App-etite: LCBO takes its elephant mobile

Ontario's liquor board is spreading its CSR initiative onto Facebook and iPhones in an attempt to get people to speak out against drinking and driving.

Ontario’s liquor control board, the LCBO, has released a free iPhone app as part of its multimedia CSR campaign to stop people from drinking and driving.

The ‘Speak Up’ app, developed by Dial 9 in Toronto, has two purposes: to reach out to drunk friends and to provide mocktail recipes.

The app and a Facebook page that also recently launched are extensions of the year-old ad campaign that urges people to deflate the elephant in the room by talking about drinking and driving with friends.

Stephanie Petroff, senior communications consultant, LCBO, tells MiC about the app and how people can use it during the holidays.

MiC: What does the ‘Speak Up’ app do?

SP: We wanted to create a tool that hosts could use either before or during a party where they could have a variety of messages, choose a voice, male or female, and send the message to their guests or friends. It’s another way to say, ‘Look, I really care about you and want you to come to my party and have a great time, but please think about how you’re going to get to the party and how you’re going to get home.’ It’s just another tool in their arsenal they could use to help them and their guests have a really good time.

The other side is the alcohol-free mocktails. There’s some 50 recipes that we’ve got there. Mocktails, I think, have always had that myth around them that they’re not exciting, they’re not that tasty, they’re just for the designated drivers, and I think we’re turning that on its head a little bit because if you look at those mocktails, they’re not just delicious, they’re as attractive as other beverage options.

MiC: Why did you develop the app?

SP: When we launched the original ad campaign last year, our goal was always to take the issue of drinking and driving from talking about it to actually creating tools people could use to help them in a confrontational situation or embarrassing situation.

MiC: How do you see this app evolving?

SP: This is new ground for us, with the Facebook page and iPhone app, so what we’ll be looking to do is track customer feedback, and in the new year we’ll be looking to expand it for a concentrated summer program for long weekends.

App-etite is an ongoing MiC series dedicated to covering branded mobile applications. For a bird’s eye view of branded apps in Canada, just type ‘App-etite’ into the website search.