Just 11 days after launch O2's branded Facebook group has over 63,000 members (sub needed).
The group encourages students to make "noise" by uploading pictures and comments. This explains why such a young group has so much more rich media than others of its size - but also explains why the comments are so dire.
There's also a price. The University with the most comments wins a £50,000 branded party.
Gareth Jones from Haymarket's Marketing magazine points out that O2's Facebook group is now ahead of H&M's branded community (~23,000) and Virgin Mobile's (~1,100).
So, a £50,000 prize and an agency run Facebook group? It's likely that O2 will be writing much of the money as Brand Spend. However, the goal here is to attract students to O2 Favourite Place tariff (students being a target as they have their halls of residence as a favourite place) and so O2 may well be able to measure the success of the campaign by looking at the Facebook activity, which Unis were noisy on it and then what the Favourite Place tariff subscriber count looks like from those post codes.
P.S.. In other operator news Vodafone has had their 'Pee your pants' (sub) advert cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA ruled that the poster was a light-hearted reference to laughing. Just so you know.