Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t. This is especially true in the world of mobile apps—those downloads you can drop on your Smartphone that do just about everything from turn off the lights in your kitchen from halfway around the world to track down the name of a favorite song just by holding the phone to the music. Just as limitless are the ways event marketers can use live experiences to drive downloads, boost engagement and leverage the service-based nature of apps to keep your brand top of mind and consumers engaged long after the event is over. Here, four brands test four strategies that mix apps with consumer events.
The App: Bing Mobile
What it does: The app helps consumers find their way around using voice commands and text search tools.
The Event: Bing Solution Station at CES
At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft launched the Bing Mobile App at its Bing Solution Station. The on site activation leveraged custom traffic cones, mega-floor graphics, custom flags and Bing ambassadors who greeted show-goers to talk up the new mobile tool. The brand gave away free shuttle rides to attendees who downloaded the application.
“Microsoft wanted to solve a problem for consumers at the event by providing a shuttle service that would improve the CES experience for attendees and make it easier to get around when taxi and shuttle lines can be more than 45 minutes to an hour,” says John Amato, president of Show Media, New York, which handled. There were 21 branded passenger shuttles and minivans wrapped in Bing signage and a Bing Ambassador was on each vehicle to guide riders, explain the benefits of the Bing Mobile app and assist with downloads. The four-day on-site campaign drove 8,000 downloads.
The App: Swagg
What it does: Swagg is an iPhone app that will send digital gifts to subscribers from other members or from brands that members have indicated they like. It is set to release this holiday season. The main idea is to make buying gift cards for friends easier, by making the entire exchange electronic. The Swagg app will also allow customers to find discounts at favorite retail shops and redeem the coupons with a mobile phone.
The Event: South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival
To drum up interest in its not-yet released app, Swagg created the VIP Swagg Café at Moonshine’s Patio Bar and Grill, which was open to top-tier musicians and media and featured complimentary drinks, massages and other perks. The brand also sponsored the Swagg presents Perez Hilton’s One Night In Austin party. (The BMF Media Group, New York City, handled.)
The App: Tide Stain Brain
What it does: Users test personal knowledge of stain solutions against those available through the app and contribute their own home stain remedies to the program, using a built-in link.
The Event: Super Bowl XLIV
At Super Bowl XLIV in Miami this year, Tide laundry detergent took over a stretch of beachfront real estate along Ocean Drive with the interactive Tide Mile of Clean Style/Stain Brain Experience (handled by Manchester, NH-based Gigunda Group), an immersive branded experience that combined goodwill with good clean fun to help promote the brand’s Stain Brain mobile app.
The challenge was to incorporate several themes into one event. The brand was raising money for Haitian earthquake victims, helping to clothe the homeless and getting Tide’s new iPhone app into the hands of the people. At the heart of the experience was the pop-up Tide Studio, where a custom interactive kiosk and live demonstrations spotlighted the Stain Brain application’s capabilities, and housed several computer stations equipped for free downloads of the iPhone app.
The App: OnStar Mobile
What it does: It integrates into the Chevy Volt’s OnStar system enabling real-time vehicle remote control operations and vehicle information. The app enables users to control the car’s charging status and schedule, send the driver notifications if the car isn’t plugged in, remotely turn on the car’s air conditioning or heat using grid electricity and display the car’s historic fuel economy—all from an iPhone or Droid.
The Events: Chevy Volt Recharge Lounge at CES and SXSW
To show off its new safety features, GM launched the on-board OnStar Mobile App for the Chevrolet Volt at the Chevy Volt Recharge Lounge at CES in Las Vegas, and then kept the ball rolling by bringing the Lounge to the South By Southwest Festival in Austin. The activation offered charging stations, a mini bar serving SoBe beverages and dozens of brand ambassadors on hand to answer questions about the app. EM