TV ads that integrate social media features—like directing viewers to their Facebook or Twitter page for extra content—aren’t so unique anymore. But now some companies are using social media applications to fully create their ads.
During ESPN Monday Night Football, Dunkin’ Donuts premiered what’s being touted as the first-ever commercial made entirely using Vine, Twitter’s popular looping video service. The five-second “billboard ad” appeared between ESPN segments and was created entirely using the social and mobile video application in order to target a younger demographic, according to online marketing magazine TheDrum.com. The ad showed a latte flipping a coin to start a football game between a hot coffee and an iced coffee, and is one of four such Vine-created ads that ESPN Monday Night will feature throughout the 16-game season season.
Making an ad using Vine or another social media application gives companies like Dunkin’ Donuts a way to easily (and relatively cheaply) share their commercials both on TV and online. For those who didn’t watch Monday night’s ESPN broadcast, they can watch Dunkin’ Donut’s Vine ad online. Dunkin' Donuts is sharing the ads under the Twitter hashtag #DunkinReplay.
The ad was much shorter than the usual 30-second or minute-long ad, appealing to viewers with short attention spans who may also be using social media on their computers or cell phones while watching the game.
“Everyone is multitasking while watching TV with their phone, tablet or laptop,” Scott Hudler, vice president of global consumer engagement for Dunkin’ Brands, told AdWeek.com. “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.”
Interestingly, gum maker Trident also unveiled its own Vine-produced commercial on Monday that it’s touting as the first ever, according to Mashable.com. Nissan and Virgin Mobile also have plans to use Vine to create and promote ads in coming weeks, AdWeek reports.
The trend toward using social applications like Vine and Instagram to create ads has several implications for small businesses. For one, it gives small companies an affordable way to produce compelling ads that can generate social media buzz, potentially go viral and compete head-to-head with ads created by major brands. No longer are high-quality production techniques necessarily a competitive edge—because even big brands are now turning to lower-quality and affordable production methods available through social media.
It also means companies both small and large don’t need to create lengthy ads to make a splash in the market. “Snackable” ads, like the five-second Dunkin’ Donuts spot, are likely to become more of the norm as advertisers try to quickly appeal to the multitasking, short attention-spanned younger audiences.
“As agencies, media companies and clients get more comfortable with the six-second Vine [videos],” Ed Erhardt, ESPN sales lead, told AdWeek. “It makes these short-form ad treatments more viable for all to use.”
Read more articles on advertising.
Photos: Dunkin' Donuts