*M&M’s stop-motion Vine of Seattle Seahawks’ Percy Harvin’s kickoff return for a touchdown in the second half of the Super Bowl.

Vines have become the preferred choice of content for major brands that want showcase creativity and stand out from the competition. M&M has created 22 Vines, all but one of which are stop motion.

Seth Weisfeld, Vine’s product design lead, recently told Digiday, “creating stop-motion animations with the Vine app is very easy and doesn’t require any additional equipment or post-production.”

Similarly, reports Digiday, GE has used stop motion for more than 80 percent of its Vines (out of a total of 100), using the platform from everything to explaining Sir Issac Newton’s theory of gravity to Pi Day.

“There’s a level of complexity required for stop-motion animation,” GE’s global manager of digital marketing, Katrina Craigwell, told Digiday. “At GE, we loved the craftsmanship about it and how it was a unique experience on the platform.”

Home Depot believes Vines tap into people’s desire for unique content and fresh perspectives. “Stop motion provides the perfect excuse for casting your product as the star of the show.”

But are Vines actually paying off for smaller brands? While Vine’s product lead, Seth Weisfeld, insists that for brands with limited resources creating Vines facilitates compelling content, Digiday points out that they are not easy to assemble. From storyboarding and animation to cross-platform positioning and audio and visual synching — all before production gets underway — producing Vines is an ambitious exercise.

One major problem with all this, however, is there’s little evidence the approach gets more engagement from people. There’s not a huge difference between a stop-motion Vine and other content, like photos and/or text, when posted to a channel like Twitter. A recent Urban Outfitters stop-motion Vine posted to Twitter, for example, received 30 retweets and 134 favorites from an audience of 827,000 followers. Four other posts consisting of either text or photo content that went out around the same time as the stop-motion Vine received between nine and 68 retweets, and between 50 and 278 favorites.

Smaller brands have even started turning to Vine agents to help them produce cohesive stories in six seconds. If you’ve been using Vine as part of your overall marketing strategy, what are the benefits and pitfalls you’ve encountered? Let us know in the comments.