News & Views

Unox / Schaatsapp

by Contagious Team

Dutch food brand creates app that tracks and shares ice skaters' routes

Ice-skating is hugely popular in the Netherlands during the winter months, but it can be hard to identify the best lakes and canals for skating. So Unox, a Unilever brand known for winter warming foods like soups and sausages, has created a mobile app that shows the best natural skating routes in the country. 

The Schaatsapp (Skating app) created by agencies TBWA/Neboko and MediaMonks (both in Amsterdam) lets skating enthusiasts save their routes and share them on a map. The app is available for free on Android and iOS and lets users create names for their routes, share them via Twitter and Facebook, as well as snap and save photos of different scenes along the way. As well as saving their routes users can also view those on their Facebook friends' routes and the official Dutch skating association KNSB. Skaters receive a stamp card after each skate and the app tracks the speed and distance of their skating, rewarding them with virtual medals.

Esther Okker, who works in Unox's marketing department, told Dutch trends website Frankwatching that two days after launch the app was downloaded 6,636 times by Apple users and has 3,537 active Android users. The Facebook page and website received a total of 23,000 users.

Unox currently has more than 46,600 Facebook Likes.

Contagious Insight 
This skating app is perfectly on brand for Unox's wintry food products, as a big, warm bowl of soup is just the treat that skaters might crave after spending the day being active in the cold outdoors. Unox prides itself on its Dutch heritage and as so it makes perfect sense for the brand to associate itself with skating, the favourite winter sport of the Dutch.

The brand's association with skating is not new; Unox has previously created a winter hat especially for the Elfstedentocht or the Eleven Cities Race (the biggest skating competition held on natural ice in the world) and sponsored various skating competitions. This new app further cements Unox's reputation as the food for skaters by providing them with a genuine utility. 

Unox's app actually performs a similar function to the unbranded SchaatsApp; because this app also allows skaters to measure their speed and track their routes. But the brand takes this one step further. While Unox might be seen as rather lofty in its claim that the app is like Nike+ for skaters, it is attempting to create a community around skating, from planning where to skate beforehand right through to the warming bowl of soup afterwards.

This story originally appeared on Contagious Feed. Contagious Feed is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious Feed contact