When it comes to making successful branded apps, there are generally two rules: either make it useful or give it some novelty value. And, if possible, combine elements of both. And Heineken and &some have done just that with a new smartphone app that shows locals and visitors where to find official RWC bars, as well as their mates, their rivals, a taxi home and, if they're lucky, even some tickets to the final.
On arrival at the range of (obviously DB-aligned) bars around the country, the 'Your Heineken Passport' app users are encouraged to check in via Facebook so they can find their mates and, if they're up for a bit of banter (or biffo), their rivals.
It also offers a heap of RWC 2011 news, match schedules, pool standings and results and features a game element that challenges fans to answer general RWC trivia questions relevant to the match being played at the time. But it wouldn't be a RWC promotion without the ability to win tickets and, as is common with most major sponsors at the moment, users get a look in at a trip to the final with full Heineken hospitality, with more use and more trivia questions answered equating to more 'virtual bottle caps'. Five bottle caps gets you one entry.
“The 'Your Heineken Passport' App is all about making the most of the best event we‟ll ever host in New Zealand," says Mike Stribrny, Heineken brand manager. "Mates will be able to get together more easily, share the highs and lows of the tournament and ultimately be in with the chance to win finals tickets with our hospitality. The more people who use the app, the better it becomes. Designed by Kiwis for Kiwis and their guests, this app will ensure that users have the time of their lives, right here, right now.”
This kind of app isn't new, of course (the award-winning Becks List was based on a similar idea). But it's still a sizable project and, according to Matt Cooney, &some's digital guru, it's the company's first substantial mobile deployment.
With all the buzz around smartphones at the moment, there are a number of brands clamouring to get a piece of the app pie. Still, it's interesting to note that, according to Deloitte, most branded apps are flops, with less than one percent of consumer and healthcare apps downloaded more than one million times, and only 20 percent downloaded enough to be considered for its survey.