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#tv #advertsing #twitter

I think you should get the idea of this post based on the title. While watching some TV last evening I noticed a string of commercials. Four out of the six that ran finished off with hashtags. A couple of these that I recall more than 24 hours later without effort were:

  • KFC: #Howdoyoukfc
  • Tavelocity: #iwannogo
  • Hoover: #hoover
You can almost track when the ad was on TV with this report for #HowDoYouKFC.

You can almost track when the ad was on TV with this report for #HowDoYouKFC.


This really should not be surprising as the old medium bridges out to viewers with a new one. During the Superbowl this year, there was 57% of the ads which utilized hashtags. So why use them? Where should one use them?

KFC has (in the States at least as I have not bought any here) placed not only the hashtag of #HowDoYouKFC at the end of it’s commercial, but has product placement of its own products in the ad with that hashtag. A family eating dinner, or an office worker – both chatting into the camera but in the background a bucket or cup with not the usual logo or the Colonel on it but a big red hashtag. This was the more successful of the use in TV ads as it gives me the full 15 or 30 seconds to grab it rather than the last second or two.

Hashtags are a lot easier to use for the reason that urls at the end of an are lost on us. We get exposed to so many urls that we forget or ignore them. With a hashtag in a TV ad, the advertiser knows that you only have to remember that easy moniker and plug it into the app or website for Twitter.

People love to watch TV with Twitter. During recent events like #SuperBowlXLVII with over 24.9M Tweets about the game and halftime, or last season’s finale of “Pretty Little Liars” with a record-breaking 1.9M Tweets (as measured by Nielsen’s SocialGuide) it’s clear that TV and Twitter are better together. – Twitter Blog

Twitter released findings last month in a post entitled “TV x Twitter: New findings for advertisers and networks”. The main findings were:

  • Hashtags drive significantly more earned media for brands – driving 42% more Tweets about the ads than those without hashtags. This makes sense. It allows one to tag an ad and have that twitter conversation about a brand being expanded and tracked rather than without. If you don’t have a tag then you cannot see what people are saying.
  • Real time interaction – With a hashtag in use, there is  more interaction in real time during the air play of the ad
  • Ads drive recall on the brand and the show – Viewers were 13% more likely to discuss shows and 3% more likely to recommend programs. This means if you are making TV ads, then with a hashtag, you can make the case that the shows you place the ad in will get a lift. If you book media buys keep this in mind and make sure you sell this in the buy with the network. Even if you are doing it on a local level.

There is more pressure on Twitter to show the use of it’s platform, so that the company can reward investors. One of the clear ways that it sees this is by getting the word out of the marriage of hashtags to TV ads. I am sure that in the future we will see the study of print or other media and the efficacy of hashtags with them.

The following infographic also shows this in the usual easy to follow visual form. For more on this, look up #twitterads.