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One problem when starting a new social-networking-like service is getting users to sign-up. A promotion always helps, and that’s what Pelago is betting on through a partnership between its Whrrl service and HBO’s hit series Entourage. Whrrl lets users locate what restaurant, bar, or event they are at from their mobile phone and either review the place immediately or later from a PC. Friends and other users can see the reviews and get recommendations for places to go. With Entourage, users will get recommendations based on the characters Vinny Chase, Ari, Drama, E and, of even the runt of the group, Turtle.
The deal actually tracks the characters whereabouts, not the real-life actors. By going to http://www.whrrl.com/entourage, users can click on one of the characters, like Vinny Chase to see where he frequents in L.A. It’s pretty well done. For instance, one of his reviews is for “Book Soup.” He writes: “I spent a lot of my unemployed time at this indie bookstore, where I met Nicole after she caught me checking myself out in the tabloids.” For those who don’t know, they kindly add “Season 3, Episode 32.” In all, Vince has rated 16 places positively, including Six Flags Magic Mountain and Maestro’s Steak House. There’s zero negative reviews and there’s 25 places he’s marked as having gone to.
Whrrl has the arrangement with HBO through Deep Focus, a marketing firm. Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer said in a release: