Brand Watch: Palm Comes to the Facebook Platform

In August, Inside Facebook wrote about Context Optional‘s social marketing strategy to simultaneously represent brands and engage Facebook users by promoting custom-built apps.   One such app built for The Travel Channel, Kidnap!, has already attracted 3 million monthly active users and become the eighth most popular game on Facebook.

In the spirit of the holidays, Context has built five themed apps to support Palm‘s “Claus” marketing campaign on Facebook.  While the campaign includes a large media buy and a vanity URL, it centers around Claus’ Page.  The branded Facebook page includes rich media content in the form of Claus’ Yule Log Music Player (on page and download for your desktop), the Claus: Remixed Album of remixed holiday music, and Claus’ Video Player which allows users to download and share viral videos.

There are also two applications that nicely tie the holiday theme into the social utilities that Facebook offers.  The Naughty or Nice application, as the name indicates helps Santa make his list this year via polling and friend rating.

The White Elephant Party application, on the other hand, is a gifting utility that allows users to collect and trade virtual gifts with friends, earn points, and maybe even win real-life gifts from Palm.  The applications not only leverage Facebook’s social graph and provide some functional service to the user — entertainment, information, etc. – but they also do so in a nicely branded way.

While apps like the ones developed for Palm’s Claus campaign are interesting and popular, firms like Context faces increased competition from agencies and networks like RockYou, SocialMedia, Votigo, AdParlor, and Buddy Media who are also helping brands build apps to engage Facebook users in an environment in which it is becoming harder and harder to get distribution.  We’re excited to see what tactics each of these companies employs to remain competitive.