Alcohol marketers toast iPhone apps

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Wine and spirit companies are taking advantage of new iPhone applications to give consumers information not only on product reviews, but where to find their products while enjoying a night out.

The efforts are part of a growing push by marketers to reach consumers through mobile applications.

“An application is attractive because there is a deep level of engagement,” said Mike Wehrs, president and CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association. “It is not just a notification of something, it is more of a marketing program that can support an overall advertising campaign.”

For Proximo Spirits, the liquor compa­ny that makes Three Olives Vodka, 1800 Tequila, Gran Centenario, Ron Matusalem and Maestro Dobel, reaching consumers who are out is a great opportunity.

“Applications offer a great branding channel because you can put in a lot of interactivity,” Wehrs said.

Proximo currently is developing a new iPhone application, based on its existing Web application. This “locator” is designed to help consumers find the bars and liquor stores that carry Proximo brands.

“People are out and about, and they want the information then and there as they are looking for a place to drink,” said Elwyn Gladstone, head of marketing at Proximo.

Gladstone also pointed out that the mobile application development is happening a lot in the wine and spirits space.

“There are wine guides, which are doing it a lot, where you can enter in a wine and find reviews and then bars and stores that carry it,” he added.

Some examples include Nirvino, which lets users type read reviews, descriptions and food pairing recommendations for a wine, and Cor.kz, which is based on CellarTracker, a wine database of more than 530,000 wines.

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