Happy Valentines Day! Please send chocolate!

Mars gift application to launch on Facebook

by Julia Buchanan

LONDON – An application allowing users to send vouchers for Mars confectionary to friends on Facebook is to launch on Valentine’s Day in the UK.

The application, named Celebrate, means Facebook members can buy a Mars product using Paypal and send a message to a selected friend.

The recipient receives a request for their mobile number and they are then sent an SMS containing a unique voucher ID. Vouchers can be scanned and redeemed at participating retailers with PayPoint.

Celebrate is being hailed as the first time real gifts can be exchanged via the social networking site (P&I January). The follows the recent surge in brands offering virtual incentives to consumers through the Facebook site (P&I January). (Brand Republic)

Wow, a romantic SMS with a “unique voucher ID”, a lovely trip to the local deli (or 5, to find one that uses PayPoint), a gorgeous Mars Bar at the end of it. Colour Me Impressed, you sweet mushy softhearted fool (end sarcasm). I guess the point is not that it was launched for Valentines day but that it integrates real world purchasing into Facebook. Here’s some more info on it:

Mars launches Facebook application for ‘real’ gifts

Mars Snackfood is to launch a Facebook application that lets users send friends real products.

Launching in time for Valentine’s Day the Celebrate application will let users send a virtual Mars gift. The gift contains a mobile barcode that can then be redeemed for real products, such as a Mars bar, at PayPoint stores.

The application was built by The Light Agency, using its M BAR GO platform.

Sara Miles, a spokeswoman for Mars Snackfood UK, said, “We are very excited to be involved with this new ground-breaking initiative that gives our consumers a different way of sending confectionery gifts to friends and family”. (NMA)

If you are as excited as I am – by real world purchases through social networks, not a frickin’ Mars Bars for Valentines Day – have a look at M Bar Go:

M BAR GO® is our killer app.

M BAR GO® links our members, our brands, our retail partners together by binding three technologies – mobile phones; EPoS systems and databases. The first incarnation of M BAR GO® was the SHOP SCAN SAVE® programme which ran in Sainsbury’s at Jacksons in the Hull region.

Here’s how SHOP SCAN SAVE® works: simply text “JOIN” to our SMS shortcode and we will send you a test SMS to see whether you have a Nokia or other make of mobile phone. After you respond, we send you your own unique ID as a barcode.

As a SHOP SCAN SAVE® member, you receive regular offers via SMS that entitles you to discounts on your shopping at selected retail partners. All you have to do is show your membership barcode on your phone to the checkout operator at any point during the transaction and your discounts are automatically applied, as long as the relevant items appear in your basket.


You can also request offers. For example, if you’re shopping for washing powder you can text “washing powder” to our shortcode and we’ll send you an offer right back via SMS immediately. Again, just scan your barcode ID and your discount is automatically applied. The really smart thing about M BAR GO® is that by redeeming offers in this way, you are also sending us information concerning everything you purchased. Your basket data joins our database and helps us provide highly targeted offers on future purchases.

Their crappy, unusable Java site lets them down, but the technology looks like something one might find useful. I used one here once for a party – they sent me a code to my mobile, I showed up at the Christmas function and there were handheld scanners that admitted me to the party. Well, people holding the scanners let me in…. you know what I meant.

I couldn’t find the Mars Bars CELEBRATE application on Facebook but I found this one instead:

Social Flowers lets you buy and send real, fresh flowers to another Facebook member in the United States and Canada. Flowers are delivered by a local florist in our network of over 30,000 florists.

The sender does not need to know the recipient’s delivery address but we do give the sender the option of providing a delivery address. Both the sender and recipient will never have access to each other’s personal information.

Send flowers to say thanks for a nice date, to celebrate a friend’s birthday, or just to get someone’s attention. Use coupon code ‘FACE’ to save $5 at checkout on

.. and whoever is advising Roses Only on their Web 2.0 strategy? You suck. heh. Happy Valentines! 🙂

(Ritual Behavior in Social Networks)