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Главная » 2011 » Май » 30 » Interactive advertising with Foursquare keeps hungry dogs happy
Interactive advertising with Foursquare keeps hungry dogs happy

Interactive advertising with Foursquare keeps hungry dogs happy


A German advertising agency has come up with a novel way to advertise upscale dog food using the Foursquare social networking platform. When humans 'check in' at a billboard, their pooch gets a free bowl of dog food.


In March and April, Agenta, a German advertising agency came up with a creative way to combine traditional billboard advertising and the online social network, Foursquare.

That's the service that allows its users to "check in" to certain locations, and in many cases, businesses can use that knowledge of physical presence as a way to offer limited-time deals or discounts. But what made this different is that this time, Foursquare could be used as a way to automate the distribution of one of its client's samples: Granatapet dog food.

The campaign only lasted 10 days, but the company now says that it will be bringing back the interactive billboards for a new Granatapet campaign in September in locations across Germany.

To learn more, Deutsche Welle spoke with Dominik Heinrich, one of the people behind the ad campaign.

Deutsche Welle: How did this ad campaign work?

Dominik Heinrich: To explain a little bit, it's really easy. You have an iPhone with the Foursquare app on it and you go through the city with your dog. When you see the billboard, check in with Foursquare and some food comes out of a dispenser automatically.

Deutsche Welle: Now this was the first I've ever seen Foursquare used for an ad campaign. Are you aware of other companies that have done something like this?

Dominik Heinrich: No, not yet. I look for ideas that you can really use to sell products.

I think Foursquare is a nice tool, and in Germany we have the big problem that people are a little bit afraid about the technology. But in the United States or other countries, people are really interested in the Foursquare thing.

I think it's boring to get something for free like a coffee – the experience is missing there. With this billboard and this idea, you really have to interact with the brand. I think this is a step forward in advertising right now.

Dominik Heinrich of the Agenta advertising agency in BerlinDominik Heinrich was one of the creative minds behind this ad campaignJust to make sure I understand, anybody can come up to the billboard, check into the billboard using their smartphone, and then all of a sudden some amount of dog food is dispensed straight from the billboard, right?

That's right, you just need a smartphone and the Foursquare app on it.

So, are you at all worried about people abusing it? Maybe they come back day after day - or is that part of the point?

That's part of the point - absolutely. The dogs come along with their owners. That's really great. It's what we're looking for.

So you have people who are led by their dogs to this?

Yes. It's really funny, we read the check-ins, and we saw a lot of people coming back in the afternoon, too.

Do you worry, though, that people will get a little bit freaked out, especially in Germany where there are a lot of concerns about privacy? Do you worry that that things will get a little bit too personal - like if you walk into a store and it says 'Hi, Dominik, we'd like to offer you this product at this price, and it's only good for 10 minutes.' Do you feel like people would get a little bit uneasy about that?

No, I don't think so. You've got the control over the device. It's your choice to decide when you log in and use Foursquare. So people are open-minded about this technology, and accept that others can see what they do.

So I don't think that people will freak out. I think in the future there will be a lot of people who will use this technology frequently and be very open about everything. You can already see that on Facebook - people share all their pictures and don't secure anything so you can see everything.

A smartphoneUsing the social networking platform Foursquare unlocks the free dog foodYou have a second group of people who use the technology differently.

My mom, for instance, uses Facebook and really likes it a lot. But my aunt who is her same age doesn't use it because she doesn't want people to know about her. She says she isn't interested in what other people are doing, and she doesn't want them to know what she's doing.

I think this is a really good example for it. Some people say it's okay because they use it, and it's their choice. And then you have other people who don't want it. I don't think people will freak out. I think the use of these technologies will change our lives a little bit, but we have to be careful that technology doesn't control us.

I think in the future we won't use services like Google to search for something. It's more that the technology will know who we are, what we like, and what we do. The products and brands that we are normally searching for will find us instead. I think it will change in the future. We have to be careful that these technologies don't start to control our lives.

Interview: Cyrus Farivar (gps) Foursquare, Facebook,
Editor: John Blau

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