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KitchenAid boasts product awareness via mobile app sponsorship

KitchenAid is expanding its partnership of the upcoming Food and Wine festival by sponsoring a mobile application that lets users learn more about its products.

The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen iPhone app is part of a bigger marketing push to engage with attendees at the festival?s 30th anniversary. Digitas is the brand agency behind this campaign.

?We're always looking for new and innovative ways to expand our partnership with Food & Wine beyond our core sponsorship of its signature event, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen,? said Beth Robinson, senior manager of brand experience at KitchenAid, Joseph, MI.

?Leveraging this sponsorship and other content opportunities across all media channels including print, digital, mobile and social is one way for us to do this,? she said.

?And given that KitchenAid doesn't have its own mobile app at this time, partnering with Food & Wine on their app presents a great opportunity to interact with mobile users.?

Snack on mobile
The KitchenAid sponsorship includes ads that line the sides of the app and promote the brand. Users are encouraged to click on the ad with copy that shows how kitchen appliances fit into a virtual kitchen.

The ads then displays a kitchen with 11 different appliances arranged on the counters. Consumers can click on each appliance to learn more about the appliance via a landing page.

Kitchenaid is also running banner ads that direct users to the company?s Web site.

Although it is a good idea to let users learn more about a product via an app sponsorship, users are taken to an un-optimized landing page, which forces them to scroll to see all of the information.

The main purpose of the app is to help Food & Wine Classic attendees at the event, which is taking place June 15 ? 17 in Aspen, CO.

Users can find demos, seminars and speaker information by browsing by location and day.

Additionally, users can find recipes for events featured at the event. Recipes can be emailed to friends and family and let users browse ingredients and step-by-step directions.

?We're always looking for ways to communicate with our key audiences through channels and screens that deliver relevant content to users wherever they want it,? Ms. Robinson said.

A sceenshot of the Food & Wine Classic app

Digital event
In addition to mobile, KitchenAid is also sponsoring Food & Wine?s Facebook page with live chats with chefs from the event. Users can ask questions to the chefs in real-time.

Using digital channels to connect with attendees for a specific event can be a great way for a brand such as KitchenAid to take its sponsorship to a new level.

With both mobile and social media, KitchenAid is able to build a closer one-on-one relationship with consumers.

Additionally, the app sponsorship shows how branded content can be used inside an app. Consumers using the app are most likely looking for quick access to food content, which can be used by KitchenAid to drive sales of its products online.

"It makes sense with the ubiquity of app development these days as it is not too costly that you are seeing more of these limited-use apps," said Brad Spirrison, managing director of appolicious, Chicago.

"The expectation is for more major events to have an app," he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York