Guinness bids to become ‘mobile leader’ of brewers

Guinness is looking to reward UK drinkers for checking into pubs via their smartphones as it prepares to launch the latest phase of its multi-million “Made of More” campaign.

The drinks maker is hoping to roll-out its “Guinness Plus” app nationwide after hailing the success of its soft-launch across Ireland last year.

Drinkers are rewarded with a pint of the black stout when they first download the app and are given the chance to claim other prizes including rugby tickets and a party in the Guinness Storehouse the more they use it. Rewards will promote Guinness-backed events such as the Six Nations rugby tournament as well as matched to users’ birthdays and other personal milestones.

It will also create a social map of the participating pubs allowing users to see how many others are in various outlets close by. Due to the UK having a slightly different trading structure than Ireland, the format of the current app may not be completely replicated, but the brewer is hoping to launch a similar experience in the coming months.

The app aims to increase customer footfall in the on-trade while also serving as a CRM platform for the brewer to kickstart its mobile marketing strategy. Guinness says it wants to build service-based apps that add “real value” to drinking experiences and assume a “leadership role” in the mobile space among UK brewers. It faces stiff competition from AB InBev and Molson Coors, however, with both brewers testing similar initiatives to create more loyalty around their brands in pubs and clubs.

Stephen O’Kelly, marketing director of Guinness for Western Europe, told Marketing Week mobile is the “future” of the brand.

He adds: “The app allows us to monetise check-ins. We’re taking a big, bold step into mobile because it can bring the value of the Guinness brand to drinkers when they’re in the pub with their friends.

“In terms of GB, we’re looking at all options for Guinness and mobile because it’s an area we want to take a leadership position in.”

The activity forms part of the Guinness “Made of More” strategy, which has seen Diageo upscale the media investment behind the brand to broaden its reach. The AMV BBDO-created campaign’s latest advert airs today (13 January) and ties the drink’s characteristics to a group of refined gentlemen from the Republic of Congo known as the The Sapeurs (The Society of Elegant Persons).

It shows members from the group getting changed into their tailored suits before culminating in them celebrating around a Guinness branded bar. The ad is being supported by press, cinema, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram activity.

O’Kelly predicts the media plan will reach around 20.5 million males in the UK, who will see the ad an average of 11 times between now and June. It is part of wider Diageo shift to increase the media spend behind its brands to drive marketing efficiencies and open up new channels.

Elsewhere, Guinness is gearing up to launch a marketing push around next month’s Rugby Six Nations tournament (13 February). It is also putting the finishing touches to an activation plan around the upcoming World Cup.

    Value Sales  
  52 w/e 10 Dec, 11 52 w/e 8 Dec, 12 52 w/e 7 Dec, 13
Lager Ale Stout Cider & Perry £4,396,038,144 £4,522,603,008 £4,713,580,544
Stout £107,642,912 £101,653,680 £99,329,288
Total Guinness £98,561,968 £91,774,264 £88,795,752

Source: IRI


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