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Beck?s multichannel mobile effort connects physical and digital worlds

Brewer Beck?s is pulling out all the mobile bells and whistles for a three-year promotion that taps into culturally-aware consumers by discovering up-and-coming artists.

Mobile bar codes, applications and a SMS program are being used as part of the company?s The Green Box Project campaign, which lets consumers interact with their mobile devices to learn about independent art in cities in the United States, Britain and Italy.

?Beck?s is a long-time supporter of the arts and artists worldwide,? said Peter van Overstraeten, New-York based global marketing manager for Beck?s.

?Through The Green Box Project, Beck?s is funding hundreds of projects by individuals with unique creative visions and showcasing their works of art in a unique way for others to experience," he said.

?We wanted to do something that hasn?t been done before on a large scale, and bringing together the physical and digital worlds via augmented reality achieves that."

Beck?s is a beer company headquartered in Bremen, Germany with products available in 120 countries.

Virtual art
The campaign is being promoted with mobile bar codes that are placed in magazine ads.

Once scanned, the ad prompts consumers to text the keyword BECKS to the short code 23377.

Consumers can opt-in to a SMS program for the campaign

Users can then watch a 15-second promotional video that explains the campaign and download the free Beck?s Key app from either Apple?s App Store or Google?s Android Market.

Consumers can then use the app to interact with installation boxes ? called green boxes ? around various cities, including New York, Rome, London, Los Angeles and Milan.

Boxes can be found using a map of each city on the apps.

Consumers can find nearby installation boxes via iPhone and Android apps

?Each green box holds a piece of artwork ? whether it be art, music, design or fashion or a combination of these,? Mr. Overstraeten said.

?When a consumer discovers a green box, they will point their phone at the box and the creative work will appear on the screen,? he said. ?The app will also link the consumer to additional information on the featured artist and the work.?

According to Beck?s, the campaign will discover more than 1,000 up-and-coming artists over the next three years with the public art displays.

Code ready
Beck?s is not the only brand using mobile bar codes to promote bigger company initiatives.

Most recently, clothing retailer Express used in-catalogue QR codes to promote the company?s fall line of clothes (see story).

By using mobile as the key component of the campaign, Beck?s is targeting a younger, tech-savvy demographic that values independent art and artists.

For example, the brand has worked with musical group Phoenix on a line of bottle designs.

Beck?s is also currently running a campaign that uses Andy Warhol?s face on a line of products to tap into art-savvy consumers.

?Mobile and electronics are a passion point of the target consumer - just like art, fashion, music and design,? Mr. Overstraeten said.

?Using mobile technology removes physical boundaries and enables a more unique way to experience the art,? he said.

?When people walk by the mysterious green boxes and unlock the art inside, we want them to instantly tell their friends and spread the word that Beck?s is looking to fund and feature new artists? creative ideas.?