Will 60 Minutes fans prove keen to ingest a mini “60 seconds” version on their smartphone? Twitter and CBS sure hope so. The two companies announced a partnership that will see the network join the social network’s Amplify program, which involves cross-platform promotions on Twitter and TV.
The deal, which was announced Monday at Advertising Week New York, will see CBS and brands promote sports and news clips within Twitter’s feed. A CBS executive said that it will feature 60 Minutes, CSI and at least 40 other shows from the network’s broadcast and online programming stable. He added that a gaggle of brands are lining up to sponsor the tweets but couldn’t say who because the contracts aren’t finished.
At the event, Twitter claimed the existing Amplify program, announced in May, is leading ad industry creatives to drum up a new species of mini pre-roll ads to insert before the videos in the tweets. The company claims the proposition is a win because brands can also promote the surrounding tweet, and use Twitter’s targeting technology to find users who will care about the content.
So will this all work? On one hand, Twitter makes a strong case that fans will leap at the chance to share near-live sports, weather and drama highlights with their friends. The native ad format is also not especially intrusive, and along with the company’s recent acquisition of MoPub, will give Twitter even more traction in owning the world of mobile advertising.
On the other hand, Twitter faces stiff competition from Facebook for that TV money, and some have questioned the effectiveness of its targeting technology. Adding another big partner like CBS amount to doubling-down on its TV strategy, which investors are watching closely as Twitter’s readies for what could be the year’s most high profile IPO.