To help marketers coordinate their Twitter and their television advertising strategies, Twitter has announced the availability of TV ad targeting: a new feature which helps brands to better target potential customers by intelligently monitoring the airtimes of commercials, while simultaneously tracking relevant conversation on Twitter.

Last week was a busy one for Twitter, who announced a number of new features to help marketers better target fans across multiple screens by coordinating TV and Twitter advertising: with Twitter Amplify, marketers can partner up with broadcasters to display commercials prior to media content embedded in tweets, while the lead generation card allows brands to advertise offers which users can apply to without having to leave the site. 

Both Twitter Amplify and TV ad targeting allow brands to coordinate their message across multiple screens in real-time. By including hashtags in TV commercials between the instalments of popular shows, brands can ensure that they are part of the conversation on Twitter. In fact, 64% of US Twitter mobile users are active on Twitter while they watch TV, a statistic Twitter’s Michael Fleischman is quick to acknowledge in the announcement post on Twitter’s advertising blog. In the post, Fleischman also explains how TV ad targeting on Twitter works:

TV ad targeting works by using video fingerprinting technology to automatically detect when and where a brand’s commercials are running on TV, without requiring that advertiser to do any manual tracking or upload media plan details. Whenever a commercial airs during a TV show, Twitter not only determines where and when it ran, but can identify users on Twitter who tweeted about the program where the ad aired during that program. We believe a user who engaged enough with a TV show to tweet about it very likely saw the commercials as well.

Twitter is providing marketers with a new TV ads dashboard, so that they can monitor and react to the targeting data Twitter’s video fingerprinting technology produces. From this dashboard, marketers can work out when best to send out promoted tweets and trends in order to get the most engagement on Twitter.



TV ad targeting is the result of Twitter’s acquisition of Bluefin Labs, a television/social media analytics company, which occurred in February – in fact, before becoming a Twitter product manager and authoring the announcement post, Michael Fleischman was one of Bluefin’s co-founders.

TV ad targeting is currently only available in a limited beta to United States-based companies running national TV ad campaigns, but Twitter advises that if a company wants more information, they should contact their account manager.

Do you think brands will benefit from TV ad targeting?