Two Examples Of "Private-Label Media" Success Stories

We’ve been writing about the emergence of “owned platforms” (also called “private-label media”) as a growing online marketing trend.

Today at Social Ad Summit we saw some firsthand examples demonstrating the importance brands are starting to place on these campaigns and how social networks are helping to drive them.

“Private label” media is still a small percentage of online ad spending, but it’s growing rapidly.  As we discussed here, it also threatens the traditional advertiser/publisher relationship.

The two campaigns profiled below demonstrate:

1)    Brands and agencies are looking beyond impression-based campaigns toward more sustainable engagement with both loyal and potential new customers.

2)    The role that social media companies play in these campaigns helping to drive audience/awareness.

3)    The measurable impact these campaigns have on driving awareness about and engagement around brands.

The campaigns also present the challenge publishers and social networks face in capturing this type of ad spending.  The Mad Men Yourself campaign demonstrates how these types of campaigns use social media as a traffic driver without buying actual inventory on the sites.  The Target campaign, in contrast, represents a form of advertising social networks are charging for.


Boutique agency Deep Focus created the Mad Men Yourself platform for AMC at, capitalising on viral buzz surrounding illustrations made during the previous season by comedian and illustrator Dyna Moe.  You can view a video presentation of the campaign here.

  • Fans created their own Mad Men character/avatar from over 100 different illustrated styles based on Mad Men characters. 
  • AMC sed social media to promote the platform by distributing avatars through Facebok pages, Tweets, iPhone wallpaper, and other media.
  • Drove over one million unique visitors to the site with over 600,000 avatars created and distributed through the web.


Target’s “Bullseye” campaign was created by social marketing agency Context Optional using a direct response strategy placed on Facebook.

  • Created a poll distributed on Facebook asking users what charities the retailer would donate $3 million it allocated to charitable causes.
  • Distributed via a Facebook application
  • Attracted 600,000 unique visitors in 3 weeks and drove 70,000 new fans to sign up for the Target Facebook page.

This article in the FT describes several more successful private-label campaigns that use Facebook, Twitter, and Ning >


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