BMW’s Graffiti contest that invites Facebook users to color in outlines of 1-Series cars has done a few things very well.
One, ad units on Graffiti app pages within Facebook as well as websites outside of Facebook (eg, Boing Boing) are performing better because the campaign invites participation.
Two, it enlists a core group of active social-network participants (more than 9000 submissions in the first 7 days) into a fun, transparent evangelism effort: Participants spend, in many cases, hours personalizing images of BMWs that they then share with friends.
Three, it takes advantage of the friend-to-friend newsfeed mechanism at Facebook to spread the word of the campaign beyond the paid media program.
Four, the concept and the images themselves are capturing the attention of bloggers, columnists, and Twitterers, such as Facebook’s Dave Morin. Ben Barren’s headline captures it best: “i found a blog post about a twitter about BMW’s Facebook campaign.” UPDATE 4/7: Stuart Elliott at NT Times dedicates a column to the campaign. Others pick-ups below.