App-etite: Earn a Molson summer fun badge

This app supports the brand's 'Seize the Summer' campaign by allowing consumers to geo-tag themselves while earning virtual Facebook badges from Molson. Brand manager John Francis describes the strategy behind it.

It’s during the summer season that the barley used to make Molson Canadian beer is grown, and it’s also when many of their consumers enjoy the drink at outdoor venues and cottages across the country. As such, it’s fitting that the brand is launching a mobile app alongside its ‘Seize the Summer’ social media contest.

The campaign urges Molson Canadian fans to share their summer ‘achievements’ with the brand in exchange for virtual badges, which are posted to the user’s Facebook page. Ranging from the frivolous (eating tiny donuts) to the significant (building a dock) there are a wide range of badges fans can earn. Here, John Francis, brand manager, Molson Canadian, explains how the mobile app fits into the campaign strategy.

The app, and why it was developed:

This [campaign] provides the ability to track what you did this summer through earning online badges, and also potentially reward you for some of your summer experiences. There are four ways to get badges: One is self-verification: Tiny donuts, for instance – if you love ‘em, share it and you can get the badge. There’s also a friend verification range of badges; your friend has to vouch for you having done something. The third is a photo verification, proving you’ve barbecued with four different types of meat, for example. The feature that’s enabled for mobile phones is geo-tagging: some badges are earned by geo-tagging yourself at venues, such as the Molson Amphitheatre. You can go down there and geo-tag that you’re at the amphitheatre from your mobile phone and it will give you that badge.

How the app contributes to Molson’s overall campaign or brand strategy:

Late last year, around December, we launched our new campaign called ‘Made from Canada.’ Emotionally and functionally, our beer connects to this land. Emotionally, it’s the freedom that the land provides. In the summer, we wanted to encourage people to go out and enjoy that freedom. By building that link between the people and the land and the beer, that’s an extremely important part of our success.

Ways in which the app will be promoted:

We’re promoting our app through a couple of methods: our email database and mobile database are the first touchpoints. We’ve also included a Facebook URL on our TV ad for the first time ever, which drives people to our Facebook page and encourages them to start collecting badges for the summer. You can also get the app at the Android store and we’re just getting our final approval from Blackberry and Apple to be in their stores.

What is your media strategy here? Why did you think an app was the best way to reach your target audience?
Beer companies have been talking to their drinkers, but really don’t have a chance to engage with them and have a dialogue. Social media gives us the opportunity to engage in that dialogue. We have 400,000 folks we engage with on Facebook on a regular basis, and we’re always saying ‘those are great pictures you’re sending us’ or they’re talking to us about what they’re doing on the weekend or sharing information. The app is rooted in this. It’s an active participation point for our drinkers in the campaign, but it’s part of the full bundle.

Target demographic or psychographic:

At Molson Canadian it’s really important to look at our demo in a different way. They basically think Canadian beer is the best beer it the world and they love fresh air and outdoor activities. They’re aged 19 to 49 (with a bullseye of 27), and we want them reacting to what we’re currently saying in the market.

Agencies involved:

Creative was by Crispin Porter & Bogusky Canada, MyThum Interactive developed the app and Mediaedge:cia did the media buy.