Twitter Video Ads Coming to James Franco Roast, 30-Plus Other Viacom Programs

Viacom to expand Twitter Amplify program after selling out sponsorships for MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards within a week

James Franco

Viacom and Twitter are going back to the social TV well, after selling the tweet-related video sponsorship opps for MTV’s 2013 Music Video Awards within a week of announcing their partnership.

Duo now plan to develop Twitter Amplify social video ad campaigns for more than 30 other programming events and shows through the end of 2014, including Comedy Central’s roast of James Franco set for Sept. 2.

Viacom and Twitter signed Pepsi and Degree Women as premiere Twitter Amplify sponsors for the 2013 VMAs. All of the advertisers are participating in broader sponsorship packages for the MTV franchise event, skedded to air live from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Sunday, Aug. 25.

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“The availability of Twitter Amplify in the MTV Video Music Awards — an annual trending-topic behemoth — generated such a great response from advertisers that we’re accelerating our plans to roll it out across our networks,” said Jeff Lucas, Viacom Media Network’s head of sales, music and entertainment.

Through Twitter Amplify, MTV will deliver a variety of sponsored-supported video content leading up to and during the 2013 MTV VMAs, including real-time highlights from the show, backstage moments, red-carpet interviews and MTV News dispatches. MTV will also distribute via Twitter custom-content developed for sponsors related to VMA award categories and MTV News coverage of the event.

Last year, the VMAs generated 14.7 million tweets, making it among the most-tweeted event of 2012. MTV currently has more than 13.3 million combined followers for its U.S.-based Twitter accounts.

Twitter usage correlates to higher TV ratings, and vice versa — but only sometimes, according to Nielsen. In a recent study, research firm found live TV ratings had a statistically significant impact in related tweets among 48% of the episodes sampled while Twitter volume caused statistical lifts in live ratings among 29% of the eps. However, Nielsen is not sure why certain shows work well with Twitter or exactly how much ratings benefit from social buzz.

For the upcoming “Comedy Central Roast of James Franco,” cabler has already stirred up social activity by releasing news, video clips and photos related to the show under the hashtag #FrancoRoast. Show, to be hosted by “roast master” Seth Rogen, airs Labor Day (Sept. 2) at 10 p.m. ET/PT.