Twitter Doesn't Need TV -- At The Moment

In the early '80s/late '90s,  when Nascar races ran on television, it was hard to find TV commercials from race car sponsors -- those big-name marketers whose messages on the car hoods got noticed on TV while zipping around a track at 180-plus mph.

Which got me thinking -- why don't you see TV commercials for Twitter? It's the same reason you don't see ads for YouTube -- they don't need it.

According to a recent estimate, Twitter is generating $48 million  in monthly media value from various non-paid-for advertising exposure. To its credit Twitter also gets some highly prized, very elusive, word-of-mouth marketing  from its large pool of unique visitors totaling almost 21 million.

A big reason for all this exposure -- a NASCAR-type of reason -- is that many newscasts, talk shows, and other TV programs ask TV viewers to follow them through their Twitter accounts, which are readily displayed or discussed on television.



Who needs to pay for advertising when you already have customers running up and down your aisle shouting your name?

Social media hopes to grow by increasing consumer connections -- getting them to buy groceries, cars, clothes, financial services, or anything else. They are already riding the free roads. Now, someone just needs to sell them gas, perhaps an oil change ---maybe a new car.

TV advertising sales executives might add that Twitter could gain even more participation if they do messaging in selected demographics for some TV shows, "activating" their other efforts.

Jump ahead a few years from the 1990s and give credit to Fox Television and other NASCAR media platforms for finally getting those endemic marketers -- those with product placement exposure on the cars and around the track with signage -- into  traditional TV advertising.

Would Twitter, Facebook, and others ever take the same route?

3 comments about "Twitter Doesn't Need TV -- At The Moment".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, July 21, 2009 at 12:26 p.m.

    When Oprah does a whole show on Twitter, as she did earlier this year, then spots are unnecessary.

  2. Rick Roberts from Raycom Media, July 21, 2009 at 2:39 p.m.

    I could be wrong, but I thought that I'd seen a network TV spot running... I was sure theirs was the one that asks, "what's the square root of 841?"...

  3. Frances Foley, August 3, 2009 at 10:06 p.m.

    Watching scripted TV is just about the only respite from the never-ending Twitter buzz in the media.

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