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Emotion levels double when TV is watched with Twitter, claims firm’s head of global brands

Melissa Barnes

Barnes: ‘When Suarez bit that player in wasn’t great for society, but it was great for Twitter.’

When people watch television and use Twitter at the same time, they are around twice as emotionally engaged with a TV show as they would be without it, the microblogging service’s head of global brands claimed today.

Melissa Barnes, who advises brands on how to use the medium, told delegates at Spikes Asia today that a study has shown that people watching TV with a mobile phone and tweeting are doubly as engaged as those without a phone.

She said that brands needed to find the moments in TV shows where the emotional intensity of the viewer was at its height, such as the voting stage of a reality TV show or the final stages of a sports match, and use Twitter to “double down” on the impact of a message.

An example she gave of a brand that worked well “in the moment” on Twitter was beer company Anheuser-Busch, with its #ManOfTheMatch promotion around the FIFA World Cup in June.

Marketers need to ensure that their stories “do not stop after the 30-second spot”, and the most frequent question Twitter gets asked by brand owners is how to tell a story across many channels, Barnes said.

“The future is not all about digital marketing, it’s about understanding how all channels work together to tell a better story. It’s about connecting your story,” she said.

At the beginning of her talk, Barnes discussed the use of the medium for sharing moments – good and bad. “When Luis Suarez bit that player it wasn’t greater for society, but it was great for Twitter”.

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