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ABC Taps Twitter to Broadcast Celebrity Selfies During Oscars

Samsung Will Sponsor Tweets Featuring Celebrity Green Room Selfies

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Jennifer Lawrence in 2013
Jennifer Lawrence in 2013 Credit: Sara Wood/AMPAS

Twitter has just secured another of its Amplify ad deals, this time with ABC, the last of the four major broadcast networks to sign up.

The partnership will commence on Sunday night during the Oscars, with Samsung as the sponsor of a series of 10 promoted tweets featuring celebrity selfies taken from the green room, sent from the account of @TheAcademy. The photos will be taken on a "Twitter Mirror" -- a framed tablet mounted on the wall and rigged for celebrities to take photos of themselves and tweet them out directly -- which has become a fixture at awards shows like the Grammys, Emmys and the VMAs.

The tweets build on a broader pact between ABC and Samsung that also includes sponsorship of ABC's behind-the-scenes Oscar content on its Watch ABC app. As with other Amplify deals, Twitter pockets the advertiser spend on the promoted tweets themselves.

Amplify will be brought to other ABC programming, but the network hasn't disclosed how.

The other three major networks have deployed Amplify for various types of content.

NBC used it to tweet short-form video highlights from English Premier League soccer telecasts, accompanied by pre-roll video ads from General Electric. Fox has used it to promote clips from popular series like "New Girl" and "Bones," sponsored by American Express.

CBS's tie-up with Twitter is the most far-ranging across network divisions, including sports, news, scripted programming and live events. There have been Amplify deals to promote college football highlights (sponsored by Bank of America); deals tied to content from "60 Minutes" and "Face the Nation" (sponsored by Exxon and Microsoft respectively); a deal for the Grammys (sponsored by Microsoft and Pepsi); and a deal tied to the series "Elementary" (sponsored by McDonald's.)

In total, CBS and Twitter have found sponsors for eight programs. The companies said in September that Amplify sponsorships were available for 42 fall shows as well as many of CBS's online properties.

While Twitter has brought on a plethora of interesting content partners, revenue from the Amplify program is still small, company CFO Mike Gupta said during Twitter's fourth-quarter earnings call.

"In Q4 alone, we signed a host of new partners, including Major League Baseball, the English Premier League, college football, '60 Minutes' and many others," he said. "So again, it's still early. It's a small business today, but it's growing nicely and we feel good about the prospects there."

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