World Leaders on Vine
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
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
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
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
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
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.