I'll admit it, I'm a Harry Potter fan. I read the books, saw the movies, bought the movies and then reread some of the books again. I love the stories and even as over-commercialized as the franchise has become, I still love it all.
Even if you're not as enamored with all things Harry Potter as I am, you have to give them credit for their recent Twitter application to promote the latest movie. Marketers everywhere are trying to figure out the best way to use social media to promote, but since Twitter and social media are driven by the consumer, it's a tricky beast. This current Harry Potter Twitter application, however, is a great blend of entertaining and promotional.
Essentially, you visit HarryPotterTweet.com and select one of four spells featured in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to direct message (DM) to your twitter friends. If they click on the link in the DM, they'll see a fake version of their Twitter homepage followed by an animation of the spell being cast and a message from you. Unfortunately the messages are pre-written, but they have a variety of amusing and appropriate messages. Check out the thumbnails on the left to see the spell cast on me last week.
The only glitches with this clever application, are the inability to customize your DM and making the default "Check this out, it's simply magical. [URL]" so vague it's a little too close to spam. The application's been a bit slow to load at times too, causing spell victims to leave the page before the spell's animation has occured. Beyond those issues though, the idea and execution of this Twitter application is fantastic—the marketer's ideal blend of promotional and fun.