A rose-tinted look at the Valentine’s campaign we loved.

Last week, London’s commuters were treated to a display of Valentine’s Day stories. Twitter took over select Underground stations with posters of real tweets about the realities of modern dating.The posters were placed at central – ie busy – London tube stations: Oxford Circus, Circus, and Tottenham Court Road. Think the Manc-Metrolink equivalents of, let’s say, St Peters Square, Deansgate-Castlefield, and Victoria.

Ultimately, Twitter is inviting people to their Dating Advice Bureau – a pop-up help centre for all things romance.In general, the campaign highlights great user-generated content, out of the context we’d typically expect. And it’s a refreshing diversion from the sentimental, sugar-coated advertising we’re used to in February.

Twitter is also forcing us to go against our expectations of the platform; many view Twitter as corporate and professional, the place for politicians, reporters, and business professionals. Instead, this campaign highlights the Twitter that’s often forgotten: the comedy, the conversations, and the quick anecdotes.#f4f4f4The key? Twitter doesn’t rely on the audience to actually use the platform. Let alone have an account. Or even a smartphone.

It leads us to ask: could the focus on face-to-face advertising mean their digital marketing isn’t going far enough? Just last week, we talked about how Twitter’s days could be numbered. And we think their latest campaign could be another indicator of that.

Yet again, Twitter is targeting potential new audiences in a non-digital way. They’re pulling social networking away from the digital space to a face-to-face, human environment. It’s a bold move – you could say, desperate – especially when few other social networks are advertising themselves in this way.You’d expect a social media network to excel at digital advertising, right? Twitter sells it, after all. But the platform is actually losing users. And they’ve yet to break even.

But still. While social media is often slammed as insecure, dishonest, and toxic, promoting real conversation is pretty clever. Plus, some of the highest dwell time is while commuting. So by lifting content from the feeds and literally putting it in front of people, the audience is engaging with Twitter while they wait.

Twitter is thinking outside the box (or beyond the smartphone screen). And it could be this that helps them survive.

Photos from The Drum and Social Media Today.

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