Twitter begins billboard ‘manifestation’ campaign

New feel-good Twitter billboards appeared in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square and Union Station Tuesday, showing celebrities whose dreams came true years after sharing them on Twitter.

The campaign, which Twitter is calling its “biggest celebrity/athlete campaign yet,” is inspired by the popular social media theory of manifesting dreams into reality—the idea that by expressing positive thoughts and beliefs, positive change will follow.

Toronto is the only Canadian market for the campaign, with ads also running in seven other U.S. cities. One of the ads features Canadian actor Simu Liu, who tweeted in 2018: “OK @Marvel, are we gonna talk or what #ShangChi.” The actor was later cast as the eponymous star of last year’s Marvel movie, Shang-Chi.

Similar tweets from other stars including Patrick Mahomes, Demi Lovato, Megan Thee Stallion, and Issa Rae are also being used. Additional Canadian content comes via blind gamer and accessibility advocate Steve Saylor, who tweeted last March: “NGL kinda wanna work for @Xbox now lol.” Saylor now does consulting work for Microsoft.

The ads include the tweet with a photo of the individual. In Toronto, the creative is running only on video boards—scrolling through with the line “Tweet it into existence”—while static billboards are running in other cities.

Twitter has seen “huge growth” in conversations about manifestations on the platform, said Canadian marketing lead Jennifer Bairos Hofer.

“We’ve seen that tweets about manifestation are at an all-time high,” she said. “Year over year, we saw 100% growth, and we’ve seen over the last three years 59 million tweets, all about manifestation.”

Twitter already has huge awareness, with many users relying on the platform for their news. “What’s happening in the world is what’s happening on Twitter,” said Bairos Hofer. This campaign is a way to remind people of the positive and inspirational conversations that are happening there as well.

“If you think about the celebrities that we’ve tapped into for this campaign, they’re from different parts of culture,” she said. “We’re talking about athletes and musicians and actors and actresses, and it’s from so many different walks of life, from so many different types of communities.”

Twitter chose outdoor to deliver the message because of the power of the medium, she said. “There’s almost a visceral reaction when you go there and you see [the tweets] blown up into such a huge execution in front of people, and think about it actually as a life-changing tweet,” she said.

“We want to inspire people in a really big way, and show how [these tweets] have manifested in a big way. I think out-of-home is just a perfect for that.”

Twitter has also added a charitable component, “to encourage others to manifest their dreams [and] to help those dreams come true,” it said. Nearly $1 million is being donated to UNICEF on behalf of Liu, and to Gamers Outreach on behalf of Sayo.

David Brown