The customizable bits of software on Facebook and other social networking sites are the latest trend in viral marketing. But are widgets here to stay?
Building a Brand with Widgets
The cards were stacked against A&E Television Network as it tried to generate positive buzz about its new series, Parking Wars. For one, it’s a reality show about meter readers. Two, the show doesn’t feature celebrities. “We thought if we could find a clever way of increasing consumer interaction with the concept behind the show that we would increase curiosity in the show itself,” says Lori Peterzell, A&E’s vice-president for consumer marketing.
So A&E hired area/code, a multimedia game developer, to build an online game based on Parking Wars. Played on the social network Facebook,
the game has users park virtual cars on friends’ profile pages, or
“streets,” while slapping tickets on cars parked on their own page and
avoiding tickets themselves.