MTV teamed up with Foursquare and launched today a new campaign calling their viewers/users to “check in” at an health clinic for sexually transmitted diseases tests and get a special badge on Foursquare. The idea is to change the way people feel toward this sensitive issue and remove the stigma attached to it.
Stephen Friedman from MTV said he expects that once some people will get the badge, they will show it to their friends and they might too try and get it. “It only takes a few to get the ball rolling” he said. And by the way Foursquare users play, he might be right.
The game mechanics behind Foursquare seem to work and make people get out of their houses. Not long ago, Foursquare made a pizza badge you could get for going to 30 different pizza places. The people at Foursquare where pretty sure it will be a hard badge to get but then they noticed that people organized pizza crawls around it where they went out and explored the pizza places around them until they earned it.
So will the STD badge will create the same effect as the pizza badge? are we going to see organized crawls to health clinics? I wouldn’t count on it, but I am pretty sure that some heavy Foursquare users will go and take a test just to get the badge. It is a competition after all.