Blips on the Radar: Vine and Consumer Attention

Curator's Note

Much in the same way that there were 17,000 YouTubes before YouTube, there have been creative impulses that have drawn from the same resources that constitute Vine. Best situated within a longer history of attractions (see Tom Gunning’s Cinema of Attractions idea in its original or reloaded form), Vine is a platform for different social actors ranging from everyday amateurs to burgeoning creative types to corporations seeking to capture the "attention deficit video vernacular of younger generations." While acknolweding the complexity of intent on Vine, I'd like to focus on corporations, namely the way consumer-oriented companies have started using Vine to shift the ways brands think about advertising. (Don't worry if you missed the shift, I'm sure the advertising industry will shift again tomorrow.)

In this Vine clip for Trident gum's Layers product (yes, you heard it here first: two different flavor layers in one stick of gum), Trident borrows Nicholas Megalis, a burgeoning Vine star if such a category legitmately exists, and Rudy Mancuso to bring their brand of Vine-based humor to Trident's brand. The backround of the video mirrors the different layers of Trident gum while Megalis and Mancuso sing a simple ditty about how the world gets paid in layers of flavor. Note the hastash #paymeinlayers which is so hilarious it makes me want to cry. Also note: they probably actually did get paid in packs of gum for this . . . labor compensation ain't what it used to be.

The formula here seems pretty simple: find hip, young creatives known for making funny Vines and see if some of their magic rubs off on Trident gum. Like spagetti thrown against a wall, sometimes it sticks. This type of advertising spot also hightlights our convergent media landscape. These Vines are hopefully embedded into our social media tweets and posts (Trident's fingers are crossed) while also airing on new super short spots on TV (the Fuse Network). 

From this point of view the creativity of Megalis and Mancuso is brought neatly within the ambit of Trident's brand. This is a boon for Twitter & Vine because they are afterall a company that is as interested in monetization as they are in our tweets and Vines. In this light, Vine doesn't seem all that much different from other short bursts of entertainment. 



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