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Heineken simplifies mobile promotion and scores big

Heineken?s Champion the Match promotion delivered significantly higher mobile engagement levels and a lower bounce rate compared with a previous effort by significantly streamlining the consumer journey.  

The program has grown 100 percent in three years, with entries into a weekly promotion more than doubling in 2015 compared to the previous year and instant win plays more than tripling. Additionally, the bounce rate dropped from 80 percent in 2014 to 8.6 percent in 2015. 

?The key take away from this is to focus on the consumer behind the device, rather than the device itself,? said John Lim, CEO of Life In Mobile, which worked with Heineken on the promotion. ?Rather than creating a complicated user flow, it?s important to have a streamlined user experience that is simple, yet encourages the consumer to come back time and time again. 

?In a real-world setting, consumers are willing to give you two to three minutes, not three to four,? he said. ?They?re willing to play a game, and share it, if it can be completed in 45 seconds or less. 

?They?re willing to return daily to interact, if they feel safe and secure, and you?re not asking them repeatedly.?

Soccer fun
The promotion, which Heineken has repeated over the past several years, supports its sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League soccer competition. 

The campaign consisted of mobile-optimized site,, a social presence featuring live commentary, a text-to-win in-store promotion, digital video and a road trip. 

A focus was to encourage consumers to enter a sweepstakes so they could get a chance to play an instant win game. 

In 2014, 29,885 unique users got to the instant win game that was part of the promotion, producing 133,678 mobile game plays. However, with 151,256 unique users getting to the Age/State gate via mobile, this meant 80 percent of users dropped off, most likely due to a four-step opt-in. 

Based on the 2014 results, Heineken and Life in Mobile tweaked the promotion for 2015 with a greater focus on simplicity. 

The marketers also recognized the power of the instant win game, with 90 percent of users who made it to the game playing it more than once. 

Simple yet engaging
The user flow was significantly simplified, with qualified users immediately able to play a game after putting in their age, state and phone number. 

?The consumer engagement was simple, yet engaging,? Mr. Lim said. ?With the sweepstakes and instant win combination, we were able to provide instant gratification - via instant win - while also providing a larger and more exiting grand prize - via sweepstakes.

?The entry into the sweepstakes was a short and simple entry form,? he said. ?Once users entered the sweepstakes, they could play the instant win game. 

?This consisted of a prize wheel, which gamified the user experience, keeping it exciting. Post-play, users received a Heineken offer, and were able to explore additional UCL content.?

Remarketing on SMS
In addition to focusing on simplicity, this year?s promotion also leveraged remarking via SMS and digital ads to reach more consumers.

The results included 166,656 mobile entries for a sweepstakes component vs. 324,925 Web entries. 

The instant win game saw 449,739 game plays, with a 8.6 percent bounce rate and the average user returning to play 5.89 times. 

Additionally, 12,853 opted in to receive future SMS soccer-related alerts from Heineken while 2,730 shared the experience on Facebook and 2,527 on Twitter. A total of 11,252 clicked through to the soccer experience. 

 ?The success is found within the simplicity of the program,? Mr. Lim said. ?Although on the back end, there are several complicated technologies and strategies, for the consumers it was a linear and simple concept and execution.  

?This provided added value above and beyond the sweepstakes itself,? he said. 

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York