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TabbedOut lets SXSW attendees pay their bar tabs via mobile

At South by Southwest this week, JiWire and TabbedOut, which lets bar and restaurant customers pay their tabs via their smartphones, are hosting a location-based campaign and bar crawl March 12 and 13 at watering holes around Austin, TX.

Through JiWire’s mobile application network, the partners will let people in the Austin area receive the lineup of bars, find directions and participate in the campaign through its app-in-an-ad technology Compass. When users click on the TabbedOut ad, they can access details about the bar crawls, including mapped-out directions.

“It’s all about location and this year at SXSW, we wanted to have some fun with leveraging location technology to promote our bar crawl,” said Kevin McKeand, vice president of sales and marketing at TabbedOut, Austin.

“JiWire is the leader in location products, and when they came to us with Compass, it was a great fit to help us promote our SXSW party on a bigger level,” he said. “Getting in front of the on-the-go consumer and breaking away from all the noise at SXSW is a challenge.

“Anyone who has been to SXSW knows it’s chaotic, so reaching people in an efficient and creative way with bar crawl details, including location of bars, schedule of bus stops, etcetera, helps make this event more successful.”

Keeping tabs on mobile payments
The TabbedOut application is available for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch and Google’s Android.

TabbedOut’s target demographic is consumers ages 25-40, tech savvy, younger professionals who are upwardly mobile.

“The application gives them the freedom to easily pay their bar or restaurant tap and leave when they need to,” Mr. McKeand said. “They don’t have to carry a credit card or give a credit card to wait staff.”

TabbedOut will be running a geo-fenced Austin Compass campaign across JiWire’s location-based mobile app network of more than 20 million unique users per month.

Specifically, attendees can find the bar crawl campaign on JiWire’s free Wi-Fi Finder application.

For this campaign, TabbedOut will be leveraging JiWire’s Compass product, a new location-based advertising platform designed to provide an interactive consumer experience.

Compass delivers location-relevant ads to mobile application users in an interactive way.

“It will enable people in the Austin area to easily find the lineup of bars, get directions to the locations and learn more about the TabbedOut Bar Crawl,” said David Staas, senior vice president of marketing at JiWire, San Francisco.

“We are excited to team up with TabbedOut to put the Compass experience to use in a fun way around SXSW,” he said.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily

Mr. Staas