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    Richard Pentin

    Richard Pentin

    Strategy Partner by day. An exhausted, waste of space by night.

    Strategy Partner at Lida (M & C Saatchi Group), member of the IAB Social Media Council

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Mega big banners with live Twitter feeds

Posted by Richard Pentin on April 26, 2009

The technology to stream live content via banners has been around for a few years but it’s only now that a brand has realised the potential of incorporating live updates from Twitter.

As part of the launch for the new Volvo XC60, the car brand has used Double Click’s rich media dynamic data feed capability to create a banner campaign which hosts live Twitter updates. The ad was displayed on YouTube’s home page.


Because this is a media first, the campaign has been well documented within the marketing press. However, few have picked up on the fact that the Twitter updates are only from ad agency professionals rather than the general public, resulting in tweets which feel rather too contrived and self indulgent in my view. So top marks for being the first to integrate a social media platform into display advertising but unfortuantely it drops a few points due to lack of authenticity and not fully capitalising on the true potential of social communities.

But incorporating Twitter feeds is not the only thing different about this campaign. The expandable masthead measures a mega 950 x 250 pixels when rolled over, filling half the page. This might feel too in your face for some consumers but for any potential car buyer within the consideration phase it provides a rich source of information including photo galleries, videos, 360 views and an advergame which demonstrates the new automatic braking features of the XC60.


Google has only been offering this media space since last year apparently and it’s not hosted on the home page every day unlike Yahoo or MSN, so in theory there’s less risk of the audience becoming desensitized. One thing’s for certain, Volvo has shown that with a bigger canvas it’s possible to deliver a very rich online brand experience without having to drag consumers kicking and screaming to another microsite!

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4 Responses to “Mega big banners with live Twitter feeds”

  1. tfstern said

    I really enjoyed this campaign. Have you seen this executed with any standard IAB ad units (728, 350, 160)? I’ve also been curious about incorporating Facebook feeds within banners. Exciting to see how social media will merge with display.

  2. Richard Pentin said

    I’ve seen an expandable MPU bannern recently for the Volvo XC60 which is part of the same campaign I imagine.


    This particular example doesn’t include live feeds from twitter or facebook as such but they have created a social media hub within the banner which links out to all their social media environments. I like the idea of using display to drive traffic to branded social networks as a way of starting the conversation rather than automotically driving everyone to your website.

  3. tfstern said

    This is great! Some developers at my company are working on display ads that incorporate social media feeds. I can send an example or two over when they are completed if you’re interested.

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