Checking into bill boards, a first step towards the future for location

Imperial Leisure just launched their campaign with Cheryl Cole on Facebook. This is a campaign that combines old with new media: by checking in with Facebook places on billboards of Cheryl Cole you may win tickets for X-factor.

Just a first step?

Of course this is a nice new way of promoting content. Since before you can win the prizes, you first have to install the specific check-in application on your Facebook. Every app you use, is shared to your friends and every check in on Facebook will be shared with your friends as well, with the potential of creating a viral loop.

Marketing wise, this is a solid approach for a location based campaign, however it is quite a hassle to win a prize: first you have to install an app and then you have to check in at a billboard (at a location you normally never check-in). Therefore I think this is just a first step in the mix between old and new media and that in the near future we will have a more user centric (and less marketing centric) solution.

The future

For me the future is that, you get a message on your device (your phone, tablet or whatever device you use) as soon as your are near such a billboard. The reason you get this message on your device is because you are either a fan of Cheryl Cole (you liked her Facebook page), because you are an X-factor fan, or because you like things that are similar to these topics. Based on your location you are asked whether or not you want to participate in this competition to win X-factor tickets. If you are not yet a fan of Cheryl Cole, X-factor or similar topics, you can become a fan by just opening the application on your device and the application will ask you whether or not you want to like Cheryl Cole (or other topics) and if you want to enter in this competition.

Depending on your settings, this could be even without any human interaction, since you are big fan of Cheryl Cole and you trust her, you won’t mind to tell your friends about this competition and you still want to enter this competition, since you don’t want to miss an opportunity to see your idol in real life from an immense distance in a packed studio.

The next big thing

Installing apps and checking in out bill boards is a bit clumsy, though we accept it, since it is new and provides us with new opportunities. Making things more ubiquitous, and more in a natural flow, that will be what we will be doing in the near future. Advertising will not be, as in minority report, based on your iris, but based on your social graph, whether this is via Facebook or any other platform.