Sep 02, 2009 at 04:17 PM
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Slide's First Big Brand Deal

Sponsoring on the social web is still an inexact science, but there are signs that application developers may be getting better at pulling Madison Avenue brand dollars.

Slide, a Facebook app developer most famous for its photo sharing tools and SuperPoke application, recently restructured its advertising staff in the hopes of refocusing its monetization strategy around higher-end brand sponsorships, specifically in the $500k+ category. Today, they unveiled their first big deal - a $500,000+ sponsorship by NESTLÉ HOT POCKETS with season two of KatalystHQ within their FunSpace application.

Watch this video to see how the campaign will work:

Slide and KatalystHQ Hot Pockets Sponsorship from Nick O'Neill on Vimeo.

Competitor RockYou! offers a similar suite of marketing solutions for reaching their approximately 130 million+ worldwide users. As their reach grows at rapid speed, there is little doubt that more six and low seven figure spends could come their way in a traditional media spend format, however deals like that don't justify lofty valuations. To get the big brand dollars, both companies know they'll have to go beyond widgets - to provide truly immersive sponsorship solutions for their clients. The NESTLE'S HOT POCKET deal announced today may be a good first step in that direction. Thinking in the same vein as Hollywood as done in their move from pure product placement to brand integration. The challenge is, their traditional constituents - online media buyers - don't speak sponsorship, and brand marketers don't always speak eCPM. As their business models evolve from widget maker to diversified media, can Slide and RockYou! compete for big brand budgets?

Will they find a successful formula, and be able to communicate it effectively, in a way that shifts seven figure marketing spends away from traditional media? After raising $58 million at a $500 million valuation, Slide's investors hope so.