Advertisers are seeing strains within Twitter’s ad sales team, too, with sloppy service, according to an exec at a digital media buying agency, which handles dozens of accounts, including those of top digital streaming companies. The agency exec said that Twitter has been making mistakes in servicing clients.
In one case, a Twitter staffer sent an email to a brand, but the email seemed to be for a rival, and it included sensitive information about that competitor’s media strategy on Twitter, the ad exec said. Also, Twitter’s staffing issues affected the delivery of ads around tentpole events, the exec said. Twitter had trouble launching a recent campaign, flubbing the mechanics of ad delivery during a high-demand time, the exec said, and it forced a brand to cut half of its flight of ads. So Twitter was leaving money on the table, the exec said, which does not bode well for Super Bowl, when top advertisers expect to have pristine service.
A promoted trend on Twitter costs $700,000 during Super Bowl, and requires close coordination with Twitter, the exec said. Trend takeovers, which are prominent positions in the What’s Happening section on Twitter, typically cost around $100,000 a day, according to the ad exec.
“A lot of this business is relationship-based,” the exec said. “If you can’t get the basics right, and if it’s going to be a pain in the ass, advertisers will just say screw this.”
Advertisers need Meta, Google and Amazon—they don’t feel the same about Twitter, this exec said. For the Super Bowl, some major brands planned to dip into Twitter through the self-serve ad platform, bidding on ad inventory, but they did not feel confident about working directly with Twitter’s untested ad sales reps, the exec said.
Albert Thompson, managing director of digital innovation at agency Walton Isaacson, said that brands will get into Twitter during the game because it’s still commanding the attention. “For what Super Bowl is designed for, and let’s be clear, it’s about igniting a moment, and brands need moments in culture,” Thompson said. “So why would you turn off a mechanism that is amazing at doing that.”
On Super Bowl Sunday, Twitter’s conversation will be about the game, and not hot-button topics or polarizing personalities, Thompson said. And even if Twitter is a live wire, that’s what people expect there.
“Twitter is great for making massive inroads and penetration with consumers in a very short window,” Thompson said.