Find Out How Twitter’s TV Ad Targeting System Works

Twitter has just raised the bar in terms of cross-platform marketing, by giving US advertisers the opportunity to target people who will have just seen their television spots. After beta trials in May, Twitter’s TV Ad Targeting is available to all US advertisers as of today.

The re-marketing mechanism is pretty clever, and combines the ad schedules of TV programmes with sentiment tracking on Twitter. Say a company runs ads for their product or service across several shows and networks. Twitter then identifies people who are either naming or mentioning the show in their tweets, or people who are using appropriate hashtags. It’s reasonable to assume that if someone is tweeting about it then they are watching it, and as a result will have probably seen the company’s ad during the break.

Twitter then lets the advertisers target these people by appearing in their streams via Promoted Tweets. This sort of re-marketing opportunity allows the advertisers to offer their potential customers different things, depending on the product. The tweet could simply be plain text reinforcing the message from the advert, a video or image that further explains or entices, or just straight up link to a page where the Twitter user can immediately purchase the product.

The technology behind Twitter TV Ad Targeting is based on BlueFin Labs, a TV analytics service that was acquired by Twitter earlier this year. Michael Fleischman, co-founder of BlueFin, explained that due to video fingerprinting technology Twitter is able to automatically detect when the TV commercials have aired, so the brands don’t have to give Twitter the heads-up each time.

This all seems like a logical step forward in terms of coherent multi-platform marketing, and if Twitter’s Nielsen studies are anything to go by, it seems to be working. By combining Promoted Tweets with TV ads, the combo deliver 95% stronger message association and 58% higher purchase intent than TV ads alone.

Do you tweet while you watch TV? Perhaps you’ve even seen a Promoted Tweet and thought that it seemed familiar? Maybe it was a beta trial of Twitter’s TV Ad Targeting. If you do tweet along with your favourite shows, maybe it’s worth taking a bit more notice of the adverts to see if your Twitter stream correlates.