Domino's is the latest big brand to incorporate Foursquare as a promotions tool. The Ann Arbor, MI-based company has launched an initiative in the U.K. where customers who use the geo-social application can earn free pizzas by accruing "check-ins" at store locations, according to a report yesterday in New Media Age.
"Check-ins" record how many times people use the mobile app to show they've arrived at a retail store, nightclub, restaurant, etc. When patrons check in more than anyone else and become "mayor" of a Domino's location, they could get a free pizza. The quick-serve giant's 553 U.K. and Ireland locations will reward a pizza to the current mayors once a week on a designated day.
In addition, every Foursquare user will get a complimentary side dish when spending more than 10 British pounds. Domino's piloted the program in a group of stores before deciding to roll it out nationwide, according to the NMA article. The pizza brand's U.K. digital agency, Vexed, reportedly orchestrated the deal.
Whether or not Domino's plans to roll out similar Foursquare promotions in the U.S. remains to be seen. E-mail inquiries to the brand's public relations team were not answered.
Domino's joins a steady stream of big brands that have synced up with Foursquare. Last week, Starbucks launched its first promotion on the location service, offering mayors of each location $1 off their Frappucinos. On May 14, Foursquare unveiled a deal with NBC's "The Today Show" to help promote the morning program's "Toyota Concert Series." On May 7, the firm began a partnership with The Wall Street Journal, where Foursquare has appeared on a homepage display ad that touts its service. And on April 29, the company revealed an agreement with Pepsi that entailed the beverage company getting a live notification when Foursquare users check-in near stores carrying its products. Pepsi will be able to pitch special offers to those users.
Other brands that have recently joined up with Facebook include The History Channel, Condé Nast, and Tasti D-Lite. All such partnerships have occurred as Facebook plans a geo-location service of its own. Industry players have speculated that Facebook's scale - nearly 500 million users - will allow its forthcoming service to not only contend with Foursquare but squash its growth.
Also, it's been reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg flew to New York just over two weeks ago to meet with Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley. What the two discussed has not been disclosed.
And now Yahoo is getting into the location-based game after purchasing Koprol, an Indonesia-based startup similar to Foursquare. The deal was announced yesterday. Unlike Foursquare, Koprol uses mobile phone browsers - not dedicated apps.
While the location space has gained considerable public awareness over the past year and been a constant source of tech news speculation, it remains to be seen whether "checking in" will go mainstream.
After all, while 14-month-old Foursquare has grown quickly it still only has 1 million users.
Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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