On the MySpace beat this week…. MySpace is referred to as “a place for friends” and you can now add Ricky Bobby to your friends list (more specifically, an ad profile featuring Ricky Bobby, the movie character).
A Wall Street Journal article, "On MySpace, Millions of Users Make 'Friends' With Ads," explores how fictional characters – as well as mascots – have their own profiles on the site, boasting thousands of friends. Ricky Bobby has 47,000 "friends” so far. “Even the creepily-quiet mascot king from the Burger King commercials has a site. (‘If you'd like to be the King's friend, he's totally down with that,’ his page introduction says.)” These pages, many packed with movie clips, photos, games and more, stem from paid advertising deals.
But how will MySpace’s users respond to these “ad profiles”? And will it matter that a character’s profile is created by a marketer rather than a devoted fan doing a tribute page, for example? Will fans adding a movie character as a “friend” feel let down when that character does not respond to a message or comment request? All questions to consider as we explore this intersection of social networking and marketing.