'NY Times' Launches Facebook Inauguration Promo
The one-day promotion, timed to correspond with Inauguration Day, centers on a video engagement ad inviting users to visit the Times' Facebook page to answer the question: "What should Barack Obama first address as President?" The initiative allows people to post their views on what issues Obama should tackle upon taking office.
The Times will also run a virtual gift ad touting an Obama virtual stamp designed by artist Christoph Niemann, according to the Inside Facebook blog.
The interactive engagement ads that Facebook began testing last summer allow users to post comments, become a "fan" of a brand's Facebook page and send virtual gifts. Within the units, people can also read friends' comments, and see who else is a brand fan or shared virtual items.
The Times' inauguration-focused campaign is patterned after one the newspaper ran immediately following the election in November featuring a video ad roadblocked on the Facebook home page and a sponsored virtual gift of an image of the Times' edition bearing the "Obama Wins" banner headline.
According to an internal Times memo circulated at the time, that effort drew impressive results. Among them:
- The home page video ad was viewed by 68.3 million people and 34,000 comments were shared.
- The number of fans of the Times Facebook page more than tripled to 164,000 in 24 hours, exceeding its goal of 100,000. (As of Monday, the Times page had 202,000 fans.)
- The virtual gift was sent by Facebook members to friends more than 400,000 times.
Duplicating those figures with the inauguration campaign may be difficult, since it so closely follows the election-related promotion. But the historic nature of the event is sure to generate a surge of social activity on Facebook generally.