In a Vine video published early this winter, a French transplant to New York named Jerome Jarre approached a baby squirrel sitting on a park bench and began squeaking, apparently trying to communicate with the rodent. The squirrel, sensing Mr. Jarre, perked its head up and then lunged straight at him, slamming directly into his phone’s camera. The frame goes haywire after that.
With a short burst of chaos with an unexpected twist, Mr. Jarre’s video is typical of a brand new form of humor emerging on a Vine, a rising social video platform owned by Twitter. Constrained by a six second time limit, Vine comedy is quick, irreverent and often very funny. It bares little resemblance to standup — imagine trying to fit a joke into six seconds — and is nothing like longer web comedy videos. It can also go viral in a hurry: Mr. Jarre’s video was liked over 344,000 times and “revined” more than 213,000.
But Vine’s unique humor can also present challenges for brands trying to make a mark there. Humor is Vine’s dominant category, so brands looking to reach consumers on the platform need to tap into it to have an impact. But it’s so different, they’re still figuring out how to use it effectively.