Coming to a Movie Theater Near You: Ads Featuring Tweets and Vines

Twitter looks to expand second-screen presence

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Twitter and National CineMedia (NCM) are looking for a brand to buy into a one-year exclusive deal that will entail social media-anchored advertising on the big screen.

The partnership was initially revealed in May 2013 at an Upfront presentation in New York, but now specifics are beginning to emerge.

The relationship could be an indicator of just how far Twitter's influence may extend beyond its already strong presence on consumer desktops, smartphones and TV screens. Now, out-of-home signage may not be far behind if the microblogging platform finds success via the silver screen in the coming months.

"It's about building a connection with the movie-going experience," Steve Ochs, svp of marketing at NCM Media Networks, told Adweek. "It's not going to be locked and loaded for necessarily every show. It depends a lot on the [brand]."

The advertising spend, Ochs said, will be "on par with a sizable product launch. It's a major investment with an audience that is increasingly hard to reach, particularly because the majority of our moviegoers are millennials."

New York-based NCM wouldn't identify any brands that have shown interest, but Ochs said the company is talking with past ad clients. They include names like Microsoft, Samsung, Old Navy, Kraft, Taco Bell and Best Buy.

Using Twitter Amplify, the program features one-minute clips that run before films on NCM's 21,000 screens in 1,700 theaters. The spots will include Twitter Vine and tweet content, depending on the nature of the message. Video versions will be pushed out through social channels and will likely include Promoted Tweets support.

Amplify is used by broadcast and cable networks including ESPN, BBC, Fox and CBS, publishers such as The New York Times, and sports leagues and events like the NFL, NBA and the U.S. Open.

"We are always looking for new ways to bring great and useful content to users with our partners," said Glenn Brown, senior director of Twitter Amplify.

Added Ochs: "Once we have a brand on board, we envision them not having an undue influence on creative, but [at the same time] really coloring how the creative plays out. We see it leveraging the discovery elements of Twitter in interesting and out-of-the-way highlights and tidbits. And it will entail hashtags, obviously, encouraging people to create their own Vines or videos that could come back onto screen in the next week or so."

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.