Twitter Turns Tweets About Wearing Masks Into Its Newest Outdoor Ads

The campaign aims to shake Americans out of 'caution fatigue'

twitter ads
Twitter projects tweets from real people into the real world in its latest outdoor campaign. Twitter
Headshot of Sara Spary

Masks are, at worst, a minor inconvenience. But in terms of considerable upsides, they help contain the Covid-19 pandemic—and offer a wonderful way to hide your most embarrassing quirks.

Whether you sing to yourself on the subway or just don’t like smiling at strangers, masks can be a great way to feel a bit more shielded from view.

In a new outdoor campaign aimed at encouraging mask usage, Twitter has projected and printed a series of users’ tweets into the physical world. The platform has teamed up with seven U.S cities—New York; Asbury and Jersey City, N.J.; Chicago; Seattle; Los Angeles; and Miami Beach—for the campaign, which aims to capture the attention of local residents and fight “caution fatigue.”

The ads launched Sunday, with tweets emblazoned on billboards, murals, local landmarks and sidewalks in high-traffic areas throughout the cities from Times Square to Sunset Boulevard. The social media site, which has logged more than 100 million tweets about masks since March, will also give away masks for free.

Twitter has also added the mask-wearing emoji to its menu of DM reactions and to the #WearAMask hashtag to help raise awareness on the platform, while several of its owned profiles will sport mask-inspired header and profile images.

“As always, the people on Twitter say it best. Masks are a huge conversation around the world, and we’re happy to help cities tackle mask caution fatigue with tweets that will make people smile and hopefully mask up,” said Leslie Berland, Twitter’s CMO and head of people. 

The new work continues Twitter’s out-of-home tactic of running tweets from real users as ads, often placed in markets specific to the content of the posts.

After widespread public protests began addressing police brutality against Black Americans, Twitter used its ad approach to highlight tweets about #BlackLivesMatter and racial inequality.

Twitter has also been cracking down on Covid-19 misinformation. Last month it revealed it has removed 14,900 tweets and challenged 4.5 million accounts since March over misinformation related to the virus. The social network also has a curated Covid-19 page, which it said has been visited by over 160 million people.

However, it has said it cannot take action against every tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information.

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@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.