Short attention spans: The rise of Vine and Instagram Video in advertising.

With the arrival of any new piece of technology, you can rest assured that somewhere in the world, marketing and advertising teams are scrambling to use it in their next campaign – as has been the case with Vine and Instagram Video.

Twitter owned Vine and Facebook owned Instagram video (an extension built into the vastly popular Instagram) are smartphone applications that allow users to create very short video content. Users can then share their video on in-built galleries or via their parent social media platforms.

In July this year, only a month after Instagram video launched, automotive giant Nissan became one of the first major brands to embrace these new platforms. The carmaker challenged their customers to post a clip on Vine or Instagram using a printable version of the Versa Note. Creators used the hashtag #VersaVid to submit their entries, which could be featured in a Nissan commercial coming out this September.

At the same time, rival automotive brand Honda used Vine to help promote their Summer Clearance Sale. Known as “Live Vine Day”, the brand responded to #wantnewcar mentions with personalised Vine replies. The campaign received 100 million impressions and 10,000 #wantnewcar mentions for the cost of a smartphone and a couple of energetic employees.

But, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Here are some more examples of brands making good use of Vine and Instagram videos in marketing mix:

  • PayPal has also created a six second tutorial – although it took a few watches to understand.
  • Online office suppliers,, have taken things one step further by creating an Instagram video series called “Revenge of the interns”.
  • Fashion store Sabo Skirt are appealing to fan’s desire to be ahead of the curve by offering 15 second sneak peaks at their latest designs.
  • MTV kept their fans up to date by announcing the VMA nominations on Instagram video.

Instagram VS Vine

Like any good Social Media campaign, the question always comes down to which platform to use.

Features –Instagram is already famous for its filters; any photo can suddenly look professional by simply picking a filter. Instagram videos offer users the same filter treatment options – something Vine videos don’t have.

Quality – This is a hard one to choose – on the one hand Instagram Video also boasts video stabilization, another feature Vine doesn’t offer. However given Vine users penchant for stop-motion, this benefit can almost be negated. It really comes down to how you intend to use the content.

Video length – Twitter has a character limit of 144 characters, so it comes as no surprise that Vine has an equally small limit of six-second videos. Instagram, on the other hand, let’s users create up to 15-seconds of footage. The obvious choice would seem to be Instagram – however sometimes restrictive limits can actually bolster creativity.

The Cool Factor – On paper Instagram seems to have Vine trumped – however Vine is the underdog here, and with that status they also get a lot more of the cool factor – which is why you will find a lot more Hollywood stars posting Vines than Instagrams.

Perhaps it’s societies’ ever-diminishing attention span, but any new communication platform that allows for short, visual executions seems to be appealing more and more to consumers. Vine and Instagram Video are the latest players in this market – the question is how to best utilise them before their audience gets bored?