Despite it being 15 years since Vimeo first started, the platform has always put its creators first. For example, it was the first platform to enable high definition hosting so that shorts could be shared at the best quality. It’s advertisement free too, and its popular staff picks section catapults creatives’ work to be seen by as many eyes as possible. All the while it hasn’t made too much of song and dance about it either, crafting a corner of the internet that is reliable and community-driven. Today, however, it launches its first ever brand ever campaign, a number of shorts shot by Alex Prager humorously showing how Vimeo can help creators.
A project that’s been the result of around two years worth of work led by chief marketing officer Harris Beber, the campaign voices Vimeo’s mission which “is squarely focused on empowering the creators of videos with the tools they need to create, distribute and monetise their work,” Harris tells It’s Nice That. The seed of the campaign is its audience, which Vimeo describes as its creators, as well as a want to align itself “on that mission of being creator first”. Creators are anyone who uses the platform to share work, whether it’s “a filmmaker or a large business”, and the campaign is the result of the Vimeo team realising that “video helps to tell compelling stories in a way that no other format does,” says Harris. “Where we want to stand in the world is supporting those people that are making the videos with all the tools that they need to be successful.”
Harris, who joined Vimeo from an e-commerce background at Amazon, is relatively new to the creative industry. Nevertheless, he speaks about the platform, his role, its audience and in turn this campaign, with such enthusiasm it’s like it has rejuvenated his approach to marketing professionally. His role in this project, considering Vimeo’s core audience already reaches 90 million, was not to invent some new mission or way to sell its product, instead, he just had to amplify it: “You don’t have to create a message, you just have to let the world see what you’re doing,” he says fondly when describing the past few months. “That was something that was really enticing to me. It was a little askew from my background… so to get to flex those muscles has been incredibly rewarding for me.”
In a nutshell, the message that Harris and the Vimeo team are projecting is that Vimeo can help creatives. But creating a campaign where the central component is video is no mean feat. As Harris puts it, Vimeo’s audience is “what’s been fuelling our growth” and so the campaign needed to reflect them and needed to commission a Vimeo creator too. “It’s not just marketing that we’re putting out into the world,” points out Harris, “it’s marketing that has to meet the bar of our community that is incredibly talented.”
From what Harris describes, creative agency Fig, who won the pitch, already knew this. Developing the idea for a campaign which is described as “100% reflective” of Vimeo’s mission as a business and its employees, Fig displayed how “everything always comes back to community” in the first round of pitching for the brief. “They put this nice compilation together with around 15 different Vimeo creators telling us what Vimeo meant to them,” Harris describes. “It was everyone from a filmmaker holding their newborn saying ‘this enabled me to have a family because I have a career’, to people putting stuff out in the world in corporate America but their passion was making videos, and our platform helped them do that. For me, they were the only agency that really tapped into the core of our community as driving everything that we do.”
For Scott Vitrone, chief creative officer of Fig, he hopes the campaign is as direct as its overall idea: “The campaign is super simple, Vimeo is a brand that can help you with your videos,” he tells It’s Nice That. “We needed to change past perceptions of Vimeo, undo the fact that people saw them as a viewing platform and communicate, in the simplest way, that Vimeo is actually a service with a lot of great tools to help you make your videos better.” Only hoping now that, “people think the campaign is worthy of Vimeo.”
Worthy it is. Pulling in such a large artistic name such as Alex Prager’s to shoot the shorts – “what a wonderful person she is… just a joy to work with,” describes Harris – will immediately prick up the ears of Vimeo’s audience. The shorts also have a sense of humour to them, placing characters in awkward situations but clearing up the issue with the tagline: “Vimeo can help. With your videos.” Overall achieving its aim of “holding on to that creative DNA that Vimeo is known for” also across physical advertising too.
Looking forward, Vimeo’s campaign is not only harking back to its core values, ethos and the community who powers it, but is also clever when you consider Harris’ point that “today the future of video is taking over the world and to be successful, whether you’re a filmmaker or a business, you need to understand video and how to reach your audience.”
Witnessing it flourish for the past 15 years, Vimeo does know this and the fact that “brands and retailers today actually have to act like media companies because that’s what people engage with”. It also knows the downside to such a business, details such as “the average video gets 75% of its views in the first four days – that means if you’re business or filmmaker putting out a piece of content on Monday, by Friday no one sees it anymore,” or the fact that video creators have “just three seconds to capture someone’s attention”.
In turn, Vimeo is looking to create a sustainable cycle for the video industry and to help solve the “pain points that people have”. As Harris sums up: “We’re uniquely positioned because of our community to help solve that.”
You can watch the full album of shorts here.
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