#ObamaIsNotSatan Shows Random Side of Twitter Ads

AARP and Seamless buy Promoted Tweets around the strange hash-tag

In the latest example of how marketers are using Twitter's Promoted Tweets to jump on digital chatter as it happens, the AARP and Seamless this afternoon have gotten numerous ad impressions from consumers clicking on an #ObamaIsNotSatan hashtag. But this one has an unusually bizarre twist—even beyond the hashtag's content—in that the marketers who purchased the ads probably only bid on the keyword "Obama" rather than the randomness that is "ObamaIsNotSatan."

Neither the AARP nor Seamless was available to comment. At any rate, the hashtag is the product of cable TV channel History's popular series The Bible, which aired last night and included a scene with a hooded Satan.

Social media streams since then have been flooded with posts about whether the character in the show looked like President Barack Obama—and if the character was intentionally made to look like 44. (Heaven help the person who becomes U.S. president No. 66 if social media by that time at all resembles what we now come to expect.)

And #ObamaIsNotSatan has sat atop Twitter's trending topics section for much of Monday. Viewers who clicked on the hashtag have either seen a Social Security-focused ad from AARP or breezier copy about a soup-and-sandwich lunch from Seamless.

Twitter's Promoted Tweets bidding system lets marketers flag terms such as "Satan" so their ads do not appear next to what some might deem negative language. But the two companies in question couldn't reasonably have expected the #ObamaIsNotSatan combination to ever materialize.

It's arguable that there's nothing wrong with these ad impressions. That would especially seem to be the case for AARP, since many tweets around the hashtag have been pro-Obama. And because the org clearly wants the Democratic president to protect Social Security financing for its constituents, one could reasonably surmise that there's positive association happening for the brand.