Salesforce.com makes Chatter free, purchases two Super Bowl spots

When CRM company Salesforce.com does something, it typically does it bigger than everybody else. For example: after industry rival SAP got Al Gore to keynote its 2010 SapphireNow event, Salesforce.com got Mr. William Jefferson Clinton to keynote its 2010 DreamForce event.

So, the two moves I'm about to report should come as no surprise: 1) Salesforce.com has purchased airtime immediately before and after halftime at the Super Bowl (yes, it's a CRM company!) and 2) Chatter is now live and free to anyone with a private domain e-mail address on Chatter.com.

The Chatter.com Super Bowl ads will air the 30 seconds before and 15 seconds after the Black Eyed Peas' halftime show. The ads “will meld with the Black Eyed Peas performance,” according to Salesforce.com. At the end of the first ad, an animated version of will.i.am will exit the screen just before the live will.i.am walks on stage to perform.

Salesforce.com created the ads in house. The tag-line will be “Do impossible things as a team.”

“There will be so many people watching this great event. The ads will provide a broad market with awareness of Salesforce.com products,” said Robin Daniels, director of product marketing at Salesforce.com.

Chatter is basically Salesforce.com's version of Facebook for businesses. It looks and functions almost exactly as Facebook does. With Chatter.com, non-Salesforce.com customers can access this functionality and create private business-focused social networks.

“I've seen so many different potential use cases based on reading comments on the Twitter hash tag,” Daniels said. “I've seen people who say they want to use it for church groups, for universities, for small businesses. People are going to see the Super Bowl ad, think of a project they're working on, and sign up for Chatter.com. Then they'll invite others, and it will become completely viral.”

And the best part about it? According to Daniels, there will be no advertisements on the site and, unlike Facebook, it will be completely private and user data won't be sold off to a third party.

“We won't be selling advertisements on the product,” Daniels said. “It's a great way to broaden awareness for the Salesforce brand…Chatter.com is completely private. We follow the most stringent privacy policies. We don't want your data and private discussions showing up on Facebook and Twitter.”

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