Green With Admiration

On the bus yesterday, I saw this ad for the Celtics. Specifically, it was for their Twitter account. Yep.

Lots of brands are blindly promoting their Twitter presences because they feel they should. But I think the Celtics are an example of an organization that has thought the whole process through quite well — not just their use of Twitter, but how they promote their presence there.

There are a lot of things I like about this ad.

  • It’s simple. The most dominant visual element is the destination they want you to visit, @celtics. If you don’t know what “@celtics” implies, they repeat the same entreaty in more detail right below. No matter how savvy or not savvy you are, you can get it.
  • It speaks the language. By using “@celtics” and including the word “retweet” in a list of other Celtics Pride-type keywords like “replay” and “resilient,” they show that they grasp the vernacular, and it doesn’t come off in a hokey, “the kids and their Twitters” kind of way. It also implies that Twitter — or at least the viral, information-sharing aspects thereof — is woven into the fabric of Celtics (team and fan) characteristics.
  • It shows that they get the medium. The photo on the ad is a crowd shot. Even though stars like Paul Pierce are on Twitter, this isn’t about them. It’s not even about the team, really. It’s about the fans. It shows that they understand Twitter as an immersive, infectious medium, which I’ll touch on more in a second.

So, the ad worked. It got me to follow @celtics. Sure, my days of NBA devotion are behind me (in middle school, I was a hardcore Miami Heat fan, listening along to games on AM radio), and I am just a casual supporter of the Green. But this ad intrigued me to the point that I pulled out my Blackberry and joined more than 30,000 other followers.

At first glance, here’s what I like about how the Celtics are using Twitter

  • They get the medium, using Twitter for in-game promotions like upgrades to courtside seats. They know that people are having multidimensional experiences, watching the game while using their phones to read #celtics chatter or tweet about the game. I think that concept is difficult for some people to grasp, so the fact that the Celtics embrace it stands out to me.
  • It’s rewarding. With in-game contests, updated information like player game status or postgame quotes, there is a value-add for followers compared to what they get from other Celtics resources.
  • It’s conversational but not overly casual. The tweets are friendly and don’t sound like ad copy, but it doesn’t come off too informally. It’s authoritative without being authoritarian.
  • They push to web, driving people to video, postgame updates, player chats and more on They understand that no matter where your social outposts are, it all comes back to the web.

If you think about it, a basketball game is already an immersive experience. You’ve got the game on the floor, your interaction with your own friends, your experience in the crowd, the scoreboard, the music… a lot is going on. The Celtics seem to see Twitter as just one more layer to that experience — as well as a way to tie those different elements together. Good on them. And go Green.


One response to “Green With Admiration

  1. insidetimshead

    Awesome! It reminds me of, back in the 1990s, seeing a block on the side of a box of Special K that read: “We’re on the Web!” My reaction: “Whoop de damn doo.” (To quote former NBA star and SU standout Derrick Coleman.) That’s what too many entities do now, say “Look! We’re on Twitter!” The first question is why I should care.

    They’ve done a great job here, from the ad copy to the voice to the community building. I may not be a Celtics fan, but I’m a fan of their use of social media!

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