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Why Promoted Tweets Will Change the Game for Advertisers

Twitter's Ad Platform Forces Agencies to Ditch Old Methods, Focus on Ideas

By Published on .

B.L. Ochman
B.L. Ochman
Promoted tweets, Twitter's long-awaited new ad platform, will be a certain game-changer for the advertising industry (and everyone else). The sea change is that ad agencies will have to give up their century-old practice of getting paid for media buys and giving the creative away for nothing. From now on, ideas rule.

Until now, Madison Avenue has either ignored or bumbled such remarkable online ad opportunities as advertising on blogs and social bookmarking sites. That's because the budgets are too small to support ad agencies' bloated financial model.

Advertising on blogs and in other emerging media outlets has always needed to resonate to be effective, and traditional agencies have failed to adapt to the differences between new media ads and the tired interruption model of old media.

Agencies easily make $250-500K (and often much more!) to produce and buy a 30-second TV spot. A company can make a significant brand splash for a week, with advertising on a dozen or more relevant blogs with $25 or 50K.

While a print ad can easily cost $250K+ for photography, design, photography, models and production, it's rare to see that size budget for a StumbleUpon campaign or for content sponsorship in a social network.

Madison Avenue has not wanted to be bothered with the (relatively) small budgets involved in even the biggest blog and social media ad campaigns.

So the push/interuption/how-obnoxious-do-we-have-to-be-before-you-look-at-these-damn-banner-ads school of advertising keeps feeding on itself in the endless quest for more money.

But relevancy will now rule on Twitter's promoted tweets, and other online advertising is sure to follow. Because, if people don't find promoted tweets interesting enough to interact with and share, the ads will be banished.

Promoted tweets will use a "Resonance Model," which will combine earned and paid media. There will be, he said, a multiple axis of engagement that measures not just click-throughs, but also replies, favoriting, link clicks, the influence of the people who re-tweet, the use of a hashtag in conversations about the PT. There will be a total of nine resonance factors in all.

When promoted tweets don't resonate, they will simply disappear. Twitter's Chief Operating Officer Dick Costolo explained at last week's AdAge's Digital Conference and again at Twitter's first developer's conference, Chirp, that Twitter will continue to be to many real-time transparent communication that represents the interests of users. If the ads don't resonate, they will not continue to run.

There will be no way to make them bigger, to add more flashturbation, to make them louder, to make them cover the other tweets we're trying to read. They'll live and die on how much they resonate -- like ideas have done for centuries.

B.L. Ochman is a marketing strategist and blogger and can be found Twittering, at WhatsNextOnline.com or with her newest venture, Pawfun.com.
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