Come Tuesday, countless teens are once again bound to tune into a new episode of “Pretty Little Liars” on ABC Family. Chances are, they’re also going to fiddle with their phones when they do, where they will likely come across a Neutrogena commercial.
That’s because Johnson & Johnson has signed up for a seasonlong ad deal with ABC Family via Twitter’s Amplify program, which targets TV audiences with timely video ads — and is the first brand to do such a deal for an entire season of a scripted TV show.
Amplify is best known for big live events and sports, with the NFL using the tool to tweet short replay clips to its followers. However, Neutrogena’s group brand director, Ginny Friedman, said during a recent interview that “Pretty Little Liars” was a great example of appointment television for its fans.
“They don’t want to miss this show,” she said, adding that there is a lot more live engagement around the show than around other network shows. “It’s unique in that way,” she said. “Pretty Little Liars” regularly ranks as one of the most-tweeted-about shows on television.
Johnson & Johnson has been targeting this audience with short six-second pre-roll ads since the current season of “Pretty Little Liars” began earlier this month. Friedman said that the campaign has been working out well for the brand. “So far we are off to a great start,” she said.
Altogether, Johnson & Johnson has seen 4.7 million impressions for its Neutrogena ads through Amplify so far, with an engagement rate of 4.7% — four times Twitter’s own benchmarks.
“It’s been a nice surprise that the program worked so well,” Friedman said, adding that her company has seen a lift in Neutrogena sales since the start of the campaign.
Twitter launched Amplify a little over two years ago, and has been working with CBS, ESPN and Turner on Amplify campaigns. Viacom used Amplify for its MTV Music Awards, and Twitter used Amplify to sell American Express ads for Fox shows like “The Mindy Project” and “Glee.”
In addition to these big campaigns, Twitter also recently rolled out a self-service version dubbed Auto-Amplify to make it available to smaller brands. Tools like Amplify could be key to monetizing new users as the company is looking to become more welcoming to audiences outside its traditional user base. Recently, Twitter revealed that it has been working on a new way to surface videos and other content around major news events via something called “Project Lightning.”
With initiatives of this sort, Twitter is looking to accelerate growth and regain investor confidence. The company is also looking to remake itself with a new CEO; current chief executive Dick Costolo is set to leave this week, with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey stepping in as interim CEO. The company is now looking for a permanent CEO.