Where Your Facebook Pictures and Friends are Featured, “Prototype Experience” Provides A Social, Contextual Video Trailer

Remember early Jib Jab cartoons where you’d manually upload your own photo and that of your friends? Now, it’s much easier with just a few clicks to Facebook Connect.

Last week, I had dinner with Chris Pan (linkedin, twitter), Head of Brand Solutions at Facebook, who pointed me to a new social interactive marketing advertisement for a video game called “Prototype”. Upon accessing the site, Prototype Experience, (try it for yourself) you’ll be prompted to login with your Facebook account. After a rather lengthy loading period (it’s worth it, hang tight) you’ll watch a short teaser trailer.

This isn’t a normal trailer, as it uses your own social information in Facebook from your profile picture, your profile information, and photos from your friends. Here’s what I saw, see screenshots below.

What’s going on here? This is an example of more contextual ads based off social profiles, which is a trend as you can see my coverage of VW’s Twitter and Facebook campaign). These are early examples of the era of Social Context, where content, media, and ads will be personalized in the future based off your social information, learn more about this in the future of the social web.

User Experience: Screenshot Storyline
Here’s the blow by blow, with my thoughts.

Above Image: First, users are encouraged to login with Facebook Connect –a few clicks. If you’re already logged into Facebook, it’s just a few clicks –all without entering a password. Expect more people to interact as there’s less commitment and up front investment than finding photos and uploading them –Facebook already has the inventory you need.

Above Image: Promo video includes my profile pictures –making things a bit more interesting and personalized. As this evolves, imagine how your face and profile info will populate other experiences and content –we’re instinctively drawn to look at ourselves.

Above Image: “Is that me?” Yes it is, this promo video includes information from my profile –I’m right in the game. In consideration of my friends, I didn’t include their photos –which you’ll see in your own trailer video. Expect future ads where friends ‘promote’ or even sponsor content –some opt-in, some not.

Above Image: Participants are ‘hooked’ into the registration form in order to win in the sweetstakes, a good example of gathering leads from an engaged audience. Facebook isn’t a great way to generate leads, while you can get users to be ‘fans’ of your Facebook page, getting their true identity and email is often limited –as dictated by their Terms of Service.

Above Image: The participants are encouraged to share the campaign with their Facebook or Twitter friends, thus staring a “Viral Loop”. It spreads.

Key Takeaways

  • This is clearly a trend, expect many interactive and digital agencies to offer this social campaign to their clients.
  • Consumers will initially ‘freak out’ and be concerned that big brother is watching them –then will accept this as mainstream media over the next few years.
  • At some point, nearly every campaign will have social content influencing the content –hitting a saturation point that disinterests users
  • Expect site wide Facebook Connect initiatives to happen, allowing all of the media, content, and ads to be socially contextual. Expect media sites and eCommerce sites to launch this first.
  • Expect recommended products and ads to appear from your friends and those connected to you in your social network.