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Michelob Ultra takes a swing at boosting sweepstakes entries via mobile

April 18, 2013

Anheuser-Busch’s Michelob Ultra is making a major mobile play in its Ultra Foursome sweepstakes this year with QR codes, SMS and social media.

The initiatives are part of a contest from Michelob Ultra is running that gives one lucky golf fan a trip for four to play rounds of golf on four professional courses. For a beer brand specifically, using a variety of mobile mediums works in the company’s favor of engaging with as many users as possible.

“A brand like Michelob Ultra would create print collateral that offered a QR code, which would lead the target user to scan the QR to receive engaging content like a video, an interactive mobile Web site or any other appropriate content,” said Bobby Marhamat, founder of Hipscan, Menlo Park, CA.

“While the user is receiving information and being further engaged, they enter the sweepstakes by opting-in on their mobile number,” he said.

“This allows the brand to continually engage the user by sending out special offers and incentives to a highly targeted set of users.”

Triggering engagement
Michelob Ultra is running mobile-enabled print ads in Travel + Leisure magazine.

The print ads promote Michelob Ultra’s Ultra Foursome campaign, which runs through May 4.

Via the sweepstakes, consumers can enter to win a golf trip for four across four pro courses.

A QR code in the middle of the page encourages users to scan it using their mobile device to enter the contest.

Once users scan the QR code, they are redirected to Michelob Ultra’s Facebook page, which contains recent posts with links to the sweepstake’s entry form.

Directing consumers to the brand’s Facebook page first could cause a drop-off in some entries for the sweepstakes. However, it also helps the brand bolster its social media presence and build a stronger one-on-one relationship with users.

Users who click on the posts promoting the Ultra Foursome sweepstakes can fill out a form with information such as their name, birthdate, phone number and email.

In addition to entering the contest, users can opt-in to Michelob Ultra’s email and SMS programs.

Per Michelob, QR codes are also placed on campaign signs and other promotional materials.

SMS is also playing a big role in how Michelob Ultra is getting consumers to enter the sweepstakes.

Consumers can text in the keyword FOUR to the short code 85872.

Users are then sent a reply message that prompts them to text back their ZIP code to enter the sweepstakes.

By pushing QR codes and SMS as main touch points for consumers in the campaign, Michelob Ultra is able to appeal to both smartphone and feature phone users.

Nowadays, marketers plaster QR codes all over their print collateral. However, consumer education on what the technology enables is still relatively low.

“Beer brands can add the QR code to their bottles for a highly engaging lifestyle video to further engage a target user,” Mr. Marhamat said.

“Beer brands can place a QR code on a bottle that goes to a mobile landing page and asks the end user to share why they enjoy that brand of beer – creating word-of-mouth exposure,” he said.

“The engagement that brands can get from effective QR marketing campaigns are endless –it just takes some creativity to get in the minds of their end users.”

Final Take
A Michelob Ultra commercial

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