SpaceX founder Elon Musk during a joint T-Mobile and SpaceX event on August 25, 2022 in Boca Chica Beach, Texas.
Michael González | Getty Images
Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX has ordered one of the biggest advertising packages available from Twitter, the social media company he just acquired in a $44 billion deal. dollars and of which he is now CEO.
The campaign will promote the SpaceX-owned and operated satellite internet service called Starlink on Twitter in Spain and Australia, according to internal social media company records seen by CNBC.
The ad campaign SpaceX is buying to promote Starlink is called a Twitter “takeover.” When a business purchases one of these plans, they typically spend over $250,000 to put their brand at the top of Twitter’s main timeline for a full day, according to a current and former Twitter employee who asked. not to be named because they were not authorized. speak on behalf of the company.
Users are expected to see Starlink branded posts the first three times they open the Twitter app on the day or days of the planned takeover campaign in Australia and Spain. The campaign, which was bought last week, was due to air in the coming days first in Australia and then in Spain.
SpaceX has not typically purchased large ad packages from Twitter, current and former employees said.
Starlink uses a constellation of satellites that beam the internet to paying subscribers who must also obtain terminals from SpaceX to access it. SpaceX developed Starlink with the goal of providing high-speed Internet connectivity to people in locations that are underserved, if at all, by cable or fiber optic infrastructure.
Pressure on Twitter ad sales
Musk is also the CEO of the electric vehicle maker You’re here, in addition to his responsibilities at SpaceX and Twitter. He boasted that his automaker doesn’t spend money on traditional advertising like print, radio, TV and online ads. Instead, Tesla collects headlines from fan blogs, news sites, and creates buzz through auto clubs, fan or shareholder events, and social media engagement.
Musk now finds himself in the position of having to sell online advertising as “Chief Twit”, or more formally CEO, of Twitter, which remains a major international social media platform. Twitter had around 237.8 million monetizable daily active users before Musk’s controversial privatization deal. Musk is on a mission to generate at least half of Twitter’s revenue from followers, not just advertising.
One campaign, even a big one like a “takeover,” isn’t enough to compensate for the multiple advertisers who recently halted spending on Twitter or fled the platform during Musk’s rocky takeover.
Companies such as General Motors, Audi, Volkswagen, General Mills, Pfizer, United Airlines and others have suspended ad spending on Twitter for the time being, responding in part to a wave of hate speech and misinformation on the platform. form. Advertising giant Interpublic Group has recommended that its agency clients do the same. Twitter previously derived around 90% of its revenue from advertising.
When Musk launched and then quickly suspended a paid subscriber badge on Twitter last week, it further shook advertisers’ confidence in the platform. The badge looked like a blue past verification check mark, but only cost users $7.99 per month. Cheaply acquired blue ticks were used by pranksters and impostors to impersonate brands, politicians and celebrities and to post unflattering and inaccurate messages.
An account created in the likeness of pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly caused serious trouble on Thursday when it posted a message saying, “We are delighted to announce that insulin is now free.” The tweet went viral and stayed on Twitter for at least two hours before being deleted. The real Eli Lilly account tweeted later: “We apologize to those who received a misleading message from a fake Lilly account.”
Eli Lilly’s share price fell sharply after the fake tweet was posted, although major stock indices were positive at the time, with the S&P 500 posting its biggest rally in two years. Automaker Tesla, led by Musk, SpaceX competitor Lockheed Martin, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and many others have also been emulated and pilloried on the platform.
This weekend, Musk wrote in a tweet: “Twitter generates a massive number of clicks to other websites/apps. By far the biggest click engine on the internet.” Twitter’s new CEO was quickly corrected by marketing experts and ex-Twitter employees, and a correction note was added to his tweet. He then deleted the tweet.
A former Twitter employee, Claire Díaz-Ortiz, called him out, writing: “Lies. I worked @Twitter Age 5+ has written 2 books on social media marketing. It is false and @Twitter known. We’ve never sold it on clicks because it’s much lower on traffic than Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Twitter has other key strengths. (And marketing is more than clicks.)
At a company-wide meeting last week, Musk told current Twitter employees that bankruptcy isn’t out of the question as the company faces an exodus of advertisers and a broader economic downturn.
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