When Showtime launched THE FRANCHISE: A Season with the San Francisco Giants following the storied baseball team, they needed to get viewers to spread the word for a successful launch. To do this Showtime partnered with the MLB’s Fan Cave in New York City, the mecca for baseball fans worldwide and used their storefront to create a unique out-of-home unit. Showtime used Foursquare’s open API to create a custom machine that reacted to mobile check-ins by instantaneously dropping a co-branded MLB and THE FRANCHISE baseball autographed by legendary Giants Hall of Famer Willie Mays. Showtime took Foursquare beyond check-ins by re-configuring the platform to interact with a billboard, making it an advertising activation mechanism.
The campaign created nationwide buzz about the show thanks to the virality of the platform. As soon as someone checked into the billboard it notified their entire social network, which incresed awareness of the show. The campaign was so successful that MLB asked Showtime to extend the flight for a month and wanted to use the technology to promote the World Series Playoffs.