Call today's Promoted Trend on Twitter especial. It's not from a media company or a fast-food chain. It's from a little-known Groupon-style business called Peixe Urbano serving the relatively niche Brazilian market. And it's in Portuguese.
For those following Twitter's every move, the ad buy shines a spotlight on the platform's lack of geo-targeting capabilities. Indeed, rather than targeting its audience in Brazil alone, the Promoted Trend effectively targets the globe.
The desire to geo-target on Twitter may be preventing some advertisers from buying the pricey promoted trend product, which is reported to cost anywhere from $70,000 to $120,000. Yet, Twitter expects to remove that barrier.
"We don't currently offer geo-targeting for our Promoted Products, but yes, the plan is to introduce that capability this year," a Twitter spokesperson told ClickZ News via e-mail.
"The mix of deals that we have is very specific to Brazil," said Peixe Urbano founder Julio Vasconcellos in an interview with TechCrunch in July of last year. Vasconcellos stressed the Brazil-centric approach to the site's daily deals, noting the offerings include discounts on events and happy hours.
The majority of companies that have advertised through Promoted Trends are large U.S.-based brands. Promoted Trend buyers in the past week or so have included chain restaurants Papa John's and Subway, as well as Toyota USA, State Farm, and Twitter itself.
The Peixe Urbano Promoted Trend is distinctive in that the tweet associated with it is in Portuguese, a language spoken primarily in Brazil, Portugal, parts of South America and Africa. "Passeio de Trem 68% OFF mais uma #promodopeixe," reads the tweet, which advertises a 68 percent discount on train travel with Brazilian rail service Serra Verde Express. The trend promotes the hashtag #promodopeixe.
Even by mid-afternoon, there appeared to be confusion among Twitter users about what "promodopeixe" refers to. "Since most people don't know what it is, it results in them not seeing the connection of that [company] being a Twitter trend," Gustavo Razzetti, chief strategy and engagement officer at Grupo Gallegos, and a ClickZ Experts columnist, said via e-mail. "If you're not the Coca-Colas or Nikes of the world, be sure to let them know who you are and lead them somewhere for more info or have an incentive or offer for them."
Coincidentally, the only other non-English promoted trend was also in Portuguese and aimed at a Brazilian audience. It pushed Nike Corre Brasil, the shoemaker's Brazilian brand, according to the Twitter spokesperson, and used The corresponding hashtag, #NikeCorre, which means Nike run. Brazil is a big market for Twitter. According to comScore, the country had the second highest proportion of its Internet audience using Twitter - 20.5 percent - following Indonesia's 20.8 percent, as measured in June 2010.
Through its acquisition of ClubeUrbano, Groupon competes with Peixe Urbano - meaning urban fish - in Brazil. ClubeUrbano has been rebranded as Groupon in the country. Peixe Urbano's Promoted Trend purchase may have been, at least in part, intended to raise the company's profile outside Brazil as it competes with Groupon.
Peixe Urbano "has gone into very direct attacks on Groupon's presence in Brazil," noted Razzetti. "So my hypothesis on the Promoted Tweet is not that they are specifically targeting in Brazil, but increasing their reach, and awareness." He continued, "This is a good way of letting the world know there is more beyond these borders."
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.