Marketers have recently afforded location-based service users numerous self-serving incentives to check in, such as free food or drinks. A new campaign on Gowalla targets such consumer opportunism while also taking aim at the goodwill-minded. The geo-social brand has partnered with AT&T and the “One for One” initiative by Toms Shoes to help put shoes on the feet of needy Argentinian children.
Gowalla users who check in at various apparel stores and electronics shops from Aug. 16 through Aug. 23 will have the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes. Some will receive virtual prizes that can be redeemed for real products. The prize merchandise includes 1,000 pairs of Toms shoes, as well as 250 smartphones and five netbooks contributed by AT&T.
The One for One program donates a pair of shoes for every pair that’s purchased. Therefore, the effort is meant to drive people into stores to buy shoes and propel donations for the Argentinian children. In addition, there will be a grand prize winner who will travel with a guest to Buenos Aires in September to celebrate the four-year-old program’s 1 millionth donated pair of shoes.
For AT&T, in addition to the goodwill marketing appearance that many brands seek, it hopes the incentive to check in drives Gowalla users into electronics stores to pick up the brand’s cell phones and wireless plans.
Meanwhile, the Santa Monica, CA-based Toms designs and sells lightweight shoes based on a Spanish design called alpargata. Since being founded by entrepreneur and former “The Amazing Race” reality TV star, Blake Mycoskie, the company has donated one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold.
Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.