How about we give you a trailer for your trailer? This question is what the makers of the upcoming Marvel comics superhero film The Wolverine seemed to have been addressing. Even before the trailer of the much awaited film hits the Internet, a “tweaser” or a Twitter teaser has been put out by the movie’s official Twitter account using Vine.
Yes, Vine. The GIF playing Twitter progeny Vine was used to put out a Hollywood movie trailer. The trailer itself has been mashed up to fit the action, the drama and some Hugh Jackman close-ups into the stipulated six-seconds of a Vine GIF’s running time. No dialogues, no names, no disclaimers, nothing. Six seconds of pure action followed by the film’s logo is all you get.
Considering that this was to be the “first look” of the movie, the makers have done a great job by selecting a service that does not allow them a lot of room as far as time is concerned. A tiny video – with sound, no less – is going to have Marvel fans waiting with bated breath for more.
“Tweased” on Vine
This raises the question, why Vine? Well, why not? Hollywood studios have usually preferred to take the tried and tested path to launching movies. The trailer is up on YouTube as well as Apple’s trailer page. The movie or studio’s own web page will host it too, but that’s it. So when The Wolverine Director James Mangold showed the GIF off on Vine, he struck gold for not just the movie but advertisers the world over by introducing them to Vine for showing off their products.
But what took marketers and advertisers so long to notice Vine? It may have time constraints, but it is still an audio-visual medium that can be exploited, right?
The answer probably lies in Vine’s tumultuous past. For a nascent service that has been launched not even three months ago, Vine has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Not long after the service was launched as an iOS only app, it was found that Vine was a thriving field for pornographic clips. Clearly, advertisers and marketers were not the only ones wanting to take advantage of Vine’s short-looping format.
While the porn problem is something every internet service and website has to encounter, what is different is the way they handle it. Twitter, and by extension Vine, besides yanking off images, usually put up a notice warning users to exercise caution before viewing the images.
Apple, the company that Vine had exclusive relationships with was not too tolerant. Apple’s “see no evil” policy includes taking apps off its store for anything remotely pornographic in its content. This stand-off continued till Twitter changed Vine’s age rating to 17 years and up on the store.
In the spotlight as a social media marketing tool
While the world was watching the tiff between the two companies and pornographers were making hay while the sun shone, very few advertisers and marketers really took to using the platform for showing off products and services. Twentieth Century Fox and The Wolverine are not the first to use Vine, mind you. Companies like General Electronics and Calvin Klein use Vine regularly and with great effect, but it took a Hollywood movie with huge stars and a legacy to get the world to sit up and take notice of the platform.
That social media is used heavily the world over by brands is something new. There has been a boom of sorts in social media marketing agencies everywhere and brands are fast realising that their audience lies across the interweb. Besides the usual Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn and Pinterest, are we looking at a new jewel in the crown of social media marketing? To Vine and Twitter’s much delight, the answer indeed is in the affirmative.
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