Heineken Launches Ultra Music Fest Contest App

Heineken is enhancing its onsite sponsorship of Ultra Music Festival (UMF) with a contest leading up to the two-weekend Miami festival, March 15-17 and 22-24.

Using a custom app developed by Heineken and its partner agencies (including “multicultural millennial”-focused Cultur8, part of Omnicom), consumers will be asked to create a remix using provided track stems, for a chance to win a VIP trip to UMF. Finalists will be featured on Heineken’s Facebook tab, with the winner selected by public voting.

The program “provides a new way to build momentum and excitement leading up to Ultra that’s organic for the brand and the consumer,” says Leanne Maciel, manager of Heineken sponsorships & activations. “Ultra is providing the entity, but Heineken wants to help elevate that experience.”

This is Heineken’s sixth year as a UMF sponsor, a testament to the festival’s effectiveness at capturing a valuable target for beer, spirits, and technology brands – the of-age male with disposable income. “Millennials are a key target for us and music in general is a passion point for them,” says Maciel. “EDM is something specifically Heineken is associated with as a brand.”

Heineken’s activations have mostly occurred in and around the event, via things like branded beer stations; a branded stage in an igloo-like structure, called the Heineken Dome (in 2011); and out-of-home advertising around Miami, featuring Ultra-specific messaging.

Maciel says that similar initiatives are planned for this year and will be announced soon, and the brand is actually expanding its OOH investment, extending from taxi tops and billboards to full wraps of Miami-Dade Metrorail trains.

But the app extends the brand association beyond the event, giving Heineken a way to reach target consumers who might not even attend, but associate positively with Ultra.

Their marketing target, says Maciel, is dubbed internally as “The Man of the World,” a 25-34-year-old who’s tied to his smartphone. “He looks for different experiences, likes trying new things first, and likes taking existing things and making something fresh and unique,” she says.

So an app made strategic sense. The Heineken Ultra Remix App launched over the weekend in the Google Play and Apple stores. It’s being promoted via QR codes at retail, and a tab on Heineken’s Facebook page. The age-gated app provides remix stems developed by Ultra performer DJ Whitenoize; a lead, bass, vocal, and beat that users can manipulate with provided multi-channel mixing and effects.

Entrants can submit their remixes by February 22; Heineken will then select the Top ten entries, and post them on the contest Facebook tab for a public voting period March 1-8 (driven by the finalists lobbying their own social followings). The winner will be whisked off to UMF for a VIP experience, including access to backstage artist