Twitter Brings Its 'Amplify' Ad Program to Movie Screens

In-Cinema Ad Network Is Seeking Sponsor for Twitter-Driven Branded Entertainment Series to Air Before Your Movie

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Twitter has expanded its Amplify program to a new second screen: the silver one.

The company is partnering with NCM Media Networks -- a cinema network that shows ads to movie-goers before their film starts -- to produce a branded entertainment series that will be fueled by Twitter data with insights about movies and stars that users are abuzz about. The minute-long segment will run prior to every movie on the 20,000 screens in 1,700 theaters within NCM's network, once it secures a sponsor.

Glenn Brown, senior director of Twitter Amplify
Glenn Brown, senior director of Twitter Amplify

NCM is seeking an advertiser to commit to a year-long deal. The package will include the brand being integrated into the series, as well as promoted tweets with installments of the series attached to.

NCM Media Networks's president of sales and marketing, Cliff Marks, declined on the commitment he's seeking -- part of which would go to Twitter for spend on promoted tweets -- but said it's sizable.

"It's a big audience and it's big reach, and we'd like to find a partner who wants to literally own this and be associated with it day in and day out," he said.

This is a new flavor and the 61st partner for Twitter's Amplify program, which has mainly rolled out via partnerships with major TV networks and sports leagues like the NFL and the NBA. One of the main use cases for it has been sports highlights that are broadcast via promoted tweets that contain the sponsor's branding or pre-roll.

Twitter has been intent on broadening the program's scope beyond TV by partnering with traditional publishers like Conde Nast, New York magazine, and the New York Times. In the case of the Times, a one-minute "Times Minute" video summary of top stories of the day was used. Via Amplify, Microsoft sponsored the content last November and December, which meant the tweets were still sent from the Times's account though Microsoft paid for the distribution, and the video clips contained some Microsoft branding.

"We're definitely open to other outside-the-box applications of Amplify," said Glenn Brown, senior director of Twitter Amplify. "We think there's a natural fit for Amplify in events -- if you think about the event itself being the first screen and Twitter being the second screen."

The actual content for the NCM Media Networks deal won't be finalized until a sponsor is brought on. But the current notion is to produce a weekly segment and to pull Twitter data to report on the movies and actors that people are talking about and what celebrities are saying on Twitter. Interactive quizzes where users are urged to vote using Twitter hashtags (for #teamjacob or #teamedward, for example), are another possibility, as is incorporating user Vines that relate to movies.

"It will feel like Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood," Mr. Marks said.

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