Five most promising location based campaigns

Propelled by location based technology, mobile advertising is taking leaps forward right now. Projections from Juniper Research anticipate location based mobile marketing will jump to a whopping $12 billion dollars by 2014. Meanwhile, in the past four months the number of location based campaigns pushing the bounds of mobile advertising has grown exponentially. With Facebook’s anticipated release of a place-based functionality and the near hysteria surrounding Foursquare, opportunities continue to grow. Scale is the primary qualifier when it comes to mobile, but it’s not an excuse to avoid experimenting with the channel. Now is the time to gain learnings–from relevant ways to reach a highly targeted audience, to gathering insights and data on your customers.

Here are five promising executions:

McDonalds LBS Facebook App: This has not hit the streets yet, but it’s the LBS play from Facebook that the industry has been waiting for. According to Ad Age the app “would allow users to check in at one of its restaurants and have a featured product appear in the post, such as an Angus Quarter Pounder.” We will be curious to see what loyalty or game elements will be included into the McDonald’s app–hopefully it includes engagement and loyalty components, rather than just broadcasting to friends what kind of hamburger you’re eating. (Separately, whether or not Facebook’s geolocation functionality will make other geo-mobile players like Foursquare irrelevant remains to be seen).

Pepsi Geo-Loyalty Program: Pepsi gets a lot of credit for developing the first ever geo-based loyalty program with Foursquare. The beverage brand had played with Foursquare late last year in a charity play. Then this month, Pepsi announced its dual-front approach to “help its restaurant partners inspire customer loyalty and drive consumers to nearby locations” according to Pepsi fans will be able to find and check in to locations near them serving Pepsi beverages using either Foursquare or the Pepsi Loot iPhone app. Over time, users will be rewarded with free music downloads, behind the scenes content from music partners, and of course coupons.

H&M Blues App: Back in March, H&M announced it was partnering with MyTown (from Booyah, the silent giant of LBS right now with over 2 million users, double that of Foursquare) to allow users to “check in” to store locations to earn virtual clothing and points. As Socialtimes writes, “the game succeeded in a big way because it focuses on the gameplay element as opposed to previous location-based applications, and you gain levels as you visit areas and attempt to own them.” The company says the goal in using LBS and virtual incentives via the MyTown app was to reach an “elusive sub-set of our target group, a highly-engaged urban audience that are in and around our stores across the country.”

Northface Geo-fenced Text Messages: Outdoor gear retailer Northface used geo-targeting to text shoppers (who have previously opted in) when they are in proximity to a Northface store. Location-based mobile ad company Placecast drew 1000 “virtual fences” around locations across the country, with an eye to areas that experience more snow or rain so the brand could target according to weather conditions. While text messaging may not appear as sexy as building a location-based app, texting reaches the widest possible audience via mobile–and geofencing makes the messages highly relevant by delivering the information at the right time and right place.

KC Masterpiece Keith Urban Worldtour Promotion: The Clorox-owned BBQ sauce company used mobile to engage concert-goers at Keith Urban concerts across the country. Over half a million fans participated at venue sites to win better seats, participate in backstage BBQs, and win the chance to have a private BBQ with the country singer. According to Mozes, the mobile ad agency who partnered with the brand, 32% of participants opted into Keith Urban’s mobile fan list and even better for Clorox, over 6% of total participants opted in for ongoing brand promotions.