Video: @wherenext trailer
The @wherenext service launches today (14 July) as a key part of the brewer’s push to appeal to contemporary men in 100 countries worldwide. Billed as a “milestone” in its mobile charge, Heineken is using an R/GA developed algorithm to serve night spots that are trending based on tweets, check-ins and photos across social networks Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare.
All a user has to do is tweet ‘@wherenext’ and their location, for example ‘@wherenext Peckham’ and the service will do the rest. A mobile responsive site can also be accessed for a closer look at the suggestions, including a local a local heat map and live Instagram imagery for each venue.
The service stems from research that found consumers from different cities want to experience new places to heighten their social currency. Whereas Rio de Janeiro city dwellers see happiness as the absolute mark of achievement, in London people want to define success for themselves, Heineken adds. The tool’s recommendations attempts to represent these cultural nuances in a way that makes localises Heineken in each market.
Paul Smailes, global head of digital for Heineken, told Marketing Week the tool “won’t just send people to venues that sell the beer” with the brewer not “wanting users to feel like it’s a branded only application”. New social networks could be added to the platform moving forward, while the brewer is also assessing demand for other utility-based services.
“The @wherenext service and campaign are the second biggest [marketing] investments for us the year after the Champions League”, adds Smailes. “[The tool] is a long-term play and ties back to our business objective to win in nightlife occasions, which is when we think it will be used most.
“Mobile is the really big area of focus for Heineken. We want to provide frictionless experiences where consumers are already gathering rather than trying to force them to an app we’ve developed. It’s why we’ve developed something that doesn’t tell you what’s good based on historically data and is tuned into what’s hot right now in the social sphere.”
Heineken developed the tool from the ‘tested and evaluated’ portion of its marketing budget, which accounts for 20 per cent of its total outlay. Some 70 per cent is reserved for initiatives the brand knows works, while the remaining 10 per cent is ploughed into experimental projects such as its connected “Ignite” bottles. It is the connected space where Heineken says it is planning to scale up in order to exploit the “Internet of Things” trend.
The service will be actively promoted in a new global campaign over the next four months and will continue to run indefinitely. As part of the push, Heineken has struck a six-month partnership with the Metro newspaper in London to produce a weekly feature, highlighting the best places in London. A “London Hub” will sit on the newspaper’s site to house all the content online.