On Sunday, Twitter aired its first-ever television commercial during the 2012 Pocono 400 NASCAR race. It was a first for Twitter, but not a first for social media. Other sites, including Groupon, LivingSocial, and Google+ have also put their money on big-ticket ads during major television events.
5. Twitter’s commercial features professional racer Brad Keselowski, who first went viral on the micro-blogging site after tweeting a picture of a fiery car crash at the Daytona 500 in February. The ad shows Twitter’s power as both a news source and as a second screen for behind-the-scenes extras.
4. The daily deals sites were among the first to test the waters with television’s biggest commercial event of the year: the Superbowl. Groupon’s 2011 Superbowl ad juxtaposed social causes with social savings in a manner that rubbed many viewers the wrong way.
3. Groupon competitor LivingSocial also aired a Superbowl ad that sparked controversy. This commercial features a cross-dressing discount shopper who says daily deals changed his life, as well as his footwear.
2. The company’s next ad was much friendlier, not to mention gorgeous.
1. In December 2011, Google+ released a trio of television commercials featuring their new video chat tool, Hangouts. The company managed to pack in a lot of celebrities while assuring the rest of us that we can enjoy the tool, too. This one shows the Muppets rocking out to Queen and David Bowie: