Among the first brands to sponsor a third-party Facebook application in a manner that goes beyond pay-per-install or CPC programs, Wacom — maker of the Bamboo tablet for pen-based computing — sponsored a contest within Facebook’s Graffiti application, the “Graffiti Monster Contest.”
The first of three one-week contests just wrapped up, and 5660 animated illustrations were submitted and another 515,000 votes were cast by other Facebook members for their favorite — and least favorite — monsters. (Here are the Top 150 Monsters.) That’s an average of nearly 74,000 votes per day.
The motivation for voting (beyond the intrinsic fun of monster art) was a chance to win a $79 Bamboo pen-based tablet kit, a product that sells best among digital artists and digital doodlers — people like the 8,000,000-plus users of the Graffiti application. More than 1,000,000 of them use the service daily to jot notes to friends, sketch simple pictures, or create elaborate artwork. Among the 37,000,000 Graffitis created to date, a significant minority of users have spent more than 20 minutes per drawing. So there was a strong relevance match between the target audience and the sponsorship concept.
In addition to the integrated messaging on all pages of the Graffiti app within Facebook and ad banners targeted to Graffiti users, Wacom launched a program — a digital drawing contest that makes plain their product’s value proposition — that spread from friend to friend across the Facebook universe. Each time a contestant submitted a new monster image, his or her Facebook friends received on their Profile pages a news headline with a thumbnail of the monster art: “Chas drew on the Monster Contest Graffiti wall.”
The numbers then add up quick. Given my mature age (37) and relative new-comer status on Facebook, I’m guessing my network of 300 friends is, if anything, at the low end of the socialite spectrum. If we assume avid Graffiti artists each have 300 friends, on average, that means that 5660 monster drawings (times 300 friends each) generated nearly 1,700,000 personalized “impressions” in the shape of news alerts on Facebook Profile pages over seven days. These “impressions” weren’t graphical ads for Wacom, they were word-of-mouth notifications that encouraged behavior, creating graphical art, that drives sales for Wacom’s products.
Idea and execution credits: John Bistolas at Wacom; Mark Kantor, Ted and Tim Suzman at Graffiti Wall; and Lester Lee and Liam Boylan at Federated Media.