The Digital Upfronts events are designed to enable marketers to get up close and personal with some industry leaders to gain some true unique insights and to learn about potential coming platform updates, as well as really dig in to find out what drives results up.
This event was IAB and Twitter’s first ever Manchester event, so we were excited to see what was in store.
The theme and hashtag for the event was #StartWithThem, with the implication behind this being that Twitter’s audiences are the “most valuable, leaned in audiences”. Twitter’s Director of Planning David Wilding (@drwilding) showed us a few stats to back this up, telling us that from their research, 75% of people go to Twitter users to find out about new information first, and that 69% of people would ask for a Twitter user’s opinion on a product before buying. As well as this, he added that 9 out of 10 people have changed their mind on buying something after speaking to a Twitter user. People who visit Twitter do so in order to drive and ignite conversation, which is why the platform can drive conversational results like no other.
First to be introduced by David was footy-mad influencer Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel), who has certainly carved out a niche for himself amongst the Twitter community for his compelling work to raise awareness on men’s mental health, as well as the lengths he’ll go to, to prove his unique takes on the world on football to be correct. Jonny recently gained a lot of online traction from his viral petition to get Harry Maguire Riding an Inflatable Unicorn as the face of the new £50 note – after giving us the lowdown on this, he ran us through his theory that Dennis Bergkamp’s turn on Nikos Dabizas in the 2002 Newcastle vs Arsenal Premier League match was a fluke, before proceeding to take us on a journey through the many memes he’s created in support of his Twitter crusade. Jonny is also a CALMzone ambassador, a charity which helps to raise awareness of suicide support for young men. Acknowledging his two (very different) tones on the platform, he made the point that “It is important to find your audience with each tweet and the people you need it to connect to”. Food for thought!
Lucy O’Dwyer, head of Video Solutions at Twitter (@LoobeyLoo) was on hand to provide us with some cutting edge video stats – Did you know that that the platform has experienced 67% growth in video views during the last 12 months, and that there are now over 2 Billion video views per day? An interesting point to note made by Lucy was that Twitter no longer perceive themselves as a traditional ‘Social network’, but rather a news source for people to share and consume the latest trending topics around the world. They didn’t bring the #StartWithThem hashtag with them for nothing!
After Twitter’s Manchester lead Sean Keyes hit us with some more key stats, this time on the subject of Twitter campaign launches – and EMEA’s Content Sales Lead Lee Leborgne gave us some examples of how brands can work with Twitter to produce sponsored paid media and launch new products, Head of #TwitterArtHouse Lindsey Turner discussed with us some of the ways in which brands can harness the skills of their #BlueBrush artists to create white label content, as well as giving us some practical examples of how some major brands have utilised the power of influencers in a unique way (Disney working with WeRateDogs to promote the new Dumbo flim, anyone?!).
The final group to take the stage were Warburtons alongside creative agency Engine, to take part in a special live ‘Brands Talk Twitter’ chat where’d they’ be discussing their recent viral #GoodBagels campaign with Hollywood icon Robert De Niro. The brand talked about the risks they took with the campaign, choosing to launch exclusively on Twitter using the Trend Spotlight service. Brand manager Jennie Bearman said: “It was an unusual step for us to go social-first because TV was working, but we’re a brand that want to take risks”. Warburtons realised the difference between television and Twitter is that once an advert has been shown on TV, the audience has no real outlet to start a conversation. Whereas with a social network such as Twitter, the conversation already exists and is ready for an audience to immerse themselves in. They also added that success of the campaign was measured in sentiment, or brand warmth – this campaign saw a huge return in positive sentiment for the brand across all online platforms. In a real show of how to make a content piece work overtime, Warburtons were also able to implement a ‘Goons takeover’ tone across all of their feeds, as a tie-in to the De Niro-esque gangster themed ad spot.
All in all, we found the event to be just as insightful and eye-opening as we knew it would be and we can’t wait for the next one!