Allied develops interactive pubs

Allied Domecq has appointed new media specialist Curtis Hoy Beeston interactive (CHBi) to develop an interactive entertainment network for UK pubs.

“Interactive media is now integral to our marketing plans,” says Allied Domecq Group media manager Patrick Burton.

CHBi will develop an in-pub interactive entertainment system, known as Pub Net. Screens will be linked with other pubs, either by cable, satellite links or using latest ISDN technology.

It will also devise a number of ways in which pub-goers can use the network. Applications will include interactive games which can be played between people in the same pub, or with people in other pubs. Each will target different groups of pub clientele.

The aim is to tailor interactive programming to persuade regulars to stay longer and encourage lapsed pub-goers to return, Beeston, a former media director at Saatchi & Saatchi, explains. “The focus is on the benefit to the consumer rather than the technology,” he adds. “We will create a network that belongs not to the pubs, but to the people in them.”

Technical details will be finalised by June with the first units installed by late summer. The Pub Net will initially be tested in ten of Allied’s 2,000 managed pubs.

As well as carrying branding for Allied brands, the potential to promote other products at point of sale is also being considered.

CHBi was launched last year by radio promotions specialist Mark Curtis and Beeston. Leading interactive software designer Rob Le Quesne joined last week as head of production.

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