Vines – Maybe not just for the funny things in life

Vines aren't just for fun they could be for education too
Vines aren’t just for fun they could be for education too

My colleague from Notts TV Hollie Brookes sent this over to me and whilst on the surface there are no real surprises – young people prefer Vines and dominate the user stats, it does start to show that there’s an indication of more significant changes ahead.

There are a few key points in this for me.

1. It’s not just a great way for marketeers to target teens, it’s also indicative of their falling attention spans and that means we need to consider where else this impacts.

For example, does this imply that the education system needs to  consider a move towards teaching through very short video clips?

2. Does it mean that there is a general move away from long copy text? I know from my own stats on here that if I write more than 200 words, the readership drops off very quickly.

3. But look at the opportunities it presents too. The big one for me, is the question as to whether Vines could become the new mnemonics as a potential way to teach? Could the looping, repetitive nature of Vines be a great way to reinforce simple messages?

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A bit of a problem for the Abercrombie and Fitch brand

When you set out to create a brand you can design in certain criteria. By pricing it high, you exclude certain buying groups, by not even making XL sizes for women, you naturally exclude the larger ladies. They also place ‘beautiful people’ in a state of undress outside their stores as greeters. These decisions form the basis of the whole brand and who you target and appeal to. I am far to old/fat to be in their target audience (but so is their own MD!) and I am now quite proud to say I have never owned any of their products.

Mike Jeffries Abercrombie and Fitch Managing Director
Mike Jeffries Abercrombie and Fitch Managing Director – looking a little like a bad advertisement for facial surgery – and certainly not in his own target audience

But Abercrombie and Fitch have taken this brand separation to a new level by destroying all damaged or returned goods rather than giving them to the homeless, as many other brands do. All very deliberate and all very elitist. the assumption being that seeing homeless people in A&F would embarrass their own beautiful customers.

But here comes the brand backlash. 7.5 million views in less than a month, and growing fast. Watch this space. It may be the next Gerald Ratner moment for the A&F brand.

Sam Farmer, Clever thinking grooming products

Sam Farmer grooming products
Sam Farmer, made for the blindies and those who actually care about what they wash themselves with

I don’t much go in for personal grooming products and have genuinely never knowingly bought an after-shave that has a smell to it. As a series of brands, they have just rather passed me by. I’m not sure if it’s just because i’m quite cynical and know too much about the production cost/selling cost ratio, or whether it’s because I don’t have much of a sense of smell.

But this range which I came across the other day, has two really clever points going for it, which give it a real chance of succeeding in a very crowded market place.

1. Older people like me, have poorer eye-sight I was genuinely struggling to find out whether a shampoo style bottle contained shampoo or conditioner last week because I couldn’t read the miniscule words on the front of the pack. in the same way that fashion brands use an XL size that is tiny, to stop people like me from buying their wares, maybe the shampoo brands are so clear in their targeting that me buying it would damage their brand. Or maybe it’s just poor user design.

2. It’s backed up by the research I was lucky enough to see a speaker from CrowdDNA talk about their Road Trip research they did for MTV. One of the key learnings from this was that today’s ‘youth’ would prefer that they were marketed to as individuals and not by gender. The whole concept of gender neutrality, is apparently important to a significant proportion of youths. Sam farmer has addressed this directly.

Time will tell though, whether these two points are strong enough to allow Sam and his range to stand out and sell in the market. I hope they do, because I love the fact that it’s such a small player up against such global business opposition.

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