If there’s one thing I’ve said more often than anything else in recent months it’s that social media has indisputably, unequivocally and irrevocably gone visual. Some will say it’s down to the short attention spans of millennials, but I think the phenomenon is a little less cynical than that – it’s the constant connectivity and the supreme power of the modern-day smartphone that has made visuals not only so appealing, but also so prominent.

These days, anyone with a mobile is able to create absolutely top draw visual content. The cameras on smartphones are incredibly sharp and capable instruments, and, with a little help from the free Photoshop App, or perhaps a cool filter from Instagram, even the plainest of stills can suddenly jump off our little 4-5 inch screens and fool us into thinking that they must have been taken by a professional photographer.

And so it has transpired that online communities that extend into the hundreds of millions – aka social networks – have been formed where all of this great visual content can be gathered together. And of course, it’s not just still images that can be created with a smartphone – there’s video, too.

Indeed, millions of people around the globe are shooting mini home videos on their phones every single day. And guess what – they’re uploading them to the internet as well, again via social platforms whose communities are growing perpetually on a daily basis.

One of the most popular of these platforms is of course Vine – the social network that only accepts videos 6 seconds or shorter in length. Though not having quite yet achieved the sheer enormity of YouTube as a video-sharing platform, Vine nonetheless now has 200 million active monthly users, and the content is indeed made up in the majority by everyday people sharing videos that they’ve made on their smartphone.

The popularity of sites like this spell great things for the marketer. With a captive audience numbering into the millions already tuning in religiously every day, week, month or however frequently it may be, brands have the opportunity to jump straight in and capitalise on the existing popularity of the platform.

Standing Out With Stop-Motion

Great content gets shared. This is a truism on Vine as much as it is on any social network. And this means that when you’re creating video marketing content, your primary focus should always be centred around creating something that is entertaining. This, indeed, should almost invariably come before any attempts to create something that is ‘in yer face’ promotional – especially on Vine. The imposed brevity of the videos means that users flick through their news feeds quickly, stopping only to view something that is going to interest them, and probably make them smile.

With all this in mind, it seems that in order to succeed on Vine, you need to stand out from the crowd. One of the ways that brands have been achieving this is by getting creative with stop-motion, as Haniya Rae from the Digiday blog notes:

“The stop-motion technique has become a go-to differentiator for a wide range of companies, including Home Depot and Dunkin Donuts. That’s because it’s not something your average Joe can do, giving brands a leg up in creating content that will help it stand out amid a sea of pretty creative consumer content.”

Making Your Product The Star Of The Show

Stop-motion videos offer the marketer an opportunity that regular filming often doesn’t – the ability to make a product the star of the show. “Stop-motion Vines allow us to keep our product as a key player in the storyline in a fun and authentic fashion that our fans expect of us,” said Seth Klugherz, the senior marketing director of M&M’s Chocolate Candies.

During the Super Bowl last year, M&M’s made a series of stop-motion replays of some of the key plays during the match. They’re brilliant– especially when you consider that they were put together very quickly before the game had even ended – and bring the little chocolate sweeties to life in a real fun way. The videos are entertaining, cute, memorable, have M&M’s written all over them, and are the first examples of stop-motion I want to show you here.

The others listed here are just as brilliant, and note how they all make their products the protagonists in each video, every time with a slightly different approach.

5 Brands Nailing Stop-Motion Marketing On Vine

#1. M&M’s

#2. Samsung

Samsung takes a slightly different approach showcase the new straps that are available for its new smartwatch, the Gear S2 – a great example of how stop-motion can also be used to demonstrate a product’s variations.

#3. Yoplait Yoghurt

How on Earth do you make a product like yoghurt worth following on Vine? Simple – cool, cute and memorable stop-motions. Although Yoplait have only a limited output on the platform, the above video is nonetheless a great example of how stop-motion can be used to plug pretty much anything.

#4. General Electric

There’s all sorts going on at General Electric’s Vine feed, but their use of stop-motion is pretty impressive.

#5. Oreo

Oreo is one of the undisputed masters of social media. And so it comes as no surprise that stop-motion video is yet another avenue where the brand’s output is exemplary.

Stop-motion is a great video technique that can really give your product a personality. Has your brand experimented with the form? Please share your thoughts – and your videos and Vines! – in the comments below.