Viral marketing has new face. Now it's all about playing "with" your friends, and by "with" I mean "using" your friends to win something. The latest example comes from Northern Europe where the airline SAS has launched an online competition that takes advantage of Facebook Connect to give away flight tickets to a series of destinations around the world.
The mechanism is pretty simple. You select your departure airport (only Scandinavia unfortunately), you spin the globe to find out your destination and then the system connects to your Facebook profile to randomly pick a friend you will travel with. But the game isn't over yet: in order to actually win the tickets you have to write a nice motivation on why you and friend should travel together.
SAS Globe of Fortune is a kind of 2.0 version of the online contests (eg. scratch & win) KLM has been doing for ages. Facebook Connect is smoothly and smartly integrated into the game mechanism and the whole thing seems to have a pretty good viral potential.
In general, I just wish there was a bit more of interaction and active participation from the users. Especially because we can foresee similar gaming mechanisms will spread in the very next future, I hope agencies will try to be more creative and less mechanical in building such kind of projects. As usual I don't like great concepts that could work for any brand, I always rather prefer good concepts that can work only for one brand: your client.
The agency is the new Crispin Porter + Bogusky Europe.