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Big Brands Check in the New Year

  |  December 31, 2010   |  Comments

Brands like Bravo, American Eagle Outfitters, and MTV have opted to use check-ins to reward users while ringing in 2011.

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The Chinese zodiac calendar may say 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, but as far as social marketing goes, the night beforehand is the Eve of the Check-In.

That's because many brands have opted to use check-ins on platforms like foursquare, SCVNGR and GetGlue to reward users while simultaneously ringing in the New Year.

Bravo TV, for example, is asking users to check in to foursquare during its inaugural New Year's Eve special. Throughout the two-hour show, Bravo says a ticker-like module designed by creative agency JESS3 will scroll across the bottom of the screen highlighting foursquare users' profile photos, first names, last initials and hometowns.

Foursquare PR Manager Erin Gleason says users can check in to any location near them starting at 10:30 ET/PT and potentially show up in the ticker. Users can be featured regardless of whether they are watching Bravo’s New Year's special as long as they follow Bravo and check in somewhere.

Additionally, two users who unlocked the Andy Cohen badge (pictured at left) during the month of December were rewarded with tickets to the programming event. Cohen is host and executive producer of Bravo's late night weekly talk show as well as host of the New Year’s special.

"You don't need to check in to a particular venue, and we’re not encouraging people to check into the show, although they could check into a venue where they’re watching the show," Gleason said. "We're still focused on check-ins to places rather than shows, objects, etc. since the goal of foursquare is to encourage users to explore the real world."

Gleason said Bravo has built up a following of over 100,000 users on foursquare and is a perfect example of "how brands can use the foursquare platform in creative ways to engage with and reward fans."

Foursquare also partnered with the Times Square Alliance for a New Year's promotion. The mayor of the Times Square visitor center as of noon on Wednesday, December 29 won two tickets to the official New Year’s Eve VIP party in Times Square.

For its part, clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters has partnered with location-based game platform SCVNGR for a New Year’s fundraising campaign to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

From December 29 through New Year’s Day, anyone visiting Times Square and the American Eagle flagship store will be invited to participate in challenges on SCVNGR using their smart phones. For every challenge completed, American Eagle will donate $5 to Big Brothers Big Sisters. In addition, SCVNGR will match every donation. Funds will support Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring programs.

The challenges will be live through New Year’s Day and invite customers to reflect on 2010 and their New Year's resolutions. In order to participate in the promotion, users can visit the American Eagle flagship store in Times Square and the 25-story LED screen outside. Users who aren’t in New York can visit www.scvngr.com/ae to participate.

Users of the social entertainment network GetGlue have the luxury of checking in from anywhere in order to earn limited edition stickers - badge-like rewards - from CNN and MTV on New Year's Eve.

CNN's special, "New Year's Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin," starts at 11:00 ET. MTV gets things started a bit earlier with its "MTV's New Year's Bash" at 10:30 ET.

Users can check in during the live events or via GetGlue's apps and site to earn New Year’s stickers from the networks.

What's more, users who check in to New Year's Eve Live before New Year’s Eve earn a special pre-show sticker.

GetGlue CEO Alex Iskold said the company ran a Christmas campaign with ABC's "Pretty Little Liars" which netted 1,500 check-ins. He expects thousands of check-ins on New Year's Eve.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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