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Friday, August 26, 2011

Do you want some Wi-Fi with that beer?

Wi-Fi is everywhere, and thank goodness for that, otherwise we would all be stuck paying through the nose for minuscule bandwidth from greedy carriers that want to overcharge for overloaded and poor 3G networks. Now there are a lot of places where you can get Wi-Fi: coffee shops, fast food joints, some train stations and shopping malls. The latest place to join the Wi-Fi revolution, according to entrepreneurial blog Springwise? Pubs, the epicenter of British social life.

Dutch beer maker Heineken has sponsored free Wi-Fi in 100 London pubs and will add another 200 pubs across the U.K. by the end of 2012. British newspaper The Independent will provide location-specific content on the network. This is a brilliant idea; sponsoring free Wi-Fi access is much better and cheaper advertising opportunity for big brands, something we’ve been saying forever.

However, what Heineken has done right is targeting its ideal audience/customer demographic in the right location. Google sponsoring Wi-Fi on Virgin America, and at some airports, was another such clever co-branding/marketing effort that targeted the right audience.

Hey Nike, how about coming up with free Wi-Fi at baseball stadiums?