Jerome Jarre has over 7.5 million followers on Vine. But he’s not just a Vine Star. He also created GrapeStory, a marketing agency that leverages Vine to create branded content with the top “Viners”, or influencers, on Vine. He’s moved into mainstream media, working with Ellen DeGeneres to cover the Red Carpet ceremony of the 86th Academy Awards. Lately, he has appeared on the cover of Adweek magazine.
I had the amazing opportunity to interview Jarre in his Manhattan office, and here’s what I learned…
Fiona Briquet: People know you as the “Vine guy”, establishing a new way to make a living out of content creation through Vine. How would you define yourself?
Jerome Jarre: I dropped out of Business College four years ago. I’ve created six start-ups that failed and one that worked out. I’ve been constantly working on myself—personal improvement, understanding what I was afraid of, and I’ve been killing my fears one by one. I’m just living my life and now it happens that Vine has brought an audience to what I’m doing, and of course I wanted to embrace this opportunity. That’s why I started GrapeStory, but I was not a content creator at all before Vine. I wasn’t aiming to become an actor or anything like that. My goal in life is to shake things up in society and to spread some love.
F.B: How do you manage to make a living by using Vine?
J.J: I started GrapeStory with Gary Vaynerchuk, who has a social media company called VaynerMedia, which helps brands with social media strategy. He knows which brands want to spend money on social media. With GrapeStory, all he has to do is go to these brands and say “You should try spending money on Vine and see if you can get a better return on investment”. We create Vines for brands and we get paid for that. We have a group of 25 Viners that are represented by GrapeStory that make a living making Vine videos.
F.B: What is your creative process?
J.J: My creative process might be different than other Viners, because I like spontaneity. My inspiration is just being open-minded, loving and caring about people, so that whatever I do to them is a positive action and I can get a positive reaction. I’m just trying to create interesting moments in the streets and capture the reactions.
F.B: Why are you using Vine? Why not Facebook, for example?
J.J: Facebook has been a great help to push my Vines. Vine is a creation platform, contrary to Facebook which is a sharing platform. I use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to spread my Vines, but the magic happens on Vine. Contrary to all the other social media, it’s a creation app, which is new to social media.
F.B: What are the keys for a brand to succeed on Vine?
J.J : The key is to know what you’re doing. That’s why you need to work with a Vine influencer. I spent the past year and a half thinking about Vine 24/7. Vine is a very difficult medium because telling stories in six seconds is not easy. You can hire a community manager for Twitter, for example. But most people are not used to creating six second video stories.
F.B: Do you think a Vine campaign is more effective than a web banner for example?
J.J : No doubt. The content that the brands are going to have is the content that people want to consume. For example, GE sent a zero gravity flight. We made some great Vines there, but we wouldn’t have been able to do it without their help because it costs too much. If a brand can improve the content that has been consumed, then they win.
F.B: What do you think is going to be the next branded content platform?
J.J : Snapchat. And I don’t think Vine and Snapchat are going to become competitors, they are completely different. With Snapchat you can give a minute and a half story.
F.B: How do you think brands can use Snapchat? Should they use an influencer too or do it by themselves?
J.J : They should definitely use influencers or storytellers at least. It is a new platform so for people that haven’t spent time on it, it is complicated. The last four months I’ve been spending six hours a day working on understanding Snapchat, either by consuming it or talking to Snapchat influencers. There are people making a lot of money on Snapchat right now, just by themselves. Things are going to switch up.