My phone is crowded with beer apps these days. In this case it’s an entertaining enough game that runs like your standard Mafia Wars-style game where challenges must be met to earn credits and advance to the next level. Unlike the Zynga type games that are free and want to want to engage you enough to hopefully get you to buy your way to the next level with little purchases here and there, The Publican is completely free…if you count the cost of being assailed by unrelenting advertising throughout the whole thing as ‘free’. It’s not really an advertising supported game, more an ad that tries to be entertaining enough to keep you staring at the brands.
It does have an unintended educational purpose though. By showing the Lion brand portfolio, it will help beer drinkers to realise that when they are facing up to a bar featuring exclusively James Squire. Becks, Kirin, Tooheys Extra Dry and XXX that perhaps the publican thinks more about his Lion sales rep’s cheque book than he does about them and offering them a real choice. [MK]
If you’ve ever dreamed of running your own pub, now is your chance with today’s launch of the free iPhone game called ‘The Publican’.
Available via the iTunes store, players are challenged to successfully pour beers for customers without spilling a drop, earning tips along the way. By earning more money, players are able to upgrade their basic local pub to a higher-end establishment and progress in levels in the game. For those wishing to share their journey, the game also includes a link to Facebook where players can post their progress on their profile.
Developed by food and beverage company Lion, the App features some of Australia’s favourite beers and is the brainchild of Lion’s own James Malkin, a Commercial Analyst for the Lion – Beer, Spirits & Wine Marketing & Innovation teams.
“The aim of the game is to keep your customers happy by staying apace with their orders, pouring the perfect schooner and earning tips. The Publican is the game where you can unleash your inner entrepreneur and go from humble beginnings as the proprietor of the local, to being the big kahuna of a flashy rooftop establishment.
“It’s a simple concept that taps into that innate curiosity I think lives in us all – running our own pub and experiencing the ‘other’ side of the bar,” said Malkin.
The new game couldn’t have been launched at a better time. Aussies have a strong appetite for Apps – a recent survey from Google found that on average, each Australian who has a smartphone has 25 Apps, including an average of eight paid Apps per phone – even more than our American and British counterparts who have an average 23 Apps per phone (1). In addition to this, the survey found that Aussies have been quick to adopt mobile technology and we now have the second highest smartphone penetration in the world.
The idea to create The Publican came to Malkin when the Lion Beer, Spirits & Wine Marketing team in Australia decided they wanted to become more active in the iPhone App space. Rather than limiting the ideas to a select group, the team put out a challenge to their wider marketing team and their partner advertising agencies to come up with the best idea. Ten different proposals were presented, but it was Malkin who came out on top and was granted a budget to make his idea a reality.
“I was very surprised and delighted to have my concept chosen as the winning idea,” says Malkin.
“I’d had this idea for a beer pouring iPhone game previously, however when I heard about the challenge, I put a lot more thought and work into the concept,” he said.
Malkin comes from an accounting background and moved from Melbourne to Sydney three years ago, when he started working at Lion.
“I was previously working in corporate tax, so working at Lion has been a welcome change. This has been a great project to work on. I think it’s important for people to have a creative outlet and it’s fantastic that Lion supports this,” says Malkin.
To download the free App, visit the iTunes store (www.itunes.com.au) and search for ‘The Publican’. (The Publican is only available for download by adults aged 18 and older. Lion also encourages the responsible consumption of alcohol.)