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Twitter's flattery of ad creatives has bottom-line agenda

With the launch of its #CreativeFavorites program, Twitter is celebrating impressive ads on its platforms. Which, of course, is all about making money.

The Vine is pretty clever. It shows, in six rapid seconds, how to quickly and easily put up a simple bookshelf.

Done in the stop-motion technique that has been the hallmark of most of the best Vines to surface so far, the video is an ad for Lowe's home improvement stores, and is part of a series called, appropriately, #lowesfixinsix.

Published more than three weeks ago, the video got a fresh life today when Twitter featured it as the inaugural poster child for its new #CreativeFavorites program, an initiative that aims to celebrate the best work being done on the Twitter (or Vine) platforms by ad agencies.

In its blog post announcing #CreativeFavorites, Twitter called out BBDO's New York office for its work on the #lowesfixinsix series, lauding the agency for creating "playful Vine posts that not only entertain but also teach: Each video offers a simple six-second fix for a common household issue...@BBDONY needed to be nimble to produce quality content quickly and keep costs low."

The rest of the Twitter blog post goes on to showcase another of the Lowe's Vines produced by BBDO, as well as to note the generally positive consumer response.

It makes sense that Twitter would launch the #CreativeFavorites program, for a number of reasons. Notwithstanding the fact that some of the most interesting Vines have turned out to be highly polished marketing pieces, there's clearly another agenda at work here: highlighting Twitter's ongoing emergence as a major advertising platform.

For years, even as Twitter grew and grew, adding tens of millions of users and becoming an essential news-gathering tool, a real-time search engine, a worthy social networking competitor to Facebook, and more, the knock on it was that it couldn't make money.

Now, however, you rarely hear that criticism. Though the company doesn't release financial information, there is widespread agreement that Twitter is well on the way to an initial public offering, and even before getting there, it has likely gained a valuation of around $10 billion.

And why? Not simply because Wall Street enjoys watching 200 million people talk about what they had for breakfast. Rather, it's because marketers can now easily post targeted ads against billions of tweets, meaning that if I'm searching for something on Twitter, there's a pretty good chance I'll encounter what's known as a promoted tweet -- Twitter's version of an ad -- that was sold against my search terms.

More recently, Twitter has been racking up an impressive number of ad deals, often with big-name companies. Just today, it launched a campaign in conjunction with Chase bank, and not long ago, it sealed deals with ESPN and the NBA. It's also been working directly with TV networks, the NFL, and the NCAA, and many more.

The number of ways that Twitter and its ad team -- and its ad partners -- have come up with to bring advertising into tweets seems to have muted the revenue criticism, and while it hasn't struck gold like Google did when it launched AdSense, it's way too early to say that Twitter could never have a 12-figure valuation, as does Google. The more imaginative ways that Twitter -- or its partners -- incorporates ads, and the more tweets that have ads sold against them, the more money will come flowing in.

And since so much of what Twitter has done over the last couple of years has been geared toward creating a common user experience across Web and mobile, even Facebook must surely be jealous of Twitter's ability to generate revenue on mobile platforms.

Which brings us back to the launch of the #CreativeFavorites initiative today. As Twitter said in its post, it plans to regularly highlight the best ads produced using Twitter or Vine. What better way to flatter the Mad Men types who are producing these little gems, and, as a result, encourage them to come up with ever more effective ways to bring in the ad dollars?