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At last, the killer app for NFC: Free Beer!


Over the past 10 years there have been volumes written about the potential of using NFC for mobile payments. But no matter how much support from banks, card schemes, and mobile operators, NFC payments has had a very slow uptake.

But NFC can be used for many purposes other than payments.

Now Guiness, the world’s number one stout, has implemented a mobile marketing campaign which simply uses NFC to engage and reward customers in the pub.

Perhaps this is where NFC will finally be successful!

Although virtually synonymous with payments, NFC (near field communications) is actually a technology which simply allows for communication between two devices when they get near to each other. These devices can be either active (like a mobile phone or a POS terminal), or passive like a simple NFC tag.

In this campaign, Guiness, a brand of global spirits company Diageo, uses NFC to trigger a short interaction with a consumer. Here’s how it works.

The bar patron must insure that NFC is enabled on their phone. For this campaign, Android and Blackberry users are targeted as NFC has not been implemented in iPhones yet.

The consumer taps the phone to the special fount to activate the NFC communication.

A small amount of information must be entered on the phone in order to qualify for the contest.

If you are a lucky customer and win, you enjoy a free pint of Guiness!

Guiness has already installed almost 15,000 of these special NFC-enabled founts across UK and Ireland, and plans to install another 65,000 by 2015.

Several things about this campaign strike us as clever:

  • The action required of the consumer is very simple and takes almost no time. You can easily imagine drinkers would try for a free pint every time they go to a pub, thus bringing the Guiness brand to the top of their mind at the moment of purchase.
  • The reward is immediate and very relevant. After all, the patron is already in the pub!
  • All that would be required on each fount is a very simple NFC tag, which costs almost nothing and does not require any power or connectivity.
  • As the campaign runs, it will provide a lot of information to Guiness about consumer consumption habits, as Guiness will know each time a customer tries for a free pint. Normally beer drinking in pubs is very anonymous, so this information should prove valuable.

Nick Britton, marketing manager for Guinness Western Europe at Diageo commented, “Guinness is committed to using innovation to develop new marketing tools that will excite consumers and drive valuable sales for our customers. The new NFC activity is a prime example of this… to keep our audience engaged whilst rewarding them with offers, vouchers, competitions and content.”

The campaign was implemented using Proxama’s TapPoint platform. Proxama managing director, Miles Quitmann said: “NFC technology in smartphones is starting to play a key role in how brands and consumers engage. Brands get very few opportunities to have meaningful one-to-one interactions with their consumers; NFC is changing this by allowing brands to interact with consumers that have proactively chosen to engage with them.”


20.09.2013    Tags: , ,
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