Palm's Facebook Campaign Gets Quick Results

CLAUS palm centro Getting through the Christmas online marketing rush is tougher than getting to a cash register today. And getting the attention of somewhat jaded, media-savvy young digital denizens is tougher yet.

Palm, Inc. seems to have pulled off this trick--and in a short time frame--with a Facebook campaign for its Centro smartphone that combines on-page applications and user applications that are producing some pretty impressive viral results.

"Most marketers are using a social media page with one or more on-page applications, but this is the first campaign we've worked on that also offers deeper user applications that drive interaction and the viral element by getting site users to then get their friends involved," says Scott Kleper, chief technology officer and founder of San Francisco-based Context Optional, which developed the campaign's applications.



The campaign, launched Nov. 26 and running through Jan. 4, centers on a Facebook page ( hosted by "Claüs"--the hipper name chosen by Santa Claus to reflect his "down" new image and lifestyle since he was transformed by being gifted with a Palm Centro. (Sample profile copy: "I functioned for centuries as a recluse, only emerging once a year under the cover of darkness to spread joy ... The phone inspired me to turn my life around, I got in shape, found a new tailor, it's like I feel 30 years younger ... don't try to sit on my lap, a fist bump will do.")

The page includes five main applications: Claüs's Yule Log Music Player (downloadable); the ClaüsRemixed holiday album (also downloadable); a Claüs video player (downloadable with ability to share viral videos); Naughty or Nice (users submit friends' names for Claüs' two lists); and the Claüs White Elephant Party (where users can play the classic trade-off-bad-gifts party game on Facebook with ... guess who).

There are also ample videos (such as Claüs' encounter at a posh restaurant with a confused valet charged with parking the Bearded One's sleigh), and new ones are being added frequently to keep the site fresh, reports Palm Director of Marketing Communications Scott Hancock. Then there's the wish list contest-one good little Facebook user who's texted Claüs the gift he/she most wants (up to $10,000 in price) will see that wish come true. And of course, the page features Claüs replying to posts and offers holiday e-cards featuring the Claüster using his Centro while perched on a chimney, rather recklessly driving his sleigh, etc.

Traffic-driving components included launching the site by airing a longer (60-second) video on cable (including Bravo, MTV, VH1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, E! Entertainment, Comedy Central, G4, Fuse and TBS) and in movie theaters in key metro markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco. Other support includes bus shelter ads and billboards.

The creative concept for the campaign and the applications, from Seattle-based agency Creature, and Context Optional's implementation were pulled together in short order to drive Centro's holiday sales in AT&T, Sprint and Verizon stores, says Hancock.

"We got kind of a late start, especially for a holiday campaign, and we knew we would be outspent by our competitors," Hancock relates. "And, we knew we needed applications that could cut through all the white noise online around the holidays and appeal to hip and a little bit media-cynical young people" -- specifically, 18 to 34 year olds.

"Having decided on a character-based campaign, it made sense to have a Facebook profile," notes Matt Peterson, co-creative director for Creature. "We focused on creating a lot of elements or pieces," all with a cool, fun bent ripe for passing along during the hyper-social holiday period.

A mere four weeks into the campaign, Claüs has more than 58,000 Facebook fans and "tens of thousands" of people have clicked into Palm's site for more info, and similar numbers have texted to enter the wish list contest, according to Hancock.

The most interesting stat, however, is that 26% of Claüs site visitors have come through invitations from friends. "That's very high for only a few weeks," notes Kleper. "It really shows the promise of user applications--the viral element--in action."

1 comment about "Palm's Facebook Campaign Gets Quick Results ".
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  1. Tyler Willis from Involver, December 30, 2008 at 2:29 a.m.

    Great example of the power of integrating applications and pages, but the really interesting part of this success has to do with the focus on building and engaging community.

    Any campaign (be it ad, app, page or any combination of the three) on Facebook HAS to communicate with it's audience and empower them with tools to help the campaign succeed. That initial excited audience will be a marketers key to success ( see this blog post for more: ).

    It was great to hear that Palm engaged their audience with comments, offered an exciting contest, and provided tools and incentives to early adopters to spread the message. Kudos to them.

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