Facebook Ramps Up for IPO With Big Brands and Beer */?> Facebook Ramps Up for IPO With Big Brands and Beer

Posted by · December 8, 2011 3:15 pm

We all know the proverb that says “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.”  But if you’ve spent any amount of time on Facebook, you know one other thing to be true: people love beer.  Now, Facebook is making it easier for people to stay abreast of the latest happenings at one major beer company–Heineken. 

Ad Age was the first to report a global deal between Heineken and Facebook this week.  The deal begins January 1, 2012 and gives Heineken early access to new products and allows the company to consult with Facebook on their marketing efforts. I also assume the deal includes a major Facebook advertising buy for Heineken.

In a statement about the deal, Heineken said:

“Through this agreement, Facebook will provide Heineken with a global marketing platform that reaches millions of people as well as access to Facebook’s deep expertise in building long-term relationships between brands and their audiences. The collaboration also provides Heineken with access to Facebook’s latest products.”

How much Heineken is paying for the deal and what exactly it means for Facebook users is unknown, but what is known is that this deal is non-exclusive, meaning other beer companies could sign on as Facebook advertising partners. (Interestingly enough, it’s reported that Heineken’s first major Facebook advertising campaign will be centered around responsible drinking.)

The Heineken deal is just one in a string of many deals that Mark Zuckerberg and his team have been and will be striking with big brands as they ramp up for next year’s IPO. In October, Facebook courted major ad agencies and a number of large companies, including Coca-Cola and WalMart at a special “client council” meeting.  During the meeting, Facebook unveiled programs and other “special features” that they will give to companies that sign on as advertising partners.

The most notable of the deals Facebook has struck to date is with another big provider of alcoholic beverages, Diageo (of Crown Royal, Jose Cuervo, Baileys and Smirnoff fame).  The $10 million deal promises to provide  the liquor giant with “metrics to help Diageo define ROI and performance across its priority brands.”

With Facebook’s valuation currently sitting around $100 billion and Google still dominating online ad revenue share (Google is sitting at 40.8% online revenue share compared to Facebook’s 6.4%), it’s no wonder Zuckerberg and Co. are trying to get a larger piece of big brands’ overall ad budget. The IPO heat is on and Facebook needs to prove that they can generate the revenue to support that valuation.

That being said, am I the only one who is a bit uncomfortable with the ambiguous wording of these deals?  What exactly are these “special features” that Facebook is giving its advertising partners? I can only assume that term equates to Facebook giving big brands lots of information–about all of us.  Then again, if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times, none of us should be putting information that we wouldn’t want made public on the Internet (or in this case, put in the hands of advertisers); and since I personally don’t click on ads on Facebook or anywhere else online, I guess it really doesn’t matter what messages brands send me.  I’m probably not listening anyway.

So, what do you think? Should advertisers spend their money on Facebook over other online platforms? Are you more likely to click on Facebook ads than ads on other sites? Do you even click on online ads at all?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.