2013 Digital PR Awards: Mobile

Co-Winner: 360i & National Car Rental - "Go Like a Pro" with National Car Rental + Foursquare

National Car Rental is known as a premier car rental brand for business travel, offering "road warriors" speed, choice and control to help them be more efficient when they're on the road. A lot has changed since National launched in 1947, and the ways in which business travelers plan and book their trips has evolved with advances in digital technology. Travelers are now looking for convenient, mobile-friendly ways to make their trips easier to manage. National Car Rental recognized the opportunity and met consumers where they needed the brand most.

Since launching in 2009, Foursquare has evolved from a simple check-in service into a full-blown discovery engine equipped with a bevy of crowd-sourced information. A leader in both the social and location-based app markets, Foursquare proved to be a prime partner for National. Foursquare's "List" feature is valuable for consumers who want local information quickly from a source they likely already trust.

Additionally, renting cars is inherently mobile, so it would make sense for the brand to leverage the popular platform. By partnering with local influencers, National would be able to successfully deliver valuable third-party authority through the Foursquare lists to its mobile travelers. And by encouraging users to check-in at locations nationwide, they would be able to generate buzz across social platforms.

National was able to provide value by offering hyper-relevant, localized information and a streamlined experience to customers via its Foursquare "Go Like a Pro" campaign. In just eight months, nearly 10,000 people engaged with National Car Rental's Foursquare presence and the brand organically racked up more than 27,000 check-ins at locations nationwide. All of this was achieved, in fact, with zero paid media spend.

Co-Winner: Peter Mayer - Go NOLA

The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) is charged with promoting leisure travel to New Orleans. In 2012, agency of record Peter Mayer Advertising set out to do this in a new way—by bringing the experience of New Orleans to users via a smartphone app.

While the majority of NOTMC's marketing efforts are focused on reaching potential visitors before they've made the decision to come to New Orleans, the app project had a dual goal: to reach users both in the planning process and during their tourist experience in New Orleans. The key to the app's success was for the user experience to be not only functional, but also reflective of the vibrancy and excitement that makes New Orleans a world-class destination.

Peter Mayer’s objective was to enhance the users' experience in New Orleans by guiding them around the city and helping them to explore new places. The location categories all follow a standard user flow. Each category first presents a filter screen where users can refine the parameters of their search, using categories such as price, distance from current location, and neighborhood. Once these are selected, a filtered, scrollable list of locations appears with each item leading to a detail page.

A standard detail page includes a photograph, description, "Add to My Trips" button, Click-to-Call button, and useful way finding features such as "Show on Map" and "Get Directions." "Insider Tips" were also added to hundreds of location detail pages, with unique information that only a local could know - for example, the tip for Verti Marte, a grocery and deli in the French Quarter, reads "Angelina Jolie digs this place. Just sayin'."

Lastly, each detail page has a share button, which enables users to share a location via email, Facebook, Twitter, or SMS. A sample Facebook share reads "I love me some New Orleans! Look what I found on my GO NOLA iPhone app," followed by a link to the location.

Within 12 weeks of its iPhone launch in 2012, downloads of Peter Mayer’s “Go NOLA” app exceeded 15,000; through mid-July, the iPhone version of the app has received a total of 37, 295 downloads, despite minimal out-of-market promotion. The Droid version received a total of 1,043 downloads in five weeks, despite very minimal promotion for this version, and has a total of 12,631 downloads to date.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Accenture Outlook journal and iPad App
  • Miles - Colorado State Vacation Guide iPad App
  • USANA Health Sciences - USANA True Health Assessment
  • Vladimir Jones/Centura Health - Movementum