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Sharpie, Dentyne tap mobile social network for loyalty play

Sanford’s Sharpie and Cadbury’s Dentyne have partnered with location-based mobile social network Brightkite to enhance their respective loyalty initiatives.

Both Sharpie and Dentyne are sponsoring badges that Brightkite users can earn by checking in at retail locations that carry each brand’s products. Users can also earn badges by engaging in specific social networking activities that spread the word about the brands virally.

“Dentyne wanted to engage and educate consumers on the new innovation to increase awareness of product attributes and impact brand favorability,” said Rob Lawson, cofounder/chief marketing officer of Brightkite, Burlingame, CA.

“The brand wanted to use social media to engage consumers in a powerful, two-way communication,” he said. “Sharpie wanted to engage a core target audience in a novel, stand-out way around the back-to-school shopping period.”

For users to earn the Take the Slick Pic badge, they need to post 10 photos to Brightkite.

Once they start, users can monitor their progress in the status bar on the badge. They can see this on the Web or their iPhone application.

Once they get to the first level, they find out how to get to level two, and so on.

Mr. Lawson said the idea is that it is fun for users to be rewarded for what they do, and their friends can quickly see the things that interest them.

Dentyne is sponsoring Brightkite’s social swagger badge.

The more social actions users take in Brightkite, the more they can level up, attaining higher levels of the badge and giving them swagger bragging rights over their friends.

Mr. Lawson said that Dentyne’s target demographic is consumers ages 18-34 who are socially addicted, dressing well and showing off.

Here is a screen grab of the Dentyne “Social Swagger” badge:

“The Dentyne-sponsored Brightkite social swagger badge rewards users for social behavior—going to social places such as cafes, restaurants and hanging out in groups,” Mr. Lawson said.

“This links Dentyne Pure to social occasions, which is ideal for an audience for whom bad breath is not an option,” he said.

In addition to Sharpie and Dentyne, Brightkite will be offering a series of badges in conjunction with its partner Redbook in the August edition of the magazine.

Brightkite is also working on a several more branded badge programs at the moment, including McDonald’s, Visa and the CW, which will launch in the next few weeks.

Sharpie has its own badge that users receive for checking in at stores that sell Sharpie products.

Each time users do this, they get entered into a sweepstakes to win $1,000. The more they check in at places that sell Sharpie products, the higher level of badge they achieve.

Mr. Lawson said that Sharpie’s target demographic is moms of kids attending school.

Here is a screen grab of the Sharpie “Uncapped” badge:

“By making Sharpie top of mind each time a shopper enters a store where the product is sold, Sharpie is able to effectively promote the brand inside the store, but on the user’s mobile phone,” Mr. Lawson said.

“As the user earns the badge, their friends see the achievement, and so the campaign also has a strong peer-to-peer component,” he said.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily