I am a non-Foursquare user. At one point I had it installed on my iPhone, but I got annoyed with the app, and my friends got annoyed with me checking in and it posting to things like Twitter and Facebook.
I’m not anti Foursquare, I think it is a powerful application with a ton of possibilities for advertisers and marketers. A great example of this the Foursquare campaign for GranataPet in Germany. GranataPet makes a leading range of ultra-premium pet foods for the European and portions of the North American markets.
GranataPet’s idea was to target dog owners as they take pet for a walk, positioning a Foursquare activated installation on key walking paths in the urban environment. Dog owners walking past specially designed billboards would be stopped by one of two factors. The editorial call out on the signage, or the scent of the food drawing their pets in. The billboards feature a specific call to action, asking the pet owner to “Check in. Snack Out”.
When the pet owner “Checks in” on Foursquare at a “Snack Out” location, dog food is distributed to the bowl beneath the sign, giving your pet a sample. This action conditions not only the pet, but the pet owner as well. This conditioning, trains the dog to stop, and hopefully conditions the owner to believe their pet loves GranataPet dog food.
This is a great example of leveraging a popular social media application, with a lower budget technology solution. This campaign builds buzz through check-ins, and has a viral spread with little or limited promotion.