Vine Contests for Brands: Tips & Examples


When Vine made its official debut this past January, we all knew it would only be a matter of time before brands started rolling out the six second video contests. Social competitions involving user-generated content are a a go-to tactic for brand engagement, and they’re not hard to come by on other platforms from Facebook to Pinterest and everything in between. A handful of notable Vine contests have been executed so far. Here are a few key takeaways from the pioneers:

  1. Share on various platforms.  Due to the freshness of the platform, chances are if you’re on Vine already you have a limited number of followers. Be sure to cross-promote on other social platforms to get the word out; see the Cavendish Hotel for an example of this. 
  2. Create a clever hashtag.  Much like with Twitter, hashtags are the best way to collect entries. Try to create something clever that incorporates your brand.
  3. Offer a cool prize.  Cash always seems to do the trick, but the contests that stand out offer creative trophies that your target audiences are  likely to want. Urban Outfitters, for example, offers passes to music festivals in Brooklyn and San Francisco.
  4. Overlap with a holiday or event.  It’s easier to build momentum when your contest is timely and has an obvious expiration date. The Cavendish Hotel’s contest is paired with Valentine’s Day, while Mashable’s contest was executed specifically for SXSWi.
  5. Encourage fans to share on other platforms.  As mentioned in tip one, Vine followings are generally on the small side. As part of the rules for entry, require fans to share their entries on other social platforms in order to boost entries and buzz.
  6. Display entries in a live feed.  Since Vine isn’t yet available for Android, entries aren’t accessible to everyone. Increase your contest’s reach by displaying entries in a live web feed. Urban Outfitters executes the live feed nicely.

Tips aside, let’s jump into some examples.

Cavendish Hotel: #ValentineVine

Possibly the first of the branded Vine contests, Cavendish Hotel of London used Facebook and Twitter to invite followers to create a romantic Vine and tweet it with the hashtag #ValentineVine. The Vine deemed “most romantic” won an overnight stay at the hotel with dinner and drinks.

Urban Outfitters & Converse: #yourchucks

This partner contest from Urban Outfitters and Converse invites fans to submit a vine documenting “a day in the life of your Converse sneakers.” Vines can be submitted by tagging #yourchucks, and prizes include a cross-country trip, Urban Outfitters gift cards, Converse and trips to Brooklyn and San Francisco. The page also includes a live feed of entries, which doubles as a clearly branded series of user-generated content. The contest ends May 6.

Mashable & NowThisNews: #6SecondPitch

During SXSWi, Mashable and NowThisNews ran a Vine contest for startups, who were invited to describe their mission in six seconds with the tag #6SecondPitch. Three winners were selected based on shares, plus two wild card picks. The grand prize winner scored a meeting witha partner at Lerer Ventures and a post on Mashable written by NowThisNews.

Tribeca Film Festival: #6SECFILMS

Tribeca’s #6SECFILMS Vine competition yielded over 400 submissions in multiple categories including Genre, Auteur, Animate and Series. Anyone could enter by tagging Vines #6SECFILMS along with the corresponding category hashtag. For the shareability factor, Tribeca required entrants to share the post on Twitter and follow @TribecaFilmFest. Winners were chosen by a small panel, and each received a $600 prize.

Have you seen any clever Vine contests yet? Share them below.