Coming Soon to a Twitter Feed Near You…

In a world where human kind has survived under the glare of cell phones, computer, and tablet screens, one tweet stands alone. From the people who brought you #YOLO and #MisheardLyrics, comes Twitter targeted movie ads.

Reported (exclusively) to The Hollywood Reporter on September 25, Twitter plans to test targeted ads to avid movie tweeters based on people’s previous conversations.


“Our recent research shows that Twitter is major influence on movie choice,” said Jeffery Graham, the Global Head of Research at Twitter, to THR. “Not only are people hearing about new movies on Twitter, they are using it to make a decision about what to see, then sharing their experiences with friends.”

It seems Twitter realized people are using its platform in other ways, not just talking to Jimmy Fallon, and have participated in a behavior that advertisers have known for years – word of mouth as the best form of advertising.


Keyword targeted ads are nothing new for the platform as they were introduced and open to brands and trolls alike in April of 2013. Though, the selling point for this ‘new’ studio-only exclusive is its claims to be “hassle free” by only giving studio’s the task of picking the names of similar movies, then the fine folks at Twitter will do the heavy lifting. This is similar to the targeting put into motion for television in May 2013 which allows networks and its advertisers to target users who they believe to be already engaged with a particular show, right down to a specific episode. The new ‘exclusive’ for film could follow a similar vein.

It’s no secret that big budget films come with big budget marketing efforts, and it was only a matter of time before Twitter connected the dots between users and paid advertising. I wrote a previous post over the success of television’s Scandal based on the show’s emersion on Twitter by helping to open the season three premier to 10.5 million viewers alongside more than 700,000 tweets, according to a Twitter case study. Films intend to pick up on some of this conversation based traction, and use social media to entice people into the theater.

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There are very few shows that people still make time out of their schedules to watch during the show’s scheduled air date. This means a decline in not only traditional commercial advertisements, but films that rely on pushing their trailers through commercial advertisings are missing exposure to a specific audience. Twitter is now giving them an easy, and depending on commercial slot, cheaper avenue to reach those missed through traditional means to a genre-specific audience that’s sole purpose is conversation.

Entertainment is huge in the Twitter-verse. Active participants in television shows and events are retained through continued conversation during the event, and long after. For example, the 2014 Oscars racked up over 17.1 million tweets, and with one Oscar selfie, Ellen DeGeneres’ follower count expanded by 47x her daily followers. Films only retain their audience for a set amount of time during the launch can stir the conversation through the conversation keywords of entertainment events, television shows, or anything that could relate to the characteristics of a films’ desired audience.

There has been no word, as of yet, what movie will be chosen as tribute to join the dark side of targeted ads, but time will tell what type of weird, indie, avant-garde mind meld that I will receive after reading through my previous tweets…


..and I’ll probably end up seeing it.


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