DATA: Apple 100% Focused on Twitter for Apple TV+ Ads

Apr 04, 2019

BrandTotal, the competitive intelligence platform for social media marketers, released exclusive data about Apple’s social media marketing strategy for its new Apple TV+ service, which was announced at the company’s “It’s Show Time” event on March 25th in Cupertino.

The data, available in BrandTotal’s latest report, “Social Marketing Snapshot: How Apple Launched Apple TV+,” analyzed all paid social ads for Apple TV+ in the U.S. between March 25-29. The analysis covered Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, and included “dark” as well as public campaigns.

  • Twitter Remains Apple’s Preferred Paid PlatformPer BrandTotal data, Twitter was the only social media platform from which Apple bought ad inventory, to promote Apple TV+. Apple didn’t run any paid campaigns on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.
  • What ads were “dark” (targeted) vs. public?“Dark marketing” refers to social media ads that are only shown to carefully targeted audiences. They are not publicly visible. Today, 90% of Twitter ads, 85% of Facebook ads and 60% of YouTube ads are “dark.” On Twitter, Apple is one of the world’s most prolific dark marketers. Dark marketing is one of the best ways to deliver clear insights into your ad targeting strategy. On the flip side, dark marketing creates a blind-spot for competitive marketers, preventing anyone outside of a campaign’s target audience from seeing the ad.

 All Apple TV+ ads on Twitter were dark and hidden from public view. In total, there were four pieces of creative—each a one-minute and thirty-five-second video—used for the campaigns:


Apple changed strategy to target younger, single male consumers

On Twitter, Apple promoted Apple TV+ to a 61% male vs. 39% female audience. Further, Apple mostly targeted millennial (29%), 25-34, and middle-aged (22%), 35-44, users who are single (58%), not in-a-relationship (28% married, 8% in-a-relationship, 5% engaged). Historically on Twitter, the company has targeted married (50%) women (58%) vs. men (42%) ages 45-54 (25%).

In addition, BrandTotal found that:

  • Since the launch of its Twitter campaign, 62% of all ad impressions for Apple TV+ were driven on March 25, the date of Apple’s “It’s Show Time” event.
  • Beyond Twitter, the only other social media platform Apple leveraged for social media promotion, albeit unpaid and organic, was YouTube. Apple featured three promos for the new service on its own YouTube page (123), racking up more than 12.6M video views in total.  


Apple Card, Arcade and News+

In addition to Apple TV+, BrandTotal analyzed social media ads for Apple Card, Apple News+, and Apple Arcade, though Apple is only running a handful of campaigns. The analysis found that: 

  • Apple Card -- Apple is using Twitter to target millennial and Gen Z audiences for its Apple Card product, though campaigns have been slow to materialize. Apple Card ads -- using one piece of creative-- have been aimed at single (45%) men (65%) in the 19-24 (26%) and 25-34 (27%) age groups. To date, the YouTube ad for Apple’s credit card venture -- released shortly after it was announced -- has an impressive 16.6M views and 113.7K engagements.
  • Apple News+ and Apple Arcade -- Meanwhile, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade have only been advertised via public YouTube  videos and Twitter posts. The company has yet to roll out any expanded campaigns.