Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stella Artois' Le Bar Guide App - A Great Idea That Fell Short

This is definitely not a new mobile app, but I was a little slow to discover it. The Stella Artois Le Bar Guide app helps beer/Stella Artois lovers find and discover places to drink. It pulls in Google Maps to search nearest bars serving Stella Artois to your location in an Augmented Reality. The whole idea is quite fantastic and could turn into a frequently used app for pub crawlers, but it is currently rated 2.3 stars in the app store and has yet seen success.

Let's start off with some cool things it does:

A little too tipsy to find a bar...
So, you had a few drinks, but you planned on bar hopping, so let's keep that going. Where is the next bar? Oh, here you go. On a map, in real life, and on a list. You really can't miss it.

I know you said that way, but which way is it?
In case the alcohol is doing funny things in your system, if you point your camera down to the floor, arrows will appear on your screen to guide you way to your next bar.

I need to go home, someone help me. Please?

One drink too many, and you completely forgot to appoint a designated driver at the beginning of the night. Here's your sober friend. The app lists cab numbers and calls it when you click on it. You can still say your address correctly right?

I'm in the cab and am ready to put down some drunk comments...
Forget drunk texting, here's a place to comment on the specific location you went to, and see what others have said.

It also does a little bit of Yelp.
On this "Rate it" tab, you can rate the bar by it's menu, dance, clientele and service.

Sounds pretty awesome, so what's wrong with it?

Firstly, no one knows about it.
Well that could be quite the problem. I could create the world's greatest app that does your laundry and homework, but not tell anyone about it. Not really sure if I really need to elaborate on this.

Use Google Maps, but all of it.
It pulls in Google Map locations and images, but it only shows you 10 locations within your state. There should really be at least 10 locations within my block when I'm in the city. If you look closely, the nearest bar locations to you is about 2.5 miles away. Half a mile is really far away when you have a few drinks, let alone 2.5.

Why can't I share?
I would choose to believe that this app was created for social reasons, but none of it is connected to any social networking platforms.

Here are some opportunities that would make this app awesome:

Pull in the Google Maps.
This app could be really cool if it pulled in all the locations that served Stella Artois, instead of a selected few. The description in the app store says that it currently only has a few of the brand's favorite bars but will be building to full coverage in 2010. It's been two years and there are barely 10 bars listed in Boston. This makes the app quite unhelpful.

Create conversation
If the point was to have people use the app and talk on it, it would make a whole lot more sense if it pulled in the foursquare tips, Yelp tips, and Twitter conversation surrounding each location.

I'm drunk, don't make me press so many buttons.
While you're at it, why not connect to foursquare, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram so that

1. It checks you in on Facebook and Foursquare.

2. Allows you tweet a half templated text like "I'm sipping on my @StellaArtois at XXX..."

3. Lets you upload pictures on/from Instagram (although this could be dangerous since drunk photos can be .... you know, drunk.)

The 3D augmented reality and the whole idea is fantastic, but would it hurts me to see that it didn't take off because it only went half way.