Twitter hosted a panel at Campaign’s Breakfast Briefing last week to discuss how brands can capture attention, differentiate themselves and surface conversation through video. Moderated by Samantha Billingham, Head of Video Solutions, Twitter MENA, the panel was attended by Huawei’s Digital Marketing Manager Middle East & Africa, Joshua Mathias and Havas’ Social Media Director, Krista Milton.
The session started with a discussion of Twitter’s recently launched takeover product in Saudi Arabia, Promoted Trend Spotlight. Promoted Trend Spotlight supports 6-second videos, GIFs and static images, that run edge-to-edge on mobile. After the initial two visits, the placement moves to the standard Promoted Trend placement and organic editorial content resurfaces the Spotlight placement.
Twitter’s Samantha Billingham said: “The Explore tab on Twitter is where people go to find out what’s happening in the world. It’s the collection of trending topics and hashtags that are running on the platform, and really where people go to get the latest news. And it makes it a prime location for brands to be front and centre of the conversation on Twitter.”
First time adopters in the region include technology company and mobile phone manufacturer Huawei and regional telecoms giant STC.
Huawei’s Joshua Mathias said: “When Twitter approached us with Promoted Trend Spotlight we knew it was a unique product offering, for many reasons. One is that video is one of the most powerful tools to convey your message. Two is massive reach – we knew that Twitter as a platform was very strong in Saudi so we knew that we were going to get reach numbers. Three, it was effective – the Spotlight ad sits right in the Explore tab so it’s prime real estate. And fourth, exclusivity – we are the only brand for the entire day and all eyeballs are on us. Because of those four reasons we knew it was something that we needed to jump on.”
Huawei was one of the first brands to test Twitter’s Promoted Trend Spotlight in January. Following the success of the initial tests, five campaigns have been rolled out on this product within one month of its release. The brand drove mass awareness, one of its key objectives whenever it launches something new, by taking over more premium real estate. Moreover, it combined Promoted Trend Spotlight with Twitter’s First View ad product, which gives brands exclusive ownership of Twitter’s top ad slot for 24 hours using video.
Owning the two most premium placements on Twitter with videos delivered an average of 23 million impressions in Saudi Arabia for each campaign. Huawei also generated an average of 5 million video views per Promoted Trend Spotlight campaign and 2.5x more product mentions compared with previous launches, resulting in mass awareness and conversation at the same time.
In an eye-tracking study conducted by EyeSee, a global behavioural research company, people spent 26 per cent more time looking at the Promoted Trend Spotlight as compared with the standard Promoted Trend unit. These longer dwell times generated impact throughout the funnel: from 113 per cent higher ad recall and 18 per cent higher brand consideration to 67 per cent lift in stated likelihood to use a brand in the future. In addition, according to internal Twitter data, people were three times more likely to click through an ad in the Spotlight unit than the standard Promoted Trend.
The panel went on to discuss how brands can build cultural relevance by being part of the conversation. A recent study conducted by Magna media agency and Twitter showed that a quarter of a consumer’s purchase decision is driven by how culturally relevant the brand is. On Twitter, brands can run In-Stream Video Sponsorships to align with videos – highlight clips and live streams – from publishing partners across sports, entertainment and news. These sponsorships allow advertisers to build brand association by sponsoring the best video content from a single publisher.
Havas’ Krista Milton discussed a campaign by Emirates Airlines to connect with what’s happening around a big sports tournament, the Rugby World Cup. As the official sponsor of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, Emirates Airlines leveraged this moment to increase brand awareness using Twitter’s In-Stream Video Sponsorships by partnering with global sports publishers in four different countries: South Africa (the winning team), France, Japan and Australia. While sponsoring the tournament offline, Emirates Airlines ran a 15-second pre-roll ad over 30 video highlights with near-live experience footage covering 16 games, including the opening ceremony and the final match.
This activation drove above industry benchmark results in terms of completion rates and quality views. By utilising Twitter Brand Surveys to measure the impact on the sponsorship on the brand’s perception in Japan, Emirates Airlines’ pre-rolls delivered a five-point increase on brand favourability and ad recall with audiences who were exposed to the campaign.