Twitter buzz informs TV ads

24 October 2012

NEW YORK: Brands like Samsung, Duracell and Almay are using insights drawn from Twitter to inform their TV advertising creative, reflecting the heightened integration between these channels.

One of Samsung's recent TV spots takes aim at the iPhone, as people supposedly waiting in line for an Apple store to open talk about the fact its latest iPhone can only be used with old docks if they purchase an official adapter.

When discussing the need to buy this product, an actor in the ad says, "Yeah, yeah but they make the coolest adapters", a tongue-in-cheek statement based on disatisfaction with this requirement.

Brian Wallace, vp, strategic marketing at Samsung Telecommunications America, revealed that "hundreds of thousands" of tweets had been assessed to decide the commercial's tone and content.

"We are literally pulling conversations that are happening in our category and reflecting them in our ads," he told the Wall Street Journal.

In a seeming indication of the company's success, this ad attracted 32m hits on YouTube, the video-sharing portal, in just two weeks.

"You have to be flexible and you have to check the egos at the door to make this work," said James Townsend, group brand director at 72 & Sunny, Samsung's agency. "[Y]ou have a piece of data that says you need to change a line so you have to embrace it, and that is not the way the business has worked."

Elsewhere, Duracell, the battery range manufactured by Procter & Gamble, drew on insights from Twitter while developing an ad for Powermat, a portable charger for smartphones.

This spot linked a green battery logo with the owner of the Powermat, compared with yellow and red lights, indicating low levels of remaining power, for other people not possessing this charger.

Data gathered by Networked Insights, the analytics company, found that during a timeframe of 90 days, some 70,000 users of Twitter spoke about their battery being red, and 55,000 about it being green.

In the future, Duracell is looking to base further ads on such findings, including a commercial based around seeing consumers lose power in frustrating places or at the wrong time.

Almay, Revlon's cosmetics brand, has used this type of information a similar way. Julie Marchant-Houle, its vice president, marketing, argued the data on offer went well beyond "statistically relevant" samples.

More specifically, it "takes a little bit of the gut and subjectivity out of" making ads, she added. For example, it encouraged Almay to reduce its usage of the term "hypoallergenic", which is not a word utilised regularly by consumers.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff