Want to Tweet? Do It From an Ad Unit Nearby

New Campaign From Nestle Encourages Users to Post Twitter Messages From Display Ads

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Nestle's Juicy Juice isn't the first brand to try to integrate Twitter in to an ad campaign (see Skittles and TurboTax). But it may be the first to allow users to post tweets within an ad unit that can appear anywhere on the web.

Juicy Juice's Twitter display ad
Juicy Juice's Twitter display ad
Juicy Juice is testing the unit, from SocialMedia, for one month on mom-targeted sites BabyCenter and CafeMom. The units ask questions such as "How do you stimulate your child's mind?" or "How important are vitamin-enhanced foods to you?" and users can answer the queries as short messages, or tweets, directly in the ad.

If users are logged on to Twitter, the answers will be posted to the ad directly; otherwise users are first directed to Twitter.com to sign in. Posts, which also appear in users' Twitter feeds with a "hashtag" (the symbol #, used to group keywords or events for simpler searches on the site) are moderated by Nestle, but there's the option for that to be turned off.

Clicking on the ad unit, meanwhile, takes the user to Juicy Juice's YouTube site, which is chock-full of helpful videos, including a scary one about how many more germs per inch are on a water fountain than your average toilet seat.

The difference between this campaign, dubbed "Twitter Pulse" by SocialMedia, and other recent attempts is that it allows a conversation to be instigated by -- or occur within -- the ad unit, rather than just syndicating tweets already posted on Twitter.

"The ad unit is paid placement but the additional impressions are effectively earned media," said Seth Goldstein, CEO of SocialMedia, a technology company, noting that the hashtag then reaches the follower base of those who have entered tweets, and potentially sparks more attention and conversation.

SocialMedia is tracking a number of metrics for Juicy Juice, including traditional views and click-through rates but also number of tweets posted and the number of followers exposed to the hashtag on Twitter. Like other executions with Twitter, there is no revenue involved with the microblogging service, but, as Mr. Goldstein pointed out, it could be a potential source of new sign-ups and increased usage.

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