Small but smart idea: how did coke get people of Israel to put the coke bottles into recycling bins? They used location based services to show everyone where the recycling bins are. It even demonstrated some game mechanic: whoever checked in most in those locations became recycling king:
This is an interesting example of how you can leverage a location based service like foursquare to make your billboard ads more engaging: every time you check in at the billboard location, a dispenser – part of the „interactive“ billboard – releases some GranataPet dogfood.
Of course, you could have chosen SMS or Bluetooth as a way to interact with the billboard. But in that case, there wouldn’t have been any connection with the social network of the target audience. Using foursquare, the dog owners could inform not only their foursquare friends, but also their facebook friends and their twitter followers of the new way to access GranataPet dogfood…
Foursquare and Gowalla are continously improving and updating their services. Latest news:
Foursquare is cracking down on cheaters. If your phone’s GPS determines that you’re not close to where you want to check in, you are not rewarded any points or mayorships.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with my iPhone, it won’t let me check into my Office, even though I am sitting in it. Looking at Google Maps, though, it seems that my GPS does indeed place me correctly.
This is a good move nevertheless. In the last month during my trip to Thailand I could well check into locations here in Hamburg whenever I wanted, enabling me to keep up the battle for the mayorship of your office here…
Gowalla in the meantime adds realtime feeds and activity streams based on the PubSubHubbub protocoll. This should enbale much more interesting mashup opportunities (since it is apparently faster than the user-specific RSS feeds that Foursquare uses). If this is the case it could yield an important differentiator for Gowalla, which to me seems to desparatly need something to effectively compete with the larger competitor Foursquare.