Since launching in January, the video-sharing app Vine has shaken up how brands use social media to engage audiences.
Although brands are showing no lack of creative uses
, Honda took it up a level this month. The automaker didn’t simply use Vine’s six-second video template to spark customer conversations; it joined them.
For its annual Summer Clearance Event, Honda asked fans on Twitter to tweet their car problems using the hashtag #wantnewcar
. The company responded to customers throughout the day with quirky, personalized Vine videos.
Honda’s approach created a dialogue with consumers. The campaign wasn’t topical, nor did it play off a cultural moment. Instead, it was built on Vine’s power to connect with customers in a personal way.
“It comes down to simplicity,” says Alicia Jones, manager of social media at Honda. “Vine is a great platform to solicit customer engagement because of its ease of use. You’re not going to be any better off with expensive equipment. It’s just you, a smartphone, and six seconds. Its limitations level the playing field and allow the message to shine through.”
Twitter followers quickly responded. In 24 hours, the hashtag saw 6,895 Twitter mentions from more than 5,000 users with 14.8 million estimated Twitter impressions, according to a report from Brand Channel
The Old Spice route
Honda might be the first major brand on Vine to answer customers, but it’s not the first to use video to address specific questions. Old Spice broke ground in 2010 with a similar campaign that went viral, though it used YouTube.
Michael Litman, co-founder of Brands on Vine
, a website that showcases how different brands are using the app, says Honda’s campaign is the “Old Spice for the Vine generation,” and explains why Vine is more intriguing.
“Like a tweet, the six-second limit has made people think about the medium differently,” Litman says. “It’s more engaging than an image, but unlike a video clip, it doesn’t need to be ‘watched’ to be seen—there’s no decision-making process by the viewer.”
Not only is Vine’s format more spontaneous, but its Twitter integration prompts more immediate and sustained conversations. Jones tells PR Daily that Vine has sharing advantages because, unlike YouTube or Instagram, “you are not creating a barrier of entry by placing the content a click away.”
Personalize, plan, and watch
How can you get in on this action? Jones shares Honda’s approach:
“We planned. Live responses required quick thinking and turnaround, but we took a moment to do some fast storyboarding,” he says. “We also had some idea seeds in our back pocket.”
Honda’s success is good news for Vine, which took a hit after Instagram’s video launch
. The strong response to the campaign strengthens the idea that each video app has its own advantages and user type. From a brand perspective, Vine’s simplicity is still an alluring factor.