Twitter has finally expanded its advertising solution to include geo-targeted ads that display only to users based in a particular location, and one of its first testers is McDonald’s Canada. A lot is riding on this new advertising product, especially with all of the shake-ups at the top of Twitter’s chain of command.
News that Twitter had finally begun testing geo-targeted ads broke two weeks ago. And, while critics claimed that geo-targeted ads are nothing new (and they aren’t), they should help pad Twitter’s bottom-line.
McDonald’s Canada has chosen to be a tester of Twitter’s geo-targeted Promoted Accounts. The McDonald’s Canada account will appear in the “Who To Follow” section of Twitter.com, at the top of the list, followed by three other non-promoted accounts.
This type of advertising product is designed to promote brand awareness and get more followers for a specific sponsor.
Clickz reports that McDonald’s Canada wanted to promote its @McD_Canada not only to increase its follower count, but also to promote the fact that there is a specifically Canadian McDonald’s presence on Twitter. Says Karin Campbell, spokesperson for McDonald’s:
“There are not a lot of people aware that we have a uniquely Canadian Twitter handle. And it’s really important for us to reach customers who want to have a dialogue with us and don’t know that we are there.”
They also plan to use the geo-targeted Promoted Account to advertise limited-time events like McHappy Day on May 11th, when they will donate $1 to local children’s charities with the sale of specific menu items.
The success or failure of these location-specific promoted products will largely be determined by how effective CEO Dick Costolo is at harmonizing Twitter’s user experience with its need to turn a profit. There really shouldn’t be any backlash against geo-targeted ads (like there was with the inclusion of an advertising bar – dubbed the “Dickbar” – in the Twitter iPhone app), as they will be no more intrusive than the current Twitter advertising.