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Coca-Cola's vitaminwater app sees 250K downloads in two weeks

Coca-Cola Co.?s vitaminwater-branded Sound Lab application featuring hip-hop superstar 50 Cent was downloaded more than 250,000 times in the first two weeks after its induction into the App Store.

Built on the Romplr platform developed by branded content agency Moderati, the application lets fans download and remix the artist?s newest single ?Baby By Me.? A mobile advertising campaign across the AdMob and Quattro Wireless mobile ad networks pushed 50?s Sound Lab application to No. 1 in the Top Free Music applications in the App Store.

?We met with vitaminwater in the summer and they were very keen on using music as a vehicle to reach their base," said Jon Vlassopulos, CEO of Moderati Inc., San Francisco. ?They?re forward-thinking and they like the Romplr platform, which gelled with their overall consumer base.

?They thought an iPhone app would be an appealing natural extension of their relationship with 50 Cent, who is a founding partner of the brand, and it also dovetailed with the release of his new album,? he said.

Brands can get extra value out of endorsement deals via mobile.

This application reinforced vitaminwater?s brand objective of getting out the message that its product has vitamins in it with the tagline "We mix the vitamins, you mix the beats."

The application came out the same day as the record, and it was a perfect storm where Apple picked it up, fans liked it and it shot to No. 1 after a few days in the App Store.

Energy Brands, also doing business as Glacéau, is a privately owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola based in Whitestone, NY, that manufactures and distributes various lines of enhanced water such as vitaminwater.

Rap artist Curtis Jackson?known as 50 Cent?obtained a 10 percent share of the company as part of an endorsement deal.

Moderati is a digital content agency that helps media companies and consumer brands connect with their consumers through the creation of entertainment experiences. It is best-known for the Virtual Zippo Lighter iPhone application (see story).

Successful app marketing
In addition to the download tally, which is approaching 300,000, user engagement figures included close to 1 million remixes uploaded to the companion site at http://www.50soundlab.com.

In addition, the application drove conversions?more than 64,000 downloads of 50 Cent?s latest single ?Baby By Me.?

In-application purchases of mobile content are a growing trend to look out for in 2010.

The Sound Lab application is powered by Moderati?s Romplr remix platform.

Romplr lets fans interact with music by creating their own versions of tracks by their favorite artists, thereby becoming part of the creative process themselves.

The 50?s Sound Lab application gives fans access to the key elements of the original recording and provides creative tools to connect with and personalize the new single.

In addition to being able to remix the new single, 50 Cent is giving one fan a chance to show off their skills and travel with a friend to meet the artist in New York City.

Once all of the vitaminwater remixes have been uploaded, 50 Cent will scout out the best remix of his latest single and invite that person to meet with him.

Users can record and share their personal mixes via Facebook, email or on the online interactive music companion site at http://www.50soundlab.com.

Mobile applications can be a valuable tool for brands. However, with so many applications out there already, it is vital that brands spend money on marketing to get the word out, which in turn sparks viral spread.

?At the beginning, we did some mobile advertising through Quattro and AdMob, which we generally suggest to support a campaign,? Mr. Vlassopulos said. ?We recommend mobile spend to our brand partners to support applications with some marketing, because you get a lot of bang for your buck in terms of exposure."

Per Mr. Vlassapulos, 99 percent of applications out there are average-to-bad. He said there are not too many good experiences.

Brands should keep in mind that great content alone can help them break through, because not many people are spending the money to make something quality, and advertising spend helps as well.

?Always make sure in terms of marketing that you coordinate whatever the strategy is with social media, don?t see it as separate channel, but connect it to mobile, which will help drive awareness," Mr. Vlassopulos said.