Media Observations- Vine and Product Placement

Just as you think that every app and aspect of technology has been created, something new comes along and shakes everything up. This happened with the development of the app called ‘Vine’. Similar to YouTube, users can create their own videos and subscribe to other channels. But what makes vine stand out from YouTube is how the videos are approximately 6 seconds long and play in a loop. This company was bought by and became a part of the Twitter conglomerate in October 2012 before it was made public in January of 2013. To increase popularity of this new app, the videos can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and the web as a whole. At the time it came out, people thought it was going to be a trend for a year or so before dying out, but three years later, it is still going strong. So why is this app, which features 6 second videos, so popular when we already have YouTube? I think this goes back to the idea that the media is a mirror of society. Our society is so caught up in technology and the fast pace it has, that we have very small attention spans. Very few people want to watch an 8 minute video for fun when they can laugh at a 6 second one. And even better; you can watch more of these vines in the time it takes to watch one lengthy video. So if technology is forever improving and society’s attention spans grow smaller, should we expect 2 second videos to be the next big thing?

Since the beginning of movies, television shows, and radio programs, advertising has taken many forms. Most people know advertising as commercial breaks, which becomes annoying to viewers, since it breaks up their programs. Advertisers know that when a commercial break comes on, many people will either tune it out or change the station. To find a new way of advertising their product to their audience, companies have used product placement. This applies to movies, television shows, or radio broadcasts; as long as the characters or hosts talk about or use their product, or the product is featured in some other way, it counts as product placement. Sometimes the placement is subtle, such as a logo on a shirt, or an extra in the background is using the product. This way, the product is given some screen time, but acts as a reminder of the product instead of hard-press selling it. The idea of product placement isn’t anything new; it has been happening since the late 1800’s. Some of the earliest examples include; the use of Lever Brothers’ Sunlight Soap in the 1896 short film Washing Day in Switzerland, Hershey’s bar with almonds in the 1927’s Best Picture-winning film Wings, and the Budget Truck Rental and Pepsi in the 1990 film Home Alone. This advertising technique has been used for a while, and will continue to be used in future films and shows to come.


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