The Bad Taste Bears application on Facebook has found itself on the fastest-growing app leaderboard. While the application itself is among the many powered by Gift Creator, the user that created it has tapped into a potential branding opportunity that the Bad Taste Bears could take advantage of. Though there a number of applications and groups dedicated to the cult-like following of these novelty bears, only one has seen significant growth in the past month, reaching upwards of 5,000 monthly users.
Anne’s Bad Taste Bears application is in fact a gifting application, which allows you to send virtual representations of these cute but raunchy collectibles to friends. The real Bad Taste Bears are based in the UK, which is an area of the world that’s seeing a good amount of adoption for the Facebook social network. But Facebook’s own global reach could help push the Bad Taste Bears brand even further, with applications that are gaining this amount of traction.
While Facebook and other social networking applications have been around for over a year now, brands are more recently looking to virtual goods and gifting as viable and dedicated options for advertising and marketing purposes. While every brand may not see the same level of success for such a marketing ploy, user engagement is key to application branding tactics, and apps such as Anne’s Bad Taste Bears leverage user engagement as a starting point. That’s good for brands regardless of their own level of involvement or interaction.
As we’ve seen from Facebook itself, virtual goods is an area of interest for partnerships, especially during the holiday seasons when gifting apps tend to see a rise in activity. Through app developers we’re also seeing some success for the integrated application trend, as brands seek increased interaction with consumers through an applications platform. On the other hand, we’re also seeing some missed opportunities for brands, such as Starbucks, that are not taking interest in user-generated promotions that are already present on Facebook.
Should The Bad Taste Bears try to leverage Anne’s Facebook app and get more involved with this branding opportunity for marketing purposes, or would that ruin the genuine nature of a user-generated application?