Vine Series: Six Seconds Is More Than Enough Time For A Brand To Make An Impact

With interest in Vine growing exponentially since its launch in January, brands like Samsung, Microsoft, Disney and others have undeniably caught the short-form video bug.

Whether it’s a product tease or an ingenious bit of stop-motion footage, Vine contains incredible viral potential just waiting to be harnessed. The release of Instagram’s competitor app means this market is only set to expand.

But, as Spider-Man taught us, with great power, comes great responsibility. And in the social video field, creativity is king. Unruly has been activating award-winning social video content since 2006, and knows the value of bold, imaginative content. With Vine and Instagram giving creative ammunition to the user, these strong voices are more important than ever.

Enter the ‘Vioneers’: Unruly’s exclusive network of Vine content creators, providing insight and guidance to brands on their short-form video strategy. We are proud to count Pinot Ichwanardi (a.k.a @pinot), one of Vine’s most talented and popular creators, among our partners.

We sat down with Pinot to discuss the creative process, branding and, of course, Vine vs. Instagram.

1. What do you think makes contagious Vine content?
People are excited about the ‘magic’ that Vine holds. It’s still early days, and we’ll have to wait and see what makes a Vine go viral. But, from my point of view, experimentation is key; you have to be prepared to think outside the box.

Already I think surprise is a great content trigger. Doing things that you’ve not seen before. YouTube and Vine are very different mediums, so the content has to reflect this.

2. You’ve collaborated with Rovio on an Angry Birds vine – are there any other brands you’re excited to work with?
It’s all very new to me, to be honest. It’s surprising how keen brands are to work with me at this stage. I don’t have any favourites, I’m happy to experiment with anyone looking to do exciting and new things with video.

Creativity is very important. You have to think: ‘this is my playground, I just want to play’.

3. How do you think brands can better use Vine?
Develop a style that works for your brand. If you can’t create it yourself, align yourself with an artist’s style which complements your brand’s identity.

Six seconds forces you to be creative, so that’s exactly what you need to do. Top tip: don’t make a short version of your TV commercial. Consider the mobile medium and, of course, your audience.

I always think of the Wolverine trailer. It was exceedingly popular, but not because the content was amazing. It was just offering something different.

In all honesty, it was very fast and cut together roughly, but people got something they couldn’t get on YouTube at the time.

Brands must summarise their campaigns, not try and fit them all into six seconds. The allocated time is plenty to make amazing content.

4. What emotional responses do you find the most effective in attracting shares?
Well, it depends on the context and the message. The online world is vast, full of so many different sub-cultures and characters. So when someone wants their content to be shared they need to understand the message itself, have perfected their style and also researched recent trends.

On the other hand, the creator needs to be themselves. Be unique, be special, be different, be new, so people have a reason to share it.

I don’t have a formula yet. That’s often why people resort to copying other content creators’ work, or try too hard to be funny for the sake of instant popularity.

For me, being shared is like an appreciation. It’s like a gift. You cannot ask for it.

5. What do you think each of these platforms does better than the other?
The two platforms, although similar, are different from a creative perspective. Instagram video is safe, with options to re-edit the last frame and apply filters. Telling a story in six seconds and 15 seconds is also very different.

Really, Instagram was built for photos, not videos. At this stage, people seem to be prefer images to video, while I use the app for both.

One noticeable difference is the file sizes. Video file sizes are large at 6mb, and after all that they don’t even loop. For example, I made a Vine with Ian (Padgham) this morning. We were visiting areas of London and decided to create content just for fun. Here’s Ian the Vine street artist.

Instagram for me is more like moving photos and not raw video, as we otherwise know it.

However, what I do like about Instagram’s video function is the cover photo option. Once you’ve created the video, you can set the best frame from the video as the preview thumbnail. This allows people to appreciate it just like a picture, before it even plays.

I took this to the next level by creating an Instagram video that looks like a photo. It was a fun little expression project.

6. What’s the longest it’s ever taken you to complete a vine?
It takes time – it’s hours, not days, though. Preparation is key, first comes the storyboard, then it’s materials, sounds and tripods.

When it comes to recording, I can normally wrap things up within two hours, with or without the help of my two daughters. They love to make videos with me.

The longest to date is the recent Robot Hands video. Start to finish, it took roughly five hours to create. It took 40 different sketches/frames just to make the robot run; 20 sheets to run one way and 20 more to run back. While all this is going on, I’m having to consider the sound. I normally work with noises I can make myself, or with a little help from my kids.

Otherwise it’s soundclips. You really have to pay attention. Pressing the screen to shoot the next step of the video and triggering the sound at the right moment is often hard. It’s all great fun, though. There’s nothing more exciting than pressing the complete arrow and seeing your completed magic.

7. Who are your Vine inspirations?
My favorite must be Ian Padgham! I’ve been making content with him around London over the past few days.

Ian and I have a similar working background and have the same interests in Vine. Just like me, Ian is a digital artist working in motion graphic design with production software on a daily basis. We share the opinion that Vine is like an analogue playground for a digital artist, with so many possibilities to explore the old school techniques and skills. He is truly inspirational.

I also love Meagan Cignoli’s work. She was always consistent with her style. Even now she works with a range of brands but still manages to retain her style. She can keep her passion and style on the same track.

She has a perpetual playground at her fingertips.

8. Do you think Vine and Instagram Video appeal to different user bases?
It’s too early to know. We can’t tell at this stage which is the Vimeo and which is the YouTube. Instagram Video, for me, is the supermarket for videos, whilst Vine is the finer food store.

Only time will tell. It’s been the same with many social platforms outside of the video world. No one really knows what Vine holds, all I do know is it’s really exciting right now.

9. What’s better for storytelling: 6 or 15 seconds?
Six, of course, because it forces you to be brief. It’s a summary of your bigger idea and six seconds keeps people focussed on the message. I’m rubbish at longer stories. The longer the video, the less exciting it is.

Looping micro video means I don’t have to think traditionally about a beginning, a middle and an end. Vine makes me feel brave, because you never know what might happen in the hours making the magic.

10. If you could suggest one new feature for Vine, what would it be and why?
For me, the magic of Vine comes from its limitations. Throwing new features, like filters, which you get on Instagram, ruins the fun and creativity. The user shooting the Vine currently has to consider their art. Vine certainly isn’t perfect. You will not be able to make production quality videos.

However, it’s not about lots of features to make creation easy. The artist has to consider that it’s not just a point-and-shoot video app like we’ve seen before. Add too many features, and the magic will be lost. In my opinion, for every additional filter, a layer of creativity is removed, making content creators lazy and inevitably lowering the quality of content.

Vine requires patience – and that’s how it should be.