Perhaps the Internet will never be able to wipe out TV, as Twitter – the microblogging service that unites ordinary folks and luminaries alike – has aired its first commercial on TV, promoting their all-new hashtag pages through the NASCAR hashtag page. The Twitter TV ad was launched during the 2012 Pocono 400 Nascar race, showing driver Brad Keselowski using his smartphone to share his thoughts to a global audience, after having finished at a frustrating 24th place.
The entire ad is actually a series of smaller ads promoting the http://twitter.com/#nascar URL. The link automatically redirects to http://twitter.com/hashtag/nascar, displaying the newly-launched hashtag page which is essentially just a tweet-filled NASCAR page, as well as a list of people associated with NASCAR and the Pocono race.
Ryan Lawler of TechCrunch compared this new Twitter campaign with AOL keywords, at the time when anyone and everyone searched AOL for every conceivable brand, business or product on the web. Like Twitter and its hashtags, AOL provided a platform for users to connect with certain brands. Twitter, however, provides an even better way for consumers to interact with brands and vice versa. With Twitter users voicing out their preferences, choices, opinions, and reviews, the microblogging site has become an effective arena for brand conversation – and yes, promotion.
The previous week, Omid Ashtari of Twitter’s Sports & Entertainment Team announced the new hashtag page through a blog post. A part of the post reads: “Throughout the weekend – but especially during the race – a combination of algorithms and curation will surface the most interesting Tweets to bring you closer to all of the action happening around the track, from the garage to the victory lane. Anyone watching the Pocono 400 on Sunday – even if you’re not a current Twitter user – can visit twitter.com/#NASCAR and watch the race unfold from every angle, and get insider access to all the places the cameras can’t take you…”