TV at the Core: Twitter Announces TV Targeting

TV x Twitter


Today at their annual #Twitter4Brands event in New York City, the company announced a handful of impressive advertising and platform innovations that are sure to excite social-focused brands and agencies. Most notably, Twitter introduced a new ad targeting capability with TV at the core.

Powered by Bluefin Labs technology, the Social TV listening leader that Twitter acquired in February, Twitter’s “TV Targeting” enables advertisers to coordinate Twitter campaigns with their TV buy, helping them to better reach and engage audiences on Twitter who were likely exposed to their commercials. This new capability, as with the slew of TV partnerships publicized during last month’s upfronts, represents a significant move by the company to further solidify and monetize their position as the Social TV frontrunner.

Currently the opportunity is only available to advertisers:

  1. In the US only
  2. Who meet certain Twitter media commitment thresholds ($50K)
  3. Who are running TV nationally

How TV Targeting Works

Using Bluefin’s semantic mapping technology to match Twitter conversations to specific shows on TV, Twitter will analyze tweets across the platform in order to identify users who are tweeting about or engaging with tweets related to the TV programs where the advertiser’s commercial ran. These users are then targeted with brand messages via Promoted Tweets. For additional impact, advertisers also have the option of utilizing enhanced Twitter cards to deliver lead generation forms or rich media creative in the Promoted Tweets.
Twitter TV Targeting Image 2

Resolution POV:

TV Targeting represents a substantial step forward in helping advertisers to extend and enhance the value of their TV ad campaigns. Capitalizing on growing second-screen and social media behaviors, TV Targeting creates significant opportunity for brands to close the loop between TV and digital communications, increasing messaging frequency and building continuity with the consumers that matter most to them.

Key Takeaways:
  1. Scaling targeting efforts. Bluefin’s “fingerprinting” and listening capabilities will give brands more automated targeting as opposed to the manual day-parting and interest-based targeting tactics that used to be necessary to pinpoint the audiences most likely exposed to TV creative.
  2. Measuring online vs. offline performance. Brands should look at performance on key media metrics versus standard Promoted Tweet efforts. They should also consider more holistic research, such as brand surveys, to understand impact on things like awareness and favorability.
  3. Determining effectiveness.  Some advertisers might be skeptical about whether or not the people who talk about a specific show where an advertiser’s TV spot ran are likely to be exposed to the TV spot. But Twitter has a compelling case, and some of the early tests of TV Targeting have shown positive results in terms of engagement lift.


There is quite a bit of momentum behind Social TV and especially Twitter’s role within the field. Given the growth in Twitter adoption and second-screen behaviors of Twitter users who watch TV, it is hard to imagine that TV Targeting would become anything but a standard practice for brands looking to connect with their consumers in these new and interesting ways.

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