How about that Facevertising?

    There has been quite a bit of publicity lately regarding Facebooks (relatively) low ad revenue and how much better MySpace is doing in terms of advertising. Well, hows this for advertising? I never thought I would see the day when a company would pay you (via gift card) to become a fan of theirs on Facebook. Initially I scoffed at the idea, I mean paying people to become their fan on Facebook? Seems bizarre to say the least, I mean why does Sears care about having fans on Facebook?
    The more I think about it, the more clever the idea is. Think about this, although Sears is a tried and true name in their business, their reputation with younger audiences is less...inviting. Yes, if my dad is looking to buy a new washer and drier he'd probably look at Sears, but what do I need there? Sears is about to tell us (the younger audience).
    This advertising methodology relies on two main components. The first part is very similar to rebates, sure it all sounds good on paper but how many people will actually go through with it? Sears has eased the process by shipping you the card, but in order to give them your information you need to register on a website within 24 hours of becoming a fan. I'm quite sure that many of the people who do become a fan will miss this little tid-bit and end up giftcard-less.
    Now that Sears has you as a registered "fan" of their store, they have a direct communication channel with you. They are now prime to "update their fans" on all of the new and exciting offerings from Sears, think about how many eyes will see these updates relative to advertising in the newspaper, and at what cost. Furthermore, updates on their site will be displayed on the fans news feed (you know, this one) Thats a nice piece of real-estate that Sears will get to inhabit when posting updates. That is the first page the 125 million Facebook users see when they login to their account, which apparently over 50% do daily (oft quoted but apparently never cited, sorry).
    All in all, although the kneejerk reaction isn't a goood one, I think Sears may be onto something. It is definately an appropriate campaign for them, and I suspect you will start to see quite a few like it pop up quite soon, especially with holiday season coming up.


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