So Twitter aired their first TV ad today during the NASCAR Pocono 400.  It was a short 15 second spot, which you can see above, and it was very curious. This correspondent can’t pretend to know why Twitter does what it does, but here are a few random things worth considering:

1) The piece is not advertising the service to content creators, but rather to content consumers. Which, not coincidentally, is the driver behind Foursquare’s latest redesign – remember the Fred Wilson quote? “1% of the users will create content, 10% will curate it, and the rest will consume it”. Two companies thinking alike – that makes a trend.

2) By wooing eyeballs, you’re ultimately wooing advertisers, and finally creating a place on Twitter that is advertising-friendly. Actually more than that – a place where advertisement is a feature and not a nuisance.

3) Knowledge / awareness of NASCAR is one of  Charles Murray’s examples of the widening class divide in the USA.

4) Pew Internet’s recent demographic study on Twitter usage shows high popularity of the service among low-income African-Americans.

5) For all the bashing of traditional media in Silicon Valley, airing your first TV ad is still an important milestone. However, one wonders how long it will still be so. After all, Twitter got to this point without spending a penny on TV ads. Why do it at all, then? See #2.

P.S.: Apparently, they only aired one of a series of NASCAR ads. You can see them all on Twitter’s YouTube account.

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