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Pepsi Steps Up To Play Foursquare To Promote 'Refresh Project'

Foursquare pepsi mobile social network game Pepsi is among a number of major brands trying to figure out how to make use of Foursqure, Dennis Crowley's follow-up to Dodgeball.

Foursquare is a kind of mobile game & social network rolled into one. Users get points toward prizes for checking in at certain hip venues, or for certain activities using their mobile phones. Along the way, they can leave messages and commentary about that nightspot, that restaurant, that pool hall, that store or whatever, for other members to see.

So far there are about 300,000 members - and AD AGE is reporting that Pepsi has been quietly using the service to promote its Project Refresh initiative. In December, Pepsi donated 4 cents to inner-city youth center Camp Interactive for every point earned by a Foursquare member. 

"From a broad strategy point of view, there's a huge potential with the ability to connect people to promotional experiences," Bonin Bough, PepsiCo's global director of digital and social media, tells the pub. "We know where people are and can talk to them from a geo-located perspective -- that's a huge opportunity."

In my new book, THE ON-DEMAND BRAND (AMACOM, April 21, 2010), Crowley and I discuss some of those opportunities for services like Foursquare - which naturally lend themselves to lifestyle brands hoping to connect with hip, young consumers when they're out on the town. Think evening itineraries planned by your favorite brands - complete with prizes or VIP access to special events for those who participate. As you'll see in the book, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Toward that end, Foursquare is building out paid location-based marketing services for stores, restaurants, retail chains and more - as well as an analytics dashboard so businesses can track who's coming into their establishments.

Read the AD AGE piece, here.  

And read more about the book, here.

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