Yesterday, the New York Times’ Bits Blog announced a partnership between Foursquare and the Bravo TV network, thereby combining two of my favorite things into the perfect peanut-butter-and-chocolate moment of social media meeting media media. As part of the partnership, Foursquare will be offering special badges to people who check in at 500+ ‘Bravolebrity-recommended’ locations, from Patti Stanger’s pick Dave & Buster’s to Gail Simmons’ brunch fave August.
Between TV spots advertising the partnership, and the inevitable social media buzz Bravo’s gonna get from teaming up with Twitterati-darling Foursquare, it’s pretty clear that this particular pairing has the potential to please even the Toby Young-iest of media pundits. Throw in some sweepstakes and specials, and you’ve got a win-win-win for the web-tv-advertiser relationship, not to mention Bravo audience.
After all, isn’t aspiration at the core of our compulsion for reality TV (the medium Bravo traffics best in) anyway? It’s not like we’re watching Real Housewives, Miami Social or Kell On Earth to learn valuable skills, improve our knowledge about a subject or indulge in well-written wit and narrative charm. It’s because we like watching beautiful people doing exciting things – things we wish, at least on some level, that we could do ourselves. Now, all you need is a phone and a Foursquare account to do just that.
Want to shop where Jill Zarin shops? Or lunch where ‘the Countess’ (Luann De Lesseps) lives it up? All you have to do is turn off your TV, turn on your phone and fire up the Foursquare. Find your way to one of the Bravolebrity picks, send out a tweet to tell your friends how cool you are, and maybe even pick something up while you’re there (if you can afford it. We don’t all have hefty reality show paychecks clearing our accounts every month).
If you ask me, this is one of the smartest synergies of old and new media I’ve ever seen, not to mention a boon for the Bravo fan in all of us (go on, admit it, you love Andy Cohen just as much as I do). By allowing the Bravolebrity to connect directly with the Bravo fan, and by giving that Bravo fan some concrete content to act on, Bravo and Foursquare may have just unearthed one small piece of television’s future – a future where the cult of personality meets the stream of constant connectivity. Camera crew and controversy optional.