Random loops
Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Last week, Daft Punk released the track list of their new album Random Access Memories on Vine, Twitter’s recent mobile app that allows you to make six second long videos playing in a loop. Daft Punk’s – or rather Columbia Record’s – clip looks much more like a GIF than other Vine clips you may have seen because there is no motion involved. They don’t need the app and could just use simple images to create this loop. So why did Daft Punk use Vine at all, if they didn’t actually film anything? The following facts offer some clues. First, Vine is a community; it is not very large yet but large enough to be effective in terms of mobile sharing. Moreover, Vine is hyped right now and, though Daft Punk might not need it as their album release is getting a considerable amount of traction already, the platform’s novelty was good for marketing. Second, unlike the GIF format, Vine runs in the media summary of a tweet, like Youtube and Vimeo videos do, so that the content can be seen by a wider audience online and it can go viral. Being associated with one of the largest social networks, Vine content also has an impact on the social SEO.

Most internet GIF’s are born from found content online. There are apps similar to Vine that focus on ‘mobilizing’ the creation of GIFs. A very popular one is Cinemagram. The app enables the production of GIFs into 4 second long composition of clips – what they call ‘cines’. One can even animate cines by overlaying and cutting images allowing for a great amount of humorous and creative content to appear on this platform. However, and this is important for social campaigns, Twitter blocks the view of Cinemagram media in tweets appearing on their dotcom and, like many GIFs, cines do not come with sound.

Looking at music and brand marketing, sound makes the difference in terms of offering “visual representations that illustrate a point, humanise the brand, or create intrigue and excitement among consumers.” In fact, quite a few musicians have begun using Vine showing fans glimpses behind the scenes or creating videos for special occasions. 30 Seconds To Mars, for instance, thanked a fan for pre-ordering an album by going nuts with printed thank-you-notes; Axwell goof off backstage before their concert and Enrique Iglesias reposts a fan’s footage of a funny moment during his concert. Unfortunately, their videos are hard to look at because of bad light quality or rapid camera swings that can cause a headache. Humanizing brands sounds great, as long as it is aiming at a humane consumption of content, too. Free platforms, such as Vine, still demand the application of recourses and creative efforts in the pursuit of creating truly amazing brand content that people like to look at and share. Sometimes, as in the case of Daft Punk it can be as simple as uploading stills for the right purpose and the right audience. (They could have teased sound with it, if you ask me.)

When it comes to quality of mobile content, the quality of a phone’s camera is not all that matters. Currently, a lot of user-generated Vine footage is poor quality material that is not nice to look at. Maybe after learning how to take photographs for Instagram, we may now have to ask a befriended cinematographer to teach us the basics of video making.

Daft Punk



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