Plenty of marketers are experimenting with Vine, but few have made the 6-second video platform truly useful for consumers. Lowe's may be on its way to cracking the code.
The home improvement retailer has launched a dozen Vine videos featuring home improvement tips like how to remove a stripped screw, get rust off of knives and use pillowcases to organize sheets. Those tips had existed in text form, but Vine provided the "perfect vehicle to bring them to life and make them shareable and fun to watch," explained Wil Boudreau, executive creative director at BBDO, New York, Lowe's agency.
"Historically the category can be thought of as incredibly complicated. We sell products but those products are components to a project, and a consumer needs all the information on how to complete the project," said Tom Lamb, chief marketing officer at Lowe's. "What consumer behavior is forcing us to do is learn to be incredibly concise. We're making an effort to demonstrate that we know a little bit, so [consumers think] it's worth seeing what else we know on our site and in store."
Vine has been around for three months, though it gained widespread attention last month as a news platform during the Boston bombing. To date, the 6-second videos have primarily been used to record relatively trivial and mundane daily happenings.
"I wouldn't say it's great for every marketer," Mr. Boudreau said. "A lot of marketers are trying to jump into it but are doing a one-off thing that doesn't have a brand message attached to it."
Still, "a wonderful body of work with such a low cost is great in this day and age," Mr. Boudreau added. "That's what Vine brings you -- ability for exposure without great investment."
Lowe's tapped an expert to help with its Vine debut. Meagan Cignoli, a photographer and established Vine user, worked with BBDO on the videos, which were shot in the agency's New York office. Ms. Cignoli was also a finalist with two entries in the inaugural #6secfilms Vine contest at the Tribeca Film Festival.
"We shot them all on an iPhone in our closet-sized studio. [Meagan] brought a lot of talent and a nice feel for how to bring these things to life in a quirky way," Mr. Boudreau said. "She had embraced stop-motion photography and used it in a way that made us smile and felt right for the brand."
Mr. Lamb said he's closely watching the number of views Lowe's debut videos attract, but he's more interested to see how often consumers share the videos. Though it's still early, Mr. Lamb said results so far have been "very promising."
"There's a lighthearted touch of how this neat set of tips is presented to the consumer. It gives our brand a different dimension," Mr. Lamb said. The jury's still out, he noted, on how many Vine videos you'll see from the brand.