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This article was published on October 28, 2015

Twitter’s new TV ad doesn’t show the social network you love – but that’s the point

Twitter launched a new TV ad campaign last night in the USA. The first spot is focused on the World Series and is loud, garish and cartoony.

Designed to promote the currently US-only Moments feature, it highlights some of the ways fans might get involved with baseball games through tweets. It’s ‘zany,’ ‘action-packed’ and very mass market.

My gut reaction when I saw it was to vomit a little in my mouth (which is as literal a gut reaction as you can get). It doesn’t represent the Twitter I know. I wasn’t the only one put off by it:

But of course the point is that it’s not an ad for us. It’s probably not an ad for your either. As a TNW reader you probably use Twitter, or at least understand it. As The Verge reports, this new campaign will target people who don’t use Twitter but could get value out of it, using Moments as a gateway drug.

The Twitter I know is smart, witty and has very little sports chatter. The ad is dumb, loud and all about sports. This ad doesn’t reflect ‘my Twitter’ and it probably doesn’t reflect ‘your Twitter’ either. The great thing about the service is that every one of its 320 million active monthly users makes it their own through who they follow.

User growth continues to crawl, and Twitter needs to do something. Targeting a new audience with in-your-face ads seems like a good strategy, although hopefully Moments can live up to the loud, garish promise of this spot.

Either way, it’s better than Twitter’s first TV ad, in 2012. That one was far too subtle and looks now like it was advertising Periscope three years ahead of its time…

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