From $1 Off Coffee to Free Pizza for a Year, Brand Social Media Games Evolve

by Jason Keath on May 19, 2010

Brands are jumping on the social competition bandwagon. From national Foursquare mayor specials to multi social network loyalty programs, the last month has shown us some creative uses of social media based competitions from three big brands, NBC, Domino’s, and Starbucks.

NBC is using a point based game to encourage their viewers to talk more about their favorite TV shows. Domino’s is asking consumers to help them find people who have not tasted their new pizzas. And Starbucks is taking the concept of the Foursquare mayor special national.

NBC’s Fan It

NBC has launched a point based loyalty game called Fan It through their existing online community,, Their goal is to spread conversation about NBC TV shows with incentives.  The campaign assigns points to NBC viewers who tweet, check in, like, and comment across Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and Foursquare.

Beyond the fact that this is big win for Foursquare, being included among the big three consumer friendly social networks, this is one of the more integrated social media competitions to date.

visitors to earn points by watching videos, chatting about shows and sharing content with friends. The program requires fans to sign up to participate at, though they can do so using their existing Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or MyNBC accounts.

As people accumulate points, they will be able to redeem them for various prizes, such as access to a yet-to-premiere series, NBC merchandise and entries to sweepstakes. To execute the Fan It program, NBC has partnered with the social media tracking company ThingFo Inc. – MediaWeek


When Domino’s launched their new higher quality recipe recently, they launched an advertising campaign around searching for the pizza holdouts, potential and existing customers that have yet to try to new product. They are taking the advertising concept into the real world and contracting customers to put a bounty out on their friends. Bounties are redeemed when that friend tastes the new Domino’s pizza. Redeem the most bounties over the next month you could win free pizza for a year.

Something tells me I would have been all over this in college.

Anyone can signup with Facebook Connect and nominate their friends (bounty) for a free pizza coupon (with the purchase of  an equal or lesser value menu item). When that coupon is used, you get the bounty.

Starbucks’ Foursquare Mayor Specials

Starbucks has begun to get in front of social media trends, early and often it seems lately. They have gone from just using Foursquare as a branding platform (see Barista badge) and allowing local stores to work with their own specials, to launching the first national mayor special.

The deal offers customers a $1 discount on a Frappucino. The special greets mayors with this message: “As mayor of this store, enjoy $1 off a NEW however-you-want-it Frappuccino blended beverage. Any size, any flavor. Offer valid until 6/28.”

Tristan Walker, who heads up business development at Foursquare, tells us that the Starbucks special is a one-time mayor deal that runs through June 28, but he’s optimistic that Starbucks will continue to experiment with mayor rewards on an ongoing basis. – Mashable

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As the CEO and founder of Social Fresh, Jason is the lead analyst and consultant for all Social Fresh brand clients. Jason has 15+ years of experience as a marketing leader and focuses on how to help brands be more...