Twitter Talks About New Video Ads, Movie Marketers Can’t Wait

twitterbirdsTwitter’s “promoted trend” yesterday was “Catfish Movie,” which was rather apropos the day after unveiling its coming-soon-to-a-computer-screen-near-you multimedia design.

After all, movie marketers have been the biggest Twitter advertisers for promoted trends, promoted tweets, and @earlybird specials since those inventory options began premiering in April. Twitter ads for “Toy Story 3,” “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Despicable Me,” “The Social Network,” and other films have appeared. And there’s little doubt the San Francisco-based social network will catch even more big Hollywood fish once video becomes part of its advertising platform.

When ClickZ asked Twitter spokesperson Matt Graves if video trailers will be a part of future movie ad placements, he replied via e-mail: “Yes. Studios have already been using Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends to increase awareness of and interest in their movies. Twitter’s new detail pane opens up all kinds of possibilities, and we imagine movie marketers will get creative in [making] their campaigns even more engaging.”

That is welcomed news for agencies like LBi, which runs social campaigns for major movie studios, music labels, and other entertainment brands. “I was very interested to hear what Twitter had to say because up until they rolled out this new look and feel for the site, it hasn’t been the richest experience from an advertising standpoint,” said Jason Klein, co-president of the New York-based agency. “Generally as a rule of thumb, a video trailer is one of the most compelling [digital campaign] aspects to cause a consumer to decide to go to a particular film or not. “

LBi has run video ads for Hollywood film clients on Facebook and other Web properties, Klein said, adding that it’s difficult to determine the return on investment for online ads promoting movies. So, how trailers will perform on Twitter remains to be seen. The agency executive said industry players have yet to agree on what metrics constitute an online video campaign success. Klein said, “Is it the number of views? Is it just the awareness, regardless of the number of views? Is it click-throughs? So, it’s kind of a tough question to answer.”

Alastair Green, digital creative director for the El Segundo, CA-based agency Team One, suggested that Twitter ads on the new multimedia platform may reap better data than what Facebook currently offers. “Facebook’s closed loop system…emphasizes real-life friend connections and doesn’t allow advertisers to discern those fans that are the most influential and/or the most likely to share content through their social graph,” he said. “Twitter’s inherent transparency could provide insights that Facebook cannot – and ad spending on this platform through ‘Promoted Tweets’ and ‘Promoted Trends’ could follow.”

Interestingly, movie marketers on Facebook have started to use ticket sales widgets to collect clearer return-on-investment data for their ads. For instance, Constantin Films yesterday ran a video ad on the Palo Alto, CA-based social site to promote the upcoming “Resident Evil: Afterlife” picture. Viewers who clicked through were offered the opportunity to buy theater seats via a widget.

And if film marketers get as creative as Twitter’s Grave suggested, such widgets will likely soon pop up on the growing micro-blogging site (105 million-plus users). Attaching sales figures to video ads could make the site even more attractive to movie advertisers.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about the ticket sales,” Klein from LBi said. “The closer you can connect the conversion to the actual marketing channel, the better it is for any advertiser.”


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