Cannes 2012: Twitter - creating an emotional bonding

By , Seminars, Cannes | In Advertising | June 21, 2012
At the 59th International Festival of Creativity, Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter spoke on how the social network is bringing people closer and creating an emotional connect between them.

The world is constantly talking, discussing and sharing everything, thanks to social networks such as Twitter. At the 59th International Festival of Creativity, Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter spoke on how social media is changing the lives of many every moment by creating an emotional connect among people.

Costolo said, "Technology has transformed the ability to communicate. With the friction of time and space being removed, all other barriers such as barrier of status and celebrity, too, have been obliterated. Communication is all about global consumption now."

He then gave the example of how Twitter received 2.5 million tweets from 160 countries on people discussing the match between England and France during the Euro Cup 2012 within three hours.

According to him, earlier, communication was filtered through a channel, while a social network like Twitter provides an unfiltered and direct perspective. The access to social media has brought people closer, and in this process has further created an emotional connect between people.

"Further, there are times when access to other media is restricted and hence people barely get to know what other people are thinking. For example during the Arab Spring, while access to other media was limited, people were seen following each other or organising a protest through Twitter. The medium not only allowed people to talk to each other, it also provided them the perspective of what other people living in different parts of the world think about them. It helped to gain support and followers," explained Costolo.

Next, talking on various kinds of communication, he stated that conversation is the canvas while some communication can be planned. For example, a brand organising an event decides to surprise its consumer, and there is also unplanned communication - which is on an emotional factor.

For marketers, Costolo stated that the art of communication is changing for brands. "While earlier brands created campaigns to initiate conversation, now consumers are initiating campaigns through conversation via social media," he remarked.

He then gave the example of the time when Audi launched its new car, R8. A woman on Twitter initiated a hashtag - #iwantanR8 - and continuously tweeted about the car. Interestingly, Audi next tweeted that the company delivered the R8 to the woman who wanted a car. Soon, Audi owned the hashtag and initiated a campaign.

Similarly, when in the US, Cadbury stopped manufacturing a chocolate bar - Wispa Gold, people starting talking about the brand on the social network, so much so that they forced the company to relaunch the chocolate bar. The company soon launched a campaign around social media after the relaunch.

Costolo finally said that content is and will remain at the centre - only the style of conversation will change.

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