The new Facebook social advertising platform puts forth the concept of “fans”. You can signup to be a fan of a participating brand. Technically, this is a little like a brand forming a Facebook group, as some have already done. But this takes it a step further and allows the brand to distribute to you ads and viral Facebook apps.
It all feels a little forced to me. Usually fanboys evolve organically. A product or company get popular and people of like interest form together to talk about that brand or product and some reach full fanboy status. But it all happens without influence from the brand itself. It’s organic and driven by the customers. The brand just has to stay out of the way.
Here, brands are trying to create fans out of whole cloth. Are there really going to be Clorox fanboys (fangirls)? It’s just not a product that lends itself to that and I don’t think it’s the kind of a thing you can force. It would make more sense to me to indicate your current interest level in certain product areas. If I am in the market for a new car, than I would actually appreciate hearing from car makers and I should be able to open myself up to that. When I am no longer in the market for a car, I can close down that channel. Here, in real new media fashion, the consumer is in control of the advertising pipeline. I decide when and how to open the faucet and for how long. Many ad systems try to guess what your interested in based on your age, demographics or by the content of what you read online. But why guess, why not let me tell you directly?