Twitter Vines Pitch Volkswagens, Peanut Butter and Job Skills

CPG thinks the social tool will produce sales

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Some 75 days since Vine hit the scene, marketers large and small have tested the Twitter app that lets them publish six-second videos on the social site. But are the gif-like videos effective or just another social media fad that will be gone in the blink of an eye?

Well, per marketers for a pair of radically different brands—Volkswagen and Peanut Butter & Co.—Vines do indeed bear fruit. During the New York International Auto Show, which wrapped yesterday, VW drew thousands of impressions for the 10-day event. The brand's agency, SS+K, created a "VineViewer" site, and then show attendees uploaded VW car videos. All told, the effort showcases the marketing possibilities for the tool when it comes to events.

"After the first few days, we saw the auto show [attendees] putting up 360-degree views of the cars," said Kevin Skobac, vp of digital strategy at SS+K. "The content continued to flow in."

Skobac added, "We have more projects in the works for a few different clients. Vines is another element we can use to tell stories."

Peanut Butter & Co. seemed to have even better luck on April 2, looking to create social buzz and sales around National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day. The New York-based CPG firm was pushing a buy-one-get-one-free coupon via digital coupon provider Qples on Peanut Butter & Co.'s Twitter and Facebook pages. It utilized a Vine that shows how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the brand's products. During the course of the day, according to the company, it garnered 300,000 impressions and, more importantly, 6,000-plus coupon downloads.

While it's too early for redemption rates, Lee Zalben, president of Peanut Butter & Co., was optimistic the campaign would prove effective in grocery stores nationwide. "Finding ways to use social media that drive sales is a challenge," he said. "You want to build consumer relationships, but at the same time, you want to make the register ring. Vine is a really interesting tool, and 'National PB&J Day' seemed like a good opportunity to excite consumers."

Zalben's 12-person company plans to do more with the six-second videos. "Sometimes it takes the little guy to figure out how to make something like Vine pay," he said. "Because we cannot afford huge ad spends to get the word out."

Meanwhile, budding creatives who are seeking employment have been challenged to create Vines by DDB Brussels. The agency is allowing job applicants until May 31 to upload their Vines with the #ddbexpress hash-tag on Twitter. 

Every #ddbexpress video will be reviewed before DDB selects 10 finalists in early June. Eventually, the top two finalists will join the agency's creative department and will get to attend the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Now there's a Vine idea that could probably grow on recent college grads.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.