Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Coke Takes Out a Free Ad for Twitter Ads

So what do advertisers think about Twitter’s new “Promoted Trends” ad platform, which the service rolled out last week?

Totally awesome! That’s the paraphrased verdict from Coca-Cola (KO), which tried out the ads this week and generated 86 million impressions in 24 hours.

The actual quote from global interactive marketing boss Carol Kruse, via the Financial Times, is less exciting (because marketing people speak in a weird dialect that sounds nothing like everyday English): “The amount of impressions in such a short period of time around our whole World Cup campaign, to me it was a phenomenal time. It made this emotional connection at the time, it was great.”

The FT notes that Coke got a lot of bang for its buck by running the ads on Wednesday, when Twitter was overwhelmed by users tweeting about both the U.S.-Algeria and England-Slovenia World Cup games. Weirdly, the FT doesn’t note that Twitter struggled to stay up on Wednesday, due to said overwhelming use.

So maybe it was a push. In any case, it’s impossible to really evaluate this stuff unless you know how much Coke paid. And we don’t:

Coke’s Twitter messages congratulated the England and US teams, linked to videos on YouTube and invited people to “share their celebration” of their teams’ success.

Although Ms Kruse did not reveal how much Coke had spent on the campaign, she indicated that the test had not been expensive compared with other forms of online advertising.

“When it’s something new, it’s hard for publishers to know what the value is,” she said. “We didn’t know how it would work out but we wanted to learn in that space….It could have completely flopped. They [Twitter] also wanted to learn with us.”

Note to young people: I have a vague memory of this ad running in the 1980s. As I recall, it was in no way supposed to be a joke:

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus