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Stella Artois customizes mobile bar guide app based on user mood

Stella Artois is offering a more personalized user experience in the latest update to its Le Bar Guide mobile application by enabling users to find nearby nightspots based on their mood.

The Le Bar Guide app was originally launched in 2009 as a tool for searching for bars by ZIP code. The latest version leverages GPS, social sites such as foursquare and Yelp as well as mood filters to enhance the experience.

"Brands today are behaving more and more like publishers," said Cezary Pietrzak, director of marketing at Appboy, New York. "Rather than shouting at people, they are curating content and experiences that align with their values and convey their message in a subtle way.

"By building an app, Stella Artois is simply extending its proposition to mobile," he said.

"It's a smart strategy for the brand because it puts consumers first and provides them with real utility."

Stella Artois is using Appboy's platform for the app although Mr. Pietrzak is not directly involved. He spoke based on his experience in mobile.

Stella Artois was not able to respond to press inquiries by the deadline.

Feeling relaxed
The home screen for the app says it is powered by foursquare.

The app categorizes bars into four primary moods ? Relaxed, Spirited, Lively and Party. The category that bar fits into is based on reviews on Foursquare and Yelp.

After users have selected a mood, Le Bar Guide finds nearby nightlife options leveraging the GPS technology in their smartphones.

Bars can also be sorted through other criteria including price, proximity and rating.

Bar recommendations are supposed to become more intuitive over time, as consumers can add new bars and share ratings and feedback.

App users can also rate how well a particular bar performs the nine steps Stella Artois recommends bartenders take to pour a its beer.

At the end of the night, the app can also be used to summon a taxi with a single click.

The Le Bar Guide app is available to download for free from Apple's App store.

The app is currently available in the United States where state law allows. Stella Artois plans to roll out the app to other markets, including Britain, Brazil, Canada, Argentina, Australia and Belgium.

An Android version of the app is also in the works.

Here?s to mobile
Beer brands have been very active in the mobile space for quite some.

For example, Bud Light Platinum and Justin Timberlake recently teamed up for a scavenger hunt that blends the real world with mobile and social to give fans a chance to win a Platinum Nights trip to see the musician perform (see story).

Additionally, MillerCoors' Coors Light ramped up its mobile messaging strategy with a new campaign that encourages consumers to upload pictures of themselves and friends partying for a chance to win prizes (see story). 

"Using mood to make bar recommendations is a great strategy because it allows Stella to tie the bar experience to a human behavior," Mr. Pietrzak said. "It also implicitly defines the brand's audience by defining four very specific moods.

"Songza has built its entire business by making music recommendations based on mood, knowing that people don't think about the category only in terms of genre," he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York