Branded apps sneak onto the iPhone

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I’ve waited a month, I can’t hold it in anymore – The iPhone 2 Software update has been an insane success.

Within 3 days of the application store going live over 10 million apps had been downloaded by eager iPhone users, and as of right now there are over 1350 iPhone applications (in just a few weeks). How can marketing or PR companies take advantage of App capability?

Chanel and Carling (through ad agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay – update) have been the first to successfully develop free branded applications – both very different in style, using separate approaches.

Chanel seized the perfect opportunity to capture early adopters with their winter 2008/9 catalogue. You get a short movie, the choice to flick through some of the latest designs, and then a direct link to the Chanel stores, with the ability to phone or locate any store at the press of a button. With the iPhone still a must have accessory item among celebs, it looks like Chanel can’t have done themselves any harm by testing the water with this application.

iPint has so far been the most successful branded app, it was the top free iPhone application for 2 weeks running, and it’s still in the top 10. A branded game in two stages, the first stage is based around steering a ping of Carling around a bar, avoiding bowls of peanuts, olives and other obstacles like empty bottles and glasses, steering is handled by the tilt sensor. Letting the pint slip off the bar will see it smashing onto the floor, but completing the game by steering it into the waiting hands will see the player rewarded with a virtual pint of their very own Carling. In this very short second part, the player can wiggle the iPhone and watch the liquid sloshing around in the pint glass as it’s filled up, or tip the iPhone up to ‘drink’ the Carling. Ending iPint gives a ‘send to a friend’ or ‘pour again’ option. It’s free, it’s easy to play, it looks good, and it’s ideal for a quick distraction.

An iPhone app more personal than a web site, the user makes a conscious decision to download the application, it’s on the same place they have their photo’s music, video and contacts. Of course iPhone users are still in the minority, but things could be set to change.

Foxconn are now manufacturing 800,000 iPhones every week (40 million a year) and there are still stores with no stock. Apple is set to launch the iPhone in an additional 50 countries this year too. It’s still very early days yet, but this does bode well for developers and brands.

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One comment on “Branded apps sneak onto the iPhone
  1. Hullo fella.

    Just been researching iPhone apps and brands and came across this post – good piece indeed.

    Just thought that I would mention that it’s a Carling iPint (created by their ad agency, Beattie McGuinness Bungay.

    Not that I have have anything to do with either of those organisations.

    Cheers now,

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