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Great Guinness Pint Contest generates 8,510 entries via text message in 3 hours

Irish brewer Guinness? nationwide Great Guinness Pint Contest received a total of 8,510 entries via text message in just three hours and engaged consumers with the brand across the country.

The program asked consumers at participating businesses to rate their pint of Guinness via the mobile phone. Each time consumers rated their pint they were entered into a sweepstakes in which the winner gets a home pub.

"We created the live drawing as a tool to drive consumers back to particular accounts at the end of this program, which directly increased sales of Guinness while building further loyalty with their accounts," said John Lim, CEO of Mobile Card Cast, Tarrytown, NY. "It also allowed us to create a relevant communication to those participants who opted-in for future alerts.

"We had less than a 2 percent opt-out rate from the initial SMS blast," he said. "One of the great challenges faced in the mobile space today is maintaining your opt-in list and creating relevant communications of value that directly correlate to sales."

Guinness record
To culminate the Guinness Rate Your Pint contest, top performing accounts - participating bars - from around the country chose to host Live Online Drawing parties held on Feb. 19.

Guinness brand ambassadors hosted live online drawing parties during which the grand prize winners were selected. 

Brand ambassadors handed out branded Guinness business cards which instructed people to text-to-win additional prizes and giveaways instantly on their mobile device. 

Prizes included ringtones, T-shirts and jackets. 

Simultaneously, the live online drawing was displayed in all the accounts on flat screen television sets so that contestants could watch to see if they won. 

Countdown clocks alerted bar patrons to when the next drawing would take place. 

The live online drawing was held at

Twenty live online drawings were held over three hours. Across 30 participating bars there were a total of 8,510 entries via text message, which equates to 283 entries per account and 1.58 entries per minute per account.

The program, powered by Mobile Card Cast, is a bit different this year because there is a WAP microsite.

Additionally, consumers were able to text CHEERS to 31759 to get the Guinness Pub Finder, an application that allows users to discover pubs near them.

The application uses GPS location to pinpoint the user's location and send local pub details which can be used to create a favorites list.

Consumers were also asked to join a mobile club.

Guinness ran this same program in November and December 2008.

During that two-month period there were 62,578 completed entries. That means 1.22 pints were rated per minute during operational hours of all participating retailers.

There were 36,866 unique entries, of these Guinness achieved an opt-in ratio of 62 percent, with 22,732 people asking to receive future alerts.

Drawing lessons
The above numbers were achieved with limited advertising through point of sale in retail accounts.

"The first challenge was creating a synchronized live drawing across the Internet," said John Packes,
director of product development at Mobile Card Cast. "The Internet is more of a request and receive medium ? it?s not like television where shows run at the same time.

"For that, we created an intelligent Web-based live drawing application which functioned to maintain synchronization during the event," he said. "The second challenge was feeding the mobile result data into the drawing application throughout 19 live drawings, spanning almost three hours.

"After those challenges were addressed, wrapping up all that functionality into an attractive, branded, and exciting experience ? well, that was the fun part."