Philips : Whither Vine?

The Dutch healthcare and lighting conglomerate has a presence on Vine, a youth-oriented video-sharing site, but others should think carefully before becoming ‘Viners’. 


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The Site

Vine, a social media platform allowing users to create and share looping videos with a maximum length of six seconds, reported 40m ‘registered users’ in 2013 (although the smaller number of ‘active users’ was not released). Regardless of actual user figures, there is no doubt the Twitter-owned channel is popular with young people – its largest user age group is 18-to-20-year-olds.

Philips maintains a page on the channel, which is unusual for a large corporate, and which it updates frequently, posting short, repeating videos on a variety of topics: product demos, sustainability messages, and spots to camera from employees and executives (a recent one featured the CEO speaking from the Davos summit).

The Takeaway

Many will find Vine’s collection of endlessly looping movies headache-inducing (and that includes many of the usual audiences for corporate online communications) but Philips has at least two good reasons why a presence there could make sense. First, the Philips corporate brand is based on being seen to be innovative, so posting on a cutting-edge channel fits with the message. Second, by the nature of what it does (lots of whizzy gadgets) there is abundant material for appealing video content. Philips makes good use of the platform, with a variety of cleverly produced loops. The fact that main competitor GE is also on the site suggests they are thinking along similar lines.

For those without the brand tie-in with the ‘cutting edge’ or the capacity to create compelling video content, the case for being on Vine is much less clear. Other channels, Facebook, Instagram, etc, may serve a social media strategy equally well or better. And of course the social media landscape remains ever-changing. Twitter, which acquired Vine in 2012, has just launched its own video creation and sharing feature (with limits of up to 30 seconds), which has led some to call into question Vine’s long-term viability.

First published 28 January, 2015
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