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Location-based service Foursquare will test a new kind of ad format during Super Bowl XLV next Sunday.The Foursquare app for mobile phones normally lets users check in to real-world locations to earn virtual badges. In exchange, they can get discounts or other benefits from participating retailers.
On Sunday, Foursquare will test a new “promoted venue” ad format that lets users check in to a virtual location, no matter where they actually are.
The Super Bowl Sunday location will appear in the “Trending Now” section. Users will be able to check in and “shout” about which team they’re rooting for, the Pittsburgh Steelers or Green Bay Packers. Then they’ll receive a coupon 20% discount at NFLShop.com.
The move makes sense for Foursquare. The company has 6 million users, and needs to figure out how to make money from them while also increasing its mainstream appeal. According to a recent survey on privacy, most users think the risks far outweigh the benefits of sharing their location through these kinds of services.
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