How Target Gets Creative 6 Seconds at a Time

July 18, 2013 - Article reads in
Target - Vine

Target launched its Vine channel just two short months ago but has quickly taken a liking to this fun, social media platform. Followers have taken a liking to Target’s whimsical videos, too—more than 15,000 of you are following along.

For those who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, the idea behind Vine is simple: You create and share six-second videos that play on a continuous loop.

The restrictions of this format might drive aspiring Spielbergs and Camerons mad, but for Travis Robertson of Target’s creative team, it encourages innovation.

“It offers a constraint that other platforms don’t have,” says Travis. “It’s only six seconds. You can’t shoot something and upload it later. You can’t copy a TV spot and post it. It all needs to happen within the camera phone. That’s a compelling challenge, and we’re excited by the possibilities.”

So far, Target has posted 10 videos, each with a unique concept. One of the more complex creations is the #SummerUp Lite-Brite post, in which a spring storm morphs into a beautiful summer day, one Lite-Brite peg at a time.

Travis admits it’s a favorite: “I think it took about 80 Lite-Brite sets and an assembly line of people to pull it off. Everyone had peg marks on their fingers—it became a bonding experience to pull off what seemed like the impossible.”

Another popular video is shot from the point of view of a pinwheel. A freckled girl takes a deep breath, and as she exhales, the camera spins around and around before coming to a slow stop.

The creative team enjoys experimenting with quirky concepts, unexpected angles and special lenses. For the recent “Bubble up, up and away!” post, the team used a fisheye lens to simulate the feeling of floating in a bubble.

How does the team pull off these elaborately conceived shots?

“We do a lot of experimenting, and we do a lot of prep work to make sure things go as planned,” says Travis.

Some Vine videos can be created in a few hours. For a more complicated video like the Lite-Brite Vine, up to ten people may be involved in production, and it can take as long as two weeks from concept to execution. But for Travis’ team, it’s worth it just to delight viewers. “What we’re going for is a sense of magic, a sense of wonder, a sense of how-did-you-do-that. We’re trying to make people smile.”

As for what’s next for Target’s Vine channel, you’ll just have to wait and see!

Behind the scenes of Target’s very first Vine!

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