In a report posted on VentureBeat, AdNectar is proudly laying claim to 10 million such branded virtual gifts on Facebook in the last year, and 2 billion virtual goods moved across every social network in their repertoire. The virtual gifts that users are sending to friends may simply be intended as an amusing gesture, but the overall effects on brand awareness, according to AdNectar, are staggering. The attention paid to an ad that comes directly from a good friend, as opposed to appearing in a sidebar, is much higher — not to mention greatly increased brand favorability and intent to purchase.
For participating companies like Nestlé, Malibu Rum, Warner Bros, and others, that’s incentive enough to wish you and your friends a very happy birthday. And Merry Christmas. And Happy Canada Day, National Novel Writing Month, Year of the Tiger…