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When Twitter And TV Collide: The Secrets Behind Successful Cross-Channel Campaigns

Written by: Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate

Note: The brands featured herein are meant to serve as compelling examples, and are not Nanigans customers unless expressly noted.

TV advertising isn’t dead – it’s just evolved into a piece of a multi-channel marketing machine. Advertisers who have mastered the art of televised branding and direct response campaigns on social media are well-positioned against competitors who  haven’t yet adapted to the new customer journey.

Joining the Conversation

As a real-time social platform for conversation about trending topics, Twitter naturally goes hand- in-hand with televised events like the Super Bowl, where people can trade critiques of controversial plays and share their favorite ad moments, the Oscars, where red carpet fashion and acceptance speeches are often dissected, and the Olympics, where fantastic feats of athleticism and national pride are celebrated.

Twitter Summer Olympics 2016

The platform is also ideal for fans of serial shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead to discuss the latest near-escape or the death of a major character.

To allow online marketers to tap into these real-time conversations, Twitter offers Promoted Tweets targeting for specific TV shows and sets of shows, by network or by genre.

Advertisers who can provide entertainment, inspiration, or information not found elsewhere have the opportunity to generate goodwill and an emotional connection with TV viewers on Twitter.

Extending the Reach of Televised Commercials

While TV commercials are a tried and true method for getting someone’s attention, they’re not designed to drive immediate action. When someone watches your ad on TV, they may not be in the position to take the next step – such as visiting your website, making a purchase, or amplifying your campaign. That’s why adding social ads on sites like Twitter to the mix is a sound strategy for driving the action that your commercial may not be able to deliver on its own.

Aside from increasing conversions, this approach also keeps your message top of mind. According to Twitter, TV advertisers have seen a 9% average lift in ad recall, compared to other campaigns that did not run Promoted Tweets concurrently with aired commercials.

Here are a few examples of how real businesses are combining TV ads and Twitter ads to boost the effectiveness of both: Commercial - TV Twitter Ad Overlap has run several ad spots on TV featuring stories from actual customers who’ve made surprising discoveries about their heritage through its genealogy service. In the TV commercial above, a woman shares how helped her learn that she was related to George Washington. The ad is designed to make viewers wonder what they might discover if they use Ancestry’s service themselves. Twitter Link - Twitter TV Overlap

Ancestry drives homes this pique in interest with an accompanying Twitter ad campaign, inviting audiences to muse about what historical figures they might be related to. Twitter users who view this ad can immediately take action by clicking through to Using Twitter ads as part of a larger marketing strategy, sparks interest with TV commercials, then drives leads with direct response.


Many brands are beginning to understand that the story doesn’t end once your TV commercial has finished airing. Ad spots can have a second life on mobile sites like Twitter, especially when it comes to the Super Bowl.

Squarespace TV commercial - TV Twitter Ad Overlap

Squarespace made a splash in this year’s Super Bowl with a commercial encouraging viewers to watch comedy duo Key and Peele’s live game commentary on their website. Because the Super Bowl is full of distracting TV commercials, Squarespace hedged its (expensive!) bet with a follow-up campaign on Twitter:

Squarespace Twitter Ad - TV Twitter Ad Overlap

While Squarespace’s TV commercial may make for memorable viewing, the digital side of this campaign is what really packs a punch. The company brought the TV campaign full circle with Twitter video ads pointing Super Bowl audiences toward Key and Peele’s sports commentary on the Squarespace site, not only reinforcing the commercials but driving toward downstream action (in this case, a signup).


When crafting a marketing campaign, it’s important to consider the big picture. Whether the medium is TV or social, direct mail or email, keeping themes and branding consistent is the key to increased recognition from prospective customers and loyalty from your current user base.

Tapping into the inspiring stories of Olympic athletes, Chobani has run several TV spots during the Summer games, pointing viewers toward social media with the hashtag #NoBadStuff.


Understanding that the Summer Olympics spots would be seen and remembered by many, Chobani followed up with additional athletic stories via Twitter video ads, ensuring that viewers would associate the digital campaign with the good vibes of the TV commercial (and the greater excitement of the games).

The added bonus to the advertiser? Audiences can spread the campaign to their friends on Twitter with the click of a CTA button.

The bottom line: If you’re planning on airing a TV commercial, consider running a Promoted Tweet at the same time. Doing so will increase your chances of leaving a lasting impression and give viewers an outlet for taking immediate action online. If you don’t have the bandwidth or resources to run your own television campaigns, identify TV shows and live events (like the Summer Olympics) that align with your brand, and jump on the bandwagon.

Free Guide: How to Build Twitter Ad Creative That Converts

This guide features pro tips, creative best practices, and real-world ad examples for three of the most common direct response advertising objectives on Twitter.
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