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Heineken targets twenty-somethings with iPhone app

Beer behemoth Heineken is targeting young adults in Brazil who display an active, dynamic, urban lifestyle with a free application for the iPhone and iPod touch.

The app is divided in two parts, the GPS-enabled Bar Finder and the Party Maker, which provides detailed instructions for planning a social event. The Portuguese-language application is designed to engage its youthful target demographic and encourage them to interact with the Heineken brand.

"Our objective was to create news around the brand by offering consumers never-before-seen tools for them to experience the Heineken world," said Herbert Gris, corporate marketing manager for Heineken, São Paulo, Brazil.

"The app engages consumers by helping them to have fun drinking Heineken with their friends in or out of home in a socially responsible way," he said.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Heineken is a pale lager made by Heineken International since 1873. It claims to be the world's most popular lager-style beer.

Heineken beer is brewed by 40 breweries in 39 countries worldwide.

Heineken is the titular sponsor of the Heineken Green Energy music concerts in Dublin, Ireland, and also sponsors Ireland's biggest music festival, Oxegen.

As for sports-related relationships, Heineken sponsors the Heineken Cup, a European rugby tournament. It is also the official beer of the UEFA Champions League and Chelsea F.C.

In English-language markets, Heineken and Heineken Light are using mobile as part of multichannel effort to get consumers to stock up on the beer this summer (see story).

Tapping the iPhone
The Bar Finder feature of the Heineken iPhone app helps Brazilian consumers find the nearest bar selling Heineken.

The app will show the route to that venue using the iPhone's GPS and Google Maps features.

Also, the consumer can find the bar by type -- restaurant, pub, snack bar, etcetera -- choosing from a list, then generating the most direct route to get there from the consumer's current location.

"And if he needs a taxi to avoid drinking and driving, he can also find a list of taxi services phone numbers and the phone calls will be made straight from the app," Mr. Gris said.

The second part of the app is the Party Maker, designed for consumers who want to host a party at their home.

The app will ask consumers what type of party they want to host, how many men and women, which snacks will be served, what kind of venue, how long it will last and other details.

The app calculates the amount of Heineken necessary for the specific party and how much ice consumers will need to cool it.

Heineken is largely relying on word of mouth across Brazil to get the word out about its iPhone application in.

"Our aim was to create viralization through notes to the press, bloggers and consumers in our base," Mr. Gris said. "The response was so fast that in only one week the app had more than 5,000 downloads and reached the Top 5 apps in the App Store."