This “Make a Friend Famous” campaign and Facebook application has been launched a couple weeks ago by HBO, the US broadcaster well-known for its creative TV series. The goal of the exercise is to promote the U.S. launche of the new season of the “Entourage” serie.
The base concept of this game is actually dead-classic, it’s a popularity contest like the “web-2.0-sphere” like it, but smartly based on the main topic of the promoted program, ie the daily life and challenges of the manager of a star. This is where one can see some originality in the concept: as a candidate, you have to do the maximum to get votes, not for yourself, but for a friend of yours you have chosen to “manage” up the celebrity ladder. Next to the obvious link with the topic, it shows a deeper use of the strength of social networks.
Once you have chosen your friend (and obtained his/her agreement), you just have to sell him/her to the crowd thanks to a page you’ll create about his/her achievements that you can illustrate with pictures, videos etc… The winners, ie the winning “star” and the manager, win a trip to Los Angeles where they’ll be able to see a personnalized billboard of the new star among many other things.
But don’t get too excited, this contest is only available to U.S. residents. Actually, even U.S. residents from Alaska and Hawaii are not entitled to participate: is the production so cost conscious on plane fares? 😉