Federated Media to Broker Ad Deals in Facebook Apps

Federated Media Publishing has partnered with Graffiti Wall and Watercooler to bring advertising to the popular Facebook applications.

The first Graffiti Wall deals announced by Federated Media are with HP and Wacom. HP-branded print buttons will allow Graffiti Wall users to easily print their creations. HP also is sponsoring the “What do you have to say” section, a new Graffiti Wall feature that enables dialog about Graffiti Wall illustrations.

Wacom, a provider of digital drawing tablets, is sponsoring a number of Graffiti Wall drawing contests.

FM is also creating targeted advertising opportunities for marketers on the more than 400 Watercooler “Addicted to…” applications on Facebook, where fans of TV shows and sports teams interact.

“I guess you could call us the equivalent of a music label,” said FM Founder and CEO John Battelle. “The people who made Graffiti Wall and Watercooler are the musicians. We help them make money.”

Although Facebook is the platform enabling applications such as Watercooler and Graffiti Wall to prosper, under the company’s open platform strategy it does not take a cut of any revenue the application creators derive from advertising. FM meanwhie has the connections and wherewithal to strike deals with major corporations, such as HP, that would be difficult or impossible for Facebook application creators, he said. Battelle said it was FM that approached HP with the idea about Graffiti Wall.

“We know the marketing community very well,” he said, noting Graffiti Wall did not have any print function prior to the FM/HP deal. “We worked with HP so they could add value to the site and extract value from it,” he said. “We try to imagine what the best execution would be. Sometimes it’s just running ads — typical, traditional ads.”

FM said Grafitti has more than 300,000 active daily users and Watercooler has more than 500,000.

Launched in May, Graffiti Wall provides drawing tools that allow people to make illustrations they can post on others’ profiles and walls. FM said it is working with Graffiti Wall’s creators Mark Kantor, Ted Suzman and Tim and major advertisers “to create campaigns that allow brands to participate in and add value to these exchanges.”

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