The New Media Stars of Vine

They're having fun with brands and not afraid to show it.
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They're having fun with brands and not afraid to show it.

Remember when Justin Bieber got discovered on YouTube and that was a big deal because, like, that had never happened before? Well, that was a long time ago. And although plenty of new talent gets discovered on YouTube these days, even more big names are coming from social media platforms that didn’t exist when Justin Bieber got famous.

We have explored the new stars of Snapchat, and now we’re going to take a look at the new crop of celebrities that have made a name for themselves six seconds at a time on Vine.

With a barrage of new apps like Instagram’s Hyperlapse since Vine made its first splash way back in January 2013, some thought the six-second video looping app was a flash in the pan - but millions of teens and tweens think otherwise. For this valuable demographic, native ad content via vines from Vine’s top vine-makers could make them more likely to trust the brand supporting their fave Viner.

So who are these new social media stars? Here’s a quick run-down of 10 favorites:

Jack & Jack — From scrolling through the Jack & Jack Vine page, you might make the mistake that these are just any group of teen boys goofing off with videos, except these kids have 4.6 million followers and recently went on a bus tour like certified rock stars. Are those Vines featuring General Mills cereal brands just kids making jokes about what they know, or is it genius branded content marketing?

Robby Ayala — This guy quit law school to make Vines full time for his 2.9 million followers. Sponsored in part by branded vines featuring Hewlett-Packard products, Ayala tags them with the #BendTheRules hashtag to better unify HP’s laptop/tablet hybrids with Ayala’s crazy bro-dude persona.

Klarity — He’s a young black man named Greg Davis, Jr. who has built a Vine audience of 2.1 million followers under the user name Klarity. He has two contact emails on his profile for “business inquiries,” and he is certainly open to created branded content. Although his Charmin-themed bathroom selfies with strangers series is a little weird.

Cody Johns — Another young, fit guy with 2.5 million Vine followers, Cody Johns is happy to make branded Vines for T-Mobile and this silly six seconds that tells a story about how you can use Apple Pay at McDonald’s now, but the twist is that the girl might steal your Ronald McDonald shoe car.

Sunny Mabrey — Bro dudes aren’t the only ones hamming it up on Vine. There’s also funny girls like Sunny Mabrey with 780K followers. She’s like the Jenna Marbles of Vine. It doesn’t look like many brands are finding their way into the stories she likes to tell about relationships and our addictions to social media. Not yet anyway. People are obsessed with her. Also, she was in Snakes on a Plane, which makes perfect sense.

Maddy Esther — Here’s another Vine girl to keep on your radar. With 141.8K followers and a business inquiry email address in her profile, this enterprising young Jersey girl is turning her six seconds of cuteness into dollars. But she’s also contributing her popularity to the #bullypreventionmonth awareness project so all this Vine stuff looks good on her college applications.

Reed Deming — Reed Deming, a guitar playing 15-year-old from San Antonio, Texas, might be the Justin Bieber of Vine. With his 81.6K followers, this kid is making a name for his pop vocal riffs six seconds at a time. This kid is also doing these split-screen Vines that layer two simultaneous layers of audio and video into the same six seconds. Did he invent that? He’s also a member of “Vine supergroup” Magcon.

Origiful — Ian Padgham originally worked for Twitter as a video producer. So when Twitter acquired Vine, Padgham was one of the first stars of the new six-second platform, gaining 361.6K followers of his amazing stop-motion videos. His mastery of the stop-motion technique that brings inanimate objects to life has made him a favorite of high-end brands like this Vine he did for Mercedes-Benz.

Brandon Calvillo — Here’s another young guy with a high opinion of himself and 3.7 million followers who seem to agree. Like many of our other Vine stars, he has business contact information in his profile for brands that want a piece of those eyeballs, but it remains unclear if this Vine is sponsored by Hot Pockets or just a freebie. Also, his pretend uncle might be trading pets for crack, so be careful.

Alphacat — Vine has no shortage of young dudes with high levels of confidence, including this young gentleman with a spot-on Obama impression, 3 million followers, a “BIZ ONLY” email address in his Vine profile, and a demonstrated ability to get doused with peanuts in a sponsored Vine for T-Mobile.