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Twitter launches Promoted Trends. Breaks promise.

Here comes is the second offering of the Twitter ad era: Disney’s launched the new “Promoted Trend” to kickstart the launch of its summer movie Toy Story 3. What’s the difference to their first offering, the “Promoted Tweets”? To come across a Promoted Tweet, you actually had to perform a search. The Promoted Trend is basically a preset search/trend showing up on your twitter page.

And just so you’re not shocked, that trend/search will have a promoted tweet on top, too. For example, this one:

“You’ve waited 11 years to see Woody and Buzz again. Toy Story 3 – Share the experience with friends! www.disneyticketstogeter.com”

After coping with being slightly underwhelmed, here is what we can learn from this:

1. A Promoted Trend/Tweet isn’t quite the regular tweet that Biz Stone talked about.

Contrary to Biz Stone’s initial insistence, that their advertising offers would amplify valuable content by fellow twitterers, the Sponsored Trend has turned out to be a classical corporate marketing tool.

“Since all Promoted Tweets are organic Tweets, there is not a single “ad” in our Promoted Tweets platform that isn’t already an organic part of Twitter.” Twitter Blog

Yeah… that’s, like, totally organic if you are a very big company with a marketing department lots of followers.

2. Twitter is for old people,too.

If have the patience (and a life eventless enough) to wait 11 years for a sequel, you’re obviously well past puberty or youth. But of course, that was not the only promoted Toy Story tweet. Disney/Pixar must have actually promoted many different tweets for different audiences. Which eventually self-filtered and travelled to their relevant target groups.

Here is another Toy Story Promoted Tweet, found on Piers Fawkes’ PSFK.

3. Twitter understands reading behaviour and layout.

A promoted tweet looks indeed like a regular tweet, and is placed at the top. Twitter is obviously aware that our search result reading habits are incredibly impatient. We rarely go beyond the fifth result. The “Promoted Trend” however, goes to the bottom of the listed trends, but with a yellow highlight. It draws your eyes down to the end of the list, while seemingly being decent enough to not insinuate itself at the top.

4. DisneyPixar is serious about social business.

The URL in the Tweet, www.disneyticketstogether.com, does not take you to a microsite. It takes you to a facebook app, which allows you both to buy tickets and to connect with other Disney/Pixar fans. Well done, Mouseketeers, this does seem to make a lot of sense.

At the same time, it feels almost counterintuitive these days. So much news is centered around extending the reach of its Facebook’s social power beyond the facebook site. Levis’ social shopping site being a nice example. However, Disney is moving e-business inside the facebook “walls”.

Either way, it’s an app that helps Facebook reach a new level. The New York Times has a nice article and quote on why Facebook loves this move just as much as Disney/Pixar:

“What Disney is doing moves beyond just creating awareness to using the platform to acquire customers directly,” Mr. Rose said. “This is the first time that a movie studio has tried this, which we think makes a lot of sense because moviegoing is one of those activities that is inherently social.” Dan Rose, Facebook VP Platform Marketing (NYT)

We agree. And thus, weirdly, a boring link at the bottom of the first Twitter-Ad proves to be more “social”, than the new advertising technology introduced by the social-message giant. That said, we still like the Twitter approach to advertising. I am curious how smaller advertisers can use it to their advantage, but it seems less invasive and less insulting than anything Facebook is trying these days.

One Response to “Twitter launches Promoted Trends. Breaks promise.”
  1. Great article.. i also noticed this the other day.

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