I Love Marmite – But Do You Care?

    November 7, 2007

The new Facebook SocialAds model works by one person admitting to a range of brand allegiances and advertising them to their social network. 

Having established that circle of interest Facebook will allow advertisers to introduce commercial messages into those conversations.  The idea is that advertisers will effectively be  invited into social networks which currently act as filters to many traditional marketing techniques.  It’s a pretty clever notion that makes you think FB’s greatest asset is that its founder and boss was born in 1984. 

Will it work?  Well I love marmite and eat it everyday but does anyone else care?  Maybe.  However, as Weinberger notes, "it could finally make it possible for me to ask my local friends what plumber they like."  What is interesting is that this approach and the HyperTargeting service announced this week by MySpace are both claiming that the more information punters give up the more useful advertising becomes.  It’s becoming a stronger argument.  After all, who can say that Google’s contextual approach hasn’t been an improvement on mass TV spam?  So, in fact, it was our fault all along.  The only reason that advertising has become an irritant for so many people is that customers weren’t playing along.  Naughty customers.

Blodget’s analysis here is good, especially the last part: "What’s in it for the "friend" who is bombarding "friends" with an advertising feed? Discounts on future products?  Great table next time you visit?  Is all this disclosed?  Will other friends enjoy it?"