Twitter Canada takes its message out of home

Forget FOMO - the Canadian outpost of the social network wants Canadians to experience 'FONK' (fear of not knowing) with its new campaign promoting Twitter usage.

 It seems like the obvious place for  promotional campaign to take place for Twitter would be online or on mobile.

But as of April 12, the social network has launched its first national Canadian campaign, and on top of social and digital advertising, it’s promoting Twitter through out-of-home campaigns in five Canadian cities (Toronto, Twitter EdmontonMontreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa). All five of those cities also happen to have teams in the first round of the NHL Playoffs, resulting in what Twitter Canada’s head of consumer marketing Laura Pearce called a perfect opportunity to launch the campaign.

“Five [Canadian] teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is a very big deal,” she told MiC. “We know there’s a good chance a good chunk of Canadians are watching hockey, so we’re using this to kick off the campaign, which will focus overall on what’s going on in the world.”

The out-of-home digital advertisements, as well as the online advertisements, will show key trending hashtags specific to the geographic market that they’re in and invite Canadians to “join the conversation,” with the creative updated every 24 hours. Although the campaign will run the length of the playoffs, it will also highlight other key events including the Coachella music festival, 4/20 and April 20, the one-year anniversary of the death of Prince.

The campaign is loosely based on a similar promotion to one that was done in the U.K. last year (which centered around the broader “What’s Happening” message), but is the first time an OOH consumer facing push has been done in Canada.

Twitter got a small taste of out-of-home cross promotion last month when a McDonald’s ad on a digital billboard at Yonge and Dundas Square showed a stream of Twitter users posting about the QSR’s new all-day breakfast option. The goal with that campaign from Twitter’s perspective was to drive use of the service to Tweet about major events, and Pearce said the same idea applies here.

“We want to play on the idea of what we call ‘FONK.’ Not ‘fear of missing out’ but ‘fear of not knowing,’” she said. “So, for example, in Edmonton if [Oilers hashtag] ‘#McBelieve’ is trending on a billboard, we want people to think, ‘Why is that?’ and go to Twitter.”

For Pearce, she said it’s a simple way to show what Twitter is best at. Pearce joined Twitter Canada last summer as its first country-level head of consumer marketing, tasked with finding ways to increase engagement of existing consumers and also to grow the number of users on the platform.

Twitter worked with Vizeum on the media buy, and with Open on creative.

Twitter has struggled to see significant growth in past years. In its most recent quarterly results, it posted a total of 319 million monthly active users (up two million from last quarter, but down one million from Q4 2015). While CEO Jack Dorsey claimed its daily active users have continuously gone up, the total of daily active users is still unknown. However, its revenue for the entirety of 2016 ($2.5 billion) increased 14% year-over-year. In the past year, the social network has brokered numerous content deals for live video content including political and business content, news and pro sports.