Why Supplementing TV Spots With Twitter Ads Is a Must

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Let’s face it: our phones are on us at all times. No matter what we’re doing, our smartphones are either in our hands or at least within reach. Even while watching TV, 162 million Americans are also using their smartphones at the same time. This second-screening behavior is why it is crucial that brands extend their TV campaigns on social media to make the most impact on a distracted audience.

Twitter in particular is the perfect fit for social advertising in tandem with TV during high profile events. 7 in 10 Twitter users are on social media while watching TV, and Twitter users are 33% more likely than the average internet user to be on another device while watching television programming. Of the millions of TV viewers splitting their attention between screens, approximately 30% interact with related content on social. Given that people often engage with content linked to their TV programming across different channels, marketers have a huge opportunity to produce relevant social content tailored towards second-screeners. Plus, 42% more time is spent looking at Twitter Ads relevant to surrounding content. Twitter should be an integral part of every brand’s TV strategy because it increases campaign reach, delivers cost-effective results, and makes use of engaging ad formats.

Increased Reach

Twitter has been shown to provide an average 6% higher reach for cross-platform viewing than other social media. That reach increases when it comes to younger demographics: A Nielsen study found Twitter to provide an average of 25% incremental reach to TV among 18 – 24 year-olds. In fact, that same study found that Twitter had a higher percentage of its impressions reach target audiences than did TV ‑ 40% higher to be exact. The best way for advertisers to reach TV viewers who disengage from the screen during commercials is to meet them at their next destination: their smartphones.


Besides providing augmented reach, Twitter is also an extremely cost-effective supplement (or alternative) to TV advertising. Running a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl costs upwards of $5 million, but brands can reach equally-engaged audiences on Twitter for much less. An Adaptly auto advertiser ran a Twitter Amplify campaign during the 2018 Super Bowl and achieved a cost per view (CPV) of just $0.05. Another financial services client deployed social campaigns on Twitter during the course of the 17-week NFL season to coincide with game days and times. This social-first strategy resulted in over 35 million video views with a CPV on Twitter of $0.01.

An Adaptly TV entertainment advertiser utilizes Twitter with nearly every campaign. Content is typically promoted on Twitter before, during, and after a television premiere in order to get new and legacy viewers aware and engaged while a show is live. Since TV and Twitter advertisements already run so effectively together, TV entertainment advertisers are able to see low costs across many campaign objectives. TV entertainment advertisers can make Twitter an effective and large portion of their holistic paid social advertising strategy in order to see overall low costs. Additionally, this allows entertainment advertisers more flexibility to try new Twitter ad formats that may further engage their audience. Adaptly’s TV entertainment advertiser has seen campaigns with a Video Views objective have a CPV as low as $0.01.

Engaging Ad Formats

Twitter also makes it easy for brands to plan their social strategies by providing several TV targeting capabilities: TV show targeting, TV network targeting, and TV genre targeting. TV targeting allows brands to promote Tweets to people engaged with specific TV shows before, during, and after a telecast. Being able to reach people interested in certain shows, networks, or genres opens your brand up to a whole world of relevant, targetable people.

On top of targeting capabilities, Twitter has a number of engaging ad formats to capture attention. Mobile video content has the ability to increase brand awareness (according to 44% of survey respondents), to reach more targeted audiences (34% of respondents), and to increase brand favorability (26% of respondents). On Twitter, Promoted Video is a great way to capture attention in-feed. Adaptly retailer JBL by Harman reached over 3 million people through Promoted Video during a livestream of an NFL game on Twitter. The campaign delivered a 33% more efficient cost-per-view than the brand’s benchmark. Twitter also offers First View, a premium placement that gives a brand exclusive ownership of the top slot in the feed ‑ Twitter’s most valuable advertising real estate ‑ for a 24-hour period. One CPG brand took advantage of First View with Promoted Video during a major global sports event and saw 22% incremental reach with its target audience on Twitter compared to TV alone.

Twitter also offers In-Stream Video Ads, which place pre-roll ads in front of brand-safe video content from 200-plus premium publishers, including the world’s top TV networks, sports leagues, professional news outlets, and publishing houses. In-Stream Video Ads give advertisers the opportunity to pair their brand’s messaging with relevant video content. In fact, when paired with related content, In-Stream Video ads have been found to provide lift in ad recall, message association, relevance, and purchase intent. Purchase intent in particular increases 15% when pre-roll content is on-theme with the ensuing video content as opposed to when it is matched with unrelated video content.

Given the reach, cost-efficiency, and engaging nature of Twitter, no live event TV strategy is complete without it. Twitter makes it easy to reach interested viewers more than once during a TV telecast in order to increase brand awareness and brand favorability.

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