HEINEKEN TRADES IN STREET TEAMS FOR JUKEBOXES

Promotes Grammy Tie-In With In-Bar Trivia Games

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YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) -- Heineken chose bars to tout its Grammy sponsorship this week using Ecast jukeboxes in bars and restaurants.
Mike McCann, Heineken USA director-integrated marketing promotions and sponsorships, said that in the first week of the promotion Heineken has seen a 15% click-through rate of consumers continuing through to the trivia game.

The beer maker kicks off a targeted “Go Totally Live” promotion offering viewers a chance to win a trip to the Feb. 8 show in Los Angeles.

The Ecast jukebox network serves as the local interactive connection with its 5,000 bars and restaurants in the U.S., a number that may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that globally Starbucks only has 8,000 locations. Consumers can also enter the contest through several Web sites, including Yahoo.

The Heineken promotion, created by Modem Media, does include virtual signage and video advertising on the jukeboxes, but also offers chances to play trivia games to win free song plays or the chance to “Go Totally Live” to the Grammys. In an earlier run, Ecast logged more than 10,000 trivia game players in the first 24 hours, Marlin Gilbert, Ecast senior VP-marketing, said.

Mike McCann, Heineken USA director-integrated marketing promotions and sponsorships, said that in the first week of the promotion Heineken has seen a 15% click-through rate of consumers continuing through to the trivia game. Once in the game, consumers spend an average of 58 seconds with the branded game.

“It almost creates a new media channel for us and it’s a channel that has been very difficult for us to reach consumers,” Mr. McCann said. “We often have used street teams that go into bars, but with the expense of that, the level of return is pretty limited. Music is our platform so this was really like all the stars aligning for us with relevant connections direct to the consumer through music.”

While this particular promotion does not include asking users any demographic information, data are still collected on how many times the game is played, in which locations, and what songs are being played by those trivia players. For instance, it could that New York bar-goers on the Lower East Side played the game while listening to Coldplay.

“People who choose the music in a bar or restaurant are the tastemakers; they’re deciding what everyone will listen to,” said Marlin Gilbert, Ecast senior VP-marketing, explaining the significance of the group they reach. “And interacting this way with the brand is far more enjoyable than just looking at a sign hanging up in a bar.”

The rates for Ecast are similar to Web models, with pricing on a cost-per-thousand basis with a full screen ad at $12 CPM. That makes it easy for interactive media buyers and marketers to understand, said Chris Scott, Ecast director-business development, advertising, but the ability to choose by metropolitan area, city, state or even ZIP code makes the system flexible and familiar for out-of-home buyers as well.

Ecast began offering advertising opportunities in 2005, and so far clients have been mostly beer and spirits makers. Ecast is now targeting other categories, including automotive, communications such as Internet and telecom companies, and entertainment companies. In fact, the first non-beer and spirits campaign was commissioned by a “major wireless carrier” and will begin in about three weeks, Mr. Scott said.

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