The use of short-length ‘social video format’ Vine has grown hugely in popularity over the past year as a key tool for microblogging enthusiasts, and it now appears to be gaining credentials as an advertising method, after confirming tonight (9 September) as the start date for a unique collaborative campaign between themselves, ESPN, and donut and coffeehouse chain Dunkin’ Donuts.
Under what is claimed to be the ‘first-ever TV advert made entirely from a single Vine video’, a commercial clip originally created for Vine has found its way to the forefront of the new campaign, starting during tonight’s ESPN broadcast of Monday Night Football.
Airing during the pregame show of Eagles @ Redskins, the video will cut one second from its 6-second Vine clip to fit the network’s ‘5-second billboard ad’ format, a full-screen segment which shows ‘between segments’ of ESPN broadcasts. Unlike most ‘billboards’, which merely show an image of a logo, Dunkin’ Donuts will be a little more interactive, with an animated clip of a latte flipping a coin to symbolise the start of the game, one of four such clips that will be shown across the 16 games aired on Monday Night Football this season.
Dunkin’ Brands’ ‘vice-president of global consumer engagement’ Scott Hudler said of the campaign: “We think a billboard using Vine is dramatically more engaging than a standard billboard with a corporate logo on it. Everyone is multitasking while watching TV with their phone, tablet or laptop. A lot of times, the content on their mobile device is not related to their TV shows. We want to make sure we’re supporting our TV investment with social media that’s [relevant]. It’s our job to make sure that it’s tied together to drive consumer engagement.”
An additional part of the ESPN/Dunkin’ Donuts deal is that the network will promote through Twitter a Vine highlight of the game chosen by the fast food chain in its final quarter, via the term #DunkinReplay. This process will see brand’s ‘newsroom’ select ‘a memorable play’ from the first two quarters and recreate it through animated Dunkin’ Donut products.
Hill Holliday are the company responsible for managing that process, as their senior vice-president Stacey Shepatin explained: “We’ll buy Promoted Tweets on Twitter and target people who are already watching the game, so they know that this fun content is available. Sports have always been one of the most social environments – especially football. So we’ll get good [information] on whether people want to participate in this way.”
Ovum analyst Jonathan Doran said of the development of Vine as a marketing tool: “Integrating social media with TV is becoming more normal. But it’s still very nascent and experimental.”
It appears, though, that ESPN and Dunkin’ Donuts are ready to bring that experiment to one of the network’s biggest weekly broadcasts, continuing a partnership that will be entering its third season tonight, but will the use of Vine be the highlight of that run, or will the decision to air it be a sack-able offence for someone? Terrible puns aside, below is the kind of commercial that most customers of Dunkin’ Donuts would hope existed today: