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When Ad Hashtags Don't Engage

by Ed Abis,  08-Mar-2016 10:00:00


By Ed Abis, VP of EMEA

I’m sure, like me, you have sat at home watching TV and you see an Ad selling some product or another and at the end you see a hashtag. It may be for a supermarket Christmas campaign or for the latest and greatest new loo roll. The product is kind of irrelevant for the purpose of what I’m writing. Anyway, my point- at the end there is a hashtag crying out for you and I to create an amazing Facebook post or witty Tweet that just might make the loo roll be the best or coolest loo roll since loo rolls were invented. So I compose my Tweet, make all my followers laugh (never happens in real life by the way!), get loads of replies, likes, shares (in my dreams) and then… nothing.

I have just made the loo roll appear interesting to my friends and given them a reason to take notice of it. It's found its way into mine and my friends/followers’ lives and the brand does nothing. It doesn’t engage with me online (1st fail) and certainly doesn’t use any of the content we have created as part of its campaign (2nd fail). Now, the loo roll was a silly example. I don’t spend my time Tweeting about loo rolls, but I think you get what I’m saying.

I see so many missed opportunities - campaigns that promise so much and only switch me off to the brand rather than on. Here’s a real life example for you of how it should be done: NBC did a Social TV Ad campaign in the US for their show PSYCH. They asked people to share impressions of one of the characters from the show and then in a 15 sec spot they featured the best ones actually on TV. Do you think people were less engaged or more engaged? You’re right, it was more. There was a 48% uplift in viewers who saw that segment of the show compared to the normal segment and it increased dwell time by over 4 minutes. Think about it… all people did was share photos of themselves being silly but it gave people a reason to tune in live rather than watching on catch-up. People engaged with the show which in turn promoted the show to their followers - EASY. Andy Warhol talked about 15 minutes of fame but this is more like 15 seconds. We are in the digital age after all!

Broadcast TV and Ads all strive to harness the power of social but so often the calls to action rarely bring the users’ content back to the big screen. The key is using social for what it was invented for - to be engaging and let your fans/viewers/consumers be part of your broadcast or Ad. If they have gone to the trouble to talk about you then give them the opportunity to be showcased for that effort. You know what will happen: you will have more fans/viewers and hopefully consumers. Seems pretty simple to me, so, what are you waiting for?


ed abisEd Abis is the VP of EMEA for Based in Manchester UK, he works with broadcasters, advertisers and brands to create engaging Social TV campaigns using’s platform STORY.

Interested in knowing more? Get in touch.

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