MySpace Becomes Big Brand Space

Fresh off the closing of its $580 million acquisition by News Corp., MySpace is finding interest from brand advertisers looking to connect to its 32 million-strong social network that’s adding 130,000 members per day.

Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s and some large movie studios have put aside any qualms about the sometimes-racy consumer-generated content on the two-year-old site to run campaigns designed to tap into MySpace’s culture of sharing and interacting. P&G’s Old Spice is using MySpace to promote its “Music in the Zone” Web site with free music downloads. Earlier this month, McDonald’s launched a MySpace promotion that allows users to remix Mexican band Kinky’s “I Say Hey.” Boost Mobile ran a campaign that linked members with charities, with the promise of free concert tickets for volunteers.

Though MySpace produced 9.4 billion page views in August, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, co-founder and president Tom Anderson said the site’s most successful advertisers embed themselves in the community rather than just look for eyeballs.

“They definitely have to think outside the box when it comes to the MySpace audience,” CEO Chris DeWolfe said, noting its under-30 users are typically skeptical. For advertising dressed as in-demand content, however, MySpace members eagerly interact. A Sony Pictures site promotion this summer for the Lords of Dogtown movie, for example, resulted in 1.8 million streams of the trailer, according to Colin Digiaro, svp of sales for MySpace. Over 32,000 users added the movie’s “space” as a friend, and research showed 8 percent of Dogtown moviegoers learned of the film through the site, Digiaro said.

A smattering of early member concerns about MySpace changing under Rupert Murdoch’s ownership has died down, said Anderson, who notes membership has picked up since the deal was announced in July.