Social Media | August 2013 | By Christa Gala

A Six-Second Connection

Brands turn to Vine as the next big social tool.

Quick serve brands are using social video tools like Vine to build business.
A&W launched a Vine campaign featuring mascot Rooty the Great Root Bear to plug its Mini Polar Swirls line. thinkstockphoto / A&W
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Imagine a marketing campaign that’s created in five days and launched with minimal cost, a campaign that generates buzz and leads to an increase in sales. Too good to be true? Not at all; it’s marketing on Vine.

A&W Restaurants launched its Mini Polar Swirls in April through Vine, a social media application that invites users to create and share six-second video clips.

“We really like social media because, even though we’re a 94-year-old brand, we don’t have the big budgets that a lot of brands do,” says Liz Bazner, social and digital communications strategist for A&W.

Bazner brought up the idea for the Mini Polar Swirls Vine campaign on a Monday and was filming by the following afternoon. Brand mascot Rooty the Great Root Bear did most of the work, levitating spoons and performing what looked like magic tricks to create buzz around the Mini Polar Swirls desserts.

Thanks to the video, system-wide sales in the Polar Swirl category—not just for the Minis product—increased at least 25 percent, with some stores experiencing growth of up to 400 percent.

Though A&W was one of the first quick-serve companies to launch a product on Vine, brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and Taco Bell have used the app and seen success, too.

Jacob Morgan, principal and cofounder of Chess Media, says Vine is a good choice for quick-service brands.

“Vine videos are just long enough to convey a relevant and quick video,” he says. “It forces creativity, relevancy, and poignancy.”

He says Vine videos can—and should—also be integrated with other social platforms to create greater excitement. A&W posted its Vine video on both Twitter and Facebook.

“I just want people talking about A&W,” Bazner says. “We had a lot of people who aren’t even in the restaurant category—magicians, tech magazines—who came out of the woodwork and wanted to know what we were doing.”