Juror POV: Six questions with Twitter’s Stacy Minero

The social media platform’s global head of content creation talks Super Bowl, creating conversations, and brand purpose.

1) What did you think about the Super Bowl? Which brand won the game?

Stacy Minero: In terms of just storytelling, Google Translate was really beautiful because it struck a cultural chord in a time of darkness and social anxiety right now. It talked about the three most common things people ask on Google Translate: how are you, thank you, and I love you. Those are three things that represent good in the world and represent the right side of humanity. I thought it brought that to life in an amazing way.


2) Which Super Bowl advertiser used Twitter most effectively?

Minero: We have something called the #BrandBowl, which highlights the most innovative work on the platform. We gave our MVP award to Mr. Peanut. I thought the way [Planters] took a holistic approach to advertising and activation was just brilliant. It had its TV spot, it had a long-form film that lived online, and it had ongoing engagement over the course of the night. VaynerMedia [the brand’s ad agency] had a live war room and live action interpretation of what was happening over the night. Mr. Peanut was turned into an animation. He could be reacting to a field goal, Gisele [Bündchen, wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady] in the stands, or the Scientology commercial. It was really fun, playful content that acted as social commentary. Then it gave prizes out throughout the night, inviting people to tweet at it to win a year supply of peanuts and other fun stuff.

One of the things we love about that is that, at Twitter, we always want people to watch content, but we want to move them, to motivate them to do something as well, and be part of the social conversation.


3) What makes a great brand film? What will you be looking for in the BFF entries?

Minero: When you bring creative craft with purpose, it resonates with the audience. Having a point of view that comes to life through a compelling narrative, that creates not only stopping power but also staying power, is something I’ll be looking for in the submissions.


4) What is the last brand film that made you feel that?

Minero: The New York Times film series The Truth Is Worth It. It’s a series of films that focuses on investigative journalists and their pursuit of the truth. Each one is tied to a specific story. One of them was about child separation on the border, for instance. They are shot in such a cinematic way, they are arresting and captivating, and they make you want to watch until the end. They evoke the feeling of a Hollywood film. They have a formula. They just did one on Myanmar. You can see this living on many years. It goes back to the brand belief that the truth is worth it. The brand identity is so strong. Every single one of those films gives me a chill at the end of it.


5) What is the one piece of advice you would give a marketer looking to move into this space?

Minero: A story should be an expression of what you believe and what you do. We always talk about commitment before campaigns. I’m not sure if you’ve seen the work Verizon has been doing around first responders. They have been making a commitment in that space for years, and now they can express that in film. Having that purpose and point of view map back to something that you are doing in the real world is very important, especially in a world where transparency matters.

The second thing is thinking about the expression across channels and platforms. I always love long-form storytelling, but thinking about the shorter-form teaser or how you bring the story socially in five or six seconds that works more with a hero or anthem film [is just as crucial].


6) What are the most innovative ways brands are using Twitter today?

Minero: We know marketers are using Twitter to reach an influential audience, but they also want to embed their brand in culture and create conversation. In a recent example, two big personalities were promoting two small brands. Hugh Jackman, who has Laughing Man Coffee, and Ryan Reynolds, who has a gin company, Aviation American Gin. They both created brand ads for each other in this playful two-minute film. Ryan’s is sweet and saccharine, and Hugh’s is snarky and mean spirited. That led to this feud on Twitter, then reconciliation, and everyone was jumping into the conversation. The video has 5 million views, and the conversation was so electric and so funny. It was a reminder that you can create amazing work that is also playful and participatory. It doesn’t always have to be serious.

That notion of creating content to conversation is where brands are headed. On a more serious note, going back to Verizon, it created a hashtag, #allourthanks, and asked consumers to shine the light on first responders as heroes of recovery efforts tied to national disasters. It enabled people to make a donation by retweeting a piece of content. Turning a film and a beautiful story into something that is more active and action oriented is really powerful and a really great way to think about how to use the platform.