Nielsen Pipes In More Social App Data To Help Brands Gauge ‘Bar Moments’

SocialDo Nielsen and alcoholic beverages mix?

The two may sound like unlikely companions, but Nielsen has partnered with the creator of a mobile app called OpenBar to roll out a new measurement platform for alcoholic beverage marketing. The platform, Nielsen Bar Moments, will launch in the first quarter of 2016.

BARTRENDr, the data analytics company behind the OpenBar social app, claims it sees upward of 1.5 million monthly engagements from recurring users.

Its base of 900,000 monthly active users must opt in to the social community and meet the legal drinking age before becoming a member or syncing their profile with their Facebook login. Users log in and share information, as well as conversation, about the drinks they consume and the bars they visit.

The OpenBar data set is attractive for libations-based brands and advertisers, which Nielsen serves through the Nielsen Beverage Alcohol Practice.

The data set will help Nielsen determine how social media impacts product movement on premise in bars and restaurants and off premise in stores.

“We’re at a point where we’re good at measuring what people buy in stores versus what they buy in bars and restaurants, but BARTRENDr can track what people are talking about,” said Danny Brager, SVP of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol practice, which lives within the “buy” side of Nielsen’s business.

“We realize the world is becoming much more social and that people’s conversations and recommendations are what influence other people to buy.”

The niche nature of the OpenBar app complements Nielsen’s brand clients’ needs, according to Devon Bergman, co-founder and CEO of BARTRENDr. Building brand affinity for beer or hard alcohol also introduces additional restrictions in targeting and age disclosures.

“The app is very conversation-driven and we focus the topics and discussions in the app around things users are interested in, based on what they clicked or shared in the past,” Bergman said. “We do have keyword analysis, but [the core of our data] is the 120,000 [brands and specialty drinks] we have hard-coded to specific SKUs.”

Sunday night is typically a traffic surge for BARTRENDr because it’s a big premiere night for HBO and Showtime. The company claims it can create correlations at an aggregate level between a certain beverage and a demographic that likes to watch “Homeland” or an apparel brand that’s trending.

“We get [that] our data set is a niche play, but the value is not just where users are drinking and what they’re drinking,” Bergman said. Instead, it’s “in the cross-section of data and some of these cross associations.”

Nielsen Bar Moments may be accessed through prepackaged brand reports, but measurement may be available on more of a self-serve basis in the form of a dashboard or platform as early results and data come back, Brager said.

Right now, Nielsen’s in the exploratory stage of parsing BARTRENDr’s data. For instance, it’s determining granularity of segments, such as the interests of 21- to 26-year-old African-American males versus Caucasian Boomers or trending beverages in select geographies.

Advertisers are interested in the user demographics BARTRENDr caters to, which are millennial and multicultural audiences.

“Traditional research methodologies always had difficulty getting to younger demographics and multicultural consumers,” Brager explained. “As those segments of the population grow, brands want more granular information, such as different life stages within the Millennial population.”

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