How Microsoft’s TV Advertising Paid Dividends on Twitter

By Adam Flomenbaum 

Nielsen Social yesterday released a case study showing that Microsoft saw a 41% lift in tweets from people who saw at least one primetime TV show that Microsoft advertising aired within (exposed TV authors). At the same time, Microsoft saw a 38% drop in tweets from those did not send any tweets about shows that its ads had appeared in (control group).

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In addition to the dramatic increase in tweet volume, the Nielsen study also shows that emotional ads drove more of the Twitter discussion stemming from exposed TV authors compared to the company’s more rational TV ads that focused on product and purchase information.

With these two sets of creative, there were also important differences in which programming they were featured within. While viewers of sports and tentpole events were more likely to tweet about Microsoft’s emotional ads, viewers of comedies and dramas were more likely to tweet about Microsoft’s rational ads.

Nielsen has thus far been unable to tie Twitter activity to linear ratings, but has had much more success in the past year tying Twitter activity to compelling brand lift results.

Via Nielsen:

From the study, Microsoft gleaned several key insights about how its paid TV campaign drove earned media. First, Microsoft learned that exposure to the TV campaign produced a dramatic lift in Twitter buzz compared to a control group. Second, Microsoft learned that while the emotional creative was most effective overall at driving Twitter buzz, rational ads outperformed in certain program types. Finally, Microsoft learned that ad placements in more social shows drove more Twitter buzz, underscoring the importance of factoring Twitter TV activity into TV planning in order to select shows with high social engagement and thus a greater likelihood to drive earned media.

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