Shaw Media announced Wednesday it’s the first Canadian media company to join Twitter Amplify, a cross-platform program that links ads on TV broadcasts with social media.
The new partnership, announced at the network’s fall TV upfront in Toronto, will see Shaw Media offering value-added content on social media during its conventional broadcasts, including in-tweet video clips.
It’s also the start of a “co-selling” relationship between Shaw and Twitter Canada that will see the two companies create custom packages for brands and agencies consisting of ad products from each partner as an integrated offering.
Paul Burns, vice-president of digital media at Shaw, said many Canadian broadcasters have created digital extensions of their programming, such as second screen apps and live chats, that have “fallen flat” in the past. By partnering with Twitter, Burns said Shaw can offer advertisers the chance to connect with consumers in a place where conversations are already happening naturally during TV viewing hours.
“From a brand’s perspective, they get both of these two powerhouses together to create something very special without having to deal with them both independently,” he said.
Burns said the Twitter/Shaw packages will be created on a case-by-case basis and will be adjusted according to brands’ campaign objectives. He said the two companies are still fleshing out what packages might include and are looking at how American brands have partnered with Twitter to see what might be a fit for Canadian advertisers.
As proof of concept, he points to the U.S. market where brands have successfully presented custom content using, for example, the stars of a particular show, that’s published on Twitter and then promoted through ads during a broadcast.
The deal is the first major announcement involving Twitter’s new Canadian office, which opened in May. Though Twitter has yet to reveal much about its new presence in Canada – an event showcasing Twitter Canada’s opportunities for advertisers is slated for June 13 – the Shaw deal hints at how it may position itself as a social companion to TV budgets.
Globally, Twitter has aggressively worked to associate its ad products with television by partnering with Nielsen on its Twitter TV Rating (debuting during the fall 2013 TV lineup in the U.S.) and creating a dashboard that allows marketers to schedule promoted tweets to align with their TV buy.
By selecting Kirstine Stewart, formerly the vice-president of English Services at CBC/Radio-Canada, as head of Twitter Canada, the company also gaining access to the ties she built as a veteran TV insider.
While Shaw is first to market with the co-offering, it is not an exclusive partnership and new deals between Twitter and Canadian broadcasters are expected in the coming months.