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11 Brands Testing the Waters with Twitter Display Ads

Fresh off the heels of the Twitter IPO, one of the first announcements was a redesign of users’ Twitter streams that shows images of the pictures and Vines that people post. They call them rich tweets, and not because the new design is likely to make a lot of people a lot of money.

Twitter makes money when people engage with ads; this re-design makes ads more engaging. Twitter makes money; marketers make money for their brands. Everyone is happy so long as their Twitter stream doesn’t turn into flashing GIF banner stream that drives all the eyeballs to Tumblr.

All kinds of brands are already testing the waters, and experiencing V1.0 hiccups like navigating Twitter’s image auto-cropping.

Here are a few of the first brands playing with display ads:

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Pictures of celebrities and cool people wearing Stussy clothes is catnip for fans of the edgy urban brand.

The Stratos Capsule had landed. Experience it now! @SpaceCenterHou #RBStratos

— Red Bull Stratos (@RedBullStratos) May 30, 2013

Red Bull

Who wouldn't want to see cool space stuff and stunts? Red Bull is the original social marketer and storyteller so it's no surprise they're among the first to make the jump.

"What did you expect, an exploding pen?" #Q #Skyfall

— Netflix US (@netflix) November 14, 2013


Famous movie quotes coupled with links to great movies? Yes, please. This is an example of good content = good advertising and vice versa.

Don't forget to send us your #VXBark pics! Here's one from earlier today of frequent four-legged flyer #Boo:

— Virgin America (@VirginAmerica) November 13, 2013

Virgin America

Feel-good posts, celebrities and lots of arm-chair travel. Virgin's feed is a natural for rich tweets.

Just how much blood, fire, and death is there in Ryse’s [M] single-player campaign? We’re glad you asked.

— Xbox (@Xbox) November 14, 2013


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Game previews, contests and trivia are the lifeblood of xBox's Twitter stream. Judging from the number of retweets and favorites, it's followers approve.

Connecting on-the-go has never been so simple.

— Sprint (@sprint) November 11, 2013


This photo looks fine when viewed alone, but in the auto-cropped window, all of these people’s heads are cut off. They are going to have to figure that out. And then there's the comments, which of course can't be controlled.

Happy #Halloween! Can you see what’s streaming from the great beyond on the otherworldly 55’’ #SmartTV?

— Samsung TV USA (@SamsungTVUSA) October 31, 2013

Samsung TV

Here’s an image that engages whether you like it or not. First, go dizzy looking at this Halloween-themed embedded image, and then don’t leave your couch tonight:

Kit Kat Cake.

— FoodPorn (@FoodIPorn) November 12, 2013

Wow!!! #kitkat #kitkat #kitkat #kitkat @KITKAT

— Z, CPA (@Zhabby) November 4, 2013

Kit Kat

The brand managers here are even retweeting others’ tweets about Kit Kat, especially recipes with pictures.

MOODY GIRLS BE LIKE w/ @Nashgrier @AlxJames10

— Curtis Lepore (@curtislepore) November 11, 2013

Taco Bell

The new design also publishes the first frame of a Vine video, and Taco Bell likes to retweet vines of its fans.

Happy Halloween! Whether trick or treat, hope it’s sweet!

— MY M&M'S (@MyMMscom) October 31, 2013


The holiday theme works, the image works within Twitter’s auto-crop, and everybody is happy.

Looking to get the edge in our XBOX One auctions? Head to Walmart for Gamer Packs & bank 300pts! #every2minutes

— Doritos (@Doritos) October 29, 2013


In one tweet, they promote a cheesy chip snack, a game console system and a major retailer - AND embed an image of the cheesy chips with a reminder that you can only get them at this one particular retailer. Nailed it.

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