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08/16/2016

Twitter introduces Promoted Stickers with Pepsi

The soda brand is the first advertiser to use Twitter's sticky new ad unit

Less than two months after introducing its “sticker” feature to users, Twitter has launched a new ad unit that allows brands to create custom stickers.

Pepsi signed on as the global partner for the launch of Promoted Stickers and on Monday, the soda brand released 50 branded Twitter stickers. The initiative marks Pepsi’s largest Twitter campaign to date.

The new sticker ad unit is an apt choice for Pepsi, which launched an emoji-inspired campaign in Canada last year that was rolled out globally this summer. Crafted by BBDO, “PepsiMoji” included a line of emojis that were featured both on its cans and in its marketing materials. Those visuals are now living on as Twitter stickers.

Using Promoted Stickers is just one of several Twitter plays Pepsi has made this summer. The brand recently purchased the global Promoted Trend on World Emoji Day and also used Twitter’s Conversational Ads unit as part of “PepsiMoji.”

“We embrace these tools and new offerings because they provide an effective way to not just talk to our fans, but rather engage with them, and generate meaningful interactions,” said Claudia Calderon, senior director of marketing at PepsiCo Beverages Canada.

“Our target — the young-at-heart — values self-expression,” Calderon said. “You see this in the creative photos they post and comments they share. Stickers offers our fans another way to be creative and enhance their content.”

Twitter’s move to add stickers follows the lead of Snapchat and Facebook, which each have similar functions. On Facebook, consumers can choose from a vast selection of stickers to use in comments and chat; on Snapchat they can add emojis and other illustrations to photos, much like the newer Twitter function.

The launch also comes at a time when social networks are increasingly taking inspiration from each other as they vie for consumers’ attention. Earlier this month, Instagram launched a new feature called “Instagram Stories” that was widely viewed as a replica of Snapchat.

Ivan Pehar, head of sales for Twitter Canada, said stickers were a response to trends in the market and the general visual direction many social networks are headed. What makes Twitter’s stickers unique, said Pehar, is they act as a “visual hashtag,” meaning users can click on any sticker and see posts from other users using the same sticker.

“This really ties in nicely with a visual platform,” Pehar said. “What creates stopping power in the timeline? It’s all visuals. This bleeds into a lot of the video stuff you’re seeing on the platform now, too. It’s all visually stimulating.”

Advertisers can also target consumers by which stickers they’ve used. If, for example, Pizza Pizza or Delissio wanted to target pizza fans on Twitter, they could target all the users in Canada who have used the pizza sticker in a post.

Since launch, Pehar said Twitter had seen a greater use of stickers than it had originally expected. According to Pehar, the number of users who have sent tweets with stickers is “in the millions” globally.

Promoted Stickers are available globally to select marketers.

This article first appeared on MarketingMag.ca