Features

Loop de loop

"Loop de loop" Continued...

Issue: "Day of reckoning," June 14, 2014

While it may seem all fun and pranks, King has an audience to develop. Followers may at anytime click the “unfollow” button. Like a TV show, Vines depend on consistency, so King creates at least two Vines per week. He gauges which type of videos earn the highest number of views (those with physical contact, an element of surprise, and more camera movement), but he also has to calculate viewers—with their short attention spans—don’t want to see the same things over and over again: “The story has to be creative and new every time, so obviously it’s a lot of creative work and creative juice to figure out how to make it new.”

With slickly edited Vines and a large following, King is also becoming attractive to companies wanting to reach a young audience. Taco Bell, Nike, and Coca-Cola, rather than placing ads on the social media app, have asked King to create Vine videos showcasing their products. In one recent Vine, King is seen torching a bag of Doritos that magically turns into Taco Bell’s Doritos-shelled tacos (see below). 

The partnerships are so lucrative that King and other top Viners are able to make a living solely creating digital content. Niche, a startup connecting companies with social media celebrities, said it has made $1.5 million in revenue since last fall. One Viner, 24-year-old Cody Johns, told Business Insider that he worked on one ad campaign that paid off his entire college tuition. Johns has 1.6 million followers.

King recognizes his influence with young, impressionable followers, and as a Christian wants to create clean entertainment within the unruly Vine world: “My goal has always been that when I have kids, I want them to be able to watch every Vine I’ve done without any doubts of it being unclean, so that’s kind of my standard, my voice in my Vines.” 

The danger for Christians in such an instant culture is to post videos that aren’t well thought out and instantly misrepresent Christ to millions of onlookers, King said. 

A scroll through Vine accounts reveals that some Viners cite Jesus in their bio sections, but tell a different story with their profanity-laced, sexually explicit content. For it and other social media, said Christian culture critic Brett McCracken, “it’s a good idea not to post in the heat of the moment or in the heat of your emotions, be conscious of the fact that this is public and you are representing Christianity to the world.” 

As King continues to seek creative ways to tell stories in six seconds, the big question on his mind is how he can tell the ultimate gospel story in that time. “I wake up every day and think about it for five minutes, and I have no answer,” King said. Yet he’s certain “there has to be no talking because the gospel relates to everyone in the world. It can’t just be talking, it’s got to be an image. That’s my creative block.”

Angela Lu
Angela Lu

Angela is a reporter for WORLD News Group who lives and works in Los Angeles. She enjoys cooking, reading, and storytelling. Follow Angela on Twitter @angela818.

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