Twitter has a new television commercial that perfectly sums up Twitter. The problem is, that might also mean few regular people will understand it.
For the past two nights, Twitter has paid big bucks for 30-second spots during the World Series on Fox, a chance to show off its new multimedia feature, Moments, to a massive, American audience. It’s a rare move for Twitter, which does not advertise often on TV. But its user growth has started to flatten, and CEO Jack Dorsey said it needs to simplify its product to get it into the hands of new, mainstream users.
Sounds like the kind of problem a new national advertising campaign is meant to handle! The problem? The ad, which you can watch below, is just like Twitter: Full of images, clips and text that may be hard for non-Twitter users to parse.
The spot itself, dubbed "Post Season," features baseball content pulled directly from Twitter. It screams "We have cool content," but then throws that content in a blender before tossing it against the wall. Your eyes can barely keep up. Each clip includes actual text from user tweets, but the commercial jumps so quickly from tweet to tweet that you can’t read any of it.
If you’re a Twitter regular, you probably felt right at home. This is, after all, what Twitter is: A hodgepodge of multimedia content that doesn’t always quite fit together, but still keeps you entertained. If you aren’t a Twitter user — the audience this kind of commercial was presumably meant to attract — you probably had no idea what was going on.
A lot of people thought the same. And, of course, they took to Twitter to complain about Twitter’s commercial. Here’s a sampling of the armchair analysis.
Twitter’s ad during the World Series: incomprehensible. Someone should be fired.— John Gruber (@gruber) October 28, 2015
Twitter is incomprehensible to outsiders, so of course they made a completely incomprehensible TV ad. https://t.co/6QJ8pnaVM7— Tom Gara (@tomgara) October 28, 2015
I don't do drugs, but I bet smoking bath salts after you run out of PCP is a lot like that new Twitter Moments ad— mat honan (@mat) October 28, 2015
You still have to give Twitter credit for making a bold ad move. And perhaps this was just Twitter’s first step, catching people’s attention with flashy but relevant sports content. The second commercial — if there is a second one — will likely simplify things for non-Twitter users everywhere. But for now, Twitter has nailed an ad for people who already use its product. Which, when you’re a company desperate to grow, doesn’t do you much good.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.