Profile ad
April 22nd, 2007

This AsiaMedia article says “if in recent days you happened to visit the Mobile Game Town community,a social networking site for cell phone users, you may well have bumped into a character named Fanta.There’s no mistaking Fanta — not with her big strawberry-shaped hat and the sugar-sweet “Konnichi wa!” (Good afternoon!) greeting the digital damsel directs at everybody she meets.But as courteous as the virtual 14-year-old may be — she probably offered you a strawberry hat for becoming her friend — Fanta is perfectly blunt about her commercial motives.In her online profile, Fanta says she is spreading the word about Coca-Cola’s new strawberry-flavored soda, the latest addition to the Fanta lineup.Her job title:Student/Fanta promoter.Fanta is actually the avatar, or virtual persona, operated and managed by an advertisement agency hired by Coca-Cola, and as such, she represents a “profile ad” — or advertisement designed to actively engage members of social networking sites. Profile ads on SNSs are already proliferating in the United States.
Although figures from advertising giant Dentsu Inc. indicate Internet ads represented only 6 percent of overall ad spending last year in Japan, it is rapidly increasing.Total spending in Japan on online ads, including those viewed on mobile phones, totaled 363 billion yen in 2006, or 29.3 percent over the previous year, and is expected to more than double by 2011, according to Dentsu.Advertising for newspaper, magazine, radio and TV meanwhile has been dropping”.

Japan:’Profile ads’ riding back of SNS boom

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