MySpace: Friending Is the New Ad

MySpace, hoping to prove it is a new type of marketing platform, commissioned research firms to look at its user habits and responses to marketing campaigns. The results, released today, were unsurprisingly positive — but they’re also interesting.

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“Friending is the next advertising,” proclaims the report. And 40 percent of social network users claim to have “discovered brands and products that [they] really like” through the websites.

The report looks at two campaigns in particular, in which adidas and EA created communities that

  1. made their brands into persona,
  2. enabled sharing (e.g. forward this to a friend) and
  3. “[gave] the consumer a chance to realize their dream/fantasy.”

adidas and EA spent $1.87 and $1.19, respectively, per MySpace user who said because of the campaign he or she intended to buy the company’s product.

But based on the viral nature of these projects, independent firm Marketing Evolution says the companies reached far more people. That’s indicated by the “momentum effect” in the chart above.

Of course, all this is exceedingly hard to measure and exceedingly easy to brag about — but Marketing Evolution claims adidas directly influenced 1.2 million people to purchase its product and, after those people talked to their friends, influenced 4.2 million more people. Similarly, EA directly influenced 1.8 million consumers and indirectly influenced 4.5 million consumers to say they intended to purchase its products.

That added “C2C” marketing is the power of social networks, says the report. Not that people don’t talk to people about TV commercials, but perhaps that’s even harder to measure.

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