Elon Musk’s SpaceX ordered one of the largest advertising packages available on Twitter, the social network he recently acquired for $44 billion and in which he currently serves as CEO. The campaign will promote Twitter’s Starlink satellite internet service in Spain and Australia, according to the social network’s internal documents, which CNBC read.
The advertising that SpaceX is buying to promote Starlink is called a Twitter “takeover.” When a company buys one of these packages, it typically spends up to $250,000 to have its brand at the top of Twitter’s main feed for an entire day.
Users must see the Starlink brand message the first three times they open the Twitter app on the day or days of the scheduled campaign. According to current and former employees, SpaceX did not typically buy large ad packages from Twitter.
A few hours after the story was first published, Musk wrote on Twitter: “SpaceX Starlink bought a tiny – not large – ad package to test effectiveness of Twitter advertising in Australia & Spain. Did same for FB/Insta/Google.”
A single campaign, even one this big, won’t be enough to make up for the many advertisers who have recently suspended spending on Twitter or fled the platform amid the chaotic shakeup that followed Musk’s purchase of the social network.
Companies including General Motors, Audi, Volkswagen, General Mills, Pfizer, United Airlines and others have temporarily suspended their ad spending on Twitter, partly in response to an onslaught of hate speech and misinformation on the platform. Advertising giant Interpublic Group recommended that its agency clients do the same. Previously, Twitter received about 90% of its revenue from advertising.
When last week Elon Musk launched and then quickly suspended paid Twitter verification check, this has further shaken advertisers’ faith in the platform. The icon looked like the previous blue check mark, but cost users only $8 per month. Cheaply purchased blue ticks were used by pranksters and imposters posing as brands, politicians and celebrities to post fake messages.