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Interpublic, SocialVibe Go Fishing for Brand Evangelists

SocialVibe's got the look,
but will it last?

Interpublic is preparing a marketing platform that may "enable Madison Avenue to unleash the power of social networks on behalf of their clients' brands," MediaPost claims.

The service is the fruit of a partnership between Interpublic's Emerging Media Lab and SocialVibe, which incentivizes members to promote brands on social networks. It will likely be announced today.

SocialVibe enables marketers to provide incentives, typically charitable donations for favored causes, to social networkers that evangelize their brands. "Charitable donations seem to be the most effective [form of reciprocation] because it allows people to tap into marketing budgets to benefit causes and charities they want to support," said founder/president Joe Marchese.

Participating SocialVibe marketers — which include Coca-Cola, Adobe and Sprint — can also offer direct financial compensation, gifts or prizes.

The SocialVibe experiment is par for Interpublic's course. Last year the company formed a strategic, non-exclusive relationship with BzzAgent, an agency that uses volunteers nationwide to "buzz" about its paying clients. And in May, a former exec from its Emerging Media Lab co-founded Agency 3.0, an entity that provides multi-platform content and advertising services to clients.

But the Interpublic deal marks the most significant liaison so far for SocialVibe, which went into public beta in May. The company drew $4.2 million in venture capital from RedPoint Ventures last December.


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