Foursquare And Seven Months Ago…

About seven months ago I installed the Foursquare app onto my iPhone and almost immediately found joy in keeping up, sharing and competing with my friends and colleagues on this relatively simple location-based service.

I quickly earned 6 badges, including the ever popular Crunked badge (thank you Charlotte, NC). I was elected mayor and booted from office many times.

Foursquare was useful and fun.

Then the marketers showed up; to which I respond: Can’t you leave anything alone? As a lifelong professional marketer, I get it. As a consumer, I don’t want it. You can’t do a simple web search anymore without being bombarded by a dozen advertisers who not only think they know what you want, but who openly lie about what they are selling. Virtually every free phone app is now funded by mobile ads that interrupt your activities. E-mail boxes are flooded with unwanted correspondence and inappropriate offers. In short, the virtual world has become a reflection of the real world.

And Foursquare, which connects the two together, is quickly succumbing to the marketing sirens. Too bad. I deleted my Foursquare app and am moving on to newer, greener pastures. My goal is to stay one step ahead of the marketers (even though I am one of them).

Honest Abe once said: “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Maybe he was right, but I can’t take one more today of advertising saturation... sometimes it’s nice to simply be left alone with your thoughts.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.