The rise of social media, in particular Twitter, has benefitted television shows for a while now with many shows now publicising hashtags and presenter twitter accounts on air but in a new bid to drive traffic to their site, Twitter turned to TV advertising for the first time ever.
On Sunday, TV adverts directed Nascar fans watching to a page of selected tweets. The seven 15 second ads were aired during the Pocono 400, and is the biggest drive from Twitter to tap into the TV market.
The adverts showed the Nascar drivers posting tweets from their phones and promoting selective tweets about the race. The page was viewable by users of Twitter as well as those who aren’t registered. It is the first time Twitter has used an editorially driven approach to promote its site rather than relying heavily on its own users.
Twitter’s head of communications, Gabriel Stricker said, “A 15-second spot is the on-air equivalent of a 140-character tweet.”
Twitter is not the first social media company to turn to traditional TV advertising. Although Facebook has reached its 900 million user count without doing so, recent adverts have seen Google+ and YouTube resort to the more traditional ways of TV advertising.
It seems that sports teams and brands are especially keen to make the most of the growing number of TV viewers who also interact by social media at the same time. Ian Maude, head of internet at consultancy, Enders Analysis, said, “A lot of huge Twitter events are sports events. It reinforces the idea that Twitter is the live, right-now medium.”
He added that the #Nascar page allowed Twitter to promote content in a bid to show users that they can now handle more than a 140 character tweet while maintaining editorial control over abusive posts,“Household brands want some reassurance that anything unpleasant will be dealt with very quickly – or not allowed through in the first place.”
Previously, Twitter has worked with Viacom on the MTV Movie Awards and Country Music Television awards, to ask fans to vote for their favourite artists and to encourage performers to tweet during the show but last month, a partnership was announced between ESPN and Twitter to co-produce content around sports events such as the NBA finals.
It’s a given that social media is a must for a brand or show or artist or whatever it is to promote themselves these days but it seems rather ironic that after all that, the traditional form of TV advertising is still king.
While social media is an excellent tool for promotion, its downfall is ultimately the ability of abusive posts to sift through.
How often are some celebrities abused or sent vile comments via the format? So much so that some celebrity users have resorted to leaving the platform altogether or to having management take over their control. If they haven’t resorted to that yet, then they’ve probably retweeted the abusive tweets to show the world what they have to put up with.
The beauty of Twitter pages like its #Nascar one is that they are still in control of the content and of course, those all important extra words, images and videos. In the growing world of social media, it looks like despite everything, they still need a little help from the good old television set and ultimately, we think that makes TV advertising, love them or loathe them, the ultimate form of advertising.