Heineken taps into holiday cheer with themed app
November 17, 2011
The Heineken holiday iPhone app
Beer giant Heineken is furthering its plunge into mobile with a holiday-themed app for Android, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices.
The app lets consumers interact with the Heineken brand via ecards, party invitations and recipes. In addition to the holiday app, Heineken is also using mobile advertising and sweepstakes to build its database.
“There were two key insights that went into the decision to create a holiday-themed app,” said Afdhel Aziz, brand director at Heineken USA, New York.
“The first, was that the target audience, millennial upscale, progressive men-of-the-world have smartphones and are active and engaged in apps and social media,” he said.
“The second insight was that millennials were not participating in the age old tradition of holiday greeting cards by regular mail.”
Using the Heineken holiday app, users can create custom holiday cards to send to family and friends via email, Facebook and Twitter.
Consumers can choose from eight designs or create their own card with a picture and message.
All of the content on the app is heavily branded by Heineken with the company’s logo and signature green-and-red color design.
In addition, consumers can send themed party invites.
Here is an example of a holiday ecard consumers can send
The app also includes a feature where users can find seasonal recipes, including appetizers, entrees and desserts.
All of the recipes are chosen by Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn.
Each recipe shows a beverage pairing with a Heineken product.
Consumers can also create a shopping list of all the ingredients in a dish and mark which ones they need from the grocery store.
The holiday app also promotes the Heineken-sponsored Taxi Magic app with a click-to-download feature.
The Taxi Magic app lets consumers book, track and pay for taxi rides via their handsets.
The app is being promoted on Heineken’s Facebook page, which links to Google’s Android Market and Apple’s App Store.
Heineken has a long history of using mobile to interact with consumers, particularly the youth.
The holiday apps are available in both English and Spanish, which is a group that Heineken has targeted in the past (see story).
Alcohol companies looking to target youth can find it challenging because of the age limit and Heineken’s app asks consumers to enter their age before they are able to access content.
Additionally, a holiday-themed app is a smart marketing move for a beer company since the holidays are typically times of the year when consumers are in a spending mood.
In addition to the holiday app, Heineken has previously launched similar themed apps that put the brand as the main focus.
For example, Heineken used an app this season that let consumers play along with the UEFA Champions League football championship.
“The holiday app presented itself as something fun to offer this target,” Mr. Aziz said.
“The other components of the app - recipes by Spike Mendehlson and Taxi Magic - allow Heineken to make a statement on two core platforms - taste and responsibility,” he said.
“The app lets Heineken provide something that's both fun and useful to it's mobile-driven consumers at holiday time.”
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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