Levi’s Targets Film Buffs With Gowalla, Watch Parties

Levi’s hopes to connect with film buffs in a new Gowalla campaign that’s co-branded by a Texas-based movie-house-and-bar chain. The San Francisco-based jeans company and Alamo Drafthouse are utilizing the geo-social platform’s “Trips” feature, which lets users share a curated list of places. The effort is dubbed “Rolling Roadshow.”

gowalllaThe initiative – running from Aug. 6 through Aug. 27 – encourages people to check in while visiting scene locations for the films in the nine cities where they took place. The movies include “There Will Be Blood” (Bakersfield, CA), the first three “Rocky” films (Philadelphia), “Dirty Harry” (San Francisco), “Jackie Brown” (Torrance, CA), “Robocop” (Detroit), “On The Waterfront” (Hoboken, NJ), “The Blues Brothers” (Joliet, Illinois), “Convoy” and “Red Dawn” (Las Vegas), and “The Godfather II” (New York, NY).

The campaign chiefly entails a scavenger hunt-styled experience for Gowalla users. In New York for “The Godfather II,” users can accrue points by checking in at locations of importance to the life of the movie’s central character, Vito Corleone, including Ellis Island and Caffe Reggio. In San Francisco for “Dirty Harry,” points can be tallied by checking in on the rooftop site where the character “Scorpio” achieves his first kill. Other locations involving the relentless manhunt scenes with Harry and Scorpio are also part of the game, according to a prepared statement by Austin, TX-based Gowalla.

The first 50 people to complete the tailored Trip in each city will receive a VIP prize package to attend the Rolling Roadshow screening. For instance, winning players in Philadelphia will be invited to watch the three “Rocky” films on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art – where Rocky Balboa finished his famous jog in “Rocky III.” As another example, Levi’s and Alamo Drafthouse will sponsor a showing of “On The Waterfront” near an old docking pier in Hoboken, NJ, where the film takes place.

Tim League, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, said his firm – which includes nine cinemas that double as drinking/eating establishments – first worked with Gowalla on a similar campaign centered on the South By Southwest music festival in March. For the current effort, League explained that Levi’s collaborated with his company in terms of choosing the movies and locations and developing the overall promotional strategy.

“We look at it as ‘the ultimate fan’s guide’ to each of the movies,” he said. “If you are obsessed with ‘The Blues Brothers,’ for example, we thought it would be cool to prime yourself by visiting some of the most iconic locations from the film before attending the screening.”

Meanwhile, the two brands join a steady stream of other companies partnering with geo-location platforms. For instance, in the last week, Foursquare has unveiled initiatives with VH1 and New York magazine. And earlier this month, Murphy’s USA launched a test with Whrrl that involved the participation of 1,000 gas stations.

Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.

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