Bloomberg’s TicToc Introduces a New Ad Format for Live Twitter Events



Inspiration for the new ad format stemmed from the recent SpaceX Falcon 9 launch.

Bloomberg’s TicToc has introduced a new ad format that embeds branding and video in-stream during live Twitter events. The debut took place during the recent launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 from the NASA Kennedy Space Center, with General Electric signing on as the inaugural sponsor.

TicToc is Bloomberg Media’s built-for Twitter, 24-hour news network that offers breaking news, live events, and covers the top global news headlines leveraging the reporting of Bloomberg journalists in addition to the information provided by Twitter users. Bloomberg’s editors curate and verify the content. In this way, you’re able to watch the news on Twitter while tuning into related the social conversations in real-time. The overarching goal of developing the social news network? In the words of Bloomberg CEO Justin Smith, it’s all about “reinvent[ing] the digital breaking-news experience.”

The name TicToc comes from the concept of a “tick-tock story,” which is when a piece of content provides a play-by-play chronology of events.

The network officially went live this past January with the help of six partners: Goldman Sachs, Infiniti, TD Ameritrade, CA Technologies, AT&T, and CME Group. Since its inception, TicToc has witnessed notable growth. For reference, the network saw 1.4 million average daily views alone during this past April and has accumulated upwards of 160 million total views. More recently, Bloomberg was awarded the Grand Prix prize at the annual Drum Online Media Awards for its work on TicToc.

The idea for TicToc’s new ad format stemmed from identified spikes in viewership during live events that included March for Our Lives and the State of the Union Address. Along this vein, ads will display at identified peaks of engagement. To help identify these moments, M. Scott Havens, global head of digital at Bloomberg Media, explained to Ad Age that it will involve viewership as a key and leading metric. Havens added that GE will be able to provide additional audience and engagement metrics, outside of the number of views, as well as contextual tweets and impressions.

“To me, this is future of video advertising—not interruptive, not ignored, not pre-shot, not incongruent. It’s useful, additive, contextual and in real-time,” said Havens. In other words, what we’re seeing is a push towards creative news storytelling that is geared toward for mobile-first, on-the-go readership and that leverages video to add, not detract, from the experience of consuming digital news media.

Looking ahead, Havens said the format will cover elections, award shows, and global political events with themes and topics varying based on audiences. Close brand partnerships will serve as a critical pulse check for what will be valuable and relevant to add to the live event and that benefits both the viewer and the brand without infringing on the viewing experience.

For the latest updates, you can catch TicToc on Twitter (@tictoc).

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