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World Leaders on Vine - burson- · PDF fileHer “Turnip for what ” Vine with DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s ... King Bach and Jérôme ... which has become the most viewed Vine of the

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  • World Leaders on Vine

    Executive Summary

    With Vine probably the most difficult social network to master and maintain, it is no wonder that very

    few governments are using it. Vine videos are only six seconds long and they loop, making editing an

    essential attribute of a good Vine.

    Vines are essentially the video equivalent of a tweet, and often too short for meaningful one-line

    political statements. However, it is amazing what stories you can tell in six seconds either in animated

    infographics or stop-motion video format. Some of the most popular Vine stars have amassed millions of

    followers and billions of loops with their skits.

    Burson-Marstellers research team has identified 47 Vine

    channels of governments and world leaders, 11 of which are

    inactive and have never posted a Vine. Seventeen channels

    have been dormant for more than a year, and only 19 channels

    are active on a regular basis.

    In 2013 and 2014, some governments have used Vine for quick,

    one-line statements. For example, U.S. Secretary of State John

    Kerry has posted only one Vine, inviting his followers for a

    Twitter chat, and U.S. President Barack Obama encouraged the

    U.S. soccer team on the White House channel during the FIFA

    World Cup in Brazil.

  • The White House has, by far, the most followed Vine channel,

    with 458,000 followers, almost 10 times as many as Brazilian

    President Dilma Rousseff in second position. The UK

    government, the State Department and UK Prime Minister David

    Cameron complete the top five list, however Camerons channel

    is inactive and he has never actually posted any Vine videos.

    The 108 Vines produced by the White House have been viewed

    125 million times, three times that of the 280 Vines on the

    Elyse channel of the

    French Presidency. The

    German Foreign

    Ministry is in third

    position in terms of total number of loops, ahead of the

    Brazilian President and the UK government.

    The French Presidency is the most active governmental channel

    on Vine having produced 280 Vine videos ahead of the

    European Commission and the White House with 143 and 108

    Vines respectively.

    Governmental Vine Stars

    First Lady Michelle Obama is the Vine star of the White House channel.

    Her Turnip for what Vine with DJ Snake and Lil Jons song Turn

    Down for What in the background has become a viral hit with close to

    50 million loops since 14 October 2014.

    She has recently re-edited the piece with National Basketball

    Association star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. The

    second most popular video on the channel also features Michelle

    Obama promoting her favorite fall vegetable, the sweet potato, with

    more than 10 million loops.

    In October 2015, Michelle Obama invited a group of the worlds most popular Viners to the White

    House, including Lele Pons, King Bach and Jrme Jarre - who had a blast judging from their Vines, which

    were re-vined by the White House channel and have clocked up more than 60 million loops.

    The Elyse Palace has made Vine an essential part of the presidential digital communication,

    professionalizing the shooting and editing of their Vines. The French Presidency often splits the screen

  • combining two or more video scenes in each Vine including a caption on blue background. Vines are

    produced to summarize the activities of the French President.

    Sadly, the most watched Vines of the Elyse Palace is the meeting of the

    Defense council in the wake of the Paris attacks in November 2015, as well as

    the lowering of the French flag and start of three days of mourning for the

    victims. Both Vines have garnered more than 10 million loops each.

    The third most watched video of the French

    presidency is the impromptu meeting between

    Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin

    on the sidelines of the 70th D-Day celebrations on 6 June 2014 in Normandy.

    Many governments have used Vine as a video tool to

    report on the activities of their leaders either in

    meetings, or during official receptions, an example

    being the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry which Vines the arrival of official visitors

    to Vilnius. The now dormant Matignon channel, named after the French Prime

    Ministers residence, boasts 27 Vines videos of red carpet arrivals of world

    leaders, the last one being the handover between outgoing Prime Minister

    Jean Marc Ayrault and his successor Manuel Valls on April 1, 2014.

    Vine is the perfect channel for short form news items such as the decoration of the Christmas tree in

    Vilnius, Lithuania, or the lighting of the Christmas tree in front of 10 Downing Street. Government Vine

    communication have also featured flags being lowered in honor of Nelson Mandela in London and in

    Paris on 6 December 2013. The UK Foreign Office made a strong political statement with a Vine showing

    the flag of the Falklands Islands flying over the Foreign Office in remembrance of the British liberation

    of the islands in 1982.

    The most watched Vine of the UK government is a

    flypast of the Red Arrows over Westminster in honor

    of visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in

    2015; the second most popular is a flypast of the

    same planes during the NATO Summit in Wales in


    The UK government went a step further, creating a

    six-second animation attempting to explain the UKs #LongTermEconomicPlan.

  • The government of Monaco has even posted a Vine of models on a catwalk during the Monaco Fashion

    week. However, since the advent of native videos on Twitter and Periscope, Vine is less used as a

    reporting channel.

    Six Second Storytelling

    The German Foreign Ministry is the most effective

    government institution on Vine, garnering an

    average of 2,400 loops per follower. The Elysee

    Palace is almost as effective with its videos, far

    ahead of the White House and the French

    government channel.

    The German Foreign Ministry has used Vine

    creatively to support its national football team

    during the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. Before every

    crucial match, Foreign Minister Frank Walter

    Steinmeier recorded a Vine video playing table

    footie, kicking the ball and gathering his staff to

    cheer on the Mannschaft. The four videos clocked up a total of 4.8 million views.

    However it is a one shot pan of snow in the courtyard of the foreign ministry in Berlin on January 6, 2016

    which has become the most viewed Vine of the German Foreign Ministrys channel with more than four

    million loops and the hashtag #SnowCialMedia. By comparison, a similar Vine of the snow-covered

    square in front of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry in Vilnius only received a few thousand views.

    In March 2015, The UK Foreign Office produced a hilarious series of skits on what not to do with your

    passport. The professionally edited videos explained that the passport is not a notepad, nor a beermat

    and that you should neither swim with it, or wash it and definitely not microwave it afterwards.

  • Lastly, the French Foreign Ministry produced what must be the best low-

    budget, home-made stop motion animation and has become its most

    watched Vine, a conversation between two Ferrero Rocher chocolate balls

    who are sick of not being invited to the annual ambassadors conference

    in Paris.

    10 Tips for the Perfect Vine

    Have a rough plan of what and how you will be filming.

    Hold the camera steady, or use a tripod.

    Don't zoom or pan, it rarely works on mobile devices.

    Vary the shots: close-up, medium and wide. Note: Close-ups work best.

    There are few one shot wonders, so edit your Vine!

    Film several Vines, save them to the camera roll and re-import the best shots.

    Rejig the scenes to tell a story.

    Vines loop, hence the first shot must be totally different than the last.

    Put your strongest shot first, it will be your video cover.

    For more tips & tricks and how to put sound on your Vine don't hesitate to contact us.

    About this Study

    World Leaders on Vine is Burson-Marsteller's latest research into how world leaders, governments and

    international organizations communicate via social media. The research builds on Burson-Marsteller's

    highly acclaimed annual Twiplomacy study, now in its fifth year. Initially focused solely on Twitter, the

    2016 study has been expanded to other social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube

    and more niche digital diplomacy platforms such as Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+ and Vine.

    Burson-Marsteller has identified a total of 47 Vine channels, most of which have been verified by Twitter

    and carry a green verification mark. Only 19 of these channels are active and the rest are either dormant

    for more than a year, or have never posted a Vine. Data was collected on April 6, 2016.

    Thank you to Matthias Lfkens for his ongoing strategic guidance on Twiplomacy and the World Leaders

    on Social Media series.

    April 2016

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