Last month The Vaccines released what was claimed to be the first music video made up of pics shared via the Instagram iPhone app. Being the first carries a lot of weight when you can support that claim and, from what I can tell, that seems to be the case. It also serves as yet another example of how to draw fans together to create content that can then be professionally edited into a form that gets a big response.
The Vaccines - Wetsuit Instagram Video
The Vaccines and team members put out a call for photos to use in a music video for the single "Wetsuit" a few months back.
They set up a dedicated website with the following simple instructions:
1. Download Instagr.am to your iPhone for free
2. Use it to take photos at festivals. Bands, tents, fields, mud, thrills, spills, the lot!
3. Tag them with #VACCINESVIDEO when you post. We'll do the rest. Easy
They ended up with 2433 tagged photos leading to a video focused on fans and their environment that has received almost 700,000 views on YouTube.
While they got quite a bit of media coverage, fan comments on spots like YouTube seem to be more to the point:
"I want all these people to be my friends."
"SUCH A COOL VIDEO I WANT TO BE IN IT!"
"I want to go back to Reading Festival so much looking at this. Summer 2011 was perfect!"
"I literally want to be friends with them and have their clothes and be there with them :|"
"basically my kind of crowd
my kind of life
my kind of music"
Sure, there are other comments, but I find the ones showing an identification between folks who wish they were there and folks who were there to be the most interesting indicators of the video being part of the process of building a cohesive, self-identified fanbase.
As Adweek's David Kiefaber points out:
"This is one of those situations where pop culture does what anonymous fans have been doing for years — this is just a well-edited version of the sort of photo slideshow someone would put together after graduating from college."
And that's the beauty of the Wetsuit video. The Vaccines take an approach seen in fan-made music videos for other bands, connect it to a still fresh mobile service, get their fans involved and end up with a relatively low-budget music video that gets lots of press, a claim to being first and great fan response.
It's an excellent example of how new tech connected to well-established practices and desires can get a great deal of mileage out of a simple idea.
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at All World Dance and This Business of Blogging. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.