Everybody wants to be on TV?

So. Twitter’s entered the TV advertising arena (in the US).

Does this mean some sort of capitulation to traditional media? Does it signal an admission that social can’t do everything? Dire prognostications, theorising and utter amazement follow.

Or we could be more realistic: TV still generates the single highest reach. This is especially true among the audience for the creative, in other words, people who don’t know very much about Twitter and are possibly intimidated by hashtags and the like.

This campaign is really clever. Twitter has hit the right notes. Cross-media promotion of single medium vehicles has been long established because it works (if properly executed, of course). Think print vehicles on TV, TV channels online, etc.

What has Twitter done to properly execute its campaign? It uses the power of video – both TV and online – to illustrate how Twitter allows you to access so many different points of view and participate in a broader conversation. The videos show how Twitter can bring you closer to the action – in this case the action of NASCAR – from different people to enhance your overall experience. Not to mention, if you are so inclined, making you feel like you’re part of the celebrities’ life / lifestyle.

And, as I’ve mentioned, the brand has chosen the proper medium for the target. Consider just how intimidating the social norms that exist on Twitter could be for the newbies – even people who have Facebook or other social media accounts. If Twitter wants to tap into an even wider audience, it absolutely needs to help this audience overcome its natural discomfort with the new and the different. And the brand needs to do this without preaching, seeming smug or patronising, all of which is easier said than done.

So, this is less a case of ‘everybody wants to be on TV’ than a case of choosing the media most appropriate for your target audience. A brand as savvy as Twitter knows how to leverage multiple media to meet its objectives and impact the brand. I wait with interest to see what impact this has on audience, use of Twitter in general and use of hashtags more specifically.

Tara Beard-Knowland is a Director at Ipsos ASI. Follow her on Twitter @TaraatIpsosASI.

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