Twitter Cuts Stage Time and Focuses on Interactive Vignettes to ‘Dimensionalize’ its NewFronts Strategy

Twitter’s positioning as the go-to platform for discovering “what’s happening” in the world has never wavered. But for its in-person return to the IAB’s 2022 NewFronts in Manhattan on May 4, the brand didn’t want to rely on its pre-pandemic, stage-focused strategy to illustrate that value proposition to media buyers—so, it “dimensionalized” its approach, enveloping attendees at New York’s Pier 17 in an experiential journey through its timeline instead.

While a virtual component was offered, and a main stage presentation was still part of the mix, it was the series of interactive vignettes highlighting the biggest conversations on Twitter that served as the foundation of the social media giant’s 2022 NewFronts strategy. Attendees began the journey in an entrance tunnel where they walked through visual displays highlighting content dominating Twitter’s timeline at that moment, from the recent MET gala (presented in partnership with Conde Nast) to the NBA Playoffs to crypto. Then it was on to explore a series of footprints themed around topics including news, sports, gaming, awards shows, and trending TV and music charts.

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The news vignette highlighted how advertisers can become part of massive conversations through Twitter’s news verticals, which go well beyond traditional coverage, like politics, and span business and tech, climate, health and science, and financial markets. The brand built four different anamorphic moments, each focusing on a key news topic. A wide range of publishing partners, like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Bloomberg Crypto, were also showcased.

For the sports vignette, Twitter leaned into its Olympic Games partnership with NBCU, creating a space that mimicked an Olympic track and stadium environment, illustrating that Twitter is the place to be for live sports, and quadrennial events, like the upcoming World Cup. The idea was to highlight how brands can extend their marketing partnerships on Twitter to gain resonance and relevance in the moment.

Over at the awards show red carpet footprint, which, naturally, was covered in blue carpet, the biggest moments from the biggest awards shows, from on-stage to backstage to the afterparty, were on display. This space represented an array of partnerships with broadcasting networks and award show academies that are available for partnership. And it highlighted how, as Nola Weinstein, global head of brand experiences and engagement at Twitter, puts it, “Twitter isn’t necessarily the perfect [awards show] picture, but it’s where people are discussing those can’t-miss, all-eyes-are-on [moments]. It doesn’t matter who’s watching at your house—you’re watching with the world. And I think red-carpet, award show Twitter is so special, unique, differentiated and deeply immersive and fun, so that kind of highlighted that ‘front row seat.’”

Twitter_2022 NewFronts _Timeline Walk

An elaborate entry tunnel offered attendees a sensory walk through Twitter’s timeline.

Another popular draw for advertisers is Twitter’s comprehensive data—and how it can power brand decision-making. An interactive data visualization showcased Twitter’s partnership with Billboard for the #HotTrendingSongs weekly chart of the 10 most talked-about songs on the platform, and with Variety for its Trending TV chart of the 10 most talked-about shows on the platform—two partners utilizing Twitter’s data to add value to the real-time conversations its target audiences are having. When attendees stepped onto a specified location on-site, a projection-mapped wall guided them through a 45-second journey of those stories, showing just how big such discussions are on Twitter.

Twitter has an enormous gaming community so for its vignette dedicated to the passion point, the brand aimed to show attendees exactly what it’s like to be part of that world, if only for a few minutes. It brought two partnership case studies to life, one with Verizon and the NFL, and another with OMEN gaming and lifestyle brand 100 Thieves. Visitors were invited to walk up to a projection cube installation featuring a “choose your own adventure” touch table that triggered 360-degree projections of the case studies around them.

“It was this immersive visual journey that, sure, you could have stood and delivered on a stage, but being in it really reflected the gaming community and what gaming feels like, and for a minute, immersed the participant in that experience,” says Weinstein.

There were also plenty of small, cheeky details that let Twitter’s brand personality shine throughout the event. Like a projection-mapped display in the center of the venue’s atrium that read, “Look up,” then scrolled its way to the top of the ceiling where the message changed to, “Hello, literally everyone,” a viral tweet the company sent out after Instagram went down and users flooded Twitter last fall. Or the spotlight on a giant cutout of the brand’s logo/mascot, Larry Bird, overlooking New York’s East River, underscoring Twitter’s “bird’s eye view” of the cultural landscape. And then there were the signature cocktail names based on Twitter culture: The Edit Button and Don’t Drink and Tweet.

“We wanted to double down on: If it’s happening in the world, people are watching it on Twitter,” says Weinstein. “But we also wanted to show the fact that Twitter’s full-funnel marketing solutions can help brands launch something new and connect with ‘what’s happening…’ So we optimized for a shorter stage presentation, and more time exploring and connecting and conversing and discovering.” Agency: DesignScene.

More Scenes from the 2022 NewFronts Event:


Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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