emotional and sexual appeal in their video advertisements, a major advantage over Twitter and text-based advertisements. Additionally, the Vine video can be used to display a condensed advertisement which will promote the viewing of the full length commercial on YouTube. Vine is a social media tool which can help connect and promote the brand in new and exciting ways.
Vine will also help brand managers reach their communication objectives and target audience. A major advantage of Vine is its ability to be integrated into any marketing campaign because of its flexibility. Videos can be tailored as either a cognitive, affective or conative messages and consequently a Vine video can promote any stage of the purchase decision process. For example, Gogo (see below) has created a conative message promoting that a buyer can win a free computer with a purchase of their product. Additionally, marketers can create a Vine video using any of the executional frameworks (fantasy, testimonial, animation, etc.) in order to complement the theme of the campaign, a major advantage over other marketing vehicles such as billboards, radio, or Twitter. Finally, Vine can be used to segment consumer groups, allowing marketers to reach their target audience. For example, marketers can segment by geographic area based on the user’s location or psychographics based on the accounts a user follows. All in all, Vine’s flexibility provides a marketing tool which can complement and enhance a company’s marketing efforts.
Risks and Barriers
With Vine being such a new application, there are some controversies associated with the app. The one that is the most notable is that users cannot make their profiles private. This enables all users to view all other user’s videos. This led to a second controversy where users are posting pornographic videos that the majority of users are not interested in viewing. Vine was initially suitable and targeted for users 12 years of age and up, however, since inappropriate videos has become an issue, Vine has increased the age limit to17+. Another risk that could potentially harm Vine’s success is that the application is only functional on Apple products. Even though Apple products such as the iPhone,
iPad, and iPod Touch are extremely popular, as shown earlier, the app is still not reaching its potential by being incompatible with some smartphone devices.
Finally, there is always the risk of new competitors entering the market. Vine has the advantage of being owned by Twitter which mitigates this risk. In fact, Vine entering the market has proven to be difficult on some of its competitors. Vine may have already claimed its first causality earlier this week. Viddy, one of the most well-known social video apps, has failed because of the CEO’s fateful decision to turn down an acquisition offer from Twitter that could have put Viddy in Vine's place (Fiegerman: 2013). If Vine’s popularity continues and the app is used in the effective manner it was designed for, Vine will continue to dominate the video application market and create barriers to entry.
A Real-Life Example
The People magazine cover (see below) is an excellent demonstration of how companies can use Vine to promote brand awareness through emotional appeal. Most celebrity magazines contain similar information regarding celebrity gossip. However, this ad is trying to differentiate itself from the others by playing on the emotions of sex, humor, happiness, and perhaps even passion. People magazine took an affective tactic to evoke feelings and emotions of a half-dressed Tim McGraw with the intention that viewers would associate this with the overall magazine. This specific advertisement leaves Vine users wanting more, which will expectantly lead to purchasing the magazine to see view the full issue.
D’Orazio, Dante. 2013. “Twitter CEO calls Vine 'the next thing,' talks about getting a billion users in latest interview.” Retrieved on February 12. (http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/6/3959878/twitter-ceo-dick-costolo-calls-vine-the-next-thing-interview)
Fiegerman, Seth. 2013. “The Vine Effect: How Twitter's App Is Impacting Social Video Startups.” Retrieved on February 9 (http://mashable.com/2013/02/08/vine-video- apps/).
Sande, Steven. 2012. “Apples Sold 645,00 Devices per day in the 2nd
Quarter. Retrieved on February 9 (http://www.tuaw.com/2012/04/25/apple-sold-
Shapiro, Tom. 2013. “13 Hot Marketing Trends in 2013.” Retrieved on February
Vine Labs Inc. 2013. “Vine” Retrieved on February 9 (www.vine.co).