Foursquare has struck a savvy deal with Bravo TV to broaden its audience among the urban hipsters that both the mobile social game and the cable network attract. Through a partnership launching today, Bravo will offer players check-in "badges" and special prizes to viewers who go to more than 500 Bravo-tagged locations, according to the Times' Bits blog.
Locations will be selected to correspond with network shows "The Real Housewives," "The Millionaire Matchmaker," "Top Chef," "Kell on Earth," "Top Chef Masters" and "Shear Genius." Bravo will also support the Foursquare tie-in through on-air promotions and will let advertisers offer their own incentives, such as coupons at local venues.
The Bravo deal marks Foursquare's first TV partnership and highest-profile media deal to date. It's previously done distribution deals with Metro News, a Canadian free daily newspaper, and Harvard University, for a campus based version of the game.
But the Bravo alliance will push Foursquare in front of millions of the upscale urbanites who are most likely to participate in the mobile game where people win points and badges for going out at night. The effort could also become an example for how to merge traditional TV and mobile media in a mutually beneficial way.
According to http://mashable.com/2010/01/31/bravo-foursquare-snags-a-tv-partnership/Mashable, Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley says the Bravo partnership is the first of more TV deals to come. Other food and lifestyles or entertainment networks like the Food Network, Travel Channel, and VH1 come to mind as potential partners. But Foursquare may have more surprises in store.
Smart synergy. And here lies the future....
The question in my mind is, Will users play? How much effort will it take to get participation and, more importantly, keep it? Admittedly, I don't watch these shows so I don't know how avid the typical viewer is but with any marketing campaign it will likely boil down to how interesting the opportunity seems at first and how well the application can keep them engaged. At this point it seems like a stretch to get a user to remember the application outside the airing of the show.
The real time water cooler....
Bravo is doing well at converging social and TV.