Twitter puts trending brands in the Spotlight

A new feature will put brands in a position where users spend 26% more time looking.

Brands have a new way to thrust themselves into the centre of the conversation on Twitter.

The social platform has brought its Promoted Trend Spotlight to Canada after a short test. The takeover ad placement puts advertisers front-and-centre within Twitter’s Explore tab, where news and trending topics and hashtags are located.

Companies have already been able to promote their brands as Promoted Trends, but the Spotlight feature not only puts them in the top (and largest) physical spot on the screen, but also supports six-second videos, static images and gifs on mobile and desktop. The ad will run edge-to-edge on mobile.

The ad will appear at the top of the Explore tab for the first two visits per user, per day. After the initial two visits, the placement moves to the standard Promoted Trend placement, and organic editorial content will resurface in the Spotlight placement.

The first major brand to test the Spotlight nationally was Disney+, which leveraged the Promoted Trend spotlight as part of its launch campaign throughout December in order to capture attention. The first Canadian advertiser to engage in the product was Tim Hortons. Paul Burns, managing director of Twitter Canada, told MiC in an email that the ability to integrate premium video and other media content adds to the uniqueness of the product.

The product was created following the insights of a study conducted by global behavioural research company EyeSee. The study, which tracked the areas of focus for users, found that people spent 26% more time looking at the Promoted Trend Spotlight compared to the standard Promoted Trend unit. Those longer dwell times generated impact throughout the funnel, with 113% higher ad recall, 18% higher brand consideration and 67% lift in stated likelihood to use the featured brand in the future.