DSF Places a Price on Friendship

We all know friends and social connections have value, most of it intangible—support, networking, good times, all that jazz. For the Dubai Shopping Festival 2013, however, Dubai Events and Promotions is looking at things different: it’s looking at our friends as currency.

Every week during the festival the organization is putting up a great prize for auction. This week, for instance, it’s a new Sony DSLR. The auction isn’t for money, though. It’s for social clout. To place a bid, you contact all your friends to get them to join you in the bidding process. The person who gets the most friends on board wins the auction item.

Right now, the bid on the camera is 43. That means anyone who wants to compete needs to earn more than 43 supporters, many of whom will give DSF new Facebook Likes.

It’s a popularity contest, no doubt about it. But by framing it as an auction, the organization gives participants a different kind of motivation for bringing friends on board, one that will inevitably culminate with a frantic drive for help as the auction reaches its last minutes.

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