With Thanksgiving tomorrow, tis the season for sweets and treats.  A newspaper article about cookies sounds like a great idea.

Stuart Elliott of the New York Times has just an article today, but not one about recipes.  It is about Pepperidge Farm, the cookie company, which is employing social networking in a new advertising campaign.  While other companies establish a presence on an existing social network site by setting up a group, profile, or buying ads, Pepperidge Farm has launched artofthecookie.com.

The Art of the Cookie site is aimed at woman and helping them make connections through cookies. Sally Horchow, co-author of The Art of Friendship: 70 Simple Rules for Making Meaningful Connections, is a key spokesperson for the campaign.  On the site she posted a diary of a cross country trip she made this summer during which she spoke with women about friendships.  The site offers other tips about friendships.

Companies have taken a more serious look at social networking as many are either creating niche social network sites or participate on existing networks.  Clearly the notion of connecting customers with each other is gaining traction with the common practice of a company speaking to its customers.  

Pepperidge Farm didn't haphazardly decide to pursue a social networking centric campaign.  After conducting research in the homes of its customers, vice president and general manager Michael Simon explained to the NYT that "this notion of connection came up again and again…hectic lifestyles, life in general, has gotten in the way" of fostering friendships.  He expects positive results from portraying the sharing of cookies with others as a great way to make and strengthen relationships. 

It'll be interesting to see how this new campaign works out.  I wonder if a poultry company will launch a campaign about forging business deals over steak…