Twitter Campaign Pays Off For AMC Shows

twitter_bird-money140 Proof, a social stream media platform company, has created a business strategy and technology that tie interest-based keywords and sentiment from social streams with targeted ads. The company worked with the digital agency TargetCast to connect AMC TV brands, such as "The Walking Dead," "Hell on Wheels," and "The Killing," to Twitter and other social media.

During the campaigns, both "The Killing" and "Breaking Bad" campaigns achieved click-through rate averages of 0.4%, higher than the Twitter average of 0.2%, and nearly double the average for entertainment-focused campaign. For "The Killing," 140 Proof helped target 18-34 males, outside of the show’s core female 25-to-54 demographic. While the campaign ran, the show experienced a 25% ratings increase among 18- to-34-year-olds.

Rather than targeting a demographic, the strategy taps into what Jon Elvekrog, CEO of 140 Proof, calls "interest-based targeting" -- the ability to harness publicly available consumer interest data from various social streams, Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn to Google+, targeting ads to people or groups most likely to respond.

This "network of interests" ties 140-character ads to interest graphs or keyword in posts within comments that expand the reach of the ad past friends or followers. The integrated strategy helped achieve a 25% ratings increase for AMC's "The Killing" earlier this year.

The goal for "The Walking Dead" was to drive video views and create awareness of the second season by targeting influencers, respondents of previous AMC campaigns, and Twitter users seeing the terms #zombie and #halloween. The call to action was to watch the trailer for "The Walking Dead." It drove more than 52,000 fans to the AMC landing page. Half of these were smartphone users who watched the trailer for "The Walking Dead" in their Twitter app.

Evan Rutchik, associate director of interactive client development at TargetCast, AMC's media agency of record, said the campaigns integrated a variety of media, from digital to traditional, such as TV, print and more. "We learned how people share ideas and interests," he said. "In Facebook and Twitter, we see how TV and entertainment becomes interactive between consumers and the star in the shows. For example, I can send a tweet to Ashton Kutcher. He might not reply to me, but I can still send it."  

The recently announced Twitter partnerships with Mass Relevance and Crimson Hexagon in early November exemplify AMC's strategy. Twitter signed agreements allowing the companies to license and display any of the more than 250 million tweets sent daily from about 100 million users on TV broadcasts.

As Google and Bing begin to integrate more social signals into search results, brand marketers will expand targeting options. There are "huge similarities" between search and social ad targeting. Google matches paid-search ads with organic search queries, but 140 Proof's social strategy focuses on the higher parts of the funnel to build demand. Think brand, demand-generation tool.

Rutchik said the similarities between paid-search and social campaigns point to the ability to target and deliver a message based on finding specific content tied to keywords. Searches in Twitter and social networks tend to lead to trending information. "There's an integration happening," he said. "Ultimately, there will be one person responsible for both to make one integrated buy." 

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