Big Brands Like Facebook, But They Don’t Like to Pay

Everybody wants to be liked. The question for Facebook Inc. is how much advertisers are willing to pay for the opportunity.

The centerpiece of Ford Motor Co.’s online campaign for the 2012 Focus was a free Facebook page hosted by an orange-colored puppet that in a few weeks won over a new, younger audience for the once-stodgy compact.

Ford spokespuppet “Doug” drew crowds to online conversations and videos that starred him clowning around the new Focus. Doug inspired more than 43,000 Facebook users to click “Like,” the icon that broadcasts to friends a thumbs-up approval of a brand or product.

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